April 12, 2015
The sparsely populated for north of North America is somewhat surprisingly affected by the leaders of the four major powers. How so?
- Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India,comes to Canada next week, marking the first bilateral visit to this Canada by an Indian prime minister since Indira Gandhi touched down in Montreal 42 years ago. Modi is keen on boosting India’s economic growth. To this end Canada’s Cameco has been holding commercial negotiations with Indian entities for supplying uranium to fuel nuclear power plants that has shortage of uranium. The agreement will be signed during Modi’s three-day visit to Ottawa from April 14-16, 2015. India and Canada signed the civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2010 and followed it up by inking the administrative arrangement in 2012. India has experienced high growth around 7% lately.
- Canada produces about 25% of the world’s uranium, all mines centered in northern Saskatchewan. Cameco is the major Canadian producer and the new agreement bodes well for increased production.
- Meanwhile the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has been building up Russia’s military and behaving like a thug. Increased Russian military assertiveness, comes as relations between the U.S. and Russia have been strained by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and annexation of Crimea last year, and involvement in arming and training pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. It goes on and on: military training exercises with North Korea, assassinations of dissidents, belligerent actions by patrol aircraft. Russia had 0% growth in 2014.
- The US government is preparing to ask Canada for a new set of high arctic detection equipment be installed. (In the 1950s the DEW line sites were installed to warn of Soviet missiles. This was later updated in the 1980s with a modernized North Warning system. The economic impact is unknown as the proposal has not been made public.
- President Obama has so far stopped the Keystone -XL pipeline from being built to carry oil sands crude to the US Gulf Coast. Also, Obama’s EPA has launched a preemptive regulatory attack on the prospective Pebble Gold mine. Through an Executive Order Obama has banned offshore drilling from an additional 9.8 M acres. The US growth rate has been around 2%.
- Meanwhile in China, Xi Jinping, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party, launched an unprecedented campaign targeting Party, government, military and state-owned company officials suspected of corruption after he came to power in late 2012. The Chinese leader has continued to emphasize China’s economic growth, but the rate of growth has slowed to 7%. China has continued its path of economic development.
- Chinese capital has been active in the oil sands, in mining and oil/gas exploration in Yukon, and mining exploration in the NWT. Chinese tourism in northern Canada is starting to grow.
What the world needs now is more Modi and less Putin.
- c)Alexander Panetta (CP),"US Military to ask Canada for new missile sensors in the Arctic", Yukon News, 10-Apr-15, p.11.