99.7% of Canadians live south of 60 degrees latitude (the border that divides B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba from the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). This means there are 104,000 people occupying 40% of the second largest country on Earth.
We Canadians seem to have a peculiar handicap: we can see east, west and south. But many of us do not see north. I must confess my own ignorance to issues north of 60°. As Michael Byers has said, the Arctic spaces “constitute a collective, national blind spot. And as any driver knows, blind spots present danger. In some instances, they can also present opportunity.”
Issues relevant to Canada north of 60° will be a recurring theme of this blog. I hope you will read and participate in this discussion with constructive intent. To sum up, I leave you with an excerpt from the 2007 Throne Speech:
The Arctic is an essential part of Canada’s history. One of our Fathers of Confederation, D’Arcy McGee, spoke of Canada as a northern nation, bounded by the blue rim of the ocean. Canadians see in our North an expression of our deepest aspirations: our sense of exploration, the beauty and the bounty of our land, and our limitless potential.