Canadian Arctic Policy: 12 Month Outlook


    Canadian arctic policy
    Members of the Royal 22e Regiment during Trident Juncture 2018; photo by Sgt Sebastien Frechette; via


    Canada stands at the forefront of the changing Arctic environment, with major territorial claims in the area. It also has large populations situated within its Arctic region and an increased international trade and military presence. Several key motivators have influenced Canadian Arctic policy, including climate change, increased foreign presence and international strategic pressure.

    While Canada’s budget and resources create the realistic probability of hampering strategic initiatives, Canada will seek to expand its influence. It will seek to secure its Arctic region, expand its international scope, and integrate native groups into Canadian Arctic policy.

    Key Judgement 1

    Canada is highly likely to expand its economic and strategic influence in and around its Arctic region.

    • Infrastructure to support both civilian and military assets in the arctic region is planned to begin via the Canadian Northern Corridor, which will require accompanying security expansion.

    • Co-redevelopment of the aging North Warning System with the US will facilitate expanded infrastructure and personnel in the Arctic. Updated systems will aim to begin establishing full domain awareness beyond Canada’s domestic territory.

    • Governmental Arctic reports indicate a plan to expand icebreaker fleets, corridor mapping, search and rescue capabilities and fighter staging grounds. Additional training of Canadian Rangers in drone capabilities indicates intention for an expanded military footprint within Canadian Arctic policy.

    Canadian arctic policy

    Key Judgement 2

    Canada is highly likely to foster international dialogue and cooperation with other Arctic Council and NATO countries for Arctic stability.

    • Canada will attempt to pursue closer dialogue with China, an Arctic observer state. This is done to understand Chinese intentions in the region as it increases its presence.

    Canadian arctic policy
    Canadian Army using new sniper rifles during training exercises; via

    Key Judgement 3

    Canada is almost certain to continue to consult with and tightly integrate native peoples into Canadian Arctic policy.

    Intelligence cutoff date: 13th of December, 2021

    Samuel Longstreth
    Samuel Longstreth
    Samuel is a King's College graduate with an MA in War Studies. His areas of focus are extremism in the Western world, military privatization and the impact of climate change on global security.

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