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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Lock, Stock, and Icebergs

A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty

In April 1988, after years of failed negotiations over the status of the Northwest Passage, Brian Mulroney gave Ronald Reagan a globe, pointed to the Arctic, and said “Ron that’s ours. We own it lock, stock, and icebergs.” A simple statement, it summed up Ottawa’s official policy: Canada owns the icy waters that wind their way through the Arctic Archipelago. Behind the scenes, however, successive governments have spent over a century trying to figure out how to enforce this claim. Drawing on recently declassified material, Lajeunesse guides readers through the evolution of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, showing how the Northwest Passage and the surrounding waters became Canadian.

416 pages

Table of Contents



1 The Origins of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty

2 The Early Cold War and the End of Splendid Isolation

3 Continental Defence and Straight Baselines

4 Working with the Americans in the Arctic

5 The Nuclear Submarine and Early Arctic Operations

6 Canada’s Law of the Sea Priorities

7 The Manhattan Crisis and the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act

8 Securing the Canadian Claim: Defence and Diplomacy

9 Canada and the Third UN Law of the Sea Conference

10 The Cold War under Ice

11 The Establishment of Straight Baselines

12 Unfinished Business





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