Canada's Arctic

Canada’s Claim Over Arctic

Why Now?

Just a few years ago the world has not paid much attention to the vast, abandoned arctic but nowadays its hard not to notice that Canada and arctic being mentioned everywhere, specially after Canada’s prime minister Steven Harper’s trip to Nu navut to reaffirm Canada’s claim over the North. But the question is why now?

It’s all about Global warming, which is opening up huge economic potential in the arctic north mainly for 2 reasons.

1. World is using up its oil fast and to survive the future, we need to look for places which have not been explored yet. Arctic holds oil, gas, minerals, fish and other resources under it’s frigid, barren landscape which stretches thousands of miles. Surveys show that the Arctic contains an estimated one-quarter of the world’s undiscovered energy resources. Also studies suggest that up to 50 per cent of the earth’s remaining undiscovered reserves of hydrocarbons are located north of 60°n latitude. However, the extraction and transportation procedures still remain difficult and expensive. New technologies should cut down the cost considerably by making extraction and transportation procedures efficient and cost effective, just like Alberta tar and oil Sands.

2. The effects of climate change could open up the Northwest Passage to summer commercial traffic by 2015, which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceanand offers a 7000 KM shorter route than the Europe to Asia voyage through Panama Canal. This summer the Arctic sea ice cap shrank to the smallest size ever measured and scientists believe that in 25 years not just the Northwest Passage, but the whole polar cap could thaw and by the end of this century, summer sea ice could disappear entirely. Some countries are already testing the waters. A Russian ship traveled through the Northwest Passage to Bermuda in 1999 and it saved them a lot of time and money. Japan and other countries researching to find ways to travel through Arctic for large ships.

Canadian or International Waters?

How much of Arctic is Canada’s? Canada claims that the Arctic waters of the Northwest Passage constitute “historic internal waters”, and under Canadian jurisdiction. While most countries agree that many islands dot the Arctic to the north of our mainland belongs to Canada but some countries, most arguably the Unites States does not recognize Canada’s right over waters separating Somerset Island from Devon Island or Melville Island from Banks Island. These countries see the Northwest Passage as an International strait or waters that any countries should be able to use. Hans Island in the Arctic Ocean has already been a matter of diplomatic issue with Denmark. Recently, Danish troops landed on Hans Island and planted a flag (2002 and 2003).Canada responded by doing the same right after (2005), which was the right thing to do to show the world that although we are peace loving people; we won’t tolerate anything when it comes to maintain our sovereignty.

Canada’s Plan For Protecting The Arctic

– Three new armed naval heavy icebreakers in the area of Iqaluit. The icebreakers will include 500 regular force personnel for crews and support and will be capable of carrying troops. This commitment will establish a Canadian naval presence in the Arctic.

– A new military/civilian deep-water docking facility in the area of Iqaluit. 

– A new Arctic National Sensor System for northern waters which will include underwater surveillance listening posts, such as acoustic or movement sensors, that will detect the movement and position of any foreign submarines and ships in Canadian Arctic waters.

– A new Arctic army training centre in the area of Cambridge Bay. 

– New fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft in Yellowknife. 

– Provide eastern and western Arctic air surveillance. New long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadrons will be stationed at Goose Bay and Comox to provide continuous Arctic and Ocean surveillance and patrol. Also, the Aurora aircraft and the satellite surveillance system will be upgraded to provide a complete Arctic surveillance capability.

– Revitalize the Canadian Rangers by adding 500 additional Rangers. The Rangers’ level of activity and training will be increased and equipment will be upgraded.

– Provide an army emergency response capability for the Arctic through a new airborne battalion at CFB Trenton.


Although Canada and the U.S. may disagree on the Arctic waters issue, it hardly becomes dispute. We can not work this out militarily with our southern neighbours for the obvious reasons. An Arctic cooperation agreement with the U.S. is in place and has worked well so far. Under this agreement, we are to suspend our differences and cooperate in one another’s Arctic waters. This agreement can be extended to include naval cooperation, Arctic security cooperation etc which would be beneficial for both and cost effective. Recent government activities are very positive and hopefully it will not wither away. Further policy discussions have to be arranged to secure Canada’s future most efficient and effective ways.

Originally published on I will be transferring all my articles from Canada’s Personal Finance Website. You will see articles from being posted here once in a while. Thanks.

Scotia To Sun life, "Here Is $2.3 Billion In Cash, Give Me CI."

Scotia Financial & CI Financial

First Published: October 7, 2008

On Monday morning, investors around globe woke up with a little surprise. The news broke out confirming Sun Life Financial Inc. has agreed to sell its 37% stake in CI Financial Income Fund to Bank of Nova Scotia for $2.3 Billion in  cash. Sun Life first bought 30% of CI in July 2002.

CI is Canada’s number three fund company by assets under management. CI is well known for its wide selection of funds, top-rated portfolio and fund managers, expertise in international funds, and  for creating innovative products. CI Pacific is one of the first Asian funds in Canada, CI was the first company to offer tax efficient corporate class funds, CI was the first fund company to pioneer and launch segregated  funds.

This deal puts Sun life on fire by increasing its capital. Sun Life is seeking growth opportunities within the global financial markets. Recent global financial meltdown has created opportunities to buy companies at incredibly lower prices than anyone can ever imagine. Sun Life does not want to miss out on this.

This deal open up endless possibilities for CI. CI now will be able to use Scotia’s strong distribution channels. There should be increased economies of scale and possibly lower MER for shareholders.

One thing is not clear about this deal – what happens to the special relationship existed between CI and Sun Life? CI has an ongoing distribution agreement with CI. Once Sun Life is no longer the big brother, will there be any motivation for Sun Life to act as a big brother?

Why Canada Is The Place To Be Right Now

Best Place Canada

As things stand today, there are few parts of the globe that have not been touched by the problems in financial markets – problems which began in earnest over a year ago now and have been worsening ever since. The situation right now seems to point to a global recession which will only begin to lift during the latter part of next year. While playing the blame game is certainly not going to help anyone, there is a lot of blame flying around anyway, most of which is being aimed at the most acquisitive economies, and a large amount of that is directed squarely at the United States. Conversely, experts seem to have mostly good things to say about Canada.

There is little doubt that part of the reason for this is the proximity with the United States, which allows a side-by-side comparison between neighbours. While the crisis itself has been attributed to the sub-prime mortgage lending crisis in the US – although this is only part of the story, and the sub-prime market’s collapse was more catalyst than cause – the global nature of the markets ensures that when one economy takes a blow, the businesses which have investments in that economy suffer also. Hence, it was not just US banks that suffered in the light of the credit crisis, and when the problems precipitated a comparatively small gust of wind, those businesses which were not built on the strongest of foundations began to collapse.

The credit crisis, therefore, may have been catalyzed by what was happening in the US, but it immediately affected banks in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan (which was already having problems) and beyond. To date it has even caused governments to be recalled, including that of Iceland, which had been surfing a wave of financial well-being. Canada itself has been far from untouched, but the current suffering here has been more of an inevitable outcome of global problems than a headlong plunge precipitated by failure to plan. While other countries pretty much dived head first into the cracks, Canada was slowly sucked towards them before sliding over the edge. Therefore, when the markets begin their definitive improvement, Canada will be one of the first countries to climb out of the mess.

There are so many stereotypes about supposed national tendencies, and some of the more unkind ones seem to imply that Canada is a country where nothing much happens, and what does happen is not that exciting. Anyone living here can see how inaccurate that is. The upside, however, of that stereotype is that Canada tends to find itself in better shape than others having refused to gamble away everything it owns.

Things right now are shaky – not just in Canada, but in most of the world – but this does mean that if you have cash to invest, prices now are at their lowest in some time and may not have far to fall. And once the economic indicators dictate that we are on the way to recovery, watch those numbers climb. Much better to watch it from Canada than anywhere else.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on Apr 10, 2009.

Canada Ranks High

Canada Ranks High in Doing Business

First Published: Sep 10, 2008

The World Bank just published their Doing Business 2009 report and Canada is in the top ten of the easiest country to do business list - unchanged from the previous year. The World Bank ranked 181 countries. Heavy reforms have been found in 113 of those countries.

This report looks at ten indicators of business regulation that considers the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, and closing a business. This report does not look at currency volatility, macroeconomic policy, infrastructure, crime rates, or investor perceptions.

Let's look at some of the interesting highlights of this report:

Top Eight Countries (Unchanged from last year)


New Zealand

The U.S.

Hong Kong


United Kingdom



Top Ten Reformers



Kyrgyz Republic



Burkina Faso



Dominican Republic


Lowest-Ranked Ten Countries





São Tomé and Príncipe


Congo, Rep.


Central African Republic

Congo, Dem. Rep.

Best Reformer - Azerbaijan

Venezuela - The only non-African country in the in Lowest-Ranked Ten Countries

Egypt and Colombia – Appeared on the list of the top ten reformers for the third time in four years

Twelve countries where found where you need government approval for land transfers.

Article Source: The World Bank,, Doing Business, and Doing Business Database. Links are provided below.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit the following websites –

The World bank -

Doing Business -


CI Financial, Scotia Bank, and Sun Life

CI Financial Sun Life and Scotia Bank.jpg

CI, Sun Life, and Scotia

First Published: Published on: Aug 24, 2008

Last Friday's talk of the town was CI Financial's possible merger or acquisition news. CI confirmed that over the past few months, it has had discussions with a number of parties for possible strategic combinations.

News broke out on Friday stating CI was looking into buying Scotia Bank's mutual fund business. In return, Scotia wanted a stake in CI.

CI shares were halted on Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange when the news broke. Later on, CI's shares were up 5% and total shares traded doubled than the day before.

Sun Life Financial holds a 37% stake in CI. In case this transaction goes through, CI has to issue a considerable chunk of its shares (estimated 25% but Scotia wants more) to Scotia. It's hard to predict what's going on in Sun Life's mind, but it makes sense to think that they may not be happy about this deal.

CI is Canada's second largest fund manager. CI made many successful and unsuccessful bids in the past. Read CI Financial's Unsolicited, Hostile Bid to know more about this.