The Canadian federal government has signed an R&D agreement with the University of Calgary to develop a geoscience research center in Calgary dedicated to studying energy and the environment. Oil and gas, minerals, and sustainability issues will all be topics of study for the new research center. The laboratory will share space and equipment with the Calgary branch of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Rob Anders, Conservative Member of Parliament for the riding of Calgary West, stated:
“The Government of Canada is proud to be joining forces with the University of Calgary to create a world-class research centre on responsible Arctic development and carbon management. This unique collaboration will not only advance our understanding of Canada’s Arctic energy resources but help us manage our greenhouse gases, support our competitiveness and promote our long-term energy security.”
What he doesn’t state is that studying the hydrocarbons in Canada’s Arctic will help the country to reaffirm its sovereignty in the sparsely populated region. Ottawa’s investment in Arctic research follows in the “use it or lose it” mindset that Stephen Harper’s government has adopted. Canada seems to be trying to keep up with other nations like the U.S., which recently announced it would refit an icebreaker, and China, which is investing in its polar research program. In 2008, Harper announced the government would invest $100 million in mapping the geology of the High North, including its energy and mineral deposits.
U of C, Ottawa to probe Arctic energy, Calgary Herald
Geology partnership to enhance energy, Arctic research, NRCan