Thursday, October 8, 2015

Drawing Lines for Ports on Hudson Bay

It is already a logistical challenge to build ports on Hudson Bay, which until recent times was frozen over most of the year. It is still a very cold place with limited resources and transportation. On top of the logistics, there is an administrative challenge. The borders of the provinces that have plans for northern ports, Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario, are placed right on the waterline, so that while a port might be within a province, its piers would not be. It is an untenable situation for law enforcement at least.

With the first major ports just a few years away, it is a question for Ottawa to look at. Probably the borders should be redrawn at fixed points extending at least a few miles from shore. The borders have become a matter of urgency for Quebec as it tries to draw up a maritime strategy, facing border questions not just along Hudson Bay but on its northeast coast on Hudson Strait. That conundrum probably provides enough of a push to have the border question taken up in the near future.