chapter  3
22 Pages

Touring a (melting) ice pack

WithMathieu Landriault

Former Prime minister Stephen Harper put the Arctic at the top of the political agenda, with repeated visits and key investments. One salient feature of this effort was the annual Prime minister tour to Canada’s North. These tours were limited in time, included a high degree of control by the acting government and coincided with annual military exercises. They were also able to spur an annual conversation on Arctic issues, with a sizable journalistic contingent enduring coverage. This chapter presents original empirical evidence documenting how these tours were represented in televised reports in Canada. We can conclude that journalists closely followed governmental political messaging and rarely adventured outside the beaten path. Journalistic reports also displayed a rather dark assessment of Arctic security, closely mirroring the worldview of the acting government. In a minority of cases, journalists played the role of critiques and engaged in critically assessing the relevance of these exercises.