(RESOLUTE BAY, NUNAVUT) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited Resolute Bay, where he met with community members and first responders involved in the rescue and recovery efforts of First Air Flight 6560. He also took the time to address the Canadian Armed Forces personnel who were participating in Operation Nanook – the largest Canadian Arctic military exercise in history – and who were instrumental in helping save lives that otherwise might have been lost in the recent plane crash.
“Saturday’s tragedy was felt by all Canadians across the country and around the world. Our thoughts and prayers continue to remain with family members, friends and colleagues of those who died and those who are recovering from this terrible accident,” said the Prime Minister. “Once again, I want to extend my gratitude to all those involved in the rescue efforts, including the herculean efforts by Canadian Armed Forces personnel.”
The Canadian Armed Forces are stationed in Resolute Bay as part of Operation NANOOK 11 – a joint Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force operation – which works with other federal departments and international partners in order to provide a visible presence in the Arctic and demonstrate Canada’s ability to respond to emergency situations in the region. It builds upon previous NANOOK Operations conducted every summer since 2007, primarily in the eastern and high Arctic.
“The Canadian Armed Forces’ success in conducting large-scale operations in the North is a testament to their training, professionalism, and outstanding ability to perform in the most harsh and rugged regions of the world,” added Prime Minister Harper.
More than 1,100 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and 180 members of the Canadian Coast Guard took part in the exercise this August.