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What's in a name?

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In the history of Canada, the search for the Northwest Passage - a sea route through the Canadian north to the Orient - plays an important part. European explorers such as Henry Hudson, Martin Frobisher and John Franklin all risked their lives (and often lost) searching for this sea route. For many who have grown up in the Canadian school system, the name is almost mythic.

Now, according to the Edmonton Journal, the Canadian military has decided to start calling this fabled passage by the very unlyrical “Canadian Internal Waters.” The Canadian government argues that the Northwest Passage are internal waters, contrary to how most of the world views it. Until recently, there has been little interest in the passageway since it was frozen for most of the year. Global warming is changing that fact. According to the news article “recent research suggests that as the ice pack retreats from the western mouth of the passage it could become ice-free and open to shipping as soon as 2015.”

Regardless of how Michael Byers, professor at the University of British Columbia views it, the name change is hardly “imaginative.” I might agree with the Canadian government in considering the Northwest Passage as internal Canadian waters but the old name is far better sounding.

1 Responses to “What's in a name?”

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