Harper Ends up Camping, Shooting Targets on Arctic Trip

During an annual summer visit to an Arctic hamlet, Stephen Harper ‎heralded the enlistment of the 5,000th Canadian Ranger, slept out on the tundra and joined part-time soldier forces while they conducted a “sovereignty patrol” by water. ‎It was the day four of Mr. Harper’s tour of northern Canada, made in order to encourage resource development with jobs for locals and champion Canadian sovereignty in the remote region.

In an announcement made several years ago, the Prime Minis‎ter vowed to expand the number of lightly-armed Ranger force currently forming Canada’s eyes and ears across this country’s sparsely populated North. Fulfilling the commitment on ‎Wednesday, PM Harper announced hiring of an additional 1,000 Rangers that will now bring the total to 5,000. ‎Mr. Harper welcomed Private Nigel Nakoolak, from‎ Coral Harbour, Nunavut, as the 5,000th Ranger. During the ongoing trip, prime minister took time to partake in target shooting with the Rangers, using the First World War‎ vintage Lee Enfield rifles, after which he slept out on the tundra in tents with the soldiers.

Mr. Harper mentioned in a statement that ‎“it was an honour to patrol with the Rangers … as they work to defend our territory from potential threats and emergencies and keep our North strong, secure and free.” The patrol joined by PM Harper was part of Operation Nanook, i.e. an annual Canadian Armed Forces exercise in Northern Canada. Mr. Harper appeared to relish target practice with the Rangers, shooting a gravel berm in standing, crouching and prone positions.

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