Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Canadian control of the Franklin wrecks acknowledged

Britain has conceded ownership of the sunken Franklin ships Erebus and Terror to Canada. As naval vessels, they were previously claimed to remain in the possession of the nation that commissioned them, though since 1997 Britain has acknowledged Canadian control of the ships

For a long time, the Franklin expedition was a British story, more than a Canadian one. When the ships sailed and were lost, there was zero Canadian awareness or participation in the doomed exploration project. But the ships are in Canadian territory now, and the remarkable work done by Parks Canada, the Coast Guard, various Inuit parties and other institutions to find, research, and preserve the remains, demonstrates the appropriateness of the change. 

It's unlikely the British would have taken the time and expense the Canadian agencies have done, even if Canada had tolerated such a foreign intrusion. (Nor would they have coped with the complex diplomacy between Canada, Nunavut and the Inuit community.)
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