Bags of contaminated soil are lined up, waiting to be shipped south for disposal.

Bags of contaminated soil are lined up, waiting to be shipped south for disposal.
Photo Credit: Paul Tukker/CBC

Eye on the Arctic – Cleaning up Canada’s radar sites

Each week, Eye on the Arctic features stories and newsmakers from across the North

The Distant Early Warning Line system, known as the DEW Line, was a radar site that operated across northern Canada from 1958 to 1992.

Since then, a major project has been underway to clean up the over 40 radar sites, getting rid of everything from garbage to contaminated soil.

Recently, cleanup was completed on the Cape Dyer DEW Line site on Baffin Island in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.

The project took nine years to complete.

Logistical challenges

Harry Flaherty is the  president of Qikitaaluk Logistics, the Inuit-owned company involved in the cleanup.

He said his first view of the Cape Dyer site was a disturbing one.

“It’s very unpleasant to see one of these sites,” Flaherty said citing the garbage, oil and abandoned drums left behind.

The cleanup is no easy task.  The extreme weather and the remoteness of the sites makes these cleanups challenging, but Flaherty says it’s worth it in the end.

“(At the beginning) there’s no sign of wildlife,” he said. “No plear bears, no foxes no ptarmigan.”

“But at the end of those nine years you can see the wild life slowly coming back trying to inhabit the island, and this is the most rewarding of all the project.”

To find out more, Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn reached Harry Flaherty in Nunavut’s capital of Iqaluit.


Related Links:

DEW Line handed over to Canada, CBC Digital Archives

Qikiqtaaluk Logistics

Categories: Economy, Environment, Indigenous, Internet, Science and Technology, Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One comment on “Eye on the Arctic – Cleaning up Canada’s radar sites
  1. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    The ‘golf ball’ radar domes at Cape Dyer remind me of a similar view of Fylingdale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire some forty years ago.