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Yukon’s Premier says the downing of a mysterious object over the territory marks an important milestone in the debate over the security of Canada’s arctic.

“It’s a turning point,” Ranj Pillai said an interview on Monday.

Mr. Pillai, who took over as premier in mid-January, said there were some talks among premiers on what he called the “Arctic-security conversation” while they were in Ottawa for a meeting on the federal government’s funding of health care.

But events over the weekend have made the issue far more concrete. During a Monday news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said four aerial objects shot down in recent days, including one over Yukon territory on Saturday, are connected in some way, without elaborating.

“Obviously there is some sort of pattern in there – the fact we are seeing this in a significant degree over the past week is a cause for interest and close attention,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters in in Whitehorse, Yukon’s capital. Story here.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pillai said the question is whether we are headed for a future where incidents like this are not going to be an anomaly in the Canadian north.

“Are we going to be in a situation over the next 20 years where the activity that happens is just not something that happens once over the Yukon?

“Are we going to have more activity on our coast? Are we going to have our airspace more active, with foreign players? These are all the things we have to think about. This weekend just gave us a touch of what the future could bring?”

In concrete terms, Mr. Pillai says the security concern is about bolstering infrastructure in the north to facilitate the future development of a further military presence. For example, he cited development of an electrical grid connection into the Yukon, the development of fibre lines, and ongoing upgrades to the Whitehorse airport.

“The infrastructure we need is going to be advantageous to both the military and the growth of the north and our ability to support the critical minerals infrastructure everyone wants to see flourish.”

He said Arctic leaders, including First Nations, want to be at the table on future discussions about Arctic security involving the federal government. “We want our voices to be heard,” he said.

On Monday, the Liberal Premier met with the Prime Minister, who was in Whitehorse for a series of events.

“He was open to the dialogue around Arctic security,” he said. “He was supportive of the points I made and the importance I stressed on this topic.”

Mr. Pillai said he has had helpful discussions with Defence Minister Anita Anand, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal.

He also said he has not been told exactly what the object is or where it might have come from, saying both points are unclear at this point.

Mr. Pillai had previously launched work to build a new territorial advisory committee to provide guidance on the subject. “I want to be informed when I come to the table.”

On Monday afternoon, there was word of a technical briefing on “high-altitude objects” in Ottawa at 4:30 p.m. ET that will be held by the Department of National Defence , Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canadian Coast Guard. Please check The Globe and Mail for updates.

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