Similar to an incident at the end of July, two CF-18 fighter planes shadowed the Russian TU-95 bombers within 55 kilometres of Canadian soil after they were first discovered approximately 220 kilometres north of Inuvik, N. W. T, said Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas in a statement.
Once the "Bear bombers" turned around, the Canadian jets, scrambled from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., returned safely back to base.
Annually, U.S. and Canadian militaries monitor 12 to 18 of the Russian flights, but the Department of National Defence does not regularly release information on them.
In Wednesday morning's statement, Soudas said that the government "has ensured our Forces have the tools, the readiness and the personnel to continue to meet any challenges to Canadian sovereignty with a robust response."
He added that the CF-18 allows the military to "meet Russian challenges in our North," and that when the new F-35 replacement jets go into service, they will continue with a similar mission.
Soudas said the technologically advanced F-35 is the best plane the government could provide for the military and "when you are a pilot staring down Russian long-range bombers, that's an important fact to remember."
After the incident in July, the opposition claimed the government was using the routine Russian flyby to bolster support for the Harper government's plan to spend $16 billion on new stealth fighter jets.
Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff told journalists at the time that the incident doesn't prove the case for buying new fighters.
"We're in the middle of a $54-billion deficit and we're just about to do $6 billion in corporate tax cuts," Ignatieff said. "So they're buying their joint strike fighter, or they want to buy it, on borrowed money. And we think that's crazy."
The House of Commons defence committee meets Wednesday at the request of opposition MPs to debate whether to hold hearings to study the government proposal to buy 65 F-35 fighter jets