Canada to claim North Pole
Ottawa (AFP) - Canada signalled intentions to claim the North Pole and surrounding Arctic waters while announcing the filing of a UN application seeking to vastly expand its Atlantic sea boundary.After a decade of surveying the country’s eastern and far north seabeds and gathering supporting evidence, a claim was submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on Friday.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the filing mainly concerns the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean.
“We have asked our officials and scientists to do additional work and necessary work to ensure that a submission for the full extent of the continental shelf in the Arctic includes Canada’s claim to the North Pole,” he told a press conference.
“Fundamentally, we are drawing the last lines of Canada. We are defending our sovereignty,” added Arctic Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
Asserting sovereignty over an expansive Arctic archipelago and surrounding waters has been a key plank of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tories in the past three elections since 2006.
But Russia and Denmark are expected to file overlapping claims, which could lead to confrontation between the Arctic neighbors.
If territorial claims were based on niceness (or beer quality) we could arrange between the Danes and the Canadians. In the real world one needs the muscle to back claims up. I doubt the Canadian Navy is ready to take on the Russians.
PS – for my geographically confused fellow Americans, Denmark has a claim to the Arctic because they own Greenland.