Is Santa Claus Canadian, Danish, or Russian? Today, after years of consideration, Canada is making a claim of ownership for the North Pole. According to reports from Global News, Canada is finally claiming a large area of the Arctic seabed that includes the North Pole, but two other countries have also filed claims for the same area.
Although it took years of delay and "political arm-twisting", Global News confirmed that Canada officially filed ownership claims. Russia and Denmark, however, have already filed their own claims to the same geographical area, meaning that the Canadian federal government will likely need to engage in negotiations with the two other nations to compete for ownership.
Canada's claim was submitted last week to an organization associated with the United Nations, which will determine the scientific validity of each country's proposal of where the national borders should be situated.
Current international law mandates that no single country owns the North Pole or the region of the Arctic Ocean that surrounds it. The five adjacent countries, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark (via Greenland), and the United States, are restricted to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone off their coasts. Any area beyond that is administered by the International Seabed Authority.
Global News notes that Canada's submission is considered "late", as the previous federal government rejected plans to submit a claim back in 2013 that did not include the North Pole.
Russia has dedicated a significant portion of its resources to increase its civilian and military capabilities in its north region for at least 10 years - rejuvenating its old air bases and implementing four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports and 40 icebreakers, plus 11 more in development.
Contrastingly, Canada's investment in the north has been regarded as relatively insignificant, especially when compared to the infrastructural marvels introduced by Russia. A single road was built to the Arctic coast at Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories, in addition to a port at Iqaluit in Nunavut which is currently in the works.
Canada also launched the first Arctic patrol vessel, enhanced satellite surveillance, and built a naval refuelling station on Baffin Island. But other than that, most of its infrastructure plans based in the north haven't made any progress.
Canada, Russia and Denmark are all bidding to claim the North Pole.
Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, commented on the submission, "Canada is a proud ocean nation. The filing of the Arctic Ocean continental shelf submission is a major milestone in delivering on the government’s priority to define the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf. Today we are taking a major step forward in ensuring Canada’s Arctic sovereignty."