Business, Economics and Jobs

Canada wants the North Pole for its own


In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, Santa Claus poses with a beluga whale on December 15, 2011 in California.



Santa Claus and the elves better brush up on their renditions of "O Canada."

Canada wants to claim the North Pole as its own.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper instructed his staff to file renewed claims on the Arctic's resource riches, including the geographic North Pole, Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reported Wednesday.

According to the Globe, Canada will file an application to the United Nations before the Dec. 6 deadline broadening its claim to include true north.

That would give Canada access to what many believe are untapped energy resources under the seafloor.

According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, nations can claim ocean territory beyond 200 nautical miles if they can prove the seabed is an extension of their continental shelf, the Globe reported.

Nobody “owns” the North Pole, although Norway, Russia and Denmark have all laid claim to the untapped resources surrounding it. Crew aboard a Russian submarine even dropped a symbolic flag on the North Pole's seabed in 2007.

When contacted by Agence France-Presse, Harper's office said, “Canada is in the process of securing its sovereignty over the north.”

The US Geological Survey estimates 90 billion barrels of oil — or nearly one-third of the world’s reserves — remain trapped under the Arctic seabed.

AFP noted that nations are more interested now that changing climate patterns have made accessing those reserves easier.

Harper has long fashioned himself Canada’s Arctic champion, making several trips north since taking office in 2006. Around the time of his most recent trip, more details emerged about Canada’s $620,000 “stealth snowmobile” project to boost Canada’s military capacity there.