Russian’s announcement last week that a Russian flag had been planted in the Arctic has spurred interest within Canada to make swift moves in order to assert in its own sovereignty within the region. Jack Layton of the New Democratic Party said: “Canada must move quickly to make immediate strategic investments in its Arctic” and do more to ensure protection of the environment. According to international laws, the United States, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and Russia have to right to control an economic zone within 320 kilometers of its continental shelf. One problem is that no one has really clarified the meaning of “continental shelf.”
We may expect in the coming years a scramble by nations to stake claims up north as they greedily seek oil and other mineral resources. The potential for an environmental disaster is enormous, particularly if America elects a president who believes oil comes before the environment.