As the scramble for Arctic resources intensifies, Canada is stepping up its military presence in the region. It’s determined to protect its national sovereignty. "We will not compromise the defence of Canadian territory", vows Prime Minster Stephen Harper, announcing plans for more polar patrol ships. As the Arctic warms up; "major corporations are waking up to the fact there is going to be tremendous economic opportunity", explains Prof Huebert. Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway all have claims to the Arctic seabed, where vast mineral reserves are thought to lie. There’s concern that this scramble for resources could spiral out of control. "The worst case scenario is one of a regional area where hostilities are the norm and co-operation the exception", warns Huebert. The other main dispute is the legal status of the North West passage, which could dramatically shorten shipping times between Europe and Asia. "Canada considers all of the waters within the Canadian arctic archipelago to be internal waters", explains Prof Donat Pharand. But other countries see the passage as an international strait. "This is a dispute between Canada and the world", claims US Ambassador David Wilkins. A summit is planned for next year to discuss the future of the region.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8S4RN3RUjE&NR=1

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