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Is Santa Canadian? Future Prime Minister Isn’t Sure, Doesn’t Care

If America has any plans to claim the North Pole as U.S. territory, just wait a few years. Justin Trudeau will let you have it without a fight.

by
Kathy Shaidle

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December 10, 2013 - 8:00 am
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Every year, Canadian kids write letters to Santa, and he writes back — with a little help from his trusty “elves” at Canada Post.

You just have to address your letter to “Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada,” along with the postal code “H0H 0H0.”

Cute, right? It’s a little thing, but it speaks to the fact that Canada considers the North Pole and its environs part of its sovereign territory.

We’ve been printing our maps that way for over a century, even before anyone realized that this godforsaken region boasted trillions of dollars worth of natural resources.

Not surprisingly, not everyone agrees on who owns what, so the matter’s been turned over to the UN. That means the matter won’t be resolved for years, if ever.

Asked what he thought about the issue, Liberal Party leader (and presumed future Canadian prime minister) Justin Trudeau shrugged that he’d leave it for “scientists” and “experts” to decide, and added that he didn’t want to turn it into a tawdry “political” matter.

Wow, what inspiring leadership! And hey, what could be less “political” than… the borders of your own country?

Shipping lanes? Defensive military outposts? Oil and gas revenues? Whatever!

And never mind international law or history or even folklore. “Science” is the only guide you need to everything! It’s never wrong!

It’s easy to imagine Justin’s dad, for all his many faults, answering the question very differently when he was prime minister:

“We own the North Pole! Hell, we own the moon, too! [Insert French swear words.]”

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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Kathy, in all honesty, I see Justin (and I continue to call him the Dauphin) taking pages from Obama.

Yes, Obama is more popular outside the US than he is inside the US, but that doesn't make him right.

Besides, why does the Dauphin think the Kremlin will be a better job of responsibly developing the Arctic, than Canada?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyways, whomever gets the North Pole will have to contend with all the doo-goooder environmentalists that want to save the arctic shrimp from oil drilling, etc. heck, even the US can't do a thing about drilling in Alaska. Imagine Canada! Might as well let Putin have it. I like the way he deals with Greenpeace.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
How did this turn into a discussion over Quebec, again? Sovereignty over the arctic is not a new question. It's one of the reasons we maintain a presence in the North with places like CFS ALert, have the Rangers (native para military forces, regular and reservists), have forward operating locations for our interceptors (under NORAD) and send ships and troops there every summer. We intercept Russian bombers there, just like the US does in Alaska. What does Greenland do again?

If I'm not mistaken, Canada's claim is for a "slice of the pie" that goes and ends at the geographic north. I don't think Canada claims the whole top of the world.

Anyway, greenpeace says it's melting, and Santa would not lie to kids, right?

Okay, now tell me what Greenland does again?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"How did this turn into a discussion over Quebec, again?"

it's a Canadian political thread. Doesn't it always?

"What does Greenland do again?"

On Canadian soil? Not much. In the Arctic? Although Greenland is on an autonomy track, they're still part of Denmark as far as foreign affairs, borders, military matters and defense. Denmark has a long history of circumpolar exploration and development.

If your argument is sovereignty as a function of land use and occupancy, then Russia has a stronger claim that Canada. Russia carries out considerably more mapping and research on Arctic Ice than Canada does (particularly under our current government). And with all due respect to the rangers (who do great SAR work), their activities don't really get them very far onto the ice. Canada's primary utilization of the north pole has been the provision of a jump off point for tourist and "adventure" expeditions in Resolute Bay.

But my argument isn't for Russian, Danish OR Greenlandic sovereignty - just pointing out that Trudeau's response is more accurate that Kathy's claim based on postcards to Santa.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"How did this turn into a discussion over Quebec, again? "

Because if you take Quebec out of the election process, the end result looks a lot different than Trudeau.

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, I'm afraid you are right about Quebec and Trudeau. But the electorate can be fickle, it's between the NDP and the Liberals for Quebec. It also explains why the CBC is trying to crown Trudeau as the next messiah in the rest of Canada.

I agree that Russia also has a good clim for the arctic, having Nuke subs does that. But the "particularly under the current government" is untrue. Harper has pushed for a lot more involvement in the North than any government I remember... ever.

Trudeau's reply that it's up to scientist to determine who the land belongs to is the answer of a nincompoop. Land ownership is a political matter and the answer shows he has no leadershif or trying to schluff off the question. At least he could have given platitudes about coexistance, etc.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Harper has pushed for a lot more involvement in the North than any government I remember... ever."

I'm afraid not. Harper has certainly arranged more tours and photo ops in the North that any government I remember...ever. And he's certainly made the Arctic a friendlier place for oil, gas and mineral extraction. That's fine: it's a goal backed by many in the communities. However, he's done that largely by disabling the environmental review process for licensing of exploration and development; by transferring federal training assets out of community or territorially controlled programs (e.g., ASETS) over to industry (e.g., Agneco Eagle); by reneging on Canada's implementation obligations in the NWT, Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador; and by cutting back on the programs that support northern health and housing (which as you probably know are still federal responsibilities in the territories).

If I were going to award a gold star to any government for balancing economic and business development with social development, scientific research and political progress, it would probably go to Brian Mulroney.

'Trudeau's reply that it's up to scientist to determine who the land belongs to is the answer of a nincompoop."

Yes, well, since the only real point of Kathy's post - or rather, the Brian Lilley "story" she drew her post from - is to mock Trudeau, and doesn't actually say anything of substance about sovereignty, far be it from me to introduce actual substance to the discussion. I thought some might find it interesting.

And for the record - the questions of mineral rights (which is what this discussion is REALLY about) will, to a very large degree, be determined by geology, which is why ALL nations concerned are now furiously expanding their own mapping initiatives.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I call him “Little Lord Fault-leroy.”

Too many syllables for me; I call him "The Little Prince", so I have more time left for additional swear words.

As for jettisoning Quebec, I'm afraid if they went English Canada would just nominate some other minority language for special protection - probably Algonquin.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Take it, please, O Canada! If not, the U.S. soon will be subsidizing Santa's Workshop with the full support of Congress, since the membership throws our money around on toys of any kind - just ask, and it shall be given.

But Santa needs to understand that any subsidy comes with strings attached, like affirmative action (beware elves), workplace rules, diversity, wage, and gender parity, etc. So think, Santa! Think, hard and seriously before jumping at any offer that gives a lot for a little. It's a trick - just ask any of the States - they're forever being snookered.

O Canada, take thee the North Pole and place it up thy frozen ----- ! Please!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Santa Claus aka Sinterklaas is Dutch, not Canadian. And he lives in Spain (where he and his elvish slaves enjoy socialized medicine) a much nicer climate than...Canada. No need to look at maps or post codes, Santa Claus lives in Spain. And if you like your Santa Claus, you can keep him. Period.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is silly! We folks of Finnish descent know that The North Pole is in Finland.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Check out a circumpolar map. You'll note that the closest point of land to the North Pole is actually Greenland, and that the Russian Arctic Coast encircles a greater expanse of the Arctic Ocean than Canada. Geologically, Canada, Russia and Denmark (via Denmark) can all lay claim to the seabed under the pole. Of all claimants, Russia and the United States have been most active in actual research for decades - Russian through its program of drifting ice stations, and the US through submarine seabed mapping.

So cheap kindergarten shots aside: Trudeau is quite correct. The issue will be decided by scientists and legal experts. While the Shaidle Claim based on postal codes, Canadian maps, and our current PM's penchant for heroic Arctic photo-ops, is certainly compelling, it may not carry a LOT of weight.

A more compelling northern threat to Canada's Arctic Sovereignty is America's policy that the Northwest Passage, clearly and unambiguously a part of Canada's Arctic Archipelago, is actually an international waterway.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting point about the Northwest passage and the USA. I figure it's because they still want to drive nuke hunter-killers there to keep an eye on the Russians. But the US does that here and there, failing to recognize some boundaries that are not to their liking.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, there was another part to that answer.

The real reason the US (and not just the US) wants to treat the NW Passage as an international waterway is commercial shipping. A year-round, ice free passage would represent a great alternative for a Europe/Asia commercial route.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The nuke hunter kiillers are there already, and that's quite well known to our defense establishment. Things are a lot less frosty (pardon the pun) than they were in the days of Trudeau the elder, and there's a tacit agreement that neither side is going to make a fuss about it. There was a very interesting rumour floating around (whoops, I did it again) DFO that the recent expansion of Franklin Expedition investigation around King William Island was the result of a quiet, friendly tip passed along from the US navy. Kind of cool, if true.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
My condolences, Kathy. :(

Maybe you guys would be better off if you just let the pseudo-French have Quebec. Keep a strip of sovereign Canadian territory across it from Ontario to New Brunswick wide enough for a good, healthy, 16 lane highway and ancillary service roads (for rest stops, etc.), and let the PF have the rest! Okay, you need another one over to NF&L, I guess. Or just give them most of it, or something. Fine. Details TBD.

Once they are no longer Canadian citizens, you can toss out the French language requirement, and a bunch of other nonsense. In fact, mandate English-only in all government dealings. Street signs, etc.

That will make most of the pF move to Quebec, where they can all commiserate with each other and run their new country into bankruptcy, while you guys begin the process of getting back to being a sensible country.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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