It seems that some Canadian bloggers maybe waking up to the oil & natural gas (O&G) potential in the high arctic.
The article in the To Star referenced at the cathiefromcanada blog doesn't really go into to many details about the rather large O&G potential in the north. Nor for that matter some of the other interesting things that have been happening while the government of Canada's view was almost solely focused south of 60º.
The Star article makes a guess that PM Harper's comments in the Common's foyer regarding the US ambassador's statement about sovereignty in the north are likely just good PR bluster.
I guess I tend to agree.
I'll bet most Canadians haven't heard of: Pat Broe from Denver. But they might in the future, eh. He's the guy that bought the old Hudson Bay port facility in Churchhill Manitoba for $7 in 1997. Wonder whether he paid for it with USD or CAD.
With natural gas prices seeming to be ever on the rise (even through there are day to day drops in price the trend is up), high arctic projects are starting to look better and better. CERI has updated its report on the Melville Island's Drake Point and Hecla natural gas fields for example.
I think PetroCan has the main interest in these fields. Discovered in the hay day of northern O&G exploration and likely heavily subsidized by Canadian taxpayers either through "super depletion" or the famous Petroleum Incentive Program (PIP) which itself was part of the Alberta hated NEP.
To give a view of what things look like from the to of the world have a peek at this map. It helps to put some things into focus, I hope. PM Harpers is talking about putting a military style harbour facility in Iqaluit - which is a 100 or so miles down the Frobisher Bay from the Davis Strait.
Iqaluit likely made some sense during WWII and part of the "cold war", the former as an airport in ferrying planes to Britain and the latter as a fuel station and radar center, put now who knows. Its the capital of Nunavut but really there is very little economic activity with the city other than government or birth right organization supported.
The US has 2 coast guard icebreakers which are stationed, I think, in Seattle.
If the arctic file heats up, want to bet that they will be stationed closer to the action.
What is that famous Northwest Passage anyways.
It of course has been a number of things but again, thanks to Athropolis, here is a map showing the concept over time.
Notice that until the permanent sea ice actually does melt the passage cuts south of Victoria Island and goes right pass Cambridge Bay - very close to Gjoa Haven also (I think Amundsen ship is still there in the harbour just sunk). Now if you are close to Cambridge bay you are close to Bathurst Inlet which is a natural deep sea harbour.