Canada will build two new military facilities in the Arctic in a move to assert sovereignty over the contested region, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday.
Harper said Canada will install a new army training center and a deepwater port. He made the announcement in Resolute Bay, Nunavut - about 595 kilometers south of the North Pole - just a week after Russia symbolically staked a claim to the North Pole by sending submarines.
Five countries - Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway and Denmark - are competing to secure subsurface rights to the Arctic seabed. One study by the US Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas.
Harper's visit has been planned for months, but has taken on new importance since the Russian subs dove 4 kilometers to the Arctic shelf and planted their country's flag in a titanium capsule.