Canada has asserted its claim to the Northwest Passage. Canadian claims are in conflict with those of Russia, Denmark, Norway and the United States over 1.2m sq km area of the Arctic seabed, which is thought to hold 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas.
Because of global warming melting polar ice makes the region more accessible, and could open the Northwest Passage to year-round shipping.
As world oil reserves on land dwindle there is potential for major conflict in the Arctic region.
According to CBC
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Friday the government will install two new military facilities in the Arctic to boost Canada's sovereign claim over the Northwest Passage and signal its long-term commitment to the North..................."