12/09/2013 12:51 EST | Updated 02/08/2014 05:59 EST

Canada to claim Arctic riches and the North Pole

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today that Canada will make a claim to the North Pole, but has not finished the science around its Arctic seabed claim.

Baird and  Leona Aglukkaq, who chairs the Arctic Council, made public Canada's claim to the extended continental shelf in the Arctic, in a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons.

"We have asked our officials and scientists to do additional work and necessary work to ensure that a submission for the full extent of the continental shelf in the Arctic includes Canada's claim to the North Pole," said Baird.

The ministers explained the country's scientific submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

This submission includes claims to both the Atlantic and Arctic seabeds. There is no extended continental shelf Canada can claim in the Pacific Ocean.

While the science on the Atlantic is complete, the government is only presenting "preliminary information" on its Arctic claim.

The findings outline Canada's claim to the seabed and undersea bed beyond the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which would extend Canada's ownership of natural resources in the area.

"Fundamentally, we are drawing the last lines of Canada. We are defending our sovereignty," explained Aglukkaq.

The submission is part of Canada's responsibilities as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.