12/11/2013 05:16 EST | Updated 02/10/2014 05:59 EST

'Santa Claus Is Canadian,' Justin Trudeau Says

Santa Claus is Canadian, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Wednesday amid a debate over whether the North Pole falls within Canadian territory.

Canada's submission to a UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf has led to a debate on Parliament Hill that has at times gotten silly, with Paul Calandra, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, asserting opposition MPs aren't protecting Santa Claus's Canadian citizenship.

Trudeau said the assessment needs to be based on science.

"I would certainly like to think so, because everyone knows that Santa Claus is Canadian. But the real issue is what do the cartographers say? What do the experts in science [say]?" Trudeau said in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's belief that the North Pole is part of Canada isn't enough, Trudeau said.

"This is a UN mapping process that's been going on for 10 years ... scientists need to demonstrate that we have a legitimate claim on the North Pole. Of course I want us to declare as much as we possibly can," Trudeau said.

"We need to base our decisions on science, not chest thumping."

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