Freezing Arctic Jurisdiction: The case for a regional oil bank

In the spring of 1970, Canada unilaterally enacted legislation to regulate activities in the Arctic Ocean. While criticized as an attempt to assert ownership over what was then perceived to be international territory, the act signalled a bold willingness to prosecute polluters in the absence of sufficient rules of international law. Canada acted to protect the Arctic Ocean’s pristine nature for all of mankind. Today, retreating polar ice and the potential for extensive oil and gas reserves have renewed interest in the region, but for a far less altruistic motive.