Can somebody please tell me why Canada doesn't just give Hans Island to the Danish?
I understand that there are resource claims at stake here, but this isn't like the French and St. Pierre & Miquelon. There, you've got a distant country that maintains a presence simply to guarantee fishery rights, among other things. Hans Island is different: it's a short hop from Greenland, Danish territory that nobody disputes.
So here's the question: Even if we gave Hans Island over to the Danish with no questions asked and no conditions guaranteed, how would it materially change anything whatsoever in the Arctic, as far as Denmark was concerned? There seems to be some idea that Canada will lose bargaining rights over the Northwest Passage, but I think Hans Island is hardly the issue we need to worry about, considering that the Americans have repeatedly said they won't ask for our permission no matter what we do.
Is this just an autonomous tic by the Canadian government -- "MUST CLAIM SNOWY LANDS FOR OTTAWA... URRR"? Really, what's the logic here? If anyone has a detailed explanation, I'd love to hear it.