Canada and France face-off, and a tiny territory is caught in the middle

Here’s a place you’ve probably never heard of: St.-Pierre-Miquelon, the last vestige of France’s former colonies in North America. It’s a tiny archipelago with about 6,000 residents off the coast of Newfoundland, and it still belongs to France.

The question is whether you’ll soon be hearing more about this place?

St.-Pierre-Miquelon is in a row with Canada over territory’s desire to extend its claim on a small patch of petroleum grounds on the continental shelf off Easter Canada. Paris, which essentially runs St.-Pierre-Miquelon from afar, recently petitioned the United Nations and signaled its intention to extend French rights to petroleum and fishing resources on the shelf, according to Canada’s National Post.

Canada rejoined that it would fight any such extension.

And so, St.-Pierre-Miquelon is stuck in the middle. The locals, who have just as much connection to Canada as they do to France, want to turn to petroleum because, hey, it pays the bills, especially as the Atlantic cod industry has collapsed. That used to make the place lively and wealthy. Now, it needs to follow the way of its larger neighbors like Newfoundland and try to get at that oil.

I’ve also maintained a fascination with Canada’s maritime provinces but sadly have never traveled to them. Guess I should get up to them soon, before a war breaks out…