France and Canada's Battle of the Sea
France's last colony in North America chafes under Canadian resource law
A new brouhaha with France
Welcome to France: home of sun, sea, sand , polygamy and the Indian Ocean
BBC News: World Profiles: St. Pierre and Miquelon
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Located south of Newfoundland, the French territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon represents the last foothold that France maintains in North America. France has not had a significant set of land holdings on the continent since their defeat at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763. During the twentieth century, life on these wind-swept islands was relatively quiet, with the notable exception of the period during American Prohibition, when the islands were used as a base for alcohol smuggling. Greater attention has been paid as of late to these tiny islands as the French government recently announced plans to petition the United Nations for extended natural resource rights to the waters off the coast of eastern Canada. The French government is interested in the large oil and gas deposits in the area, and the Canadian government is less than pleased with this recent decision. It would seem that the matter was closed in 1992 when the UN made a ruling in Canada's favor in terms of these offshore rights, but the discovery of huge oil and gas deposits has dramatically transformed the situation. Canada also has a number of other territorial disputes that have emerged in recent years, including those regarding the Arctic territories which are claimed in part by Denmark, Norway, the US, and Russia.
The first link will take visitors to a very nice piece from the March 30th edition of Time magazine, which reports on this dispute surrounding the offshore rights around Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. The second link leads to a like-minded piece by Richard Foot, writing in this Monday's Calgary Herald. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from the Toronto Star on Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon which provides a bit of historical background on the territory. In an interesting development, the island of Mayotte off the east coast of Africa is seeking to once again become a part of France, 34 years after it gained independence. Visitors can read about this intriguing story via the fourth link, which leads to an article written by the Guardian's Angelique Chrisafis. The fifth link takes visitors to a site maintained by the BBC which provides some basic information about this rather unique archipelago. Finally, the last link leads to a fine site containing tourist information about visiting this French territory, complete with ferry schedules, a calendar of events, and a listing of local landmarks.