With valuable mineral exploration rights, a possible opening of the Northwest Passage and, some would argue, Canadian sovereignty itself at stake, Canada’s role in the Arctic region is a subject getting a lot of attention lately.

As the Canadian military gets set to launch a naval mission in August 2009 to measure how far into the ocean the North American continental shelf actually extends, Ottawa has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to strengthen Canada’s presence in the Arctic.

Based on the four overarching principles of improving governance in the area, reinforcing sovereignty and protecting the environment while stimulating economic activity, the Conservative government has highlighted a number of projects where work has already begun or is soon to be underway.

Our interactive map shows a few of the major developments:

<iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=" http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=102406754890023327747.00046fb318e79b33a94d7&amp;ll=72.919635,-97.910156&amp;spn=26.594776,112.5&amp;z=3&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=102406754890023327747.00046fb318e79b33a94d7&amp;ll=72.919635,-97.910156&amp;spn=26.594776,112.5&amp;z=3&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Canada's Arctic Strategy</a> in a larger map</small>