Canada doesn’t have just one neighbouring country anymore.

Canada, the land of maple leaves, is often regarded as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, but still it was under a border dispute with Denmark over an island called ‘Hans Island’ since 1960s. This dispute is also referred as “Whiskey War”.

In the Past

Canada has shared border with different countries in the past:

From 1867 to 1906 – 2 countries (USA and UK)

From 1907 to 1949 – 2 countries (USA and Dominion of Newfoundland)

From March 31, 1949 to June 14, 2022 – 1 country (USA)

  • From June 14, 2022 to present – 2 countries (USA and Denmark)

Border Dispute

Hans Island falls exactly in the middle of the ocean giving both the countries right over the land by the international law. Dividing the island into half has resolved the conflict.

On June 14, 2022, Canada-Denmark land dispute finally came to an end when both the countries, Canada and Denmark agreed to split the island into half. The agreement was formally signed by Greenland’s Prime Minister Mte Bourup Egede, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly on Tuesday in Ottawa. This Monday, the Canadian government published an order-in-council approving the Hans Island agreement. According to the deal, the two nations decided to divide the 1.3 square kilometre rock almost evenly.

In the Present (New Neighbour)

Due to the resolution of the land dispute stated above, Canada and Denmark divided the Hans Island into half. The Western half goes to Canada and the other (Eastern) half goes to Denmark instead of giving the entire island to one single country or making it go under international governance. This decision gave Canada technically a new neighbouring country (by land) which is Denmark.

Hence, we conclude that Canada has two neighbouring countries now, namely USA and Denmark.

(Read more about Canada-Denmark Border Dispute in Chapter 8 of ‘In-Force Border Disputes’ written by Dhruv Shahrawat)


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