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Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, take a closer look at an iceberg in a Zodiac inflatable boat Sunday west of Pond Inlet on Eclipse Sound.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, take a closer look at an iceberg in a Zodiac inflatable boat Sunday west of Pond Inlet on Eclipse Sound. Harper wrapped up his annual trip to Canada's North this week. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

What prime minister’s northern tours tell us about Canada’s shifting Arctic priorities

Eye on the Arctic brings you stories and newsmakers from across the North  

Joël Plouffe, research fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research on the International Relations of Canada and Québec at the National School of Public Administration in Montreal. (Courtesy Joël Plouffe)

Joël Plouffe, research fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research on the International Relations of Canada and Québec.

Canada’s prime minster Stephen Harper wrapped up a six-day tour to the country’s Far North earlier this week.

Marked with announcements, photo opportunities and speeches lauding Canada’s Arctic stature and know-how, Harper’s summer trips to the Arctic have become somewhat of an annual tradition.

  • But how much of substance comes out of these trips?
  • How much is about building Canada’s ‘Arctic brand’ both at home and abroad?
  • What do these trips tell us about the government’s shifting Arctic priorities?

To find out more, Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn spoke with Arctic expert Joël Plouffe, a research fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research on the International Relations of Canada and Québec at the National School of Public Administration in Montreal:

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Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s Arctic Council leadership gets mixed reviews, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Ex-President Ahtisaari calls on Finland to join NATO with Sweden, Yle News

Greenland:  Greenland urged to work with Arctic Council, CBC News

Iceland:  Many questions, but few answers as Arctic conference gets underway in Iceland, Alaska Dispatch

Norway:   Permanent Arctic Council Secretariat opens in Tromso, strengthening Norway’s position in Arctic, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Feature Interview: Sweden wraps up Arctic Council, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Blog – Russia puts countries on edge in the Arctic, Cryopolitics

United States: New U.S. Arctic emissary gets plenty of ideas from Alaskans for Arctic Council priorities, Alaska Dispatch

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One comment on “What prime minister’s northern tours tell us about Canada’s shifting Arctic priorities
  1. Peter Ashcroft says:

    Not in the north for the north?