Northern leaders want more say at Arctic Council

Eva Aariak, Nunavut's premier, said she hopes more Arctic Council meetings will be held in Canada's North when Canada is the chair of the council, which starts in 2013. (CBC)Canada set to chair council in 2013

As Canada prepares to chair the international Arctic Council in 2013, leaders in the North say they want their voices heard.

The chair of the eight-country council rotates every two years, and it’s Canada’s turn next year.

Premiers from the three northern territories said they want to participate in the council more directly.

“We really want to ensure that we are actively participating directly with the federal government in shaping the priorities for the Arctic Council while Canada sits as chair… and while we do that, we also want the opportunity to showcase the North, our economies, our traditions and cultures,” said Yukon premier Darrell Pasloski.

Nunavut premier Eva Aariak said she wants more territorial participation at the Arctic Council meetings.

“We’d like to see the international meetings during Canada’s chairmanship preferably held in the North,” she said.

All three northern premiers said Canada’s chairmanship is an opportunity to discuss sustainable communities, climate change and circumpolar relations.

The three northern premiers were in Iqaluit Wednesday morning to wrap up the 10th annual Northern Premier’s Forum.

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