Arctic Economic Council to meet in Nunavut in September

Iqaluit, the capital of Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, will host the Arctic Economic Council meeting in September. (The Canadian Press)
Iqaluit, the capital of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, will host the Arctic Economic Council meeting in September. (The Canadian Press)
The first official meeting of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Economic Council will take place in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut this September, Canada announced in a news release on Thursday.

Canada is the current chair of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum made of up the world’s eight circumpolar nations.

Canada has made business and economic development the main focus of its two-year mandate.

The business slant of Canada’s chairmanship has been criticized for being overly focused on issues in Canada’s Arctic while ignoring the economic realities of other circumpolar nations.

The Iqaluit meeting will be closely watched as the Arctic Economic Council is being pushed by Canada as a key accomplishment of their chairmanship.

“The Arctic Economic Council will facilitate business opportunities, trade, investment and growth in the best interests of Northerners,” said Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s minister of the environment, minister for the Arctic Council and minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, in a news release on Thursday.

“Canada’s representatives have extensive experience working in the North and will help ensure that a diverse range of businesses are involved in making decisions that promote sustainable economic development across the Arctic.”


Arctic Council Members:

Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, United States

Arctic council permanent participants

Arctic Athabaskan Council, Aleut International Association,  Gwich’in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North,
Saami Council

Year formed: 1996

Current Chair (2013-1015): Canada

Next Chair (2015-2017): United States

The Arctic Economic Council was put together for businesses in the North to give feedback to the Arctic Council on economic issues.

Each Arctic State and permanent participant organization will name three business representatives to attend the Iqaluit meeting.

Canada’s representatives are: Tom Paddon, President and CEO, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, Lillian Brewster, Vice President of Aboriginal Business, ATCO Structures & Logistics; Peter Tapatai, President, Peter’s Expediting Ltd.

The meeting will take place September 2-3.

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: U.S. participation in Arctic Council lacks coordination, follow-through: report, Alaska Dispatch

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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