Canadian and Norwegian PMs talk Arctic on sidelines of Montreal summit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, takes part in a leaders panel discussion with, from left, Jacinda Ardern, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jonas Gahr Store, Prime Minister of Norway and Sanna Marin, Former Prime Minister of Finland, at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal, Saturday, September 16, 2023. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Northern affairs were one of the main topics on the agenda when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store met on the sidelines of the 2023 Global Progress Action Summit in Montréal, Quebec on Saturday.

Northern stability in the spotlight 

In a statement from the Canadian government on Saturday, it said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized the importance of Arctic security to his Norwegian counterpart.

The weekend statement didn’t give further details about what aspects of northern stability were discussed.

Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has brought the Trudeau government’s underinvestment in Canada’s military and, more notably, the Arctic, into sharp focus, making headlines across North America in recent months and highlighting Canada’s vulnerability.

Arctic Council 

The news release also reiterated the Canadian Prime Minister’s support for Norway’s Arctic Council chairmanship, which runs until 2025.

Norway assumed the two-year rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May, over a year after Russian-Western cooperation within the forum broke down following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Norway says one of its goals to keep the Arctic Council the preeminent forum on the North. 

Morten Høglund, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials at the Arctic Council, recently announced that guidelines for the resumption of the forum’s working groups have been collaboratively developed with all member states and Indigenous groups, including Russia.

Democracy, economies and Ukraine

Ottawa said other topics discussed between the two PMs included Ukraine, making democracies more resilient, and working with developing economies.

The Global Progress Action Summit was co-hosted by Canadian think-tank Canada 2020 and The Center for American Progress Action Fund.

It was held to discuss social reform and advocates government’s role in shaping it. Those attending included former Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Comments, tips or story ideas? Contact Eilís at eilis.quinn(at) 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: U.S. report claims Trudeau told NATO Canada will never meet military spending target, CBC News

Finland: With northern focus, Finland applies EU funding to improve military mobility, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norwegians fear radiation as Russia prolongs test-window for Burevestnik missiles, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Moscow fires cruise missiles in sea drills between Russia and Alaska, Reuters

Sweden: Sweden wants to rebuild its “total defence” system, Radio Sweden

United States: US Navy brings massive fire power to Tromsø, The Independent Barents Observer

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *