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.
— Jonas Gahr Støre (@jonasgahrstore) September 16, 2023
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.
The news release also reiterated the Canadian Prime Minister’s support for Norway’s Arctic Council chairmanship, which runs until 2025.
Fighting climate change, growing our economies, making life more affordable, strengthening democracy, and promoting progressive ideas – Prime Minister @JonasGahrStore and I spoke about all that and more today. Always good to catch up with you, my friend. #GlobalProgressAction2023 pic.twitter.com/yt1uOeDClY
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 16, 2023
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)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
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