January 14, 2013 - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, will travel to Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway from January 14 to 22, 2013, in advance of Canada’s two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Minister Aglukkaq will participate in bilateral meetings in each country and in Norway will speak at a conference on the Arctic.
“Canada is committed to helping the North realize its true potential as a healthy, prosperous and secure region,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “As we prepare for Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which begins in May 2013, I am meeting with representatives of government, Indigenous peoples and the business sector in Arctic Council states to seek their views on the themes Canada has set out for its chairmanship.”
The overarching theme for Canada’s chairmanship will be Development for the People of the North, with sub-themes of Responsible Arctic Resource Development, Safe Arctic Shipping, and Sustainable Circumpolar Communities.
“The North is an integral part of our heritage, and holds tremendous promise for the future,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “This is a critical time for the Arctic, and we need to focus on creating conditions in the North for dynamic economic growth, vibrant communities and healthy ecosystems.”
Minister Aglukkaq will begin her trip in Reykjavik, then travel to Copenhagen.
The Minister will continue on to Helsinki before her final stop in Tromsø, Norway, where she will deliver a speech at the Arctic Frontiers Conference.
“As a proud Inuk from Nunavut, I am passionate about working closely with Northerners to make sure that the work of the Council reflects their views,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Through Canada’s chairmanship, Canada will champion initiatives that benefit Northerners and the communities of the circumpolar region.”
The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum through which Canada advances its Arctic foreign policy and promotes national interests across all four pillars of Canada’s Northern Strategy:
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Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council