Canada Announces Chair of Senior Arctic Officials

March 6, 2013 - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, with the support of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, has designated Patrick Borbey as chair of the Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) during Canada’s two-year term as chair of the Arctic Council, which will extend from May 2013 to May 2015.

As SAO chair, Mr. Borbey will work closely with senior Arctic officials from the eight Arctic states that comprise the Arctic Council, as well as with the heads of the Council’s six Indigenous Permanent Participants, in managing the Arctic Council’s activities during Canada’s chairmanship.

“As Canada assumes the chairmanship in May of this year, we will lead the important work of the Arctic Council. Mr. Borbey’s extensive experience working with Northerners will be a great asset in his role as the chair of the Arctic Senior Officials,” said Minister Aglukkaq.

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.

Mr. Borbey will continue to serve as president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

Sigrid Anna Johnson, Canada’s SAO, will continue to represent Canada at the Arctic Council.

The Arctic Council is a leading intergovernmental forum where Canada advances its Arctic foreign policy and national interests as outlined in its Northern Strategy. The council was set up to promote cooperation and coordination among the Arctic states, in consultation with the Arctic’s Indigenous peoples, on common Arctic issues.

For more information on Canada’s work on international Arctic issues, please see Canada and the Circumpolar World.

- 30 -

A biographical note follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Cailin Rodgers
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
613-957-0200

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

Biographical Note

Patrick Borbey (BA [Social Sciences, concentration in Political Science], University of Ottawa; MBA, University of Ottawa) is president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (appointed on December 19, 2011). Before that, he served as senior assistant deputy minister of treaties and Aboriginal government (2010 to 2011) and as assistant deputy minister of Northern affairs (2006 to 2010) at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He also worked as assistant deputy minister of corporate services at the Privy Council Office (2005 to 2006) and Health Canada (2002 to 2005) and as associate assistant deputy minister of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch at Health Canada (2001 to 2002). He was director general of communications at Transport Canada (1999 to 2001), of international cultural relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1997 to 1999), of strategy and plans at Parks Canada and of finance at both the Department of Communications and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Mr. Borbey has also held senior positions at the Department of Labour and at Industry Canada.

Patrick Borbey is originally from Elliot Lake in northern Ontario.