Minister Aglukkaq Reaffirms Canada’s Commitment to the Arctic

June 5, 2013 - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, made her first address to Canadians today as the Chair of the Arctic Council at a meeting of Ottawa’s chapter of the Economic Club of Canada (ECC).

“Our government recognizes the importance of the North, not only to Canada’s heritage and its future, but to the world,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “As Chair of the Council, Canada will place the well-being and prosperity of people living in the North at the forefront of its Chairmanship.”

Minister Aglukkaq, who is the first Inuk to assume the position of Chair of the Council, spoke to an audience of ECC members, senior representatives of Canadian businesses, and government officials about the direction the Council will take during Canada’s chairmanship. In particular, she emphasized Canada’s agenda of development for the people of the North, including responsible development of Arctic resources, safe shipping in the Arctic, and support for sustainable circumpolar communities.

“Development in the Arctic must be done in a responsible and environmentally sustainable manner so that the land, water and animals that many Northerners still depend upon are not negatively impacted,” continued Minister Aglukkaq.

At the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in May 2013, Arctic Ministers signed the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Minister Aglukkaq proceeded to say that Canada would continue to work on oil-spill prevention during its chairmanship.

The future of Canada’s North will be dependent on strong and healthy businesses and industries. To this end, Minister Aglukkaq also described how the Council will enhance its engagement with the business community through the creation of a circumpolar business forum.

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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

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