Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic September 02, 2014 - 10:47 am

Aglukkaq: Arctic economic body makes northerners “the decision-makers”

“The people of the Arctic are the world’s Arctic experts”

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's ambassador to the Arctic Council, at a 2012 consultation meeting in Iqaluit. On Sept. 2, she opened the founding meeting of the Arctic Economic Council in Iqaluit with a speech. “By working side-by-side with the industry and businesses in the region, we are developing the North for northerners,” Aglukkaq said. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's ambassador to the Arctic Council, at a 2012 consultation meeting in Iqaluit. On Sept. 2, she opened the founding meeting of the Arctic Economic Council in Iqaluit with a speech. “By working side-by-side with the industry and businesses in the region, we are developing the North for northerners,” Aglukkaq said. (FILE PHOTO)

The new Arctic Economic Council will help northerners become “the decision makers,” Leona Aglukkaq said Sept. 2 in a speech that opened the council’s founding meeting in Iqaluit.

“By working side-by-side with the industry and businesses in the region, we are developing the North for northerners,” Aglukkaq said.

The Arctic Economic Council, or “AEC,” represents the centerpiece of Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship.

The Iqaluit meeting is closed to the public. Nunatsiaq News obtained a copy of her Sept. 2 speech.

Canada first proposed a standalone, self-supporting circumpolar business forum after assuming the eight-nation Arctic Council’s chairmanship in May 2013.

But that concept has evolved into a body that will be self-governing, but linked to the Arctic Council in many ways.

“By following the program and work of the Arctic Council, the AEC may interact with the Arctic Council on all relevant levels…” says a document the Arctic Council released following a top-level meeting of officials in Yellowknife last month.

Delegates from Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, along with representatives from various circumpolar businesses and Arctic indigenous peoples are expected to endorse that and other principles at this week’s meeting in Iqaluit.

Aglukkaq, who is hosting the Iqaluit gathering with Nunavut premier Peter Taptuna, said the AEC is unique for three reasons.

First, the new body sets up a business-to-business network that lets them share best practices and technology “for the benefit of northerners.”

Two, she said the economic council will act as a link between business and government.

“Through the AEC, businesses from across the Arctic will be able to inform the work of the Arctic Council, and vice versa,” she said.

Third, the AEC will include indigenous peoples in its decision-making, Aglukkaq said.

“By doing this we make northerners the decision makers which is completely appropriate as these decisions affect them directly,” saying also that “the people of the Arctic are the world’s Arctic experts.”

Delegates from the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Saami Council, Gwich’in International and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North are expected to attend this week’s Iqaluit meeting.

Business representatives include Tom Paddon, the CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., Ingmar Haga, the managing director of Agnico-Eagle Finland, and Andrey Shiskin, vice president of Russia’s Rosneft Oil Co.

This, she said complements domestic efforts to achieve sustainable development.

In her speech, Aglukkaq took another swipe at Greenpeace, accusing them and other groups of exploiting Aboriginal peoples for their own purposes.

“These groups do not base their campaigns on what is in the best interest of northerners, they don’t even base their campaigns on science. They base them on what their agendas are,” she said.

Although she didn’t mention Greenpeace by name, she ridiculed a commentary they published recently in Nunatsiaq News and other newspapers that apologizes for the damage inflicted by their campaigns against the seal hunt.

“An apology is nice but in this case it doesn’t cut it. No letter to the editor will ever undo the damage done through this campaign,” Aglukkaq said.

In explaining Canada’s overarching theme for the Arctic Council, “Development for the people of the North,” she said that means “the well-being and prosperity of northerners has to come first.”

And she said Canada demonstrated this by appointing her, and Aboriginal person from the North, to the federal cabinet following her election to the House of Commons in 2008.

“Canada has made a very loud statement about the importance that we place upon the traditional knowledge of northerners. Further, it highlights the importance we place in allowing northerners to make decisions about their future,” she said.

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(9) Comments:

#1. Posted by Truth on September 02, 2014

Leona, I will accept Greenpeace science and words hundred times more then your dribble.

You, your Harper cons only cut science and muzzle scientist.  Look at bill C-38 the destruction to the environment.

Recent Headlines scream the truth….

—Harper’s attack on science: No science, no evidence, no truth, no democracy
—Harper Government Cuts to Science Overwhelmingly——Detrimental and Out of Sync with Public’s Priorities, Say Surveys
—Harper’s war on science continues with a vengeance
—Stephen Harper’s blatant hypocrisy on science
—The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

Read about the Canadian War on Science cuts here….

Now Leona if Northerns are the decision makers - then stand-up and un-muzzle environmental scientist now.  Start speaking the truth about all of the science cuts and research being done by Harper Cons.

#2. Posted by Free on September 02, 2014

Not sure where #1 (Truth) is coming from.  Unmuzzling environmental scientist shows that Northerners are decision makers?  Not sure how many Northerners are environmental scientists, but not sure that the plight of scientists is of much concern to Inuit.
But I hope that Leona’s true.  I hope that Northerners will be decision makers - by the people, for the people, like my southern American heroes!  If democracy’s good enough for America, I say it’s good enough for me.  Enough of the beaureucractic, aristocratic tyrrany!  “We’re the government and we’ve got your interests in mind, now just sit back and listen to what we tell you to do.”

#3. Posted by Extra Drivel on September 02, 2014

Northerners have heard all this before.  Groups saying they are doing things for us - it is usually code for “doing what we want and trying to convince you it is in your best interests”

Leona, give it up already.  You and Stephen Harper are opening the North - wide open for anyone’s kind of development whether we agree or not.  Shame on you.

Don’t try to make flowery speeches pretending we are involved when we are not.  Tell the truth.

#4. Posted by Inactions speak louder than words on September 03, 2014

I’ll believe it when Harper comes north in February instead of playing Leonardo di Caprio in Titanic.

Why is he spending money trying to find dead white guys and not Aboriginal Women?

#5. Posted by smoke n mirrors on September 03, 2014

#4 You really believe the search for Franklin by sneakily spending Parks Canada millions budget is looking for dead white guys?
When scientist are muzzled?
When as if on cue an up roar over seismic testing happens in the Arctic, but far way from the search.
When Shell Oil is a funding partner in the search.
Nunavut Gov also partner – explains why so quiet on seismic testing and search spending?
Massive use of satellites and other high-tech technologies being used for mapping, checking the sea floor. Just looking for Franklin… move along the official line.
Finding next years future oil drilling hole locations without seismic blasting? Or is seismic sneaked in – muzzled truth?
Smoke and Mirrors.
No to Missing Women is it more smoke and mirrors – where then should we be really looking for the truth?

#6. Posted by Right On on September 03, 2014

Good question # 4.

His complete disdain and disrespect for all the missing and murdered Aboriginal Women is disgraceful.

So much effort goes into a white person missing (and I am white) yet we can see hundreds of Aboriginal women gone missing and being murdered and he doesn’t want to do anything about it?  Crazy!

#7. Posted by Hey!?! Cherry! Funny personality today!?! on September 03, 2014

Funny character with many different personality’s… wonder what her personality is today and tommorrow???

very unstable arrogant Dictator! wonder how appointed conservative sooo called nunavut senate suck-up to her trash??? can u get in line and follow-up!?! lip service!?!

very unstable personality with many different soap-opera character’s…

Cheech & Chong ajax lady (spanish)

#8. Posted by Terry Fenge on September 03, 2014

All interested in the Arctic Economic Council might look at the letters and documents portion of the Arctic Athabaskan Council for an April 2014 letter from Michael Stickman, Chair of AAC, to Patrick Borbey, then Chair of the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

#9. Posted by Are we nothings? on September 03, 2014

Thanks #8 for the letter.  I found the link here:

Interesting Leona wants to shrink scientific research into Arctic Air Pollution and Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

Shrink or stop Two,  Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP’s) who do scientific and assessment work.

Now quoting from the letter the scientific work is “helping significantly to protect the health and welfare of northern aboriginal peoples.”

Why Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Chair of Arctic Council and MP for Nunavut you wish to shrink research, not study it, ignore it when it is for our health, the health and welfare of all people living in all regions of the Arctic?

Are people lives, health across the Arctic really nothing?

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