Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic July 10, 2014 - 2:41 pm

Nunavut MP picks Iqaluit for Arctic Economic Council’s founding meeting

Gathering to run Sept. 2, Sept. 3 in Nunavut’s capital

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
From left, the former chair of the Arctic Council’s SAO group and former president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Patrick Borbey; CanNor's vice-president, Mitch Bloom; Russia's Arctic ambassador, Anton Vasiliev; Finland's Arctic ambassador, Hannu Halinen; and Baffinland CEO Tom Paddon at a panel discussion on the future of the Arctic Economic Council held Jan. 29, 2014 at the Northern Lights conference in Ottawa. Borbey has since been replaced by Vincent Rigby as head of the council’s SAO group and by Janet King as boss of CanNor. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
From left, the former chair of the Arctic Council’s SAO group and former president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Patrick Borbey; CanNor's vice-president, Mitch Bloom; Russia's Arctic ambassador, Anton Vasiliev; Finland's Arctic ambassador, Hannu Halinen; and Baffinland CEO Tom Paddon at a panel discussion on the future of the Arctic Economic Council held Jan. 29, 2014 at the Northern Lights conference in Ottawa. Borbey has since been replaced by Vincent Rigby as head of the council’s SAO group and by Janet King as boss of CanNor. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, the minister responsible for the Arctic Council, said July 10 that she’ll preside over the “founding meeting” of the Arctic Economic Council Sept. 2 and Sept. 3 in Iqaluit.

The centerpiece of Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Arctic Economic Council was first touted as a circumpolar business forum.

But by Jan. 29, 2014, when Aglukkaq announced it at the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa, the concept had morphed into the Arctic Economic Council.

Each of the Arctic Council’s member states and each of the council’s indigenous permanent participant organizations, such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council, may send up to three representatives to the Iqaluit meeting, a press release said.

“The Arctic Economic Council will facilitate business opportunities, trade, investment and growth in the best interests of northerners,” Aglukkaq said in the press release, which was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Canada’s three representatives are:

• Tom Paddon, the president and CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.;

• Lillian Brewster, vice president of aboriginal business with Atco Structures and Logistics; and,

• Peter Tapatai, president of Peter’s Expediting Ltd. of Baker Lake.

Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship received a big shake-up July 2, when Vincent Rigby, an assistant deputy minister at DFAIT, replaced ex-CanNor boss Patrick Borbey as chair of the Arctic Council’s group of senior Arctic officials, or “SAOs.”

The SAO body, made up of officials from the council’s eight member states, does most of the Arctic Council’s work between ministerial meetings.

Susan Harper, a career diplomat at Foreign Affairs, will continue to serve as Canada’s SAO.

Meanwhile, the Alaska state senate’s Republican majority announced July 10 that the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission have named three business people from Alaska to represent the United States at the Iqaluit meeting.

They are:

• Lori Davey, general manager of Fairweather, LLC;

•Bruce Harland, vice president business development, Crowley Marine Services, Inc.; and,

•Gail Schubert, president and chief executive officer, Bering Straits Native Corp.

“The formation of this new group, a product of our Canadian neighbors’ Arctic Council chairmanship, represents a dynamic new opportunity for the business community to forward their expert perspectives, promoting responsible economic development, on to the Arctic Council,” said Alaska Republican state Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage), who also serves as co-chair on the bi-partisan Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.

The Democratic party co-chair, representative Bob Herron of Bethel, Alaska, said the Alaska Arctic commission “hopes to see the Alaskan Arctic emerge as a region that supports thriving communicates that have the capacity to respond and adapt to an emerging Arctic.”

 

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