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NEWS: Aglukkaq to represent Canada at Arctic Council ministerial

The Canadian Press reports, “Re-elected federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq has been tabbed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to represent Canada at a crucial international meeting of Arctic countries despite having little foreign affairs experience. …Aglukkaq, who represents Nunavut and is Inuit, will sit down at the table with foreign affairs heavyweights such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this week in Greenland at the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council. That meeting will help determine how the eight Arctic countries will govern the area in the future and will rule on the role on non-Arctic countries such as China and the European Union.”

“Former foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon was defeated in the recent election. Aglukkaq has little or no foreign affairs experience and will be expected to take part in a roundtable discussion with her counterparts from around the circumpolar world. Aglukkaq will be accompanied by senior diplomatic staff, but could be at a disadvantage at a meeting expected to help shape the future of the Arctic.”

In the lead up to the 7th Arctic Council meeting in Nuuk, Greenland May 12, the Council of Canadians coordinated an open letter sent by organizations in six Arctic Coastal states – Canada, U.S., Russia, Greenland, Denmark and Norway – demanding a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic.

For more Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue’s commentary on the upcoming Arctic Council meeting, please go to http://canadians.org/energyblog/?p=546, as well as on our front-page at http://canadians.org.