For some time now, Canada’s approach to the Arctic has been parochial and sovereignty-obsessed. Our Arctic foreign policy is long overdue for some refining and refocusing. It should be reflective of the political, economic and environmental landscape of today’s Arctic, and respond proactively to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Much can be learned from the early 1990s, when Canada made its most significant contribution to regional Arctic politics by leading the establishment of the Arctic Council and ensuring that indigenous peoples across the Arctic were politically represented in circumpolar affairs.
Yet today’s circumpolar north is very different than that of the early post-Cold War years. The Arctic has become global, with new actors and challenging issues that require greater regional cooperation and dialogue in an era of multiple regional transformations.
Three ideas can kick-start the re-tooling process for Canada’s Arctic foreign policy approach.
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