Sweden, Finland, and Iceland get the cold shoulder

Clinton criticizes Canada for excluding Arctic countries from summit


Critics are accusing Canada of having neglected several key stakeholders when it drew up invitations to talks on Arctic policy. In a prepared statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the exclusion of Sweden, Finland, Iceland and indigenous groups, was a mistake on Canada’s part. “I hope the Arctic will always showcase our ability to work together, not create new divisions,” she said. Thomas S. Axworthy of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation echoed the sentiment in an op-ed in the Toronto Star. While the meeting itself “is another indication that the Harper government is serious about the Arctic—a welcome change from the usual Canadian condition of benign neglect,” he writes, what’s needed is “a strong Arctic Council to handle our great polar challenges, not a weakened council divided into inner and outer rings.”

Toronto Star

Toronto Sun

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Sweden, Finland, and Iceland get the cold shoulder

  1. This sounds a loaded headline. Have the Canadians been wrong footed? or have they walked into it?

  2. Since the meeting was primarily concerned with ensuring those nations with maritime claims in the arctic continue to agree on how to settle those claims and manage the resulting borders, it would be a little odd to bring into the meeting nations who do not have any arctic boundaries. Sweden and Finland may be affected, eventually, by changing climate in the arctic, but they have no more interest in the martime boundaries or resource development in the arctic than Canada has in the Baltic.
    And while there is a place for consultation with indigenous groups, they do not belong at a table that is driven by nation to nation concerns. Clinton's remarks, if accurately relayed, are odd.

  3. Hillary has no business being a diplomat, when she comes to a country and openly insults the host nation. This is not the first time she has done it either. I think she has misunderstood the purpose of the meeting.

    Clinton go home!

    • You can't be serious! Unless of course you're a Harper follower, and in that case anyone who dares criticize the Great Lord Harper is to be dismissed.

      Harper isn't serious about this. The only thing he's serious about is being a bully, and getting a majority. I'm sick of the sight of him, and definitely sick of the ruination he's making out of Canada's position in the world.

  4. This seems to fit the Harper pattern of 'neglecting' anyone who might upset his applecart, regardless of their relevance to the situation.

    • How are Sweden or Finland relevant to the issues discussed at this meeting? Should we have invited Bolivia and Switzerland as well? Neither of those countries border on the Arctic Ocean either, but both can make the same argument that they will be affected, ultimately, by whatever happens to the environment of the high arctic. It seems to me, however, to be somewhat pointless to simply invite everyone who has a tangential relationship to a subject to each and every meeting that may concern them. In this case there were specific issues that related to control and management of the ocean, such as coordinating search and rescue efforts. It would not have been helpful to the process to invite nations who would not have any role in providing answers to the issues raised.

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