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.”
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