Radio Canada International published an article titled, “Canada takes part in EU meeting on Arctic policy, touts CETA.” The article reads in part as follows;
“Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Finland today to participate in an European Union high-level meeting focused on Arctic environmental challenges and sustainable development. But Freeland is also using her trip to northern Europe to lobby for faster ratification of a Canada-EU free trade deal.
The two-day event in Oulu, Finland’s largest northern city, is co-hosted by Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner Karmenu Vella responsible for the Arctic policy of the EU.
Okalik Eegeesiak, Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, is also attending the meeting, where she will represent the international interests of Inuit in Canada, Greenland, Chukotka (Russia) and Alaska.
Freeland is expected to have bilateral meetings with Soini and Mogherini on the sidelines of the forum.
‘Canada and the EU have shared values and a commitment to people in the Arctic region’, Freeland said in a statement. ‘There are excellent opportunities to advance our common priorities, including action on climate change and support for Indigenous peoples, science, technology and innovation’.
Freeland’s interest in Arctic affairs is very encouraging, said Heather Exner-Pirot, the managing editor of the Arctic Yearbook, a Research Fellow with the EU Arctic Forum, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Arctic Institute.
‘Canada is probably going to release a new Arctic foreign policy in the fall’, Exner-Pirot said. ‘So, actually I’m very encouraged that she’s going to be pretty well-informed and have a good idea of the region and the politics before that comes out’.”