NUUK, GREENLAND, May 18, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, continued his official visit to Greenland today, representing the Government of Quebec at the Arctic Circle Forum in Nuuk, Greenland, which runs until May 19. Minister Kelley is accompanied at this conference by representatives of the Makivik Corporation and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, and by Mr. Robert Sauvé, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Société du Plan Nord.
"It is an honour and a privilege for me to represent Quebec at this forum, which has become the largest international Arctic gathering. Co-operation between nations on issues related to northern and Arctic development will be of great benefit to the aboriginal and local communities living in Northern Québec, particularly with the revival of the Plan Nord. This forum is an excellent opportunity to enhance our relationships with northern and Arctic stakeholders who are participating in the socio-economic development of northern communities and to stimulate dialogue on a variety of important issues, such as the economic development of aboriginal communities, natural resources, health care, northern tourism, climate change, housing, air transport and the transportation of goods. In the past two years, Quebec has increased its collaboration with northern stakeholders and intends to pursue these efforts," stated Minister Kelley.
"As a speaker at the plenary session on the economic development of northern communities, I sought to demonstrate how the Plan Nord fits within the context of sustainable development while serving the communities of Northern Quebec. I was very proud to present Quebec's vision, which is to balance economic, social and environmental considerations to make the Plan Nord an international benchmark for northern development," the minister added.
Productive bilateral meetings
Since the opening of the forum, Mr. Kelley had the opportunity to meet with the President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Greenland's Minister of Housing, Building and Infrastructure, Mr. Knud Kristiansen, the President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Ms. Okalik Eegeesiak, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health for the Nunavut Government, Ms. Monica Ell-Kanayuk and the Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners LCC, Mr. Scott Minerd to discuss best approaches to common issues and challenges, thereby assuring sustainable Nordic development in the context of climate change. The minister's program also included meetings with the Minister of Education and Economic Development for the Nunatsiavut Government, Ms. Patricia Kemuksigak, and the Minister of Health and Nordic Co-operation of Greenland, Ms. Doris Jakobsen.
About the Arctic Circle Forum
The President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, initiated the Arctic Circle's creation in 2013. It is one of the largest annual meetings on Arctic issues. Quebec has had a high-level presence at the last two annual meetings, in 2014 and 2015. This has led to sustained co-operation with the Arctic Circle and Iceland.
In addition to its annual meetings in Iceland, the Arctic Circle hosts satellite forums around the world which cover various topics of interest to member nations. The Arctic Circle Forum in Greenland is the third of its kind, after those which took place in Alaska in August 2015 and in Singapore in November 2015. It should be noted that Quebec will host the 4th Arctic Circle Forum, from December 11 to 13, 2016. This forum will focus on the Plan Nord's integrated planning and partnership approach.
Office of the Minister responsible for
Ministry of International Relations
and La Francophonie
Société du Plan Nord
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones
For further information: Source: Chantal Gauvin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, 418 643-3166; Information: Julianne Bossé, Communications Advisor, Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie, 418 649-2400; Guillaume Plante, Communications Manager, Société du Plan Nord, 418 643-1874