The Liberal government has delivered on its promise of a long-term vision for Canada’s North a little over one month before October’s federal election.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett released the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework to the public with little fanfare Sept. 10.
“The Arctic and Northern Policy Framework must be leveraged to bring Inuit Nunangat into Canada as a nation-building exercise, helping to create prosperity for Inuit that in turn benefits all Canadians,” stated Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed.
“Our homeland encompasses nearly one-third of Canada’s landmass, its entire Arctic coastline and significant offshore areas. Partnerships that respect and advance Inuit self-determination, rights, and governance are therefore pivotal to achieving the framework’s goals and objectives, particularly at a time of renewed global focus on the Arctic.”
In the works since 2016, the framework involved a “whole-of-government, co-development process,” according to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s news release.
Based on eight broad goals, the framework is divided into chapters addressing a variety of topics: international; safety, security and defence; and chapters outlining “the visions, aspirations and priorities of our co-development partners.”
Partners include the three territorial governments, more than 25 Indigenous organizations representing Inuit, First Nations and Metis, and the governments of Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Fostering success in the Arctic is necessary in nation-building. It is our hope that the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework will lead to direct, strategic investments to meet Nunavut’s urgent needs in basic infrastructure, housing, healthcare, education and training, power transmission and transportation corridors, and connectivity,” stated Premier Joe Savikataaq.
“We look forward to closing the divide between the Arctic and the rest of the country, for the benefit of all Canadians.”
“In the second phase, the Government of Canada and partners will develop governance mechanisms describing how partners will collaborate to share information and assess progress on the framework and an implementation plan outlining how new investments and other economic and regulatory levers will contribute to the implementation of the framework,” according to the news release.
“In the coming months, ITK looks forward to working in partnership with the federal government to advance the framework’s important goals and objectives,” stated Obed.