Canadian Arctic Diplomacy with Bob Paquin

Welcome to Uncharted, an Arctic360 series about the impact of COVID-19 on the North American Arctic. All summer long we’re talking to the people who live, work and govern the Arctic, to understand how we move forward from this moment in history. 

Today’s theme is Canadian Arctic Diplomacy. As the infrastructure gap in the Canadian Arctic grows, the amount of work and money necessary to build up an Arctic strategy grows with it. Today, there are federal proposals such as the 2019 Arctic Policy Framework, which give an indication that Canada’s Arctic is being recognized once again as a national priority in Ottawa. But, what does that look like, and how does Canada’s domestic Arctic policy impact our international Arctic policy?

Today my guest is Bob Paquin, a diplomat and the head of the Canadian International Arctic Centre in Norway, with more than 20 years of experience with Global Affairs Canada. Alongside his colleagues in Ottawa, he contributes to Canada’s engagement with the Arctic Council, through which the eight Arctic states cooperate. We talked about what role the Arctic Council can play in COVID-19 recovery, how Canada can increase engagement with its Northern neighbours, and how we can become a future leader in Arctic policy.

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