Monday, March 29, 2010

Tired of these tools humiliating Canada in front of the whole world yet?

OTTAWA – Canada took a kicking as it hosted a five-nation Arctic summit that left three other countries and the Inuit that live at the top of the world out in the cold.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a stinging rebuke and left the summit early, chiding Canada for not including all those “who have legitimate interests in the region.”

Presumably that would include Sweden, Finland, Iceland and the Inuit Circumpolar Council, representing the indigenous people of the North.

Those four, plus the five countries gathered in Gatineau – the U.S., Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark – make up the long-established Arctic Council, which many fear is being undermined by this new group.

“I hope the Arctic will always showcase our ability to work together, not create new divisions,” Clinton said.

The meeting launched a two-day global gathering in the capital, where G8 foreign ministers will gather Tuesday to talk about sanctions against Iran, nuclear weapons, war in Afghanistan and other pressing international matters in advance of the leader’s summit in June.

But Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon appears to have started on the wrong foot while hosting talks where Russia has historically been the bogeyman and presumed Arctic aggressor.

It was a day spent discussing the challenges and duties that Arctic nations face: building northern search-and rescue capabilities; reporting rules for ships hauling people and cargo through the frosty waters; and environmental concerns like overfishing and pollution that weren’t necessary when the Arctic was a frigid no-man’s land.

But when he was standing alone at a microphone at Meech Lake, Cannon found himself fending off criticism from both inside and outside the meeting that key groups had been intentionally, and wrongly, left off the guest list.

Reporters might have followed up on the criticisms if Clinton or any of the other foreign ministers had stuck around for a wrap-up news conference. Instead, Cannon stood alone, a decision apparently agreed to by ministers during the day’s deliberations.
So now were getting publicly spurned and hung out to dry by all the countries of the Arctic including our most important ally. Cannon and Harper are getting a taste of what Netanyahu got last week.

When's the last time do you think the rest of the world heard a positive Canada story? We're the folks who are still led by the Bush cronies who don't give a shit about the environment and are trying to cut Arctic natives out of Arctic decision making.

This is really getting old.

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