News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 8, 2010

MANITOBA, NUNAVUT MOU SIGNING KICKS OFF ARCTIC SUMMIT



The signing of an agreement between Manitoba and Nunavut to improve health services, economic development, transportation and tourism initiatives kicked off a three-day arctic summit at the University of Winnipeg, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
 
The framework for the agreement was laid during a meeting in Rankin Inlet between Selinger and Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in September.
 
“This agreement reflects the spirit of co-operation that reflect the aims of this summit,” Selinger said.  “The summit brings together transportation and economic leaders, indigenous peoples and northern communities, and key stakeholders in the international community to increase international trade, build sustainable communities and develop economic opportunities in partnership with northern communities and indigenous peoples.”
 
“Manitoba and Nunavut have a long history of co-operating and working towards the shared goals of our jurisdictions,” said Aariak.  “The signing of this agreement acknowledges our joint priorities and launches an action plan to support the achievement of our vision for Northern Canada.”
 
This master agreement now allows a steering committee to work on an implementation plan on the following priorities as identified by both premiers:
·         health including opportunities for enhanced services and improved patient care through collaboration    between the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) and the Churchill Regional Health Authority;
·       renewable energy including sharing best practices and technology;
·       economic growth, through co-operation, consultation, joint tourism development and marketing projects;  
·       transportation, through initial consultations on a cost-benefit study on a Manitoba-Nunavut all-weather road; and
·       exchange opportunities in areas of culture, education, and sporting activities.
 
The three-day summit, which is also a part of Manitoba’s Northern Development Strategy, has attracted up to 200 Canadian and international government, private-sector and other stakeholders including representatives from air, marine and land modalities, community economic development organizations, indigenous peoples and northern communities.
 
“This Arctic Summit brings together leaders from the business, academic, government and not-for-profit sectors, as well as aboriginal and northern communities.  Our goal during these few days will be to bring together individuals with interests in the future of the Arctic into a forum where we can inspire serious public discussion,” Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, president and
vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, said.  “Our objective is also to generate ideas and to sharpen our sense of what is possible for an Arctic gateway and what is needed in the North.”
 
Much of the discussion will take place in intensive workshops, which will allow participants to explore big-picture issues and also develop detailed plans to help realize the Arctic’s potential as a trade and economic development zone. Ideas exchanged during the summit will help direct future economic policies and strategies to ensure Manitoba is positioned to seize the opportunities of the global economy, Selinger said.
 
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