A group that represents economic interests in Western Canada and Western United States is pushing for an Arctic Chamber of Commerce.
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region proposed the idea at a meeting on Arctic co-operation in Ottawa this week.
"Private business is going to drive resource development," said Bob Herron, co-chair of the group's Arctic Caucus, which includes representatives from Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. "But you have to have — in my opinion — a regional business council that's sensitive to the local people as well."
Herron met with Canadian cabinet ministers, including Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of Environment and chair of the Arctic Council, to talk about the idea.
He says the chamber would be a way for businesses in the Arctic to speak with one voice.
It would also help government partner with the private sector on development projects.
Herron says there's no timeline for when a chamber might be formed.