North

New federal Arctic policy includes focus on health, environment, infrastructure

Lengthy document released by Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations proposed 8 priorities

Posted: September 10, 2019
Last Updated: September 10, 2019

A polar bear stands on a ice flow in Baffin Bay above the Arctic Circle as seen from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent in 2008. The federal government has released its long-awaited policy on developing the Canadian Arctic. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The federal government has released its long-awaited policy on developing the Canadian Arctic.

The lengthy document, released by the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, proposes eight priorities, with health, infrastructure and economic development at the top.

The policy is a departure from the tone of the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper, which emphasized security concerns and threats to Canada's Arctic sovereignty.

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The document has been expected since 2017 and is the product of extensive consultations with northern governments and First Nations.

However, it comes weeks before the end of the current government's mandate, leaving unanswered the question of how its many goals will be reached.