In an election year, there has been a very successful campaign by the Nunavut community of Clyde River to stop seismic work in Lancaster Sound.
The best opportunity to advance Canada's interests and to build multilateral relations with the other Arctic nations is through the Arctic Council, which it chairs starting in 2013.
Since becoming prime minister, Stephen Harper has placed increased emphasis on Canada's North. However, his words have not matched his actions and have completely ignored what Canadians believe are the most important issues facing the Arctic.
The recent International Transport Conference on innovation, held in Leipzig at the end of May, was chaired by the government of Canada as the current president of the council governing the yearly forum. The conference was instructive for anyone following post global recession responses to energy and the environment.
Canada received another international relations black-eye (following on the heels of our shameful performance at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in December) when it excluded circumpolar indigenous groups and Arctic states like Sweden, Finland and Iceland from the Arctic summit meeting in Gatineau, Quebec, on March 29.