From February 5-6, 2010, in the dead of the Arctic winter, the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-7 will meet in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. The meeting will serve as preparation for the actual G-7 summit to be held in Ontario next summer.
The population of Iqaluit is 7,500, the average temperature in winter is 32 below, and the sun only shines for a few hours a day. This meeting will be a far cry from locales like London and even Copenhagen. Yet Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (who happens to be the first ever Inuk appointed to a Canadian Cabinet position) noted the connections between the challenges of Nunavut and the difficulties facing the G-7 ministers, saying,
“At such an important and challenging time, I could think of no better location for an international meeting focused on collaboration to resolve shared challenges. Throughout its long history, the people of Nunavut and all of Canada’s North have demonstrated a community spirit and steadfast determination to overcome adversity. The strength and resilience found in this region are an essential part of what defines Canada, which is why I am so pleased that G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will soon experience it first-hand.”
Of course, Arctic issues won’t be on the agenda at this meeting. Instead, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has invited the ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S. to discuss finance issues in a “back to basics” approach. In any case, it will be interesting to see pictures of world leaders bundled up in sub-zero parkas and boots.
Here’s what they might be in for – a video clip of a blizzard in February 2007 in Iqaluit posted on YouTube.
“G7 Meeting to be held in Iqaluit,” Globe and Mail
“Canada’s North the Spotlight of February Meeting of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,” Department of Finance, Canada
“Finance bigwigs plan frosty confab in Iqaluit,” Nunatsiaq Online