Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 376

376 Arctic Yearbook 2015 From an administrative point of view, Canada’s enthusiasm for the Arctic Council was uneven. The final meeting of its Chairmanship held in Iqaluit April 24-25, 2015 was prepared months in advance although some final details were last minute. As well, Canada has been reluctant to acknowledge Observer states’ concerns about the diverse costs of engaging with the Arctic Council without the benefit of influence over decisions. Canada achieved its goal to create an Arctic Economic Council (which met in Ottawa for its 2nd meeting on 23 April 2015) despite uneven support by some members of the Council. The AEC comprises business representatives (to date, 42 members in total) solely from the eight Arctic states and six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations of the AC. The AEC selected a US chair (from the Inuit Circumpolar Council) and two vice chairs from Russia and Finland to guide its work. Big businesses, like the Baffinland Iron Mines Limited and PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), Russia’s largest shipping company, are likely to dominate the membership. The AEC’s businesses, which include a mix of very small and giant companies, and the lack of participation by Observer state companies, are glaring flaws. The “success” of the AEC will likely depend a great deal on commodity prices given the involvement of big resource-driven business with international focus and is unlikely to benefit local, traditional/subsistence businesses that are important to the economic sustainability and cultural well-being of Arctic hamlets.4 Meanwhile, the Working Groups of the Arct