EU seal ban to factor in its Arctic Council bid

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is pictured speaking to the media at the Rideau Valley Health Centre...

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is pictured speaking to the media at the Rideau Valley Health Centre near Ottawa in this Dec. 28, 2012 file photo. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:04 PM ET

OTTAWA - The European Union's ban on commercial seal hunt products will factor into Canada's decision whether to support it in its bid for a seat on the Arctic Council.

The EU, along with 14 countries and organizations, is seeking observer status with the eight-member council, a high-level intergovernmental body made up of Arctic nations.

Canada takes over as chair of the council in May for two years under Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq's leadership.

In an interview with QMI Agency on Wednesday, the minister said Canada is still considering whether to support applications of countries including China, organizations such as Greenpeace and bodies like the EU.

Each appeal will be studied based on criteria set out in 2011 by all council members. A final decision will be made by consensus.

The EU, like Arctic Council members Russia and the United States, has a ban on seal products.


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