11/06/2012 12:27 EST | Updated 01/06/2013 05:12 EST

Northern MPs argue over Arctic Council leadership

Northern MPs Leona Aglukkaq and Dennis Bevington are in a spat over who should chair the Arctic Council.

Aglukkaq, MP for Nunavut, was appointed to the position months ago. She'll become chair when Canada assumes leadership of the Arctic Council in January.

On Monday, Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington said in Ottawa’s Hill Times newspaper that Canada's foreign affairs minister should be appointed chair instead. He said appointing Health Minister Aglukkaq means Canada may be less effective in leading the international body.

Aglukkaq responded in a written statement, saying she disagreed and accused Bevington of preferring to have a non-Northerner chair the council.

She went on to accuse Bevington of hypocrisy for his planned trip to Finland to discuss Arctic issues. Aglukkaq said if Bevington believes only the Foreign Affairs minister can talk about the Arctic, he should cancel his trip.