Jim Flaherty invited all G7 finance ministers and central bankers to join him Saturday night for a closing community feast in Iqaluit, but in the end, the only taker was Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney.
Nonetheless, the two men appeared to enjoy themselves and took part in the community games - even though one involved rolling dice (not something finance ministers and central bankers are keen to have photographed). Inuit leaders had made a point of using the summit to showcase the importance of the seal hunt in light of a looming European Union import ban on seal products. The "country food" feast featured seal, arctic char and caribou meat.
It was clear from the summit's final news conference that the seal issue made some of the European finance ministers uncomfortable.
At the community event, Mr. Flaherty said the other delegations were simply too tight for time but that they did enjoy visiting Iqaluit.
"I knew everyone had to get back. Some went dog sledding this afternoon. Because of the time changes to Europe, they go back in the evening," he said.
"When I first suggested [meeting in Iqaluit]to them a year ago, there was some skepticism, and some wondering about where this place was. And even more recently there was. But at the end of the day, they all came and they all really enjoyed it, so it's great for our country," he said.
Some in the community were disappointed that none of the foreign visitors stayed for the gathering, but it did not appear to be a big deal to most.
"Inuit people don't get upset like that," said Lew Philip, an Inuit man who is now retired from the RCMP. "We're just happy we'll be here together tonight."