Quebec Inuit ask for review of Nunavut mine project, Canada says ‘no’

Jobie Tukkiapik, president of the Makivik Corporation, says he is disappointed the federal government has turned down a request for a Nunavik review of the proposed Baffinland iron mine. (CBC)Makivik Corporation concerned about shipping through Hudson Strait

The Canadian federal government says there will be no separate review of Baffinland’s Mary River iron ore project in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, for Nunavik’s marine region.

Makivik Corporation requested the review earlier this summer because it says the plan to ship iron ore from the Baffin Island mine through nearby Hudson Strait could have an effect on Nunavik, a predominantly Inuit region in the north of the French-speaking province of Quebec.

Makivik Corporation is the Inuit land claims organization in Nunavik.

John Duncan, minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, told Makivik in a letter that the review now underway in Nunavut is adequate.

“In conducting its review, the Nunavut Impact Review Board has sought evidence on and will consider information provided in respect to potential transboundary impacts in adjacent jurisdictions due to the project’s shipping activity in the scope of its assessment,” the letter stated.

Makivik representatives participated in the final hearings into the Mary River project last month. They told the Nunavut Impact Review Board the project could affect Nunavik waters and wildlife.

“We are disappointed considering the scale of the shipping that’s going to be going through the Nunavik marine region,” said Jobie Tukkiapik, president of the Makivik Corporation.

“I know they say they won’t use that region but, with all the ice conditions that do happen and all the noise it’s going to create throughout the year, we are disappointed.”

Makivik is concerned about the proposed year-round use of icebreakers, and the possibility of a fuel spill.

Tukkiapik said the Makivik board will discuss Duncan’s letter further and decide what to do.

A final decision on the Mary River project from the Nunavut Impact Review Board is expected next month.

Related Link:

(MAP) Baffinland’s proposed iron ore mine at Mary River, CBC News

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