NITV asks court in Arctic Canada to review rebroadcasting rights to Baffinland hearings

Lucy Tulugarjuk is the managing director of Uvagut TV. ‘We hope to set a precedent for future hearings especially since global warming and new technology are opening up the Arctic to more mining projects,’ she said. (Courtesy Uvagut TV)

Network is hoping new decision will set precedent for future hearings

The Nunavut Independent Television Network is asking for a judicial review of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s decision not to allow the network to rebroadcast the public hearings on Baffinland’s controversial proposed mine expansion.

NITV runs Uvagut TV, an Inuktitut-language television station that launched in January 2021, and that has been broadcasting the hearings live since they began.

The first round of hearings took place between Jan. 25 to Feb. 6, while the final round of hearings, scheduled from April 12 to 21, was suspended after three days because of an outbreak of COVID-19 in Iqaluit.

Hearings resumed on Nov. 1 and are scheduled to end on Nov. 6.

The network is broadcasting the current round of hearings live but had asked the board for the right to also rebroadcast them at different times so that more Inuit can see them.

The board refused.

The board made a similar decision last April when Uvagut TV requested to rebroadcast the first round of hearings before the second round was scheduled to start.

Hoping to set a precedent

In a news release Wednesday, NITV said it knows its court action won’t be resolved in time to affect the current hearings.

“We hope to set a precedent for future hearings especially since global warming and new technology are opening up the Arctic to more mining projects,” said Lucy Tulugarjuk, Uvagut TV’s managing director, in the release.

“These decisions have huge impacts. Our land is our life and Inuit have the right to be informed and to participate in decision making,”

The board is assessing Baffinland’s proposed expansion of its Mary River iron ore mine. The company is seeking permission to double its shipping of iron ore from its Milne Inlet port, a prelude to even further expansion.

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