Nunavut Post

Nunavut Impact Review Board denies offered Baffinland expansion

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • The final judgment will come from the federal minister within 90 days.
  • The Nunavut Impact Review Board has urged Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion not to be authorized to roll.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has urged Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion not to be authorized to proceed.

In a note to Dan Vandal, the federal northern affairs minister, Nunavut Impact Review Board chair Kaviq Kaluraq told the mine has the possibility of “significant damaging ecosystemic impacts” on marine mammals, fish, caribou, and other wildlife, which in turn could damage Inuit culture, land usage, and food safety. 

Kaluraq’s letter also indicated the possibility of “transboundary impacts on marine mammals and fish and the aquatic environment outside of the Nunavut Settlement Area.”

Lastly, she cited those results “cannot be sufficiently controlled, mitigated or adaptively handled,” even with the proposed modifications to the project certificated the board has already given to Baffinland. 

The long-awaited proposal was released on Friday after a four-year review cycle that pitted economic growth against environmental protection and the sustainability of standard hunting. The complete statement is 441 pages.

Also read: Eighth COVID-19 demise confirmed in Nunavut

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has urged Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion not to be authorized to proceed

Baffinland, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, and the government of Nunavut all refused interviews till they could check the report.

In a press release, Baffinland CEO Brian Penney said the firm was dissatisfied with the decision.

“Our Phase 2 bid is based on years of in-depth analysis and detailed scientific study and has much local help based on years of consultation with Inuit and regional communities,” Penney said.

“We will request the federal government to regard all proof and input and back the Phase 2 application with appropriate and reasonable conditions.”

The decision finally rests with Vandal, who said he would decide within 90 days of NIRB’s request.

Source – cbc.ca

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