Nunavut Post

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Universite Laval rejects Baffinland’s claim on NIRB approval

Universite Laval

Key Takeaways:

  • After Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation produced a poster stating that the university’s research station in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.
  • Research will not be built if the Mary River Mine phase two expansion is not allowed, Universite Laval is attempting to clear the air.

According to a poster circulating in Pond Inlet about the commitments, the community will lose if the expansion is not approved, a “No” from the Nunavut Impact Review Board to phase two of Baffinland’s project would equate to a “No to a Pond Inlet Research Station in Partnership with Universite Laval.”

But that is not the case, according to Gilles Gauthier, the scientific head of the Universite Laval’s Centre for Northern Studies. “The mine indeed made a financial commitment to our initiative,” Gauthier added.

“However, it was a minor commitment, and if they back out, it will have no bearing on our decision to proceed with the station.”

Baffinland, according to Gauthier, offered to transport up the materials for the Pond Inlet research station, which is set to open in 2023. This promise accounts for about 5% of the project’s $17.5 million budget, and Gauthier claims that the project would still be able to proceed without it.

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This is one of two research stations established by Universite Laval in collaboration with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The other station will be built in Nunavut’s Qikiqtarjuaq.

Gauthier claims that a resident of Pond Inlet contacted him about the poster for the first time, which was the first time he had heard of it. He urged the business to explain if the error was brought up during the last Nunavut Impact Review Board hearings on phase two last week.

According to a pamphlet distributed at the Iqaluit hearing, a $300,000 agreement with Universite Laval to develop the research station is a benefit to Pond Inlet with the phase two expansion.

Universite Laval issued an official statement on the Pond Inlet News Facebook page on Nov. 2, informing locals of the error.

Baffinland said in an emailed statement that the brochure is intended to imply that the $300,000 contribution is in danger if phase two is not completed. A clarifying statement to that effect was made at the hearings.

Source: CBC News

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