Iqaluit, Nunavut – The port site for the proposed Mary River mine received intense scrutiny this week from the QIA Mary River Project Committees in an Iqaluit workshop.
“Steensby Inlet, where Baffinland wants to build its port is considered too precious by Inuit for development to happen there” said QIA President, Okalik Eegeesiak. “An alternative location for a port site is in the best interest of Inuit and the company.”
The purpose of the four-day workshop held by QIA was to inform representatives from the affected communities and the QIA Executive Committee about the status of the project in relation to the environmental assessment and Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement processes.
Members of the communities recognize that there will be substantial impacts from the project on the land, water, community wellness and on Inuit culture. Many of the impacts will be negative and a large part will be positive. The ultimate task for QIA has been weighing the pros and cons of this enormous project and to reach a satisfactory agreement with Baffinland on the tradeoffs between impacts and benefits including compensation. So far, an Agreement in Principle is close to being reached.
Participants attending the workshop generally support the project although continue to have serious concerns about certain aspects of the environmental and cultural impacts. Because of these concerns, Inuit need more detailed information than what has been provided by Baffinland so far.
At the end of the workshop, QIA issued a letter to Baffinland in regards to the proposed port location advising them to further consider alternative sites. On side of this, Mayors from Hall Beach, Igloolik and Pond Inlet wrote a joint letter on August 2 to the Nunavut Impact Review Board expressing their disapproval of the current proposed port site.
– 30 –
For further information, contact:
Tel: (867) 222 5549
Fax: (867) 979 3238