Mary River Project Phase 2 Minister’s Decision: QIA Thanks All Inuit Who Participated in the Review Process
Iqaluit, Nunavut, November 17th, 2022 – The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) has received Honourable Minister Dan Vandal’s decision on Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation’s (Baffinland) Phase 2 Proposal. QIA believes the Minster’s decision to accept the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s (NIRB) recommendation to not approve the Phase 2 Proposal is wise given the breadth of outstanding concerns related to the proposal.
QIA acknowledges the dedication of Inuit who put many priorities aside to provide evidence and feedback during the NIRB review. QIA recognizes many lessons learned and looks forward to continuing to work directly with Inuit in impacted communities to advance Inuit rights and values. The NIRB process is critical to reviewing the ecosystemic and socio-economic impacts of project proposals in a way that promotes Inuit engagement and feedback.
When the four-year NIRB review process closed it was evident that Inuit rights holders were not in support of the Phase 2 Proposal as presented and that Inuit and environmental concerns were not properly and adequately taken into consideration in the proposal. The public record closed with a number of outstanding questions regarding whether the project as proposed could be effectively managed to address Inuit concerns and mitigate environmental impacts
“Inuit have said many times that they are not opposed to mining and development on their lands. Inuit still have concerns with the proposal that was presented and how it would negatively affect the lands, waters, animals, and Inuit way of life.”, said Levi Barnabas, QIA Executive Committee member and Mary River Project Portfolio Lead.
QIA’s Board of Directors remain open to resource development in the Qikiqtani Region and welcomes future proposals from Baffinland that prioritize Inuit involvement from the early planning stages, and which align with an Inuit vision of the future.
QIA continues to support the current permitted project on Inuit Owned Lands, and continues to implement our agreements with Baffinland in a manner which upholds and prioritizes Inuit rights and interests.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Strategic Communications
Qikiqtani Inuit Association
(P) 867.975.8398 or toll-free 1.800.667.2742