Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut May 17, 2017 - 4:00 pm

In bid for support, Nunavut Planning Commission postpones regional hearings

"A balance can be struck to provide the needed certainty for food security and resource development"

Hearings in the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions on the Nunavut Land Use Plan will take place when
Hearings in the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions on the Nunavut Land Use Plan will take place when "outstanding issues" are resolved, says the Nunavut Planning Commission.

The Nunavut Planning Commission said May 17 that it has decided to postpone next month’s Kivalliq regional hearing on the Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan to resolve some “outstanding issues.”

The NPC meeting was to have taken place June 23 to June 27 in Rankin Inlet to talk about the draft plan, which is designed to guide resource use and development within the Nunavut Settlement Area, mapping it out under three categories: protected areas, special management areas and mixed use.

Once approved, the plan may restrict land uses in some parts of the territory.

Among its best-known proposals is for the protection of many caribou calving and post-calving grounds, along with access corridors, assigning those areas a “Protected Area” land use designation.

A variety of delegates from municipalities across Nunavut and Nunavik, Inuit organizations, government representatives and special interest groups did attend the NPC’s public meeting in Iqaluit from March 22 to March 26 where the reaction to the plan and the NPC timeline was largely critical.

In Iqaluit, the Nunavut Association of Municipalities said many municipalities also struggled with the scope and objectives laid down by the NPC.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association has been among the biggest critics of the NPC’s draft land use plan, saying it creates too many protected areas, especially on Inuit-owned lands.

One of the complaints of KivIA and other Inuit organizations is that these protected areas interfere with the exploitation of mineral rights on sub-surface lands that Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. manages.

They say Inuit selected those lands for their mineral potential and that banning development on them is “not compatible with Inuit goals and objectives.”

Once the outstanding issues are resolved, a specific date for the Kivalliq hearing will be identified, the NPC said.

NPC Chair Andrew Nakashuk said the postponement will allow more time to prepare for the hearing and for communities and all participants to prepare their submissions and presentations.

Nakashuk said “the change in timing reflects the Commission’s ongoing commitment to the integrity of the process and sensitivity in accommodating local concerns and interests.”

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association, which will also see its NPC hearing, scheduled for October, postponed to a later date, has also condemned the “environmental” draft land use plan because it says the plan deprives Kitikmeot Inuit of potential benefits from Inuit-owned lands.

NPC Executive Director Sharon Ehaloak said she remained confident that “a balance can be struck to provide the needed certainty for food security and resource development that an approved Nunavut Land Use Plan will provide.”

Right now, about 15 per cent of Nunavut lands in the draft land use plan are designated as “Protected Area,” where industrial activity would be prohibited.

All other Nunavut lands—the four per cent designated as “Special Management Area” and the 81 per cent designated as “Mixed Use”—would be open to potential mining.

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(11) Comments:

#1. Posted by Amanda in Arviat on May 17, 2017

So, what are the outstanding issues and why are they being dealt with out of the public sphere?

Isn’t dealing with issues related to the draft plan the purpose of a public hearing?

#2. Posted by When is 15% not 15%? on May 17, 2017

Again with the 15%:

“Right now, about 15 per cent of Nunavut lands in the draft land use plan are designated as “Protected Area,” where industrial activity would be prohibited.”

Technically that may be true, but I don’t think reporting it that way is telling the whole story.

The restriction will affect much more than 15% because it will stop any roads from crossing lands within that 15%. That will mean that a potential mine that is not on the 15% might not be allowed because the road it needs to bring supplies in (and/or ore out) might cross one of these protected areas. So it’s probably a lot higher than 15%, especially on the mainland, where the protected areas are concentrated.

#3. Posted by Nunavut on May 17, 2017

Now you know why Canada (and later, Nunavut) was created - to serve the interests of those who wanted to take its resources and leave the garbage.  First cod, furs and timber; then minerals; and then agricultural potential in the south.  When has anyone practiced resource management in Canada?

The Orgs started as representatives of Inuit and stewards of the land and animals, but the individuals running them seem to have been corrupted by southern interests.  What have the Orgs done for the average Inuk? 

Remember “Dollars in Inuit pockets?”

#4. Posted by What works on May 18, 2017

@#3 So what’s your plan?

Do you work in an alternative industry like tourism or arts?

Do you live in a qammaq eating only country food, and borrow a relative’s computer to post comments?

I’m guessing the answer is no to these questions. You probably live in a nice house, eat a fair variety of food and most importantly I bet you work in a job that is ultimately funded by the federal government (and that includes Inuit organizations).

Problem is there’s only so much of that federal money to go around and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change soon. If you want more people to live as well as you do we need new - real - opportunities.

#5. Posted by Abraham Tagalik on May 18, 2017

The KivalliqIA is pro mining first. they want less protection for caribou. that is why there is this stage where NPC is planning more protection for caribou and KIA is opposing it and now they have to dig their feet into the green belt…

#6. Posted by Hmm on May 18, 2017

The outstanding issues are:

- Are bias in their hearing and are bullies.
- NPC has been doing this since before the creation of Nunavut, pre-1999 and yet there isn’t an approved LUP.
- NPC was late in providing proper guidelines as to how the hearing will be conducted.
- NPC has doesn’t know how to balance conservation and resource development. Just take a look at their Pro-NPC promotional video that they showcase.
- NPC has not provided enough consultation for the public. Even though they claim that they have been to every community, twice.

#7. Posted by Money doesn't grow on tundra on May 18, 2017

If you want proper consultations, pressure the feds for sufficient funds for proper consultations. Never mind if the Territory is pro mining or not, we can’t do sht with out Ottawa’s blessings and money. Ottawa can and will block or make things happen, according to their north policies so in reality Ottawa has the trump card. For those of us who want to bark, make sure we’re barking up the right tree. We can rant and rave with our issues to NPC but the quality of proper consultations comes with a high price. Trying to do some work with 1 hand tied behind the back.

#8. Posted by Olaf on May 18, 2017

Look, think about what “balance” is.  On the one hand, we have people begging for caribou/calving protection routes. On the other hand, people who want mining, especially on Inuit-owned land.
Sure they can try and find the happy medium, the balance between those interests.
It’s a tough job though, so show them some support for trying.

#9. Posted by bob on May 19, 2017

@#4- It is a goal by many people living in Nunavut to be able to participate in the wage economy and maintain their cultural practices. It is an identity rooted in values, a sense of belonging to a close knit family and community, and being close to the land and the animals that live there. People are far removed from the days of the qammaq and nomadic lifestyle but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their culture nor does maintaining your culture depend on living in the past. No culture on Earth has stood still in time, they’ve always adapted and changed. Look at the cultures that have kept their language strong, still practice customs, have unique traditions- Jewish, Japanese, Muslim, Italian, etc. Non of those cultures still live in medieval times nor does anyone question their culture because they don’t. Inuit can eat maktaaq and post Nunatsiaq comments and petty criticism of that is simple thinking.

#10. Posted by NorthStar on May 19, 2017

Consultations are usually to collect info from the communities. I think it is a challenge when some consultations are for the next 5, 10 years and hamlet councils, hto boards change on election years and the consultations have to deal with new council and new hto members so the consultations are ongoing. Just a thought.

#11. Posted by Long Overdue!! on May 19, 2017

NPC still has no Land Use Plan - they adopted the North Baffin Land Use Plan from NWT.  But other than that, it’s 18th year of Nunavut and still no Nunavut Land Use Plan.

“You Had One Job To Do….One!!  And it’s still has not been started!!”

Time for Staff and Commissioners overhaul!!

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