NTI applauds birth of Nunavut Marine Council
“Marine areas in Nunavut are crucial to Nunavummiut and Canadians"
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. vice-president James Eetoolook praised Nunavut organizations for setting up a Nunavut Marine Council, as called for under Section 15.4.1 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
The council, with members from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Planning Commission and the Nunavut Impact Review Board, is intended to regulate Arctic marine development.
“Marine areas in Nunavut are crucial to Nunavummiut and Canadians, and they have provided food, clothing and shelter for Inuit and their ancestors for thousands of years,” said Eetoolook. “The NMC will serve a critical function in providing advice and making recommendations to government agencies, especially given the increasing scientific, economic, military and other activities in Nunavut in recent years.”
Eetoolook also urged Ottawa to provide adequate and sustainable levels of funding to the NMC “to enable it to carry out its full functions.”
Section 15.4.1 of the NLCA says the NWMB, the NWB, the NPC and the NIRB may join together to act as an NMC or may separately advise and make recommendations to other government agencies like the Canadian Coast Guard on the marine areas of the Nunavut Settlement Area.
Since the NLCA came into effect in 1993, these boards have periodically met as the NMC.
According into information on the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans website, during the 2008-09 fiscal year, the federal government provided funding to these boards to allow for meetings among their respective executive directors “to assess the viability, feasibility, and desirability of them convening as a NMC in a more regularized manner.”
“It was determined at that time that permanently establishing a NMC was unnecessary as it was felt that the continued ad hoc, project/need-driven approach to joining together as a NMC was the appropriate approach,” the website notes.
But the 2009 Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ report, Rising to the Arctic Challenge: Report on the Canadian Coast Guard, recommended the NMC be formed.
And the federal government’s response to this report then noted “Canada would support the consideration of any future creation of a formal NMC upon receipt of a recommendation and appropriate justification by the boards.”