Nunatsiaq Online
LETTERS: Nunavut October 10, 2012 - 2:37 pm

Nunatsiaq News coverage of Mary River too “negative,” QIA complains

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

We are writing in response to your article covering a report from QIA staff to the Board on a recent inspection of Baffinland’s current Mary River site. While QIA appreciates the time and interest your staff have shown to the Mary River project, including QIA’s role and efforts, we are also concerned about the role Nunatsiaq News plays in publically informing people using accurate facts and fair representations of what has occurred.

Your recent article, although detailed and informative, did misrepresent some facts.

As well, the overall message of QIA’s presentation was blurred by choosing to focus on several seemingly negative aspects of the recent site inspection. Throughout our presentation we spoke repeatedly about the positive efforts of Baffinland to improve on-site practices.

In advance of our presentations we provided Nunatsiaq News with copies of all our presentations so that media would be able to follow what was being said and report accordingly.

In QIA’s first agenda item related to Mary River, we spent a great deal of time discussing the efforts that Baffinland has made in the following areas:

• Fuel tank construction at Milne Inlet, which will lead to the removal of fuel bladders

• Oil-water treatment at Milne Inlet, to eliminate fuel contaminated water

• Future fuel tank construction at Mary River to support bladder removal

• Landfill development and operations

• Improvements to fish passage along the tote road

• Historical and progressive site clean-up

QIA further notes the information reported upon by Nunatsiaq News represented but one relatively minor topic in a series of expanded presentations which ran for the majority of the day.

Other presentations also covered; the NIRB Final Hearing Report, Project Implementation Planning, and, the on-going negotiations with Baffinland.

In every presentation QIA was clear to point out the degree to which partnerships between QIA and Baffinland was a common theme. This messaging was clearly missed in your recent article. 

Given the amount of activity, the types of investment, and the current flux in development in Nunavut’s economy QIA encourages Nunatsiaq News to work with all parties to verify facts and to better understand current events and organizational purpose. To this end QIA would be open to spending more time with Nunatsiaq News to discuss the project and its details independent of a single event that can be reported upon.

In fact our communications department worked in advance of the Board meeting to ensure that media had advanced copies of our board reports and we were very open and willing to respond to questions and comments. This will continue to be the type of openness we offer to media moving forward. 
Included is a track changes version of your recent article which highlights the areas where QIA feels a more accurate article could have been produced.
We thank you for your attention to these matters and look forward to continuing to working with you.

Navarana Beveridge
QIA, Executive Director

Editor’s note: The emphasis that Nunatsiaq News gives to news stories is shaped by the interests of readers, not private corporations like QIA or Baffinland.  QIA’s “messaging” efforts are irrelevant. The “track changes” version of the story supplied by QIA was helpful in identifying only one inaccuracy. To that end, here is the correction: Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has not yet notified QIA that it will ship drilling salt out of the area in 2013. Readers should also be aware that we have published this letter as we received it, except for one sentence that contained a potentially defamatory allegation, unsupported by evidence, concerning Nunatsiaq News.



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