Nunavut Water Board gets set for Mary River licencing meetings
NWB to hold meetings in Pond Inlet this January
The Nunavut Water Board is preparing for meetings to start the process for issuing a water license to Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. for the Mary River iron ore project, to be held this coming January in Pond Inlet, its executive director Damien Côté said at the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s project certificate workshop for Mary River in Iqaluit Dec. 19.
“We look forward to seeing most of you, if not all of you, at our own process,” he said.
Côté addressed the parties at the workshop, which included representatives from Baffinland, the Government of Nunavut, Canadian Transportation Agency, AANDC, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Transport Canada.
“On Dec. 14, after it was confirmed that this session would unfold here, the water board was then in a position to convene its board meeting,” he said.
The dates chosen for the meetings in January, will be a Wednesday and Thursday “obviously chosen to allow for travel to the community of Pond Inlet.”
Although the exact dates are not yet set, the board will use the Pond Inlet community for a technical meeting and pre-hearing conference.
“For those of you who have been around for some time, you would know that it’s been the water board’s tradition to combine these meetings, it’s more efficient logistically or otherwise,” Côté said.
Another reason Pond was chosen is because it’s the community that is most affected by the proposed Mary River iron ore project, he said.
“It’s also been the tradition of the board for good reason, given the nature of our work, to hold this meeting in the community that is the most affected, very affected by the project, that’s why this is being held in Pond Inlet.”
It’s also a session that helps inform the nature of the hearing that unfolds next, Côté added.
But Côté said there has been some concerns about the logistics of holding the meeting there, especially on the issue of accommodations for the delegates.
“I’m not sure what arrangements have been done, but before you decide not to come because you’re concerned about accommodations, it’s perhaps advisable to talk amongst ourselves,” he said.
“I think we can manage by working together to find enough space for all the players,” Côté said.
However he didn’t want to get into specific details about the water board process at the NIRB project certificate workshop.
“We’re more than open to answer questions you may have with respect to the process. We’re obviously not going to get into the issues here or anything more substantial,” he said.