Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut March 27, 2017 - 1:09 pm

Oil and gas hearings coming to eastern Nunavut towns

NIRB-led public consultations seeking your feedback

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A map showing current oil and gas leases in eastern Nunavut, clustered around Southampton Island and at the mouth of Frobisher Bay. Other significant discovery licenses are clustered in the High Arctic around Melville and Ellef Ringnes islands. (MAP COURTESY INAC)
A map showing current oil and gas leases in eastern Nunavut, clustered around Southampton Island and at the mouth of Frobisher Bay. Other significant discovery licenses are clustered in the High Arctic around Melville and Ellef Ringnes islands. (MAP COURTESY INAC)

If you have a strong opinion one way or the other on oil and gas exploration off-shore from Baffin Island, here is your chance to speak up.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board plans to host a series of Baffin Island consultations in late April to help inform its Strategic Environmental Assessment in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

The NIRB has been asked by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to explore issues related to off-shore oil and gas exploration and development in an effort to better understand the types of projects that could unfold off Baffin Island’s hydrocarbon-rich east coast as well as their risks, benefits and management.

Right now, there is no active oil and gas exploration in that area and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put a moratorium on granting new exploration licenses in the Arctic offshore for at least five years.

But that kind of resource activity might eventually come down the pipe and the NIRB’s job is to find out what that means for Nunavummiut and ensure the people also understand the potential implications—both good and bad. 

Oil and gas exploration off the coast of Baffin Island has been a hot topic in the past few years as residents in Clyde River try to stop seismic blasting for seabed hydrocarbons in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

The Supreme Court of Canada is currently considering the legality of that project.

The NIRB is planning stops in the following communities during its first-round of consultations:

• Clyde River, Tuqqajaaq Hall, April 20, 6:30 p.m.

• Arctic Bay, community hall, April 21, 6:30 p.m.

• Resolute Bay, community hall, April 22, 6:30 p.m.

• Grise Fiord, recreation hall, April 24, 6:30 p.m.

• Pangnirtung, community hall, April 25, 6:30 p.m.

Meetings will consist of a presentation first from NIRB staff to provide background on the assessment and explain how communities can get involved. Then members of the public can ask questions.

The NIRB will be joined by representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Government of Nunavut, INAC and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

Questions about the meeting can be directed to the NIRB’s policy advisor, Heather Rasmussen, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling 867-983-4606

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