Use NIRB review process on Mary River, AAND official tells Makivik
"It will be critical for you to continue to share your views on the Mary River Project with the Nunavut Impact Review Board"
The Makivik Corp. should use the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s environmental review process “to the fullest potential,” the deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Michael Wernick, said July 4 in a letter.
Wernick’s letter responds to a June letter that Makivik president Jobie Tukkiapiak sent to John Duncan, the AAND minister.
In it, Tukkiapik said Makivik wants Duncan to give consent to a separate environmental review of Mary River by the Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board.
“Vessel traffic as a result of the project would significantly negatively affect Nunavik Inuit and the resources that they depend on within the Hudson Strait,” Tukkiapik said.
Duncan has not yet decided on Makivik’s request. Wernick said his July 4 response to Makivik is written “in advance of Minister Duncan taking a decision on your request.”
The AAND official pointed out that Makivik has been granted intervenor status for a set of public hearings set for July in Iqaluit, Igloolik and Pond Inlet.
Wernick also said the NIRB has identified “key issues” that are similar to those that Makivik raised, such as shipping impacts, monitoring and mitigation strategies for the marine environment, transboundary impacts, and Inuit harvesting.
“[So] it will be critical for you to continue to share your views on the Mary River Project with the Nunavut Impact Review Board so that they can be duly considered,” Wernick said.
The Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board is a creature of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claim Agreement, which became law in 2008. The NILCA covers offshore claims not covered in the 1975 James Bay agreement.
This past June, Putulik Papigatuk, the chair of the Nunavik marine impact board, also wrote to Duncan requesting a separate Nunavik review.
The NIRB will hold final public hearings on Mary River later this month: July 16 to July 20 in Iqaluit; July 23 to July 25 in Igloolik; and July 26 to July 28 in Pond Inlet.