We’ll consult on Baker Lake meeting times, Nunavut board says
NIRB responds to uranium-skeptic lobby group
The Nunavut Impact Review Board will consult with people in Baker Lake about their proposed schedule next spring for a technical meeting and pre-hearing on the Kiggavik uranium project, Ryan Barry, the review board’s executive director, said in a letter Dec. 5.
“The NIRB will engage with the community and parties to ensure that, where possible, specific scheduling conflicts can be addressed…” Barry said.
Barry’s letter responds to complaints the Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit lobby group raised last week.
NM complained that the meetings, tentatively scheduled for May 28 to May 31 and June 4 to June 6, conflict with seasonal hunting and camping activities in Baker Lake.
NM said those plans could prevent Inuit from participating in the environmental review process and conflict with the NIRB’s own guidelines.
The group also requested a second round of information requests.
In his letter, Barry said it’s difficult for the review board to grant all requests for scheduling changes because of “potential effects on the efficiency, predictability and timeliness of board processes.”
And he said that if dates in the summer and spring were ruled out automatically, this would create “an unreasonable limitation” on the review board’s ability to carry out its mandate.
But at the same time, Barry said the NIRB will talk to people in the community and other stakeholders to encourage participation.
“Recognizing that future timelines for this review are dependent on a number of factors, including the timing of and completeness of contributions from the proponent, technical reviewers and the public that have yet to take place, the board will consult regarding the anticipated review schedule as contributions are received and confirmation of next steps can occur,” Barry said.
Barry also rejected a request from NM to conduct a second round of information requests.
That’s because, “there will continue to be significant opportunities for information exchange as the review proceeds,” Barry said.