Nunatsiavut president Sarah Leo ‘quite disturbed’ over Vale agreement – (CBC News Newfoundland – February 25, 2015)

The Inuit government in Labrador isn’t happy with the announcement of changes to the Voisey’s Bay agreement, which will allow Vale to continue exporting unprocessed ore from the massive nickel mine.

Nunatsiavut president Sarah Leo said the Newfoundland and Labrador government was required to consult the Inuit because the mine is on land connected to their land agreement with the provincial and federal governments.

“We should’ve been consulted — I mean, it’s in our backyard. It’s right here,” she said. “We have a land claims agreement that specifically has a chapter dedicated to the Voisey’s Bay project,” Leo told CBC News. “So, it’s very important to us that we have an understanding and are involved in what’s happening with the project.”

On Tuesday, Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley and Vale VP Stuart Macnaughton announced that they were amending the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement to allow the company to send nickel concentrate from the mine in Labrador to Ontario and Manitoba for processing.

The delay is connected to delays in completing Vale’s massive processing facility in Long Harbour, in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay.

Learned of extension from news release

Leo said she found out about the agreement the same way everyone else did, when the release came out.

“I was quite disturbed that this amendment was being made,” she said.

“Under our agreement, anything that’s going on with regards to Voisey’s Bay, especially where the governments are concerned, the Nunatsiavut is expected to be consulted.”

She feels the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which was signed by the province as well as the Government of Canada, requires that the Inuit in Labrador should have been involved in the discussions with Vale.

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