Baffinland lays off 586 contract employees, halts planned work – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – November 14, 2019)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says it has laid off 586 contracted employees working at its Mary River mine. Of those contractors, 96 are Inuit and 490 are non-Inuit, the company said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

No direct Baffinland employees are affected, Baffinland said. The layoffs come shortly after the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s decision on Nov. 6 to abruptly adjourn its public hearing on the company’s expansion plans.

“Due to the uncertainty of Phase 2 permit approvals, work associated with the 2019 Work Plan has been demobilized,” Salima Virani, a communications specialist for Baffinland, said in the email.

On Nov. 6, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Aluki Kotierk brought forward a motion to immediately suspend the final public hearing and defer its continuation for eight months to one year.

Throughout the hearing, Baffinland representatives went back and forth with intervenors on their planned construction of a 110-kilometre rail line north from the Mary River site to its Milne Inlet port.

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