Intervenors weigh in on when to reconvene Baffinland hearing – by Elaine Anselmi (Nunatsiaq News – November 19, 2019)

Regulatory talks about Baffinland’s proposed expansion of its Mary River mine should proceed “as soon as possible,” or face delays of up to one year, depending on which affected party you’re speaking to.

Intervenors recently submitted their comments on the matter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, which must decide how to proceed after its hearing ground to a halt on Nov. 6, after Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said that concerns raised by Inuit hadn’t been adequately addressed.

While agreeing there were unresolved concerns to be addressed, the Government of Nunavut said the hearing should be rescheduled for the first available date, “unless another party can substantiate why it should be delayed longer.”

The GN noted the adjournment has already led to layoffs and cautioned that the mine plays a significant role in the territorial economy. Already, Baffinland says it has laid off 586 contractors, including 96 Inuit workers, “due to the uncertainty of Phase 2 permit approvals.” No direct employees of Baffinland have been affected.

“On a yearly basis, the Mary River project accounts for 12 per cent of Nunavut’s total gross domestic product and employs approximately 470 Nunavummiut,” said the territorial government’s submission.

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