A day and a half into meetings on a proposed expansion at Mary River Mine in Nunavut, community participants say they face barriers that limit the full participation of Inuit.
“Every intervener in this process has lawyers and advisers. We were the only ones that are lacking,” said Igloolik mayor Merlyn Recinos, adding that federal funding given to communities to help them hire specialists isn’t enough.
In response to Recinos, a representative from Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) said that applications from communities were not “robust” enough to justify the amount of participant funding they requested from the Treasury Board of Canada.
Nunavut Impact Review Board meetings over Mary River Mine’s proposed expansion from an annual output of six million tonnes to 12 million tonnes resumed this week after a 10 month delay.
The mine, operated by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, is located 176 kilometres from Pond Inlet. At the meetings, Baffinland is presenting on Inuit traditional knowledge included in the project and the mine’s potential impacts on wildlife. Communities are given time to ask questions.