Jerry Natanine prevailed in a high-profile 2017 Supreme Court case to prevent offshore seismic testing, and he says he’s prepared to use the legal system again, if necessary, to stop Baffinland Iron Mines from building a railway.
“Absolutely, I’m prepared to go to court,” Natanine says. “They’re just walking all over us.”
The mayor’s primary concern is for wildlife, particularly caribou, in relation to the proposed 110-km railroad that would stretch from the Mary River mine to Milne Inlet.
Baffinland is aiming to ramp up production to 12 million tonnes of ore per year, double the existing six million tonnes. Ultimately, the mining company wants to achieve 30 million tonnes in the long-term. The Nunavut Impact Review Board is considering the potential effects of expansion.
During recent technical hearings and community round-table sessions, Baffinland stated that the mine will have “no significant impacts” on caribou, yet the Government of Nunavut’s representatives did not provide any reports or studies that would back up such a claim, according to Natanine.
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