Dan Vandal wants to ensure Inuit have ‘adequate time’ to mull NIRB report
The minister of Northern Affairs needs more time to make a major decision on the future of iron mining on Baffin Island. In a letter Monday to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, Dan Vandal says he’ll need an extra 90 days to decide whether a major expansion of Baffinland Iron Mines should go ahead.
On May 13, after four years of intensive review, the board recommended the proposed expansion not be allowed to proceed. Normal procedures give the federal minister 90 days to accept, vary or reject the board’s recommendation. That would have meant a decision by mid-August.
The minister also has the power to notify the proponent — Baffinland — if more time is needed. “Given the government of Canada’s commitment to renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, the responsible ministers and I want to ensure that potentially affected Inuit have adequate time to consider the board’s phase 2 report and recommendation relative to potential impacts on their rights,” Vandal wrote in his letter to the board.
The extension will also “provide Inuit and others time to focus their efforts on the current production increase proposal renewal,” Vandal wrote.
For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/baffinland-minister-decision-delayed-1.6518508