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Nunavut mine pushes forward with injunction towards hunters, regardless of finish to blockade

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. has pushed forward with an injunction towards a gaggle of Nunavut hunters who blocked the highway and airstrip at its Mary River mine in protest of a plan to broaden the mission.

A gaggle of seven Inuit hunters, who name themselves the Nuluujat Land Guardians, protested on the mine for every week earlier than departing on Feb. 10.

However Brad Armstrong, lawyer for Baffinland, argued the injunction is important “to make certain that these blockades don’t reoccur.”

“It’s mandatory to make sure that the corporate can proceed its operations with out interruption. It can inform the Guardians they can not come again,” Armstrong stated.

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Armstrong’s feedback got here throughout a Saturday-morning listening to on the Nunavut Court docket of Justice in Iqaluit.

Guardians’ lawyer Lori Idlout countered that the injunction was pointless, citing the hunters’ choice to finish the blockade of their very own accord.

She stated the protest ended after the Qikiqtani Inuit Affiliation, the group representing Inuit within the area, and land-claim physique Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. supplied the hunters a face-to-face assembly, which they accepted.

Idlout stated the hunters have since returned to their house communities of Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay, a few of that are greater than 300 kilometres from the proposed mine growth.


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Baffinland is in the midst of environmental hearings on its bid to double the mine’s output of iron ore from six million to 12 million tonnes and construct a 110-kilometre railway from the mine to the ocean for transport. The railway can be the one one in Nunavut and essentially the most northern in Canada.

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Some hunters and neighborhood members within the North Baffin area have stated they concern the corporate is transferring too quick and never correctly contemplating the consequences an growth would have on wildlife, together with narwhal and caribou populations.

Baffinland requested for a brief injunction towards the hunters final week, which was in place till Saturday’s listening to.

Baffinland stated the blockade had induced some 700 workers on the mine to be stranded and grounded all meals and provide flights to the mine.

Idlout argued that extending the injunction is pointless as a result of the hunters had instantly responded to the court docket’s order and are in the midst of planning for his or her upcoming assembly.

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“They’re few in numbers and their assets are centered at present on assembly with Inuit organizations to advance their environmental targets and defending Inuit rights,” Idlout stated.

The day and time of the assembly has not but been set.

If granted, the injunction would legally forestall the hunters from blockading the location.

Nunavut Justice Susan Cooper didn’t ship a right away ruling on the appliance, saying she wants a while to make a decision. Within the meantime, the short-term injunction ordered final week will keep in place.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Feb. 13, 2021.




© 2021 The Canadian Press

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