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Inuit Rights Case to be Heard in Toronto

Inuit Rights Case to be Heard in Toronto

A Federal Court challenge by the Inuit of Clyde River to offshore seismic surveys will be held in Toronto, April 20, 2015. In 2011, a consortium of geophysical companies submitted a proposal to the National Energy Board (NEB) to conduct seismic surveys off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. The proposal was met with firm

A Federal Court challenge by the Inuit of Clyde River to offshore seismic surveys will be held in Toronto, April 20, 2015.

In 2011, a consortium of geophysical companies submitted a proposal to the National Energy Board (NEB) to conduct seismic surveys off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. The proposal was met with firm opposition by the Inuit of Baffin Island.

Through petitions and statements at public meetings, residents of several communities made their opposition clear. The Hamlet Council and Hunters and Trappers Organization of Clyde River passed motions opposing the proposal. A meeting of all mayors from Baffin Island passed a resolution opposing the surveys. Representative Inuit organizations and land claims regulatory boards urged the NEB to withhold permission for seismic surveys until further studies are carried out.

Despite this near-universal opposition, the NEB approved the surveys in June 2014. The community of Clyde River responded by holding a rally and applying for a judicial review of the NEB’s decision. In November of 2014, a meeting of all Mayors from Nunavut unanimously passed a resolution expressing moral support for Clyde River’s court challenge.

Inuit of Clyde River are arguing that they were not properly consulted, and that the NEB did not properly consider environmental impacts of the proposal. The public relations campaign of the proponent appeared bumbling, as representatives failed to answer even the most basic questions about potential impacts of the surveys at NEB public meetings. The government also failed to accommodate the seemingly reasonable request of Inuit organizations to conduct further studies before approving seismic surveys in the region.

Follow the Two Row Times for information about solidarity actions and information events in Toronto leading up to the April 20 court date.

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1 Comment

  • Cameron Bimble Bee Issakiark
    February 26, 2015, 9:21 am

    I am against the testing, Inuit have the right to deny such things that can harm the way they live, what they hunt in those waters, it is all living things that will be harmed.

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