(OTTAWA) March 7, 2016 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, issued the following statement regarding the Hamlet of Clyde River’s fight to stop seismic testing in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait:
“The issues here are so fundamental: the absolute right of Inuit people to eat Inuit food, the honour of the Crown, and a broken regulatory system.
The threat to the Inuit way of life here is serious. The proponents propose to “detonate air guns that are 100,000 times louder than a jet engine for 24 hours a day for five months per year for a period of five years.” The effects on marine mammals in this ecologically sensitive region will be irreversible. The Inuit of Clyde River and the Qikiqtani Region have not been adequately consulted and have not granted consent.
The notion that the Crown’s duty to consult could ever be fulfilled by the National Energy Board is absurd. The courts have been clear: “The Honour of the Crown cannot be delegated.”
I am heartened by the new government’s commitment to renewed relationships with Indigenous people. I sincerely hope that this commitment extends to the Inuit of Clyde River and the Qikiqtani Region.
Clyde River is waiting to hear if the Supreme Court will consider their case, but it is too urgent to wait. Seismic testing is slated to start in just two months. Within the framework of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), which this Liberal government has promised to implement, a project like this cannot go ahead without free, prior and informed consent. The consent of the Inuit Clyde River and the Qikiqtani Region has clearly not been granted. The Crown must reverse course and seismic testing must not be allowed to go ahead.”