The Baffinland Mary River Mine must not be allowed to cut corners

Speaker: Ms. May
Time: 03/02/2022 15:10:33
Context: Question

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP): Mr. Speaker, I am raising a question today that involves a massive industrial expansion in Nunavut. It is the Baffinland Mary River Mine. It has proposed to double production and it is all going to Europe. It is an iron ore mine and it wants to go to 12 million tonnes of production a year, with building a railway and doubling the number of ships going through sensitive habitats for whales.

The Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization opposes it. Oceans North is very concerned. However, it appears, from satellite imagery, the mine is already expanding before it gets a permit.

Can the minister assure us this industrial expansion will not be allowed to cut corners?

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Northern Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is a process and it is set out in the Nunavut agreement. The independent Nunavut Impact Review Board, which is known to most as NIRB, was a process that was codeveloped with Inuit and territorial partners to ensure the interests of Nunavummiut are protected. We will continue to work with the Inuit rights holders as the independent NIRB process unfolds and ensure that their interests are protected.

To prejudge the outcome of the board’s recommendations or any decisions regarding this project right now would be premature and inappropriate for all parties. Both myself and—

The Speaker: I am afraid that is all the time we have for question period today.