No Need for Enviro Assessment Before Seismic Testing Begins: Valcourt
The Eastern Arctic is shaping up as the latest battleground between the Canadian government and Aboriginal communities looking for a meaningful say in fossil fuel development. Late last month, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AAND) Minister Bernard Valcourt declined a request from the Nunavut Marine Council to postpone seismic testing in Baffin Bay until a federal environmental assessment is complete. Valcourt “believes that any seismic testing work, if it’s approved by the National Energy Board, would provide AAND with valuable information for use in its strategic environmental assessment,” Nunatsiaq News reports. “In its letter to the NEB this past May, the marine council said many communities believe the seismic project could damage marine mammals and that it represents a serious threat to harvesting and the traditional Inuit way of life.” The Nunavut Marine Council has support from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.