‘Why lock the door?’: Nunavut television network wants to broadcast upcoming Baffinland hearings

A Nunavut tv community is asking the Nunavut Impression Overview Board (NIRB) permission to broadcast its upcoming conferences about Baffinland’s controversial proposal to develop its Mary River Mine.

A movement filed to NIRB on Sept. 15 by Nunavut Unbiased Tv Community (NITV) asks the board for the fitting to broadcast and rebroadcast the hearings, which resume in November.

Earlier this yr, the board denied the tv community, which runs Uvagut TV, permission to take action, saying it might “interfere, disrupt or distract from the board’s objective in conducting proceedings,” in line with NITV, in an e mail to CBC Information.

The prolonged Public Listening to for Baffinland’s Part 2 Improvement Proposal is ready to run from Nov. 1-6 in Iqaluit.

As well as, there will even be a hub for members in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, and an audio/video Zoom hyperlink and teleconference choice for distant members. 

Lucy Tulugarjuk, government director of NITV, says the community needs to point out the hearings each dwell and as a replay, in order that extra individuals, together with beneficiaries, have entry to the fabric.

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“Inuit have the right to hear what is happening on Inuit land,” she mentioned. “Why lock the door to only limited people when you can have it accessible to all beneficiaries through TV?”

‘It’s of their palms’

The TV community was granted particular permission to broadcast the hearings dwell in January and February, primarily due to journey restrictions imposed as a consequence of COVID-19. However in late March, after the TV community wrote to NIRB asking for permission to rebroadcast the footage forward of the subsequent spherical of public hearings, they had been denied.

NITV says its present movement to the board “challenges this decision as vague and arbitrary and in violation of Inuit rights to meaningful participation and access.”

One motive the the board gave was that elements of the proceedings could possibly be taken out of context.

Tulugarjuk disagrees, and mentioned seeing the published or rebroadcast, even simply partially, possible will not change somebody’s thoughts.

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“Everyone has their own thoughts,” she mentioned. “[People] should have a chance to see it if they want to.”

It is not clear when the overview board will give its determination on whether or not NITV can broadcast the upcoming November conferences.

“It is in their hands,” Tulugarkuk mentioned, and inspired Inuit in Nunavut to “have your say.” 

“Your voice is important,” Tulugarjuk mentioned. “And, for those leaders who are elected to be in their seats, remember who voted for you. Let’s hope that at the end of the day, we are all considering Inuit voices.”

The listening to for Baffinland Iron Mines Company’s proposed part two of its Mary River Mine is ready to renew in November. (Submitted by Baffinland Iron Mines Company)

Three elders swore in an announcement that they depend on NITV to get their info. They embrace Anita Uluttuuvak, Jayko Ootoowak and Madeline Ivalu.

Uluttuuvak, an Inuk from the Qikiqtaaluk area, and a Pond Inlet resident as of Might, mentioned in her affidavit that she’s affected by the Mary River mine.

She mentioned that regardless of being “university educated, I have difficulty reading, comprehending and ingesting large volumes of written material,” in line with the affidavit.

“Based on my extensive knowledge of Inuit culture, and the community in which I live, I believe that many of my community members prefer to learn and understand complex issues in the same manner.”

She added within the affidavit that she does not discover it sensible for her to navigate to NIRB’s web site and browse “significant volumes of material” on the event proposal and hearings.

She additionally mentioned that although the hearings are streamed on-line, web entry could be unreliable and costly.

‘Clear and accessible’

The movement was ready by NITV authorized counsel Tess Layton and Qajaq Robinson.

“Decision-making bodies like NIRB have to be transparent and accessible, especially to those whose rights are gonna be impacted,” Robinson mentioned.

Robinson argued that if individuals solely get the possibility to look at the proceedings dwell, it is extra prone to lead to “limited, piecemeal information accessed” versus having the chance to look at the entire thing throughout a rebroadcast.

In an e mail to CBC, the board mentioned it is reviewing the movement and that it “will provide further guidance in due course.”

Karen Costello, the board’s government director, mentioned the board couldn’t present an interview because the board is “considering the motion and in overall decision making for the Mary River Phase 2 Project Proposal.”