Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit is not surprised by the Government of Nunavut’s announcement that it supports opening the territory to uranium mining.
“This outcome was predictable, as the consultation process was biased from outset,” Makita Chair Sandra Inutiq said today. “The GN’s ‘public forums’ were a way to deflect Makita’s call for a public inquiry into the wisdom of opening Nunavut to the uranium industry.”
Nunatsiaq News reports that the GN “hired consulting firm Golder and Associates to help co-ordinate the process and develop a policy.” This is the same consulting firm that wrote sections of AREVA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for their proposed Kiggavik uranium mine.
“It was clearly not an ‘objective’ policy review,” Inutiq said.
[For more information on the “factual” advice provided by Golder and Associates, see ‘A Flawed Foundation’. “It is not clear why the GN chose to have its background document prepared by Golder and Associates, a consultancy that depends on the mining industry (including uranium mining), rather than either developing it internally or seeking an independent consultant. Alternatively, the GN could have convened a multistakeholder editorial or advisory committee to ensure that the information presented was as complete and accurate as possible. Golder should not be expected to produce a document on its own that could put its primary clients (the mining industry) in a bad light.”]
“It was clear during the consultation process that the GN was watching what NTI was going to do on the question of whether or not to support uranium mining in Nunavut. At the same time, NTI said it was looking to the GN to see what they would do. This shows that there is no leadership in Nunavut when it comes to important decision-making regarding high risk and unethical resource extraction activity,” Inutiq said.
In ‘Why Nunavut Needs A Public Inquiry Into Uranium Mining’, released just under two years ago, Makita stated that “Nunavut’s organizations have already shown themselves incapable of protecting the public interest in matters of uranium.” Given the GN’s flawed process, resulting in the GN’s announcement that it supports opening the territory to uranium mining, Makita stands by that statement.