Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut April 17, 2018 - 8:00 am

Western Nunavut Inuit org will keep pushing for Grays Bay

“We won’t stop”

JIM BELL
Representatives of the Nunavut Resource Corp. appear before the annual general meeting of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association on Oct. 16, 2017. The NRC, wholly owned by the KIA, is the entity that handles the Grays Bay Port and Road proposal. From left to right: lawyer Jennifer King; lawyer Rod Northey; NRC President Charlie Evalik; and Scott Northey, NRC's chief operating officer. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Representatives of the Nunavut Resource Corp. appear before the annual general meeting of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association on Oct. 16, 2017. The NRC, wholly owned by the KIA, is the entity that handles the Grays Bay Port and Road proposal. From left to right: lawyer Jennifer King; lawyer Rod Northey; NRC President Charlie Evalik; and Scott Northey, NRC's chief operating officer. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

If the Kitikmeot Inuit Association feels jilted following the Government of Nunavut’s recent pull-out from the Grays Bay Port and Road Project, they’re not showing it.

The Kitikmeot region’s need for the project is as great as ever and the KIA will keep pushing for it to be funded and built, Stanley Anablak, the KIA president, said yesterday in a statement.

“As long as Nunavut remains isolated, Nunavummiut will not enjoy the same quality of life as other Canadians. We won’t stop until every avenue in pursuit of the successful development of this project is exhausted,” Anablak said in the statement.

The GN announced this past Friday that they’re pulling out of the $500-million project.

Through the Grays Bay project, they proposed a 227-kilometre all-weather road that would link a port at Grays Bay on Coronation Gulf to a winter road that starts at the former Jericho mine, to provide access to about $10-billion worth of stranded base metal deposits controlled by MMG Canada, along with other mineral sites.

The GN’s withdrawal announcement followed a decision by the federal government to deny a funding application from the two organizations to have Ottawa pay 75 per cent of the project’s costs.

The two sides had teamed up in 2016 to champion the project and to develop the project proposal that the Nunavut Impact Review Board is now assessing.

In its announcement last week, the GN claims their withdrawal from the arrangement was jointly agreed to by each side, but the KIA described it as the “Government of Nunavut’s decision.”

The memorandum of understanding that cemented their relationship, signed July 10, 2016, said either side can terminate the deal by simply giving 30 days written notice to the other party.

Under the terms of that MOU, the GN played a major role in the Grays Bay project.

Jim Stevens, an assistant deputy minister in the Department of Economic Development and Transportation, was named “project manager” in charge of putting together the project proposal, the MOU said.

And Stevens was also named coordinator of a working group that included representatives from KIA and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nunavut Resources Corp.

At the same time, GN and KIA promised they would work with MMG, which in 2013 had put together a similar port-road-mining scheme called the Izok Corridor Project, the MOU said.

MMG put that project into mothballs in 2014, saying it’s not feasible to develop mines at their High Lake and Izok Lake properties unless someone else pays for the transportation infrastructure.

But despite the GN’s withdrawal, the KIA still believes the Grays Bay project will provide access to valuable land-locked mineral assets in the western Kitikmeot, many of which sit on Inuit-owned lands.

“We continue to firmly believe that the GBRP [Grays Bay Road and Port] will unlock the opportunities negotiated in the Nunavut Agreement, originally signed by Premier Quassa,” Anablak said.

Anablak also thanked the GN for collaborating with the KIA on Grays Bay and pointed out that Premier Paul Quassa and Joe Savikataaq, the ED&T minister who announced the GN withdrawal, both said they supported Grays Bay at the legislative assembly’s November 2017 leadership session, when Quassa and Savikataaq ran against each other for the premier’s job.

“We take comfort that both Premier Quassa and Minister Savikataaq were unequivocal in their support of the GBRP during the leadership review in December [sic] and we look forward to continuing to work with the GN in the spirit of partnership as stated in the Premier’s four-pillar mandate announcement on March 20, 2018,” Anablak said.

That’s a reference to the Turaaqtavut mandate statement, which says the GN will make investments with “partners,” including Inuit organizations.

KIA has advocated for more infrastructure and development for a long time and will continue to do so, Anablak said, citing the work they put into the Bathurst Inlet Port and Road Project.

To that end, they say they are “well-placed” to make another application to the National Trade Corridors Fund, Anablak’s statement said.

“The need for transportation infrastructure that connects our region and territory to the rest of Canada is as great as ever,” Anablak said.

Peter Taptuna, who then served as premier of Nunavut, and Stanley Anablak, the president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, sign a memorandum of understanding on July 10, 2016, within which the two sides teamed up to champion the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The MOU contained a clause that said either side may withdraw from the arrangement by giving 30 days written notice to the other party. (FILE PHOTO)
Peter Taptuna, who then served as premier of Nunavut, and Stanley Anablak, the president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, sign a memorandum of understanding on July 10, 2016, within which the two sides teamed up to champion the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The MOU contained a clause that said either side may withdraw from the arrangement by giving 30 days written notice to the other party. (FILE PHOTO)
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(17) Comments:

#1. Posted by The New Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It on April 17, 2018

The new challenge for the KIA/NRC is to figure out a way to do this while limiting themselves to public funding in the eight figures, rather than the nine figures. Think $30 million rather than $300 million.

Think it can’t be done? You’re not trying hard enough.

#2. Posted by monty sling on April 17, 2018

i guess it never hurts to dream, you need it over there mr kia boss man. ironically kia was first use broadly in vietnam as killed in action (kia); bad omen. good luck. maybe it would help if you put in few families to live on the mainland site where the road would begin. otherwise it’s just too much to ask of gn or canada for that matter.

#3. Posted by Jobi on April 17, 2018

No more premier and finance mlas from Kitikmeot so project not important priority for Nunavut anymore. New mlas have their own priority issues now.

#4. Posted by Putuguk on April 17, 2018

Jobi - no truer words have been spoken!

In Nunavut what gets done is determined by the stature and personal inclinations of leaders more so than the needs of people.

Objectively, according to Maslow, our needs in order of priority are Physiological, Safety, Social Belonging, Esteem, Self Actualization and Transcendence.

Road and Port would go a long way towards meeting the physiological and safety needs of thousands.

But we are ruled by elites that have all their basic needs met and are working on their Esteem.

So they tend to gloss over Physiological and Safety needs and go straight to trying to address Social Belonging. 

Thus, the Kitikmeot will continue to be the poorest part of the poorest cousin of Confederation.

The silver lining - if the GN is to be believed in 4 years we will be guaranteed to be served at Income Support in our native language.

#5. Posted by legal on April 17, 2018

does the KIA lawyer need to be an active member of the Nunavut Law Society.  I did not see his name on the roster.

#6. Posted by The Old Trapper on April 17, 2018

Still no answer to the question of why KIA, and/or GN, and/or government of Canada should spend hundreds of millions, or even billions so that a Chinese state-owned company can make billions off of our natural resources. To say nothing of the toxic mess that they are likely to leave behind to pollute the environment.

#7. Posted by Arctic Circle on April 17, 2018

The good remaining question is Who is Benefiting? is it the Nunavut Resource Corp. or the people who are watching over it? where is the money going to go, how is the money going to be spent? who will get lots and lots of profit from it? the people obviously in the organization will definable profit from it.

#8. Posted by Marty on April 17, 2018

The road to Nowhere. If you want to build a road in NU, build it for people, to connect communities, and not for mining companies.

#9. Posted by Can't Lose on April 17, 2018

With such handsome consultants I don’t see how this could have failed?!?!?!

Those Northey brothers just radiate competence and… success!

#10. Posted by Supporter on April 17, 2018

We need the road, we need to support our Income Support Families to be more sustainable instead of depending all our lives from the Federal Government, we need to help our people finish school, train and make money, build homes and not be homeless or stuffed to the gills homes like some places I know, and take care of our own people, we are tired tax payers who are always paying for everyone else, we need to put people to work so they can have pride in NUNAVUT and in there home communities…

#11. Posted by Jobi on April 17, 2018

Maybe Taptuna, Peterson should run this operation. Probably have road and port in flash with their experience & mining connections. They know what they r doing. They don’t need consultants to tell them. KIA needs shake-up. GN mlas just elected… blahhh

#12. Posted by They want it let them pay for it on April 17, 2018

KIA has enough corporations and if it is so good it should pay for itself. Go to the bank and get a loan.  We have other basic needs to get our basic needs met.

#13. Posted by Knockout Ned on April 18, 2018

#4 Putuguk - Did you just cite Maslows hierarchy of needs to support a Road to Nowhere for a Chinese mining company?

LOL.

Pretty thin gruel.

#14. Posted by Northern Inuit on April 18, 2018

Well it’s interesting that the Kitikmeot Inuit Association is still trying so hard for this, yes it would benefit the mineral companies, yes it would open up the door for more companies to expand their operation, yes there is 10 Billion dollars of minerals ready and waiting.

but you are telling me that a consortium of companies cannot come together to fund this road and port?

who else would benefit from this?  who at Kitikmeot Inuit Assocatiation?  who at Kitikmeot Corporation?  at Kitnuna Group of Companies?  at any other Company that KC Heads, Mr Omilgoitok and Mr Stevenson see fit to throw money to. 

maybe they need to remember to concentrate on current contracts which are being neglected and lost in Cambridge Bay to outside Entities.

#15. Posted by Next! on April 18, 2018

What is the average lifespan of a mine?  What are the non-renewable resources in our region?  Will it take several generations to approve the project?  Ice White Elephant.  Nauq?  Principle or value?

#16. Posted by Money pit on April 19, 2018

The KIAs energy should be going to training and education more than this Kungfu road, the huge amount of money spent and proposed is crazy for the lifespan of the mine, the mining company itself if they really want to can build the road and port like other mining companies have done before. Who is really going to benefit from this in the first place?

#17. Posted by boris pasternak on April 20, 2018

AE (and mary rive) are doing their own roads and damn serious about inuit employment, shame on you mmg and kia, you poor welfare institutions.

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