Temporary injunction against blockade of Baffinland mine to continue

“There are a lot of new materials and submissions that need to be considered,” judge says during Saturday hearing

Judge Susan Cooper will review the submissions made during an injunction application hearing on Saturday morning, Feb. 13, before deciding whether to grant Baffinland’s request for an injunction extension. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The temporary injunction that ended the blockade of Baffinland’s Mary River mine last week will remain in effect until judge Susan Cooper is able to review documents submitted to the court during a hearing on Saturday morning, Feb. 13.

“There are a lot of new materials and submissions that need to be considered,” she said.

On Feb. 4, a group of seven hunters from Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet arrived at the mine site and shut down the airstrip and road that leads to Milne Inlet, in protest of a proposed expansion of the mine that would double its output.

While the Nuluujaat Land Guardians ended the blockade on Feb. 10 — the same day the temporary injunction was ordered — Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is seeking to have an injunction extended that would further prevent them from staging additional blockades of the company’s Mary River mine in the future.

During his presentation before the court on Saturday, Baffinland’s lawyer Brad Armstrong cited a line from a news release issued by the guardians after they ended the blockade on Wednesday: “The Guardians are committed to continuing action on the land unless they can see progress in proposed meetings.”

“The injunction should stay,” said Armstrong, “It provides certainty that Baffinland can operate.”

He also highlighted that, as of Saturday’s hearing, the guardians had not promised that they wouldn’t block the project.

Lori Idlout, who is representing the guardians, reiterated what she said during the first hearing on Feb. 10, that an injunction isn’t necessary.

“We don’t think extending is necessary.” said Idlout. “The defendants have responded immediately to the court’s verbal order.”

Idlout also clarified that the news release quoted by Armstrong should not be inferred as a sign the defendants could be going back to the airstrip or tote road. She also indicated that the guardians have all returned to their homes and are now preparing to have conversations with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

“They are few in numbers and their resources are focused currently on meeting with Inuit organizations to advance their environmental goals and protecting Inuit rights,” said Idlout.

As of yet, Idlout says the specifics of the meeting between the guardians, NTI and QIA has yet to be worked out.

While Cooper did say that the temporary order would be in effect until a further order is issued by the court, she didn’t elaborate on when that would be.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by Unnecessary? What? on

    Unnecessary? Really? What right do these guys with snowmobiles have to be on the land? None. Not much to say here and consider judge. Baffinland has a right to remove them without an injunction by using reasonable force for trespassing anyway. Judge should order costs against their lawyer personally.

    • Posted by ngh on

      They have lots to say considering the land being used is owned by them. It’s where their families and areas that they live near.

  2. Posted by Concerned Inuk on

    This is BS. I am very concerned about this. This is more or less for the “Guardians” own benefits. All Qikiqtani Inuit and Nunavut Tunngavik have to do is not support phase 2. And more over, these guardians are just looking for compensation for their QUK to move forward. I hope we don’t see any compensation given to the guardians or else we should all be compensated. “Resilient” people do not play like this.

    • Posted by Don’t be concerned! on

      Sometimes people stand up and it’s easy to put them down. Sometimes easy way out is not always the best. Sometimes we need strong people!

      We will look back someday and realize something that you have never thought of has just happened. Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves to reach a new heights, sometimes just sometimes we see something that is never heard of and it’s always easy to put them down and say “what are you doing?”

      It feels like someday is here and it is upon us. Our thoughts will be challenged, our ideas will be challenged, and status quo will be challenged.

      It is good to be ALIVE! INUJUNGA I’m ALIVE!

    • Posted by Piitaqanngi on

      Why are people from non-impacted communities so adamantly against Inuit standing up for their right to harvest and for trying to protect the environment? QIA and NTI will be meeting the the Guardians, not QUK. Where in this article do you see that the two Inuit Organizations will be meeting with QUK.

  3. Posted by John K on

    So if the protester’s meeting with the people who can actually affect some change doesn’t go well they’ll hold workers hostage again….

    Got it.

  4. Posted by Tulugaq on

    This looks so colonial! A colonial court sides with a multinational company against local Inuit who care for their land. We see this kind of situation across Canada when courts always side with companies against Indigenous people and governments send their colonial police against land protectors like what we saw for the Wet’suwet’en.

    Can’t that situation be resolved by Inuit for Inuit without having to resort to colonial courts?

    • Posted by iWonder on

      You are consistent in always railing against ‘colonialism’ Tulugak, yet I rarely if ever hear what you think an Inuit form of justice might look like or how that process might play out. I wonder if this is just an abstraction for you, or if it means something?

  5. Posted by So many questions… on

    Who sent these guys? Are they simply concerned for the potential phase2 impacts? Did QUK send them? Are they fighting for royalties or contracts? Why are they anonymous?
    Why are they all related to QUK and QIA members?
    Why is one family line doing this and not the general public?

    We want answers ! What ever happens here will affects us all!

    • Posted by Sharpshooter on

      Your questions have been answered already. It sounds like your trying to put doubt in to people.

      In the words of Bob Marley “you might fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

      • Posted by So many questions… on

        If these answers were already provided so many of us in the community would not be asking these very questions.

        I feel like you are hiding just as much as they are and don’t want questions answered.

    • Posted by iWonder on

      I agree, there’s doesn’t seem to be much information on this group or what their thinking really is. Maybe I’m just missing it?

      Nunatsiaq should try to get an interview with them and add some light to this issue.

    • Posted by Uvanga on

      Yes all from one family line who all profit from outfitting. Polars bears and narwhal tusks are a very valuable resource for them as it’s their livelihood. Which is why they claim to save the environment but at the same time they are fighting to get their own royalties from the great profit company. The 5 communities are demanding that they break from QIA so they can negotiate their own royalties. They are not against development which is what many people are lead to believe. They want the development but to be part of the process to benefit their own which may not have the vote of the majority. Will NTI now review this and determine if qikiqtaaluk can be devided to North and south ?

      • Posted by more than animals and profits to North Baffin on

        Spreading lies and misinformation is easy here in nunatsiaq comment section.

        Hunting narwhals, polar bears, beluga, bowhead whales, walrus, bearded seals, muskox, caribous, fox, wolves, ptarmigan, geese, amongst other animals are supposed to be protected by National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) that is in Lancaster Sound. QIA is given a lot of $$$ by the Federal Gov’t to run it.

        QIA is not doing anything about protecting animals, land and NMCA.

        When people eat these animals to STAY alive, to STAY warm from the skin, to STAY HEALTHY mentally and physically by eating animals that have specific vitamins when it’s 24 HOUR DARKNESS during winter and MAKE a living out of it, I think people develop DEEP connection to animals and the land.

        Spreading lies is easy, hunting in 24 HOUR DARKNESS in long ARCTIC winter to support family is not.

  6. Posted by Northern worker on

    Taking the stand of blockade isnt the answer to the situation. I seen one posting stating that the hunting group was demanding royalties, which clearly shows this isnt about protecting their hunting grounds. It shows greed for their pockets, and the issues at hand will still be there. There needs to be more knowledge to both sides on how negotiations work. It seems both sides lack any sort of resolution in resolving the issues at hand. The company needs to get their s*** together on running a business, and the locals need to pull their weight while being a part of the company. Everyone needs to work together in making things work and not for the almighty dollar and screwing everyone along the way. I’ve dealt with issues very much the same.as this one…….and this isnt how things move forward

    • Posted by snapshot on

      The mining company does a lot of news release and about your question came from Baffinland. They know that if Inuit are divided then it is easier for them to go through. It’s called divide and conquer, because a united group is hard to beat.

      Remember Inuit this mine wont be the first or the last in Nunavut. We will need to reunite again. If Inuit don’t protect each other then who will?

  7. Posted by northbaffin on

    I think QUK owes people an explanation. Who are they?
    Who are they comprised of? If they are an Association, they have to have meeting minutes and board elections. Who elected them?

    If they represent Inuit in the North Baffin Region, when were they elected? I know who QIA is, and i may not side with them all the time, does not mean i’m going to automatically sign on with someone else. we know what BIM and QIA are up to, what is QUK up to?

    Who are they?

  8. Posted by Look at it from a bigger picture on

    Look at the supply and demand of iron ore around the world, and the iron ore industries around the world – look at their examples – Brazil had a disaster, and Australia turned down two projects by its environmental agencies in 2017 – iron ore is a sought-after resource that can generate significant wealth, but can also create significant environment risks, including to wildlife and humans – from the extraction stage, to transport, including direct impacts – crushing, blasting, stockpiling, storing, trucking, port transfers to ships, shipping and indirect impacts and cummulative effects – what the Guardians have made me realize is that we need to pause and reflect to properly calculate the benefits to the risks and whether we have all the information necessary to properly make those assessments ourselves as Inuit and Nunavummiut and as Canadians, and whether we should have it stopped completely, or maintain the status quo until the developer makes improvements to its plans or integrate new plans to make it alot safer to the environment and wildlife and more beneficial to communities. It’s really hard to think properly when we’re in such a rush to make quick decisions just as we learn about them without having time to really take in all factors, and especially when there’s no follow-up or very limited time to be responsive, or not having the capacity to understand the technical reviews translatable to laymen terms, such as studies on char, clams as a food source to larger mammals or the flawed aerial view study by a consultant in 2018. We need a larger perspective understanding of how all these interrelate as whole, to compare with what’s being really offered as benefits – as it stands now, the significant risks looks so unmanageable right now. We took it for granted to have faith in the developer to be environmentally responsible, and for the environmental agencies to properly assess – only to realize there may be significant flaws in the whole system and processes

  9. Posted by Darryl Egotak on

    Why did the Inuit Organizations need to create another Inuit group as in QUK(and who are they, when were they elected. Are they on behalf of all Inuit worldwide, just the region or all Nunavut? Before we let them make deals with the mine representative’s. please let us get answers from them first.

    Something smells fishy if Inuit have to create another group to settle with a mine, rather then let NTI, or QIA settle on behalf of there constituents.

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