Concerns over uranium mining prompt Nunavut to take the issue to the people

The Canadian Press (Bob Weber) – The tiny, remote community of Grise Fiord on the frozen shores of Ellesmere Island is nearly as far as it gets from the giant uranium mine proposed for the southern tundra near Baker Lake. But that didnt stop 46 people in the community from signing a petition tabled in the legislature last summer demanding a public inquiry over the project. Five other Nunavut communities tabled similar petitions. They didnt get their inquiry. But Premier Eva Aariak has announced a unique series of public forums across the territory for later this year to discuss whether uranium mining is something Nunavut really wants … It is the first such mine to come before the Nunavut Impact Review Board (see 09MN003 – Areva Kiggavik) and the first proposed for the wildlife-rich Thelon Basin, home to major caribou herds. With at least a dozen other major uranium projects in the pipeline for the area, how the board balances Kiggaviks effects on hunting and the environment with the need for jobs will define the so-called barren lands for a generation. The debate has engaged the entire territory.

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