QIA reaches milestone deal with Baffinland Iron Mines

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association extracted huge commitments and what could amount to more than $100 million in additional payments from Baffinland Iron Mines through a newly-signed agreement, provided Mary River mine phase two expansion proceeds.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association signed a deal with Baffinland Iron Mines known as the Inuit Certainty Agreement, which included wide-ranging benefits, but the arrangement would later meet strong criticism from community leaders in the North Baffin.
Hark Nijjar Photography

The deal, known as the Inuit Certainty Agreement, will give Inuit greater authority in monitoring developments at the mine and associated impacts on the environment and the Inuit way of life.

The QIA’s royalty would rise incrementally to three per cent once Baffinland’s phase two mine expansion is underway for 72 months. That royalty starts at 1.19 per cent.

Baffinland will also make one-time “milestone payments” of $5 million – if and when phase two becomes effective – and $1.25 million every three months for the following eight quarters. Then comes a $15 million lump sum after 54 months and another $15 million after 72 months.

Baffinland has also agreed to help build child-care centres in Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Iglulik and Sanirajak.

GN creates new program to help artists

The Government of Nunavut offered $5,000 to $50,000 to artists to cover costs for creation and installation of artwork through its new Nunavut Public Art Initiative.

The GN will pay selected artists for their time, materials and equipment and will offer mentorship fees to those who train younger or less experienced artists on their project.

Artists will retain intellectual property rights to their work.

“This exciting initiative will provide much needed support to our local artists whose opportunities have been affected by Covid-19,” said Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok. “It is also an opportunity to showcase the creativity, resiliency and great talents of our artisans, with innovative spaces in our communities.”

Territorial government warns of tuberculosis exposure at Arviat daycare

There was risk that children attending the daycare in Arviat could have been exposed to active tuberculosis (TB), the chief public health officer advised.

Staff and children who have spent time at the daycare should be screened for TB, Dr. Michael Patterson urged. A positive TB test is usually an indication that a person shared airspace with someone who has active TB, Patterson stated. TB bacteria is inhaled but can remain dormant. If left untreated, it could become active TB and become contagious.

Cabin building halted in Iqaluit

The City of Iqaluit announced plans to develop regulations for the construction of cabins and recreational structures on unleased municipal land.

Until that process is completed, city council froze construction of cabins on unleased city property. This decision was made unanimously at the council meeting on July 28, based on a recommendation from the Planning and Development Committee.

“Applicants must confirm jurisdiction and approval from respective landowners before any cabin construction can begin,” the city stated.

Agnico Eagle paying millions for Nunavummiut workers to stay home

Sending Nunavummiut employees home as a Covid-19 safety precaution is costing gold miner Agnico Eagle $1.4 million per month, the company revealed in its second quarter report.

As of the writing of that report, there was still no timeline set for the 400-500 Nunavummiut employees to return to their jobs after being sent home on March 19.

“The company is in regular discussions with community leaders, the Nunavut chief medical officer and government officials to establish when and how a return to work for these employees could be achieved,” the quarterly report states.

Agnico Eagle has been paying 75 per cent of base salaries to those workers.

Representative for Children and Youth slams GN

The Government of Nunavut’s proposed improvements to mental health services for children and youth are “entirely unacceptable,” in addition to being late, said Jane Bates, the territory’s Representative for Children and Youth.

“I have given the (GN) departments’ responses consideration and find that the proposed actions lack substance, commitment, collaboration, and a sense of urgency that the mental health of young Nunavummiut deserve,” Bates stated in a news release.

The territorial government responded that parents, schools, communities and all levels of government have a role to play in responding to mental health needs.

“The GN also stated that it will use the recommendations from Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) report to inform and revise government practices moving forward, to close gaps and guide future actions to benefit children and youth’s mental health,” reads a statement from the GN. “Since the report came out, GN departments have been in regular contact with the RCY and have provided detailed information on the ongoing work to address the report’s recommendations.”

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...