For the annual NWT & Nunavut Mining feature that recently appeared in Nunavut News, we approached MLAs for their perspective on the mining industry in the territory. These were the responses from Baker Lake MLA Simeon Mikkungwak. The full edition of NWT & Nunavut Mining can be found here: https://nnsl.com/special-feature-publications/nwt-nunavut-mining-2019/
Q: What do you consider to be the greatest advantages and disadvantages of mining in the Nunavut?
A: The greatest advantages would be employment and training opportunities for beneficiaries and also business opportunities for the private sector nearest to the operating mine.
Disadvantages would be for individuals that were dismissed from employment as some aren’t given a second chance for rehire. Also, if roads constructed on migratory routes for wildlife can change route. As for those in affected communities who aren’t employed or private sector not engaged, they need input as to how they can benefit also.
Q: Do you believe the mines do enough overall for the territory in terms of employment, royalties, donations and legacy projects?
A: Employment opportunities are constantly advocated for, although management and senior management need to focus on the impacted beneficiaries of nearest community. Donations, I believe, are prorated and have benefitted organizations that are established. Royalties are yet to be known for the most impacted community and as for legacy projects, those are still yet to be known.
Q: Should mines be involved in supplying housing in surrounding communities?
A: Housing is in major shortage overall in Nunavut and should be further looked into for private homeownership programs and investments to the nearest impacted community considering forced growth.