Thursday, 10 May 2012

Igloolik Nunavut community radio call-in show kicks off - human rights assessment of Mary River Mine

May 10, 2012 - 8:49 am

Igloolik call-in show kicks off human rights assessment of Mary River Mine

Lawyer Lloyd Lipsett takes calls from listeners



"...No matter where you are, you can now listen to call-in radio shows, featuring a human rights lawyer from southern Canada who is visiting Igloolik to work on a "human rights assessment" of the proposed Mary River iron mine.

To start his assessment, Canadian human rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett fielded comments and questions from listeners during a May 9 call-in show on the Igloolik-based Nipivut Nunatinnii Our Voice at Home radio network.

Lipsett introduced himself on the show, which aired in Igloolik and online, from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., asking for feedback on the huge iron mine that Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. wants to build in north Baffin.

"I'm here to listen to people on the radio, and in the community," said Lipsett, an independent consultant, who has previously undertaken human rights assessments of mining operations in North America and Guatemala.


A couple of callers said they support the project that is heading to final hearings in July, but others worried about whether Baffinland would respect its Inuit workers and what the impact of increased shipping from the project would be.

One caller spoke about the importance of training and education, while another expressed worries about the trade-off between jobs and the environment: "I want my voice to be heard, from my own point of view, [that] the jobs won't stay here forever. Our land will be gone… what is going to happen with our land?"

To that, Lipsett responded that it's right to ask questions at the beginning of a development, both about the life of the mine and what happens at the end.

And if jobs are what people want to see flow from this development, it's important to follow with links with training, he said.

On May 10, another call-in show with Lipsett is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. online,

as part of the project descried as "acquiring knowledge, speaking your mind, talking it over and deciding together" (Tusaumatitauniq, Uqalaqatauniq, Uqqamajaqatiginiq, Angiqatigingniq).

On the website for the digital project,

you can also listen to a taped interview with Zach Kunuk, the acclaimed filmmaker and recently-elected QIA board member...."

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