Oil and gas consultations set for Canada’s eastern Arctic

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic
Tech. Sgt. Dan Rea / USAF

Federal officials will travel to 10 communities in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut beginning Sunday to talk about an assessment for potential oil and gas exploration in the eastern Arctic.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is holding the public consultations, and is asking residents to attend the meetings.

Department officials want to come up with a Strategic Environmental Assessment for potential exploration in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

Officials will answer questions and gather comments from community members.

The consultations start in Pond Inlet on Sunday and will travel to almost all of the Baffin region communities, as well as Grise Fiord and Resolute.

Several Baffin communities have already voiced their opposition to any seismic testing or other exploration for oil and gas off Nunavut’s shores.

They fear it will have a negative impact on marine mammals and other species.

Oil and gas exploration has already taken place in the Davis Strait, on the Danish side of the water.

However, there has been no drilling for oil or gas in the area since 2011.

Representatives from the Nunavut government and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association plan to attend the meetings.

Meetings will be held in Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq, Iqaluit, Resolute, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay and Kimmirut. The meeting schedule runs through Feb. 20.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.