Meeting Summary - 16 February 2011 - Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife, NT

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
Wednesday
16 February 2011
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Explorer Hotel
Yellowknife, NT

Purpose: Arctic Offshore Drilling Review meeting with the Nunavut Impact Review Board and Nunavut Water Board

Participants
Participants
Nunavut Impact Review Board
Lucassie Arragutainaq
Henry Ohokannoak
Elizabeth Copland
Kaviq Kaluraq
Archie Angnakak
Percy Kabloona
Allen Maghagak
Phillip Kadlun
Donald Watt
Putulik Papigatuk
NIRB Chairperson
NIRB Vice Chairperson
NIRB Secretary-Treasurer
NIRB Board Member
NIRB Board Member
NIRB Board Member
NIRB Board Member
NIRB Board Member
NIRB Alternate Board Member
NIRB Alternate Board Member
Nunavut Water Board
Thomas Kabloona
Lootie Toomasie
David Aglukark Sr.
Ross Mrazek
Sam Omik
George Porter
Darrell Ohokannoak
Alex Ningark
Chairman
Vice-Chairman
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Ryan GBarry
Stephanie GAutut
Dionne GFiliatrault
 
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
Georgette Habib Member, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat GDixit Technical Leader, Conservation of Resources, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB

Introductory Remarks (NEB):

  • An overview of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review was provided, including the mandate of the NEB, the events leading up to the Review and the various phases of the Review.
  • The NIRB and NWB were asked "what do you think the NEB ought to ask companies"

Dialogue with Nunavut Impact Review Board and Nunavut Water Board:

In response to the question put forward, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised by NIRB and NWB members, including:

  1. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • Closest resources to respond is Newfoundland and that is a concern - how long would it take to get here
    • What kind of relationship is there with Greenland - Disco Bay is adjacent to Baffin Bay - there is no equipment here if there were an accident in Greenland and currents don't have a boundary

  2. General:

    • If there is a blow out in Greenland, what would happen - everything is connected through the ocean
    • Everything is connected - Inuit are coastal people and the little guy at the bottom is the hunter - doesn't know what is happening
    • If there is more oil activity in Nunavut concern is there will be increased shipping
    • If the majority of people in Nunavut don't want drilling what would happen?
    • For petroleum exploration in the Beaufort and High Arctic there are many factors to be considered and lots of concerns of people of the High Arctic - glacier ice is deteriorating and being moved by currents - people of the High Arctic know this and have traditional knowledge
    • There are a lot of concerns - tides, currents and ice
    • Aboriginal people need to be heard - people of the High Arctic have a lot of concern about exploration and drilling - designated organizations have a role
    • Grateful NEB is talking with people
    • Everything is connected, fresh water and oceans are used for travelling and this has to be considered
    • Has NEB also worked with NTI, NWMB and NPC
    • Concerned about drilling in the Arctic after having seen what happened down south but at the same time knowing so many activities are going on overseas and if the oil is cut off from there and if we are not prepared here that would be a problem
    • If there is no more oil one day, will be cold here at home
    • Hired in the '70's to do work - known petroleum for many years - if exploration and drilling is going to happen in the Arctic it needs to be looked at carefully - there is lots of potential and shipping will have to be looked at
    • In 1980's heard there was potential and a lot of thought was given to extracting and using this resource
    • Seismic is even a big concern
    • Glad for the presentation - have an understanding of what can happen in the Arctic - still implementing and struggling setting up Nunavut Marine Council under land claim - hearing too many organizations are set up but it is important to share research that each are doing
    • If a disaster happens, who is responsible?
    • Last year 4 or 5 ships went aground - safety was an issue and were concerned - was blamed on outdated marine charts - will these be updated?
    • Last summer and oil tanker hit a reef by Gjoa Haven and was stuck for a week - close to good fishing and seal area - scared what would happen if it wasn't pulled out - Coast Guard stayed with it for a whole week - some fuel was pumped out into another tanker and then Coast Guard pulled it out

  3. Unique Arctic Environment:

    • Ice is used to travel from the mainland to the island and for the caribou to travel - if there are ice breakers this is a concern
    • Even without offshore drilling there has been changes

  4. Value of Resources:

    • If something happens will need compensation - rely on marine environment everyday - Inuit are not farmers, Inuit are hunters
    • Big concern for polar bears - ice breakers could be responsible for what is happening to them as well as climate change
    • What happened in the Gulf is of concern to the people of Nunavut - quite a lot of migratory bird sanctuaries in Nunavut - every spring families would get together and go to Coal Harbour to harvest snow geese and enjoy a meal - now worried about what happened to geese down south
    • Big concern is for the wildlife

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB staff are available to assist the Nunavut Impact Review Board and Nunavut Water Board with the process for the Review
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