Open House Summary Notes - 26 January 2011

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Open House Summary Notes

Date and Location
Date Location
Wednesday
26 January 2011
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Helen Kalvak School
Ulukhaktok, NT

Purpose: Introduce the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review to the residents of Ulukhaktok

Participants
Participants
Residents of Ulukhaktok  
Doug Esogak Inuvik Game Council
Steve Baryluk Joint Secretariat
Jimmy Kalinek Inuvik Game Council
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit 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, a description of the Review and the events leading up to the Review.
  • The question was posed asking "what are your concerns if there are offshore activities?"

Dialogue with residents of Ulukhaktok:

In response to the question put forward to the residents of Ulukhaktok, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised, including:

  1. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • In the first week or ten days they did nothing in the Gulf and they had to bring booms from Canada
    • What is the back up plan if a storm of the century comes in and bends the pipe?

  2. General:

    • Has the system been tested to prevent the oil from leaking?
    • What kind of information is on hand about the migration patterns of animals and wildlife that could be affected by an oil spill?
    • Workers can't stop the oil if an accident happens
    • In the offshore drilling in Newfoundland, workers lost their lives
    • Would the Inuvialuit people get a percentage of the oil?
    • What happened in the Gulf - it was incompetence and people should have gone to jail
    • Companies can tell the NEB and the people of the north anything but it can't be guaranteed that an accident won't happen
    • Knowing from being in the trade, the US is less strict than Canada
    • Workers knew days ahead of the Gulf incident but didn't say anything because they were afraid of losing their jobs
    • Will the compensation still be there for the kids and grandkids?
    • What was the financial compensation for the Gulf and did that include coming to Canada for help?
    • How soon after an accident happens can financial assistance come into play?
    • Will anyone go over to Greenland when they are drilling?

  3. Inspections and Monitors:

    • How often are inspections done and are companies aware inspectors are coming?
    • When an inspection is happening they clean up their act and then it slips again after a while
    • Would it be possible to have a full time inspector?
    • How often would the NEB go out and inspect a rig in the Arctic?

  4. Unique Arctic Environment and Currents:

    • How do the currents flow and would they take the oil. If so, where would it go?
    • What happens to the oil under the ice?
    • What happens when the waves get high and the ships move away - would this cause a blowout?
    • Accidents happen and if one happens no one knows how to recover under the ice
    • What happened in the Gulf was scary and affected a lot of people and they were supposed to have all the resources - what would happen here where there are no resources to work on the problem. It is difficult to even get small parts.t

  5. Value of Ressources:

    • If the oil spills under the ice, there goes the seals, whales, etc. and the people need them to live
    • It is not safe to do and animals could get hurt and covered in oil
    • Looking at the map, the birds migrate through there and polar bears that come from Alaska and all the ocean animals, there is concern and worry about that as well as for the seals and the marine animals
    • People really depend on the animals and birds and are very concerned about what the oil companies are thinking of doing out there
    • Hunting skills are passed down to the children and grandchildren and if an accident happened and the oil couldn't be recovered everything would be harmed and how would the children be taught
    • The way of life is not worth the dollar - would rather have caribou meat, dry meat and fish than have the money
    • What would happen if there was a spill - would there be compensation because food in the store costs so much and the food isn't as good as food from the land - people would get sick after a while
    • Health for the community is a concern and store bought foods are not healthy - will companies help with health care because people will get sick
    • If there is ever an accident and compensation is paid that will not replace the tradition and culture and how will we teach our children and grandchildren if there is nothing there
    • Greenland uses country food and people depend on that there too

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB encourages residents of Ulukhaktok to participate in Phase 2 of the Review
  • More advertising of the meetings and door prizes should be considered next time
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