1 April 2016 (Toronto) —Today the consortium of companies planning to conduct seismic testing surveys in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait in search of oil announced in an email to Clyde River’s legal counsel that they will suspend their activities for 2016.
Nader Hasan, legal counsel for the Inuit community of Clyde River, said: “This is an important development. Every day that seismic testing does not happen is another day that Arctic wildlife survives. And another day where the people of Nunavut don’t have to worry about the loss of an important food source and their way of life.”
The announcement of the cancellation arrives only a few weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the Inuit community of Clyde River in its legal battle against seismic blasting in Canada’s Eastern Arctic. Opponents in the case include the seismic testing proponents TGS Nopec, Geophysical Company, and MultiKlient Invest, the National Energy Board, and the Attorney General of Canada.
The applicants — the Hamlet of Clyde River, Hunters and Trappers Organization of Clyde River, and its former mayor Jerry Natanine — argue that the five year seismic project was approved without adequate consultation or consent from affected communities in the North Baffin region which is in violation of their rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Inuit depend on our animals for our food, livelihoods and our culture. Scientists are telling us that seismic blasting can harm animals and disrupt their migration patterns. Inuit’s own experiences with seismic blasting in the past tell us the same thing,” said Clyde River’s former mayor Jerry Natanine.
The Supreme Court of Canada has scheduled the hearing date for November 30.