The Future of Voisey's Bay

Introduction

NATURAL RESOURCES: DIFFERING VIEWS


THE CORPORATE PERSPECTIVE

"Acquiring Voisey's Bay is the best thing that could have happened for Inco, for the people working at Inco and for the residents of the places where we operate. At least now, we're masters of our own destiny." - Mike Sopko, CEO, Inco, Ltd. [Aug 21, 1996]

INCO Limited agrees on Statement of Principles with Province of Newfounland and Labrador for Development of Voisey's Deposits - Canada Newswire - June 11, 2002

THE INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE

"The exploration programmes, not only in the Voisey's Bay area, but throughout much of the Innu lands, have proceeded without the consent of the Innu people...and the rapid pace has given rise to concerns, fears, and deep resentment among the Innu."
- Chief Katie Rich, Utshimassit Band Council [Spring, 1995]

"The Labrador Inuit have been pursuing a Land Claims Agreement with the Federal and Provincial Governments since LIA's Statement of Claim was accepted by both Governments in 1980; one of the the longest active claim negotiations in Canada at 17 years."
- Labrador Inuit Association


THE ENVIRONMENTALIST PERSPECTIVE

"Environmental Assessment in Canada is under threat. The federal government's commitment to it is weakening. Many in the mining industry see it as a distraction unnecessarily delaying development. CARC, on the other hand, knows the contribution environmental assessment can make to sustainable development - when the assessments are comprehensive, rigorous, and fair. We fought for those principles [elsewhere]...and we stand for the same principles in Labrador, where the giant nickel/cobalt deposit at Voisey's Bay is moving rapidly and inexorably to development."
- Canadian Arctic Resources Committee [Sept, 1996]

Mining in Aboriginal Homelands
Canadian Arctic Resources Committee

Aboriginal Communities and Mining in Northern Canada
Canadian Arctic Resources Committee


THE GOVERNMENTAL PERSPECTIVE

"... indiscrimate development without regard to environmental impact translates eventually into agonizing problems for generations yet unborn from every corner of the province, whether it be the depleted fishery; forestry harvesting in the absence of silvaculture; uncontrolled effluent and emissions from plants; or, the tragedies of flourspar or asbestos mines....We are sure that all parties involved would not want to have the mining development at Voisey's Bay to be placed in the same category."
Supreme Court of Newfoundland, Court of Appeals [September, 1997]

"First of all, it is against the law to remove minerals from a reserve without the permission of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or the Minister's representative. Since a reserve is set aside for the use and benefit of each and every band member, the surrender process is required by law to delegate the decision-making authority to Her Majesty on the community's behalf. For a First Nation to initiate mineral activity on its reserve, it must first surrender its mineral interests to Her Majesty. Mineral rights can then be negotiated for sale to third parties for the purposes of mineral exploration or development..."
Exploration and Development of Metallatic Minerals [on aboriginal reserves], Indian and Northern Affairs Canada [1997]

Voisey Bay Project To Proceed
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador [June 11, 2002]

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