The Future of Voisey's Bay
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]
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."
"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."
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
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."
"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..."