Chair ap­pointed to In­de­pen­dent Ex­pert Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE -

MUSKRAT FALLS, NL — Ken­neth Reimer has been ap­pointed chair of the In­de­pen­dent Ex­pert Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (IEAC), es­tab­lished to make rec­om­men­da­tions on mit­i­gat­ing po­ten­tial im­pacts of methyl mer­cury from the Lower Churchill Project at Muskrat Falls

Reimer is a re­tired uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor with a unique back­ground in en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search and ap­plied project man­age­ment. He was se­lected by an over­sight com­mit­tee com­prised of fed­eral, pro­vin­cial, mu­nic­i­pal, Nu­natsi­avut Govern­ment, Innu Na­tion, Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil and Nal­cor rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The terms of ref­er­ence for the com­mit­tee have been agreed upon, and the mem­bers of a sub-com­mit­tee com­prised of sci­en­tific and tra­di­tional knowl­edge ex­perts were ex­pected to be an­nounced within days of this Aug. 4 an­nounce­ment.

The es­tab­lish­ment of the com­mit­tee was a key com­mit­ment agreed upon by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment and the three In­dige­nous lead­ers of Labrador in Oc­to­ber 2016.

“Our govern­ment looks for­ward to our con­tin­ued part­ner­ship with the Innu Na­tion, Nu­natsi­avut Govern­ment, and the Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil through the In­de­pen­dent Ex­pert Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee,” Mu­nic­i­pal Affairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce stated in the press re­lease.

Joyce said govern­ment has re­mained com­mit­ted to the es­tab­lish­ment of the com­mit­tee.

The Innu Na­tion fully en­dorses the cre­ation of the com­mit­tee and welcomes the ap­point­ment of Reimer as chair, ac­cord­ing to Grand Chief Anas­ta­sia Qu­pee.

“We com­mend the pro­vin­cial govern­ment, In­dige­nous groups, and other stake­hold­ers for their com­mit­ment to the process,” Qu­pee stated in the press re­lease. “The Lower Churchill Project is on Innu lands and the health of our land and peo­ple is im­por­tant to us.

“We are com­mit­ted to us­ing all avail­able tools to se­cure en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and we look for­ward to the IEAC’s im­por­tant ex­am­i­na­tion of the po­ten­tial im­pacts of methyl mer­cury on our lands and down­stream of the Project.”

Nu­natsi­avut Pres­i­dent Jo­hannes Lampe was also pleased to see reamer ac­cept the po­si­tion.

“The IEAC has im­por­tant work to do to en­sure that ap­pro­pri­ate mit­i­ga­tion is taken in a timely man­ner that pro­tects the health, cul­ture and way of life of Labrador Inuit,” Lampe stated in the re­lease. “While it is long over­due, we are anx­ious to see the work of the IEAC be­gin.” Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Todd Rus­sell echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments. “The Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil is pleased that the IEAC is fi­nally mov­ing for­ward with its work on methyl mer­cury mit­i­ga­tion in re­la­tion to the Muskrat Falls project,” he stated. “We thank Dr. Reimer for agree­ing to take on the im­por­tant role of chair and we of­fer our sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion to all mem­bers for agree­ing to sit on the over­sight com­mit­tee.

“We be­lieve that this is a for­ma­tive and pos­i­tive process and has great po­ten­tial to help pro­tect and pre­serve our en­vi­ron­ment, health and way of life for now and for the gen­er­a­tions who will fol­low.”

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