Federal minister sends Arctic naval facility plans back to DND

The federal minister of Northern Development has sent the plans for the proposed Nanisivik naval facility back to the Department of National Defence for more work.

Nunavut Impact Review Board needs more information to do environmental review

The HMCS Goose Bay is moored at the future site of the Nanisivik Naval Facility during the 2010 military Operation Nanook. Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt is asking the military to clarify parts of the proposal for the facility and then re-submit it to Nunavut regulators for review. (DND-HO/The Canadian Press)

The federal minister of Northern Development has sent the plans for the proposed Nanisivik naval facility back to the Department of National Defence for more work.

Minister Bernard Valcourt said the military must clarify parts of the proposal, and then re-submit it to Nunavut regulators.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board said in a January letter to the minister that it didn't have enough information to do a proper environmental review of the proposed project near Arctic Bay, Nunavut.

The NIRB's letter described a series of delays in the project's environmental screening process that began in 2009, two years after plans for the Nanisivik facility were first announced.

The letter says the NIRB has been frustrated in its efforts to get more information from National Defence.

"Despite repeated requests and several opportunities to do so, essential information has not been provided and significant information gaps in the project proposal remain," the letter says.

The original plan was for a large Arctic port and re-fuelling facility at the old Nanisivik mine site on north Baffin Island, but last year National Defence decided to scale the project back to keep costs down.

The federal government has budgeted more than $100 million for the project.