Pond Inlet mayor to push Stephen Harper on seismic testing

The mayor of Pond Inlet, Nunavut is hoping to share some concerns about seismic testing with Prime Minister Stephen Harper when the two meet later today.

Charlie Inuarak, who speaks Inuktitut only, plans to give PM a letter outlining concerns

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut over the weekend. Today he heads to Pond Inlet, where mayor Charlie Inuarak hopes to speak to him about seismic testing. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The mayor of Pond Inlet, Nunavut is hoping to share some concerns about seismic testing with Prime Minister Stephen Harper when the two meet later today.

Charlie Inuarak will have one hour to lay out the hamlet's concerns over seismic exploration in the Davis Strait, where the federal government approved a five-year seismic testing plan earlier this summer, despite objections from local Inuit.

“They must consider our concerns,” Inuarak told the CBC in Inuktitut. “Our land is extremely beneficial to the Canadian government and they will gain lots of money through our natural resources.”

Inuarak says the hamlet council requested the meeting with the Prime Minister.

In addition to concerns over mineral exploration around the community, he says the hamlet also wants to discuss the potential for a small-vessel dock.

Inuarak, who does not speak English, says he plans to give Harper a letter outlining the hamlet's various concerns.

Pond Inlet, population 1,500, is located at the northern tip of Baffin Island in the gateway to the Northwest Passage. It's sparkling waters are home to one of the richest marine wildlife in the Arctic, like narwhal, beluga, bowhead whales and seals. The hamlet boasts a vivid hunting culture and is a busy tourism destination for its scenery and adventure activities. 

Harper's one-day visit in Pond Inlet will also include a public announcement.

From Pond Inlet, the Prime Minister heads to Iqaluit later today.

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