North

Clyde River seismic appeal to be heard in Toronto

Clyde River's seismic testing court challenge will be heard on April 20th in Toronto and while Mayor Jerry Natanine says he's happy the case will be heard soon, he wanted the Federal Court of Appeal to hold it in Nunavut.

'I thought there would be more sensitivity,' says mayor of decision to not hold hearing in Nunavut

Clyde River's mayor is "really happy" that a federal court will hear his community's seismic testing challenge this spring, but he's disappointed the case won't be heard in Nunavut. 

Nader Hasan, a constitutional lawyer with Toronto's Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan Barristers, says the Federal Court of Appeal agreed to expedite the case and has now set the hearing for April 20.

"We wanted the court to have an opportunity to hear the case, hear the arguments before seismic testing is set to begin in June," says Hasan.​

Mayor Jerry Natanine, the Hamlet of Clyde River and the Nammautaq Hunters and Trappers Organization are asking the court to overturn a decision from the National Energy Board to allow seismic testing in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

When Hasan asked for the case to be expedited, he requested the hearing be held in Iqaluit. Instead, the hearing will be in Toronto.

"I thought they would have more sensitivity to the fact that seismic testing is going to happen in Nunavut and we should hold it in Nunavut," says Natanine, "but that's not their mentality."

"Although I'm very disappointed in that, I'm very anxious for the outcome of the case."

Given the expense of flying to Toronto, Natanine says he isn't sure if he or anyone from Clyde River will make it to Toronto. 

"We're not sure if the judge is going to require us to be down there."

But with an earlier hearing date, Natanine hopes he'll have time to come up with a different solution, if the Federal Court of Appeal doesn't rule in Clyde River's favour. 

"I'm really excited about what the outcome might be."

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