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Judge grants order to prevent protesters from blockading Mary River mine again

Nunavut court of justice ALTERNATIVE PIC

Protesters who sets up blockades for several days at the Mary River iron ore mine's airstrip and tote road in February will be breaking the law and could encounter RCMP enforcement if they return.

Justice Susan Cooper on Tuesday ruled in favour of Baffinland Iron Mines' request for an injunction against the protesters from Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay, who call themselves the Nuluujaat Land Guardians. They are opposed to the proposed expansion of the Mary River mine, including a railway and increased shipping, due to potential effects on the landscape and wildlife.

Cooper found that a blockade of Baffinland's mining operation "results in economic losses of a magnitude that cannot realistically be remedied by an order for damages at some future time."

However, she noted that the protesters can still demonstrate in other locations, which still makes it possible to express their views and to be seen and heard.

Her decision makes it possible for the RCMP to enforce the order "including removing and detaining to the extent necessary" people who defy her order.

The defendants named in the case are Namen Inuavak, Tom Naqitarvik, Jonathan Pitula, Christopher Akeeagok, Andy Kalluk, John Doe and Jane Doe, and "all other persons unknown to the plaintiff (Baffinland) at a blockade at or near Mary River."

About the Author: Derek Neary

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