Voisey's Bay Interim Measures Agreement 2002
|Date: ||1 January 2002|
|Sub Category:||Interim Measures Agreement (Canada) | Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement (Canada)|
|State/Country:||Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada|
|Subject Matter:||Compensation | Mining and Minerals | Employment and Training | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure | Native Title | Cultural Heritage | Consultation | Environmental Heritage|
|Summary Information: |
|The Voisey’s Bay Interim Measures Agreement (the Agreement) was signed by the Inuit of Labrador (as represented by the Labrador Inuit Association (LIA)), and the Governments of Canada and of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2002. The Agreement was developed as a requirement of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement 2003 (the Land Claims Agreement) as a part of the resource revenue sharing arrangements set out in Chapters 7 and 8. The Voisey’s Bay Area is not included within the Labrador Inuit Lands or Labrador Inuit Settlement Area covered by the Land Claims Agreement, despite the fact that it is located within Labrador Inuit traditional territory. The Land Claims Agreement does however, provide that the parties negotiate rights in relation to the area. As such, the Voisey’s Bay Agreement includes the negotiation by the Inuit of an ‘impacts and benefits agreement with the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Ltd and Inco in relation to the Voisey’s Bay Project.’ The Agreement makes it possible for the nickel mining project to commence prior to the effective date of the final Land Claims Agreement.|
|Detailed Information: |
The Agreement provides in general terms that the Labrador Inuit agree not to exercise any ‘aboriginal rights, titles and interests’ they may have to ‘lands, waters and resources’ in the Voisey’s Bay Area (the Area), in exchange for the benefits provided by the Agreement. The Agreement provides that the Province will not grant fee simple or freehold title to land or subsurface resources in the Area to anyone without the consent of the LIA. Similarly, the Province is to ensure that facilities and infrastructure located in the Voisey’s Bay Area are not to be developed by anyone other than Labrador Inuit without the prior consent of the LIA. Labrador Inuit retain the right to enter the Area for the purposes of hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering, for food, social and ceremonial purposes. They also maintain rights to personal and domestic water use, and to the establishment of temporary camps. The management of wildlife, plant and fishery resources will continue to operate under Laws of General Application. The exercise of Inuit rights may not be exercised so as to interfere materially with the construction and operation of the Voisey’s Bay Project.
The Agreement provides that the Province shall not authorise archaeological activities or investigations without first consulting the LIA. Title and possession of any archaeological objects or human remains discovered as a result of archaeological activity will be transferred by the Province to the Labrador Inuit. The Province shall not permit any known Labrador Inuit burial, spiritual or religious site that may be discovered by development, to be disturbed without prior consultation with the LIA.
Voisey’s Bay Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreement
The Agreement provides that the Voisey’s Bay Project is not to commence until execution of the Voisey’s Bay Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement, and the Environmental Management Agreement. The former is to be a contract between the LIA and the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited. The Agreement also provides that the Labrador Inuit are entitled to preferences with respect to training, employment and business opportunities related to the Voisey’s Bay Project.
Consultation with Respect to the Voisey’s Bay Project
The Agreement provides that Canada and the Province shall provide the LIA with any applications made by the Developer for permits, and will consult the LIA in deciding on such applications. These provisions are comprehensively set out by the Agreement.
Similarly, Canada and the Province will consult the LIA with respect to any measures to preserve, protect or rehabilitate the Environment in relation the Voisey’s Bay Project.
The Labrador Inuit are to receive five percent of any revenue received by the Province from the Voisey’s Bay Project. Payments are to be made to the LIA.
The Agreement is not intended to be a treaty or land claims agreement within the meaning of sections 25 or 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and exists without prejudice to other Aboriginal rights or title in other negotiations. It is a binding contract and may only be amended by written instrument signed by the Parties. If the Agreement is in effect for longer than three years, the Parties shall, at the request of any Party, enter into good faith negotiations to address any matter not specifically provided for in this agreement.