President disappointed Nunatsiavut left out of $30 million announcement for community initiatives
Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo says she’s disappointed that none of the $30 million community development funding provided to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador from Vale will be directly spent in Nunatsiavut.
Premier Paul Davis announced today that the funding would be invested into four projects, including $12 million for supportive housing, $11 million for a new wellness centre for Happy Valley-Goose Bay, $4.5 million for a new swimming pool in Placentia and $2.5 million for a cardiovascular hybrid operating room at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.
The $30 million comes from an agreement between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Vale to further amend the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement to allow the company more time to get its Long Harbour processing operation fully commissioned. The amendment, announced in February of this year, is one of several that is in direct violation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, notes President Leo.
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is well aware of our concerns with respect to the amendment to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement,” says the President. “Allocating this $30 million without first consulting with the Nunatsiavut Government further adds to our concerns.”
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has an obligation to consult with the Nunatsiavut Government on matters related to the Voisey’s Bay project, adds President Leo.
“Voisey’s Bay is right in our backyard, and for that reason there is an entire chapter in our Constitutionally-protected Land Claims Agreement devoted solely to this development,” she says. “The provincial government continues to violate the Land Claims Agreement and dismiss our concerns. What’s even more insulting is that none of this $30 million has been directly allocated to our communities.”
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