The Department acts as a liaison between the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (sustainable development, the environment and the fight against climate change), the region and the communities on environmental issues, in addition to addressing specific environmental concerns.
The Department also monitors the activities of the organizations created under Section 23 of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA), including Federal Environmental and Social Impact Review Panel, the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission and the Kativik Environmental Advisory Committee which in particular provides technical assistance to the northern villages and the KRG in matters relating to environmental and social protection in Nunavik. Pursuant to the JBNQA, the KRG is responsible for appointing members to these organizations.
Technical Assistance for the Northern Villages
The Department provides technical assistance to the northern villages in cooperation with the KRG Municipal Public Works Department pursuant to mandate B.10 of the Agreement concerning Block Funding for the Kativik Regional Government (Sivunirmut Agreement) regarding residual materials management, wastewater treatment, environmental emergencies and climate change impacts.
Nunavik Residual Materials Management Plan
The Nunavik Residual Materials Management Plan promotes sustainable waste reduction methods in the communities, such as the reuse, recycling and composting of materials, as well as reduction at source and increased public awareness. Better residual materials management can serve to extend the service lives of municipal landfills and reduce the amount of materials being burned and odours, as well as improve environmental protection in the communities. While funding has yet to be secured to implement all the priorities and measures contained in the Management Plan, some meaningful progress is being made.
Hydrocarbon Spill Management
The Department collaborates with provincial- and federal-government departments to carry out the monitoring of hydrocarbon spill clean-up. It also participates in the delivery of hazardous materials management training to the northern villages.
Nunavik environmental emergency report form (in English and Inuktitut)
Abandoned Mineral Exploration Sites
The Department has been responsible since 2007 for the management of clean-up work at abandoned mineral exploration sites found along both the Labrador Trough and Ungava Trough. The sites containing hazardous waste were identified during fieldwork carried out by the KRG and the Makivik Corporation in 2001 and 2002. The clean-up work is being funded by Restor-Action Nunavik (a consortium of mining companies) and the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (energy and natural resources).
Nunavik Inuit Research Advisor
As part of a multi-year program, an Inuit research advisor position was established in each of the four Inuit regions in Canada, with technical coordination and support provided by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. In Nunavik, the KRG is the host organization. The role of the regional advisor is to provide a link between scientists and communities, communicating project goals and then results, as well as identifying opportunities to involve young people in research.
Assessment and Remediation of Abandoned Mining Exploration Sites in Nunavik