Premier Demands Action from Canada on Toxic Rocket Launch
October 06, 2017
Premier Peter Taptuna released the following statement today:
“Russia has repeatedly made efforts to launch rockets fueled with hydrazine, a highly toxic propellant with a three-stage launch slated for October 13, 2017. Canada has a duty to protect our citizens and marine environment from foreign actions that have the potential to cause ecological contamination and health impacts as a result of residual hydrazine fuel and metal debris that falls into the marine area.
The first stage of the Soviet SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missile is expected to shed over the Barents Sea, north of Norway and the second stage will land over the North Water Polynya in Baffin Bay. The polynya, known as Pikialasorsuaq, is a critical arctic habitat between Ellesmere Island in Canada and Greenland.
We condemn Russia’s actions and demand that this launch be halted. We can’t afford to have unknown amounts of hydrazine fuel land in largest polynya in the northern hemisphere. People living near this area would be rightfully concerned as the gap between the two islands is around 92 kilometres at its widest point and 32 kilometres at its narrowest.
Our people rely on the marine ecosystem to support our families, communities and livelihoods. We are calling on Canada and Denmark to take swift action at the international level to dissuade these activities and move forward with protecting this area locally and internationally through the Arctic Council, of which Russia is a member.
I have reached out to Prime Minister Trudeau to express Nunavut’s concern and disappointment.”
Chief, Public Affairs
Office of the Premier
Government of Nunavut