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6 Tuesday May 19 2015 POLITICS FIRST NATIONS 15053CF0 The Government of Canada has new ways to help you and your family save on taxes. There are measures available to help like The Family Tax Cut Couples with children under age 18 can now split their income between the higher-income spouse and the lower-income spouse for tax purposes. Tax-Free Savings Account Starting in 2015 you can earn more tax-free investment income than ever before. Keep more of your savings or spend it on the things that matter. TAX SAVINGS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. LEARN MORE AT ACTIONPL AN.GC.CA Subject to parliamentary approval. Yellowknives try second time in court to protect Drybones Bay from mineral exploration By MEAGAN WOHLBERG TheYellowknivesDeneFirstNationYKDFN once again turned to the courts last week in hopes of overturning a decision allowing fur- ther mineral exploration activities in the Dry- bones Bay area of their traditional territory. TheFirstNationwentbeforetheFederalCourt of Appeal last Tuesday in a second attempt at repealing a 2012 decision by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board that gave Alex Debogorski the green light to drill 10 exploratory holes for diamonds in the area on the north shore of Great Slave Lake. In that decision the review board ruled that the proposal did not pose a significant threat to the environment or cause for public concern and could go ahead without bind- ing recommendations. The First Nation which has opposed all eight applications to do exploratory work in the culturally sensitive area over the last two decades says the appeal is not so much about opposing development outright as it is an attempt at reaching a ruling that is con- sistent with previous decisions made by the review board. The view is the broader cumulative effects perspective. It isnt just the Debogorski ap- plication said Todd Slack regulatory spe- cialist for YKDFN. On a common sense basis when going into these high-risk areas it just makes sense to have a plan before you start degrading and destroying the land. This is not just the Yel- lowknives saying this the review board has said it three times now. Most notably in a 2003-04 environmen- tal assessment report approving exploration in the bay the review board recommended a land use plan be completed for the Drybones Bay area including provisions for protect- ing sensitive environmental cultural and spiritual sites. That was reiterated in 2011. Though the boards request was to see that land use plan completed within five years the First Nation says the federal government has refused to engage in the planning process. The blame lies with Canada. They have shown no resolve to exercise any sort of real land use planning for the Akaitcho region for Drybones Bay Slack said. Theres a distinct lack of will on behalf of the government to begin to plan to be smart about development and I think its because right now everything is open and thats the plan they want. Representatives from the federal depart- ment of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern De- velopment were approached for comment but did not respond by press time. Previous contamination at Drybones Bay Slack said the First Nation has a right to be concerned with development in Drybones Bay an area held to be of great cultural sig- nificance due to its archaeological and his- torical sites and lands used for traditional activities like hunting. Previous exploratory work resulted in a forest fire in 2007 that destroyed a cemetery and cost taxpayers 330000 in remediation costs followed by an accident involving a fuel tanker that went off the road and into the bay in 2008. The truck remains at the bottom of Dry- bones Bay and as far as I know there was no penalty or real effort to remove it Slack said. The cemetery that was burned as a re- sult of the fire you cant quite fix that. It was re-dedicated and the company did work to- wards that end but the sites still been des- ecrated. Its unfortunate that cant ever re- ally go away and its upsetting because thats exactly what was predicted. Though YKDFN has supported the con- struction of numerous mines on its traditional territory including the NWTs four diamond minesSlacksaidDrybonesBayshouldremain off limits at least until a plan is put in place. Over and over again the Yellowknives have said theyre not against development. Theyve walked this walk. But not every bit of Chief Drygeese territory is open for devel- opment he said. By supporting some does not mean you have to support all and there seems to be a real problem accepting this idea that there are special areas where we dont want to see development. Drybones Bay is one of those areas. The risk attached to it is significant the level of concern is significant. PhotoPatKane An mining exploration camp sits abandoned on Drybones Bay with garbage and equipment strewn across the site near the water.