Due to COVID lockdowns, the 3rd East Hudson Bay/James Bay Regional Roundtable Meeting, scheduled for January 18-21, 2021, was cancelled. Instead, throughout early 2021, the Hudson Bay Consortium Secretariat held calls with communities around Eastern Hudson Bay and James Bay. The focus of these community calls was to review the research and monitoring priorities that were identified at the 2019 Roundtable in Timmins, and determine if any additions or other updates were needed. During the calls, a number of communities expressed interest in participating in two new Working Groups under consideration by the Hudson Bay Consortium: Community-Based Fisheries and Environmental Response and Search and Rescue.
- many communities identified that their community research and monitoring priorities remain relatively unchanged, with many of the same topics and issues shared in common. For example, thinning ice, signs of climate change, changing wildlife conditions, and issues with waste materials were raised by multiple participants.
- the creation of a new Arctic Region by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard which includes the whole of Hudson Bay and James Bay will provide new opportunities for the delivery of programs and services to local communities. The Hudson Bay Consortium Secretariat learned that many communities were strongly strongly interest in participating through the two new Working Groups that are currently under consideration by the Consortium: a Community-based Fisheries Working Group and an Environmental Response and Search and Rescue Working Group.