According to a story today on the CBC's website, Rob Rondeau and his ProCom Diving Services are challenging the denial of an archaeological permit by the Government of Nunavut:
The Nunavut government has come under fire for denying an archeological permit to a privately-funded group that wants to search for Sir John Franklin's missing ships in the High Arctic. Members of the Finding Franklin Expedition said the reasons they were denied a Class 1 archeological permit by the territorial government do not make sense. "It's extremely important, I think, on a global scale to Canada, to Great Britain, that the wrecks be found," Rob Field, one of the lead archeologists in the expedition group, told CBC News.
You can read the rest of the story here at the CBC's site. The gist is that Rondeau's group feel that they did consult with local Inuit, having spoken with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, who put them in touch with Inuit in Taloyoak where they had hoped to hire a couple of local guides. They also say that they have plenty of underwater experience, even if most of it has not been in the Arctic, and feel that the territorial Justice minister was unnecessarily harsh in sending a letter threatening their arrest.Rob Field, an archaeologist working with Rondeau's group, is quoted as saying that he's not sure why it is so difficult to obtain permission to simply do a "no touch" search for the wrecks of Erebus and Terror. He says that he hopes to speak with Julie Ross, the Nunavut government archaeologist who was involved in the review of ProCom's permit application