OTTAWA, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt,
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, introduced
Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act, in the House of Commons. This bill delivers on the Harper Government's
commitment to give the people of the North a greater say in their own
"Our Government has made the Northern Strategy a priority and today's historic tabling of the Northwest Territories
Devolution Act is another example of our commitment to improving and
devolving northern governance," stated Minister Valcourt. "With this
legislation, we are giving Northerners greater control over their lands
and resources, while unlocking the economic potential of the region,
and ensuring that the Northwest Territories remains an attractive place
to live, work and invest."
"Devolution is an historic step in the political and economic
development of the Northwest Territories," said the Honourable Bob
McLeod, Premier of the Government of the Northwest Territories. "It has
been a long-term priority for the people and Legislative Assembly of
the NWT and will help ensure NWT residents benefit from the responsible
development of the North's great resource potential. Devolution will
help transform the Northwest Territories economy and create jobs and
opportunities for our residents and all Canadians, especially if it is
supported by an efficient and effective regulatory system that promotes
investment while ensuring resource development occurs sustainably."
The Northwest Territories Devolution Act responds to calls from
territorial governments, Aboriginal groups and industry to place
decision-making in the hands of Northerners. The Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement was signed on June 25, 2013. Today's introduction of legislation reinforces the Government's
commitment to completing devolution by the targeted effective date of
April 1, 2014.
Devolution in the NWT will mean the transfer of decision-making and administration for land
and resource management from the Government of Canada to the Government
of the Northwest Territories. The territorial government will become
responsible for the management of onshore lands and the issuance of
rights and interests with respect to onshore minerals and oil and gas.
It will also give them the power to collect and share in resource
revenues generated in the territory.
The bill also introduces important improvements to the regulatory
process including more predictable, timely environmental reviews of
resource development projects, reduced regulatory burden and
duplication, and improved environmental protection.
"The 2010 Action Plan and subsequent amendments to legislation and
devolution to the GNWT contribute to creating better government for the
citizens of the NWT and strengthening the government and economy of
Canada as a whole," said Harry Deneron, Chief of Acho Dene Koe First Nation.
The Government of Canada continues to advance the Northern Strategy
thanks to the contributions of many partners, including Aboriginal
organizations, First Nation and Inuit communities, industry and the
Government of the Northwest Territories. The North remains a key
priority for the Government.
Backgrounder - Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act
Backgrounder - Northwest Territories Devolution
Frequently Asked Questions - Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
Image with caption: "Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt, and Northwest Territories Premier, Bob McLeod, together in the Foyer of the House of Commons after the introduction of Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. (CNW Group/Government of Canada) (CNW Group/Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131203_C7200_PHOTO_EN_34263.jpg
Image with caption: "Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt, and Northwest Territories Premier, Bob McLeod, together in the Foyer of the House of Commons after the introduction of Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. (CNW Group/Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131203_C7200_PHOTO_EN_34261.jpg
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
You can receive all our news and media updates automatically. For more information or to sign up for our Media Room RSS Feed, visit: www.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/1info/rssinfo-eng.asp.