Devolution is a key pillar of the Government of Canada's Northern Strategy
OTTAWA, Oct. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced the appointment of Mr. Brian Dominique as the Chief Federal Negotiator (CFN) to negotiate an Agreement-in-Principle for the devolution of lands and resources in Nunavut.
Mr. Dominique will lead consultations and negotiations on behalf of the Government of Canada with the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) towards the signing of a devolution Agreement-in-Principle.
The appointment of a CFN is a significant step toward devolution. It demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to its Northern Strategy, which includes improving and devolving northern governance. With this appointment, the Government of Canada is beginning the formal negotiations process aimed at giving Nunavut greater control over its lands and resources, while realizing the economic potential of the region, and ensuring that Nunavut remains an attractive place to live, work and invest.
- The Lands and Resources Devolution Negotiation Protocol was signed in 2008 by the Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and will guide negotiations toward a devolution agreement in Nunavut.
- In 2012, Mr. Dale Drown was appointed Chief Federal Negotiator, to consult with stakeholders on the next steps required to advance negotiations. Mr. Drown concluded that the time is right to begin negotiations towards an Agreement-in-Principle.
- The appointment of the Chief Federal Negotiator to negotiate an Agreement-in-Principle represents the next step in the process for the devolving of province-like responsibilities for land and resource management to the Government of Nunavut.
- Devolution is expected to increase prosperity and economic growth. Since Yukon devolved in 2003, the territory has had had 10 straight years of positive GDP growth and has exceeded Canada's rate of national annual growth eight times out of the past 10 years. In 2012, Yukon's GDP was $2.5 billion, $1 billion more since devolution. Nunavut stands to benefit from devolution in the same manner.
- Mr. Dominique has extensive experience practicing commercial law, with an emphasis on Aboriginal law and mining and other natural resources. As Chief Federal Negotiator, he played a critical role in the successful negotiation of devolution in the Northwest Territories.
"Our Government recognizes that the people of Nunavut should have a greater say about their own future. The appointment of a Chief Federal Negotiator brings us one step closer to giving the people of Nunavut province like decision making power over their own affairs which will expand the economic potential of their territory, stimulate job creation and growth for the country as a whole. "
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"This important step forward demonstrates our Government's commitment to providing Nunavummiut the tools to realize their true potential. By allowing Northerner's to be the decision makers they will fully be able to take advantage of the enormous opportunities and potential in the region."
Member of Parliament for Nunavut
"This is an important day for Nunavummiut and our steps towards self-reliance and control of our resources. I am encouraged by the federal government's dedication to making Nunavut devolution a priority, and by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated's support of this process in our territory. Today begins the process of substantive negotiations, and I look forward to our shared commitment to this endeavour."
Premier of Nunavut
"NTI has always supported devolution, and today's announcement of a Chief Federal Negotiator is an important step in this process. We expect devolution to give Inuit greater control over our lands and resources and provide the opportunity to fully participate in our economy. We look forward to starting the negotiations right away."
President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
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SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information: Contacts : Erica Meekes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160