VANCOUVER – After 12 years of lobbying, planning, and negotiating, the Northwest Territories (NWT) will soon take over responsibility for managing its lands, water, and resources.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said NWT premier Bob McLeod at a reception during the Roundup conference. “With devolution we feel the NWT has arrived and we’re prepared to work with industry to make sure we can have balanced development and benefit from mining in the NWT.”
The federal government has always managed resources for the NWT, as it used to do for all Canadian territories. The Canadian government used to manage almost every aspect of governance in the territories, but since the 1960s a series of devolution agreements has transferred many of these responsibilities to territorial governments.
In the NWT a series of devolution agreements transferred responsibility for education, health care, social services, highways, forestry management, and airport administration to the territory, but resources had remained a federal purview.
That will change on April 1st, when the government of the NWT…
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