NWT devolution hearing brings in full house

A heated meeting to debate the merits of devolution in the northwest Territories brought in a full crowd at the Explorer Hotel. 

Those in favour of handing over control of Crown land and resources over to the territory were happy to see the government move in this promising new direction, but were against the idea of having one super board control the assets, arguing it won’t benefit the region. 

Here’s a summary of the hearing, along with a poignant article in the Yellowknifer concerning the hearing.

  • Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington says the Premier of the Northwest Territories must do more to keep the Harper government in check when it comes to Devolution.

  • Bevington says it’s obvious people in the NWT want control over the territories’ land, water and resources.

  • But he says it’s the part of the bill that deals with changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act that some, particularly Aboriginal leaders, are upset with.

  • It would do away with regional land and water boards in favour of one regulatory super board.

  • Bevington says Premier Bob McLeod must act.

  • The First Nations groups were unanimous in their concern that although they agree with the principle of devolution they were upset at the late inclusion of the super boards in an omnibus Bill C-15.

To read more, follow the link to the article published in the Yellowknifer Jan. 29.