|Scooped by Northern_Clips|
Environmental stewardship of the Northwest Territories is about to change hands, as the federal government prepares to devolve its control of resource management to the territorial government. Traditionally governed by federal legislation, the territory has been in devolution talks with the Canadian government for the last 40 years. Past negotiations have slowly shifted power over healthcare, education, and forestry from federal to territorial control. Resource management is the final chunk of legislation to be devolved to the territory and by far the most complicated. A total of 24 federal acts will have been rewritten when the agreement, due to be signed in the next few weeks, takes effect on April 1, 2014.
"....The agreement promises half of all the royalties from mining, oil, and gas developments will go to the territory up to a cap of five per cent of the territorial government’s annual spending. With this year's royalties at approximately two per cent of the territory's total spending, there is room for growth. The NWT’s premier Bob McLeod says he expects the territory would receive $65 million in 2014, which his government will put towards social programming. Petra White, communications manager for the government of the NWT, says the region desperately needs the funds. Resource developments will help bring jobs to communities and the royalties will pay for community infrastructure, she says. White stresses that decisions to go ahead with resource development projects, like mines, need to balance financial benefit with environmental risks – important to an aboriginal population whose livelihoods are connected to the land... The discussion of large projects, like the Mackenzie Valley pipeline and who controls the Arctic’s offshore resources are being left out of these negotiations to hasten the devolution agreement. ..."