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News from Canada's Northwest Territories curated by @Northern_Clips [Full story? Click on headline]
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Alternatives North EKOS Poll Public Attitudes Towards Devolution of Powers

Alternatives North EKOS Poll Public Attitudes Towards Devolution of Powers | NWT News | Scoop.it

Public Attitudes Towards Devolution of Powers to the Government of the Northwest Territories SURVEY REPORT EKOS RESEARCH ASSOCIATES INC. March 2013 Outlined below are key findings and conclusions from this study. The survey results are broadly suggestive of a divided populace in the Northwest Territories with big differences in what Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents think about the deal, their degree of support for the character of economic development that is promised by the devolution deal and the need for further public consultation. Smaller divides appear between newer arrivals to the NWT and more established residents. But these differences in perception are outweighed by the very strong public support for some further process of public consultations – nearly three quarters of survey respondents think further consultation is required. Given the recent vote by MLAs in the Legislative Assembly against a plebiscite, this is perhaps the most significant finding of this survey. Also notable is the publics’ perception of the (economic) fairness of the deal – significant numbers of respondents are uncertain whether the NWT is getting a ‘fair deal’ in the re-division of resource revenues and control over lands and waters.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/135514882/Alternatives-North-EKOS-Poll-Public-Attitudes-Towards-Devolution-of-Powers
The Government of the Northwest Territories is completing negotiations with Canada to take over management of lands, waters and resources in the NWT.  There are major concerns with the terms of the deal itself, and with the lack of Aboriginal Government participation as full partners in the negotiations.
Alternatives North is participating in public activities to promote debate on the devolution agreement, and to improve the quality of resource management that will be developed after the transfer of responsibilities.
http://alternativesnorth-ca.web33.winsvr.net/OurWork/Devolution.aspx

 

 

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Northern_Clips's insight:

The Government of the Northwest Territories is completing negotiations with Canada to take over management of lands, waters and resources in the NWT.  There are major concerns with the terms of the deal itself, and with the lack of Aboriginal Government participation as full partners in the negotiations.  Alternatives North is participating in public activities to promote debate on the devolution agreement, and to improve the quality of resource management that will be developed after the transfer of responsibilities.
http://alternativesnorth-ca.web33.winsvr.net/OurWork/Devolution.asp

 

 10
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Northwest Territories in control of its own environment on April 1, 2014

Northwest Territories in control of its own environment on April 1, 2014 | NWT News | Scoop.it
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.
Northern_Clips's insight:
"....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. ..."
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On the origin of royalties, devolution & the NWT

On the origin of royalties, devolution & the NWT | NWT News | Scoop.it

Whether you like it or not – and not everyone does – the devolution agreement between the Northwest Territories and Canada is effectively a done deal.

The so-called consensus draft of the agreement can be found here. http://devolution.gov.nt.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Plain-Language-Summary-Proposed-NWT-Lands-and-Resources-Devolution-Agreement.pdf

But there was a solemn signing ceremony at the Legislative Assembly Monday. Premier Bob McLeod even quoted beloved Northern crooner Ted Wesley: “O Canada, look north and see / the sleeping giant breaking free.” Handshakes proliferated.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was even there. “The heavy lifting is done, the issues are resolved, and negotiators have reached consensus on the terms of a final devolution agreement,” he declared. That would appear to settle the matter.

Except not quite. There remains, if not heavy lifting, some light aerobics to be done. The federal government is obliged to consult aboriginal groups to ensure the agreement doesn’t run afoul of existing treaties, work that begins in earnest soon. And the territorial government pledges to conduct “engagement sessions” – whatever those are – this summer. But as a GNWT source admitted to me yesterday, “Not everything’s on the table.”

 

 

Northern_Clips's insight:
Devolution and the Northwest Territories, article by Chris Windeyer for Up here Business on Devolution and what it means for the Northwest Territories.

"...Blondin-Andrew also raised the fascinating prospect of what comes down the road five years from now, when the parties meet in the Intergovernmental Council, a forum borne of the devolution deal that will meet annually or as needed to discuss issues arising from the agreement.   
“If that works, maybe we’ll be talking about more than devolution. Maybe it’ll morph into a confederacy of governments. Maybe it’ll morph into a coalition of governments that will have to have a constitution done.” The council will mostly focus on land and water issues, at least to start. But nevertheless, this is something opponents of the deal as written can take solace in: it’s the end of one process, and the beginning of another...."

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