MP says NWT should control regulatory system, not feds

The Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic is questioning if the territorial government is inheriting enough power after devolution.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act will remain federal law after devolution

The Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic is questioning if the territorial government is inheriting enough power after devolution.

The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act will remain a federal piece of legislation, even though other laws will shift to the territory in April when the agreement takes effect.

Dennis Bevington says he sees no reason why the federal government should hold on to its role overseeing the territory's regulatory system. 

"But that's what they're going to do. That's what they have decided is their control mechanism over the Northwest Territories," Bevington said.

Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington is questioning if the territorial government is inheriting enough power after devolution.

The federal government wants to merge regional land and water boards. Until then, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act will remain federal legislation.  

The territory will get some new authorities. For instance, it will be able to approve Type A water licences, which companies need to start mining. It will also approve the financial securities companies must post in order to get a land use permit. 

But the federal government appoints people to sit on the land and water boards.

"This government in Ottawa, and actually the government before that were making political appointments," Bevington said.

"They would get people on those boards that would make the decisions that were favourable to their interests. That's why we have to appoint our own people to those boards, to ensure that our interests are foremost in any development decisions."

Five years after devolution, the territorial government and the federal government will decide if the act should move over to the territory. Until then, parliament has to approve any changes to it. 

Bevington says there are no assurances the territory will ever gain authority to change the MacKenzie Valley Resource Management Act. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.