Montreal lawyer Paul Mayer has been nominatedby the federal government to move devolution talks forward with Nunavut.

Negotiations to transfer province-type responsibilities from Ottawa to the territory are part of the political evolution of Canada's newest territory.

If Mayer gets the job, he will set up the parameters for negotiations to get underway, Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Jim Prentice told CBC News.

The 51-year-old Mayer was chosen, in part, because he has led negotiations involving banks and law firms, Prentice said.

"He's a person I know and respect,"he said. "I've known him for many years. He's known as a very able lawyer, someone I trust, and has the resources at hand to work through the difficult issues."

Although Mayer has little northern experience, Prentice says that will make him more objective.

Mayer pleased with nomination

Mayer says he has already started doing his homework.

"I am very pleased that my name has been put forward," he said. "I hope I can be useful to him and to this process. I like to achieve results and I think that's what I will be able to bring."

Other people interested in the job still have two weeks to apply.

The government of Nunavut chose former Yukon premier Tony Penikett as its devolution negotiator last year.