Deline self-government bill passes 3rd reading
Deline set to become first self-government community in N.W.T.
Deline is set to become the first community in the Northwest Territories to be self-governed after Bill 46 passed third reading in the legislature Wednesday.
MLAs voted unanimously in favour of the bill.
The new Deline government will be funded by the federal and territorial government and will deliver services such as health care, education and housing. It will also have the authority to collect income tax from people in Deline or on Settlement Lands.
"The birthplace of not only ice hockey, the birthplace of self-government in Canada belongs to Deline," Sahtu MLA Norman Yakeleya said in the legislative assembly Wednesday.
Danny Gaudet, Deline's chief negotiator, says the community already delivers most of the services it will be delivering as a government, but the agreement will make the system more efficient.
"We've got a lot of practice running these different areas already," he said. "What we're doing under this agreement is amalgamating all these organizations under one roof so that when we design a vision or a goal and try to achieve addressing all our issues in the community, we're pulling all our resources together to pull that off."
Gaudet says the community is aiming to be ready to govern by April 2016.
The bill will now go to Ottawa, where it must pass final parliamentary approval.