N.W.T. superboard ignores intent of self-government agreement: Tlicho
'You have to look at the whole land claim,' says Eddie Erasmus, Grand Chief of the Tlicho
The federal government is ignoring the spirit and intent of the Tlicho agreement by doing away with regional land and water boards in the Northwest Territories, Tlicho lawyers argued Wednesday.
The Tlicho and the federal government are in court this week in Yellowknife. The Tlicho are suing the federal government in an attempt to preserve the Wek'eezhii Land and Water Board.
They say the federal government is basing its move on one clause in the agreement instead of the whole document.
"You have to look at the whole land claim," said Eddie Erasmus, Grand Chief of the Tlicho. "You can't just look at one word and say 'Oh, it says I can do it' and go ahead and do it."
The regional boards are scheduled to be eliminated by April 1. In their place, the federal government wants to establish a single superboard to regulate resource development in much of the territory.
Lawyers for the federal government will make their arguments supporting the change this morning. A key part of their argument is that the N.W.T. court doesn't have the right to interfere with the elimination of the boards until after the law eliminating them comes into effect.