Canada pauses legal fight to launch N.W.T. land and water superboard

The Tlicho Government has scored another temporary victory in its fight to make sure the federal government’s controversial N.W.T. land and water superboard doesn’t get off the ground.

Liberals put appeal of Tlicho government's injunction on hold

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod says the new Liberal federal government is pausing its legal challenge to an injunction that has delayed the launch of a single land and water board in the territory. (Sara Minogue/CBC)

The Tlicho Government has scored another temporary victory in its legal fight to stop the creation of a controversial N.W.T. land and water superboard.

The board — which would amalgamate the regionally-focused Mackenzie Valley, Wek'èezhìi, Sahtu and Gwich'in land and water boards into one Yellowknife-based board — was supposed to launch last April.

Michael McLeod, the Northwest Territories' MP, says the new Liberal government has put its appeal of an injunction to delay the board's launch "in abeyance."

Translation: "The federal government has decided to push 'pause,'" said Nuri Frame, a lawyer for the Tlicho Government.

"They've decided not to move forward with the appeal at this time."

In February, the N.W.T. Supreme Court granted the Tlicho Government an injunction to delay the launch of the superboard, which aboriginal groups said would lessen their oversight into how land and water is used in the Mackenzie Valley.

In March, the federal government appealed the injunction. 

Time needed to 'digest' complex file 

McLeod said the federal ministers of Justice and Indigenous and Northern Affairs need more time to understand the case.

"[They] said they needed more time to ... have a whole opportunity to digest it," McLeod said.

Oral arguments on the appeal were expected to take place in either January or April.

"We won't be having an argument in January and I think probably we'll have to see how things play out to see if anything happens in April," said Frame.

The Tlicho Government formally supported Liberal candidate McLeod during his election campaign.