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Parliament reacts to Idle No More.
Nutrition North Program
Devolution: A Complex Issue Yet to be Understood
The Crisis in the Cost of Northern Living
The composition of Stephan Harper's new cabinet
Canada's Arctic Choices
One Hand Gives, the Other Takes Away
 

Parliament reacts to Idle No More.

January, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

The 2013 Parliamentary season will start on a different note with the tremendous impact of the Idle No More campaign. It has dominated the Canadian New Year political agenda in a way that is unique in my time in Parliament, (three terms in both minority and majority governments). The only thing that compares to its impact was the 2008 coalition effort by Jack Layton and Stephan Dion. That was also a holiday season event that shook the political tree, with a few flying off the branches. Casualties have been limited so far, but the long term consequences of this unrest have many on both sides concerned.

As with the coalition, the First Nations movement's continued success will be measured not simply by the reaction of Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Government, but by the support and understanding of non-aboriginal Canadians. The Coalition effort was lost in the eye of the public, through mishandling of the message and the poisonous presence of Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.

The Idle no More movement was born out of frustration with the scope and significance of the legislative changes that have been brought in by the Conservative Government this year. Through two omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, which eviscerated many of the environmental protections provided by Federal law across the country, the Conservatives have said very strongly that development will trump all concerns.

To First Nations, with their strong cultural attachment to the land, and their court established rights for consultation, this has been a great rallying point.

For many other Canadians, rallying around environmental protection is well received. It can elicit all kinds of support. Across the country, there is no shortage of allies for a civil battle over the environment! So far, the collective leadership of Idle No More has struck the right note and made many positive and peaceful events.

The response from the Government side has been clear. They will not bend on the environmental legislation that has been put forward. They will continue talking with Grand Chief Atleo and the AFN about the endemic problems of First Nations life, failed education, missed economic opportunities and communities in crisis. This may or may not lead to improvements in the lives of First Nations people. They will deflect the Idle No More message towards that of poor financial management through leaked audits, and their media circus will continue to put the blame on the First Nations leadership for all and sundry. The government will not win with a discourse on land rights or the environment. The Courts have already spoken. With an impressive string of 30 consecutive favourable rulings on First Nation land rights, the moral high ground is clearly with First Nations.

There is much more to come in this affair for the north. Within the NWT, we will face further challenges to First Nations traditional land rights in the Conservative legislation that is either on the Order Paper right now or will be coming in the upcoming session. Whether it is the Bill 47, The Surface Rights Board Act or the soon to come amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the fit with Idle No More is very evident.

Across the NWT, I believe that it is safe to say that support for the Idle No More movement is very strong, and across all of our society. It is not unanimous, but in politics almost nothing is. Some will have a dilemma with this strong support. The Premier and Cabinet, who have been held silent on all the changes to our environmental laws by the dangling carrot of devolution, can expect to be further challenged by the movement. Industry in the north, especially our significant resource sector is caught as well, between desiring regulatory certainty and reduced start-up costs, and facing greater public discord, blockades and court challenges.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House January 2013 Opinion Editorial

Nutrition North Program

February, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

An interesting statement on CBC recently was that Food retailers in Nunavut were pleased with the reduction that they claimed had happened in the cost of a "Canada food basket" in selected northern communities. It had dropped from 510.00 dollars a week to $460.00. This really shows how desperate the situation is. The average cost for Canada in 2010 was 112.00 per week (2010 Statistics Canada).

The new Nutrition North Program, like other efforts made in the past by the Federal Government to do something for this state of affairs, falls well short of dealing with the extreme cost of living in the north, now escalating out of control.

There is a spiraling cost of all goods and services in northern Canada, be it in the three territories or across the north of the provinces. Food is the most immediate and visceral example of this cost escalation. It really speaks to the failure of southern lifestyles being duplicated in remote northern communities.

One has to view the whole situation in the north to understand what has gone horribly wrong. Take for instance the cost of heating home or business in the north. Of the some 400 communities in. Canada beyond the range of a natural gas pipeline or a major electrical grid, the last decade has been pure hell. While the majority of Canadians bask in the warmth of natural gas that is at its lowest level in a very long time, those northern homes and businesses which have been supplied by imported fuel oil have seen their prices go up by 3 or 4 hundred percent in the last ten years. When the degree days of heating are double that of southern cities, the magnitude of the problem becomes apparent.

When one considers that many of these same communities generate their electrical energy from that same fuel oil and the cost of that electricity to run the coolers in those grocery stores is over ten times what it is in Toronto or Ottawa, one begins to appreciate the failure of the imported system introduced to northerners as progress by others many years ago.

Food and energy, linked together in Canada's north as they are across the world today are only part of the picture. Housing is another. The cost of constructing new healthy homes has gone through the roof ( so to speak). Utility costs are astronomical. The provision of sewer and water in remote northern communities is invariably by truck. Haul the water in, haul it out again. Once again escalating energy costs have made a mockery of low inflation for northerners.

Transportation of people, goods and energy is another area where the cost surge from high energy prices has been an Achillies Heel to the lifestyle of northerners. Distances are great, roads are poor if existent at all. Air travel is based on low volumes, small planes and high prices. It can cost you more to fly from Edmonton to Ft. Chip than to Europe.

We talk about sustainable harvesting of healthy country foods in the north. These are primarily fish, land and marine wild animals, birds and berries. All of these today in almost all places require ground transportation of fuel heavy aircraft, atv's, boats and snowmobiles. This vital activity has been made much less viable with gasoline at 1.80/ litre in a place like Inuvik, which actually has a road link. For other more remote places, these costs are much worse. Talking with hunters in Ulukhaktok, where harvesting is of utmost importance, the costs are skyrocketing. A caribou hunt with a boat in summer where one has to travel 150 kilometers one way may see an output of a thousand dollars with an ability to return with six caribou, total butchered weight around 400 pounds. Gas at 40 dollars a jerrycan adds up very quickly. Equipment is expensive and in the north's harsh environment, pretty short lived.

The lack of essential financial services have left many northern communities vulnerable to much higher costs of doing the most simple tasks difficult, expensive and inconvenient. If you live in Ulukhaktok, you don't have a local bank account, and you pay dearly at the local store for any routine service. If there is a bank machine, you will pay double the service charge. If you have to get something done in a hurry, you can pay the express envelope service with your local air service for up to 70 dollars.

Oil price rises are the crisis point for northern living today. What has the federal government response been so far? I would say mediocre. After great pressure put on them by northerners and myself in the House of Commons in 2006/08, the Conservatives raised the Northern Residents Tax Deduction by 10 percent rather than the 50 percent which we had pushed for. The 50 percent represented just the rate of inflation over the 20 years of no increases under the Liberals.

Today, this deduction is totally inadequate, and needs to be redesIgned with a separate rate for the most isolated places. When you consider what the Federal government pulls in from the higher GST on energy, this is a net sum game for the most part. An up to date and fair taxation system that recognizes the vulnerability of northerners to inflation and high costs would be a fundamental improvement.

However improving the taxation regime would only be the start of dealing with the northern dilemma. There are really two divergent and different paths that could be followed from there. The first and the one being followed to date would be to continue to think of costs in relation to a southern model. That would entail raising subsidies and support programs on a variety of products and services for those on low and fixed income to compensate for the northern inflationary pressure of energy. It would also mean much larger wage increases for the average worker and higher fees for all northern located services. The result of this attitude and direction, the one we are unconsciously on right now will be increased inflation, loss of a northern service base, reduced government finances for long term investment,and more southern fly in workers to our resource extraction industries.

An example of this, the newly revised "Nutrition North Program" has accepted the premise that the existing southern based marketing model, represented by CO-OP and Northern retail stores, should remain the model for food delivery and their costs should be simply subsidized. The convenience packaging, the brand name promotion, and other elements will remain the way of doing business in remote communities.

One strong element of the old food mail program, individual food orders has been made more difficult, forcing many with the personal resources and initiative to arrange their own food supply to shop in the high price retail outlets in their communities. The logic that the Federal Government used to make this policy change, is that everyone in the community should share the inefficiencies of the local retailer. The system of dependency is being intensified, not lessened with all these policy decisions.

Is there another way to go in our northern communities? What are the strengths of northern life that can be brought forward to deal with the crisis of the cost of living?

The other path can be summed up simply, "northern sustainability". Sustainability is a word thrown around to cover a variety of situations from large industrial projects that support local employment and business, to the allowable yield of wild animals for human consumption.

As a lifelong northerner, I would see sustainability defined as the ability to maintain a modest lifestyle that can be enhanced and made prosperous with the addition of medium term resource development projects.

I like to think that sustainability has a temporal aspect to its definition, that it gives myself confidence that my grandchildren will continue to enjoy a modest and secure lifestyle in the future.

In a practical context regarding the northern cost of living, sustainability can apply to supply systems , attitudes, materials, local economics and consumption practises. Societal tools for influencing sustainability include full market pricing (based on a complete understanding of all costs), education, advertisement, incentives, regulation and policy.

Likely, with the pressures of global increases in crude oil continuing as they have for the past two decades, at a 6 percent per year rate,a primary key to sustainability will be local sources of renewable energy.

Small hydro, wind, solar, and biomass,are all real answers for the north. Energy storage is part of this scenario.

Progress is being slowly and painfully. The Government of Canada which announced in the 2011 budget an investment of 6 million over two years for clean energy in northern and aboriginal communities continues to practise token ism. This amount is peanuts for the 250 remote communities where hundreds of millions are required to make real change and where that change can demonstrate real payback.

However, regionally some change is happening. There are some answers that northerners have started to develop for some renewable energy alternatives that make sense and that can be replicated across the country.

In the NWT, industry, govenment, and individuals are picking up very well on biomass energy for heating homes, businesses and institutions. This is a program that has been picking up steam over the past 6 years. Much more can be done here, especially with developing cost effective local supplies of various forms of biomass.

Diavek Diamond Mines has just installed a larger scale Wind farm, 8 megawatts at its remote mine on the barren grounds of the north. No thanks to the Feds, who have decimated the wind energy support programs.

In fact, Health Minister Leona Aglukaq has just announced a major study into the impacts of wind turbine noise on human health. At the same time, the US EPA has just conclusively shown that diesel exhaust fumes are extreme carcinogens, something that has been common knowledge for decades. The Health Minister has shown no interest in this issue, although every community that she represents in Nunavut is completely tied to diesel generation and heat production.

Solar energy, riding a global surge of innovation and investment, is now less expensive to generate electricity than the cost of the fuel used in almost all diesel generating communities. Solar energy is a bad word to the Conservative Government of Canada. However, the GNWT is weeks away from releasing a solar strategy that as a bottom line see the provision of 10 percent of all remote community electricity from photovoltaics. With advanced storage systems this percentage can be much higher in years to come.

Sustainability in food supply can be greatly assisted by lower energy costs. This is part of the equation. Going forward, many other factors must come into play.

Marketing must change. If the existing retailers want to lead on this change, that would be excellent. In not, an independent panel should be struck to seek out best practises for reducing marketing costs. Convenience packaging should give way to bulk food products. Small value added facilities like bakeries, country food processing, delicatessen counters, should be encouraged. Properly established food banks need to be a priority, with support from southern Canadian institutions. Financial services need to be improved to make consumers less vulnerable and more flexible in their buying.

Northerners are blessed with a number of real advantages in sustainability that should be recognised and promoted. First and foremost is the northerner lifestyle has time. No commuting to work in small communities, not much wasted time in shopping or entertainment. We have communities that were always strong in sharing and working together. We are close to the land, which can supply so much. and time to spend on it.

Two generations previous we lived much more sustainably. Rather than continuing wholeheartedly in that direction, decisions were made to bring us into the convenience lifestyle of modern urban Canada. We have to change. Paradoxically, we will only move forward sustainably by going back to the values of our parents and grandparents. Utilising the modern tools and techniques at our disposal,this transition can be exciting, innovative, creative and prosperous.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House February 2013 Opinion Editorial

Devolution: A Complex Issue Yet to be Understood

May, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

Last session, after a vote in the Legislative Assembly refusing a plebiscite on the Devolution draft agreement, has left little doubt that, short of a snap Federal Election or a successful court challenge by the First Nations not yet signatories, that this particular deal is done. Premier Macleod has indicated that no changes will be allowed, that it is a take it or leave it proposition and that most of the MLAs and Cabinet are onside.

The pattern is set and negotiations continue for the transfer of government positions. There are millions of dollars in the 2013 Federal Budget to manage the change. For most NWT residents, the changes to our authority structures will be not easily apparent, until the agreement is fully functioning. For unless the GNWT decentralizes some of the Federal positions being transferred, devolution may start off as a non-event for over 80 percent of our communities.

The people of the Northwest Territories need these processes to be transparent and not coated with bureaucratic wordsmithing. All of the information must be provided so that there is a meaningful dialogue to understand what is going to happen, or not happen, with the transfer of public responsibility.

Take for instance the responsibilities for the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) that are simply being delegated, not transferred by law. As a member of the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board from its beginning until 2001, I have a great interest in how this will function in its new configuration.

The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act is a unique document in Canada. It has the responsibility to look at the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of the people of the NWT. It was designed to ensure that the things provinces should do automatically, in the provincial self-interest, would be given consideration by the Federal Government.

When one looks at the Final Agreement, the roles are laid out in a legislative language that would defy 99 percent of the population from understanding. Simply put, the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has delegated some of his powers and responsibilities and held others back. The contentious issue of appointments to the Boards remains in the Federal control, as do the purse-strings for these boards.

Also, when it comes to the approval of the terms of resource developments, like mines, pipelines and oil and gas wells, the situation is less clear. The Minister of Environment, (or perhaps the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment?) will assume the role of the Federal Minister in assessing the projects along with the relevant other Federal Ministers.

This is what the agreement says. So it appears as the decision making will now be shared between two governments. This should set off some alarm bells!

The changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act are just one issue of many that need to be clearly understood. I encourage all northerners to take an active interest in what is happening with this Agreement. By understanding what is possible and needed for our future, we will be more likely to be successful.

As the sole representative from the NWT in Parliament, where devolution will be studied and debated within the year, I welcome any knowledge and information that can guide my efforts on your behalf.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House May 2013 Opinion Editorial

The Crisis in the Cost of Northern Living

June, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

There is a spiraling cost of all goods and services in northern Canada, be it in the three territories or across the northern portion of the provinces. Food is the most immediate and visceral example of this cost escalation. The failure of expectations for the new Nutrition North Program was inevitable. This really speaks to the failure of southern consumer practices being duplicated in remote northern communities. One might also question the removal of the subsidy on freight costs under the old Food Mail program replaced with a subsidy for the retailer instead.

One has to view the whole situation in the north to understand what has gone horribly wrong. Take for instance the cost of heating home or business in the north. Of the some 400 communities in Canada beyond the range of a natural gas pipeline or a major electrical grid, the last decade has been challenging to say the least. While the majority of Canadians bask in the warmth of natural gas that is at its lowest level in a very long time, those northern homes and businesses which have been supplied by imported fuel oil have seen their prices increase by three or four hundred percent in the last ten years.

Food and energy costs, in Canada's north are only part of the picture. Housing is another. The cost of constructing new healthy homes has gone through the roof and utility costs are astronomical. The provision of sewer and water in remote northern communities is invariably by truck and once again escalating energy costs have made a mockery of low inflation for northerners.

With these increasing costs, what has the federal government response been so far? I would say mediocre. After pressure was put on them by northerners and myself in the House of Commons in 2006/08, the Conservatives raised the Northern Residents Tax Deduction by 10 percent rather than the 50 percent which the NDP had pushed for. The 50 percent represented just the rate of inflation over the 20 years of no increases under the Liberals. Today, this deduction is totally inadequate, and needs to be redesigned with the inclusion of a new rate for the most remote and isolated northern places.

When you consider what the Federal government pulls in just from the higher GST on energy, the result, for the most part, is a net sum gain. An up-to-date and fair taxation system that recognizes the vulnerability of northerners to inflation and high costs is a fundamental improvement. Tax breaks are one thing, changing the way we live, consume and produce the things we need is another.

Is there another way to go in our northern communities? What are the strengths of northern life that can be brought forward to deal with the crisis of the cost of living?

Sustainability is a word thrown around to cover a variety of situations from large industrial projects that support local employment and business, to the allowable yield of wild animals for human consumption. I like to think that sustainability gives us all confidence that our grandchildren will continue to enjoy a modest and secure lifestyle in the future.

Over the course of this summer, I will be consulting with northerners across the territories looking for ideas and actual best practices that can deal with the crisis in the cost of northern living.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House June 2013 Opinion Editorial

The composition of Stephan Harper's new cabinet

August, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

Much has been said about the composition of Stephan Harper's new cabinet since the appointments were made by the Governor General on the fourteenth of July. One thing for sure, this is, even more than before, a cabinet belonging to the Prime Minister. The veteran ministers are loyalists, Flaherty, Baird, Clement, Nicholson, Van Loan, Diane Finley and James Moore. Peter McKay, who has moved from Defence to Justice, is less a loyalist as an essential element of the Atlantic provinces representation.

The newcomers, be they Chris Alexander, Michelle Rempel, Shelley Glover, Kellie Leach, or Candice Bergin have all demonstrated a strong willingness to parrot the lines of the Prime Minister's Office on their way up the ladder. One of the new faces, Pierre Polievre has made a career in Question Period by attacking Opposition politicians that ask the tough questions of the Prime Minister.

For Northern Canada, the return of Minister Valcourt, into the hot seat of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, likely means that the PMO will continue to control much of the action in this area. There will be important legislation coming forward from this Ministry, both for Aboriginal issues across the country and for the NWT. For devolution to be a reality in April 2014, a Devolution Implementation Bill will need to show up in Parliament in the fall. As well, the Conservatives have continued to promise changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. My concern is that these separate efforts will be run together in some form of Northern omnibus bill. Another take it or leave scenario for many people in the NWT.

The more significant change in the Cabinet for northerners is the appointment of Nunavut MP and former Minister of Health to the position of Environment Minister. In her five years in Health, her standard position was to refer most health policy issues to the provinces. To her mind the Canada Health Act was a funding device and the Government of Canada was little more than the administrator.

When it comes to Environment, a national and global issue, this approach will have to be abandoned, for her to develop any credibility in the Ministry. After five previous Ministers running Environment for a non-caring prime Minister Harper, this would be a tough assignment for an ardent green person.

The Conservative posture on the north may have moved slightly from the "Defence of Canada's Arctic", to resource extraction and economic development, but the concerns about arctic ice melting and ocean acidification, and climate change mitigation are not part of their public policy discussion.

Minister Aglukakaq has a large hill to climb if she is to make a credible effort in the Environmental portfolio. This at a time when her constituents, most of our country and the rest of the world are demanding more in this regard.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House August 2013 Opinion Editorial

Canada's Arctic Choices

September, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

The Arctic environment is undergoing profound change. It is the new frontier in our modern age. We are witnessing the expansion of the activities of human interest over a shrinking natural environment. We are entering into a new climatic and geographic reality in the Arctic that is being pushed not only by the Nordic nations, but by countries far from the North Pole.

Regardless of the outcome of the hotly debated timetable for the disappearance of Arctic ice, one thing is for sure. Rising energy costs and declining global non-renewable resources are making the Arctic a happening place. The high cost of shipping global goods is bringing China, Korea and India to the shores of the northern ocean. They are building icebreakers, and making arrangements with Russia for passage through its North Sea Route to save 12,000 kilometers of distance over the conventional travel routes between Asia and Europe.

Added into the mix, is the increasing global appetite for non- renewable commodities which the Arctic holds as a speculative treasure trove with thirty percent of the remaining global fossil fuel supply and untouched mineral potential.

Canada has a major role to play in the unfolding of the Arctic's future. In the short term our two year chairmanship of the Arctic Council can either set the direction for international cooperation on research, environmental protection and globally accepted regulation or.... Push forward economic driven development and exploitation of resources. What will it be? Careful and considered action or a deregulated resource rush of immense proportions?

The Arctic Council, to its credit, in its brief history of seventeen years, has led in the direction of international cooperation, joint research and leading work on the impacts of climate change. Close cooperation with Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic has been a hallmark of its formation. The Council has since its inception, been engaged in seeking multinational partnerships to protect the Arctic.

The Conservative Government has come out with an agenda for Canada’s term as Chair of the Arctic Council that is heavily focused on resource development. Minister Aglukaqq has indicated she wants to form a Business Forum to advise the Council.

Harper’s summer tour has clearly linked resource exploitation as the way forward. Unfortunately this attitude likely means the Arctic Council agenda, developed since its inception, will be frustrated and delayed for the two year term of Canada's Chairmanship.

The Harper approach to the Arctic is premature. Before we can begin developing the Arctic we must have in place a clear framework of rules agreed to by all Arctic nations. This framework includes workable rules on Arctic Marine Transport, oil spill response and prevention, environmental protection, fisheries and the role of non-Arctic nations. By putting this framework in place before opening up the Arctic to resource development will allow us to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Achieving this framework will require international cooperation amongst the Arctic Nations. During the Swedish chairmanship of the Arctic Council important advances in international cooperation were achieved including an agreement on Search and Rescue coordination. The Harper Government "open for business" choice for the Arctic is counterproductive and wrong-headed.

It may be that our choices in the Arctic will turn out to be representative of our advancement as a species. In this age of global communication and shared knowledge, will this translate into a better vision and direction for the one region in the world that is so dramatically changing?

Can humanity, through its politicians and leaders, in this, the 21st century, recognise the importance of our collectivism on Earth and in this new challenge, proceed with shared knowledge, shared caution and act beyond simple self-interest?

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House September 2013 Opinion Editorial

One Hand Gives, the Other Takes Away

November, 2013

Columnist Dennis Bevington, MP Northwest Territories

Our Canadian Parliament, sometime this winter, will have to deal with two different pieces of legislation that deal directly with the future of the Northwest Territories.

Out of the Devolution Implementation Agreement signed last summer comes a Bill that, in the joint statements of both the Prime Minister and the Premier, will give control over land and resources in the NWT to the territorial elected public government. This Bill will require amendments to the NWT Act and repeal a number of other Acts of Parliament.

The Agreement sounds good to many but there has been strong opposition voiced by those First Nations yet to settle land claims. The actual details of what is involved will not be confirmed until the draft Federal legislation is available for everyone to see. The continuing rhetoric from the Premier and the Prime Minister has been very strong touting this as a "historic" agreement that gives absolute control of lands and resources to the GNWT.

However, another Federal Bill is on the road to Devolution, and its amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act are likely to pull back on much of the proposed GNWT control that has been touted as coming our way and actually enhance Federal authority over our lands and resources.

To consider these Bills and their impacts correctly, one has to differentiate between responsibility and authority. Certainly, devolution will turn over all the responsibility for lands and resources to the GNWT and Canada will no longer enforce any laws or regulations, provide any licences, lead any environmental research, provide advice to decision makers and the like.

Responsibility is important. Our ability to deal with the requirements of our very large territory; to understand, analyze, inspect and enforce regulations regarding our land and resources will have a major effect upon the territory. These responsibilities are important, engaging and vital for our future, but they are not the world of authority.

Authority can say “yes” or “no” to development or to the terms of development. Authority would mean that the laws of the NWT Legislature would not be treated by Canada any differently than how the laws of the provinces are treated. Authority would mean the people of the Northwest Territories would have the final say on what happens in their territory.

So, the larger questions of our authority hangs in the air.

Will the NWT have the authority to make appointments to the decision making land and water boards?

Will those boards be independent of political interference or will the federal minister issue policy direction?

Will the Northwest Territories be truly free of Canada’s top down control or will Canada be able to issue binding direction to the Commissioner?

We must be concerned with the degree of separation that is going to exist between those who are responsible for the ongoing protection of land and environment and those who control the decisions that have an effect on these areas. The likely result of this will be disagreement, frustration, delay and obfuscation.

Devolution Agreements are high profile media events as we have witnessed twice this year. However the truth will be evident in the actual legislation tabled in the House of Commons for when it comes to living with the final arrangement, it will fall heavily on the people of the NWT.

PDF download
available as Acrobat PDF From The House November 2013 Opinion Editorial