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Devolution could mean improved mining industry

Yellowknife, NWT – The mining industry in the Northwest Territories is cautiously optimistic better times are ahead now that devolution has been fully implemented.

Executive Director Tom Hoefer is with the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

“The NWT created the same legislation that the federal government had in place so that they could make the transfer rather quickly and seamlessly, but what’s happened here is that the federal government has made changes to the mining regulations so I think we need to have a look at what those changes are and see what changes that might make on our industry.”

Hoefer says, for the most part, it will be business as usual for the mining industry, except for a logo change at the top of all documents.

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Now that the territory doesn’t have to pay royalties to the Feds, Hoefer says the N-W-T can assume more authority.

“The reality is with devolution now we’re on a path to increase self-reliance and that means taking less of a welfare cheque from Ottawa every year. Newfoundland very successfully went from being a have-not province to a have-province with its non-renewable resources, and I think with the potential we have in the north we could do that as well.”

Hoefer credits devolution in the Yukon for improving the mining industry there.

He hopes the same can be accomplished here.

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