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Tuccaro: Historic day in devolution process

Yellowknife, NWT – An important next step in the devolution process has taken place in the Great Hall at the Legislative Assembly.

About a hundred people looked on Wednesday morning as George Tuccaro, the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, signed off on ten bills covered under the devolution implementation bill.

Those bills deal with land, resources and the legislation that will allow the G-N-W-T to assume control from the federal government over the territories’ land, water and resources.

Tuccaro says it’s an important day.

“It’s another historic day were we march slowly towards provincehood and we have to stand and meet the challenges. Not everybody will be in agreement but it’s like a Rubik’s Cube, turning the numbers and making the colours come together. Hopefully we have a year to do that and the true benefit will be to all Northerners.”

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Frame Lake MLA Wendy Bisaro was also on hand.

She’s not the staunchest supporter of the devolution implementation bill.

She also is worried that it may not end up being a living, breathing document.

“My concern is not so much with the willingness of either the territorial or federal government to make changes but the amount of time that will be required. I think the further we get from where we are now the importance is going to lessen and I think it will be lost in the minds of legislators that come after this particular group.”

The Wednesday ceremony follows one in Ottawa on Tuesday where the Governor General gave royal assent to the Devolution Implementation Bill.

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Not all NWT aboriginal governments have signed on to devolution.

Some aboriginal leaders say the final say on devolution will likely be up to the courts as legal challenges are expected.

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