Yellowknife, NWT – With relatively little fanfare, the Government of the Northwest Territories is set to fully implement devolution Tuesday, ironically April Fool’s Day.
No specific events are planned for the historic day.
Devolution will transfer power over the territories’ land, water and resources from the Federal Government to the GNWT.
Among other things, it means resource royalties from money makers like diamond mines will now go straight to the territorial government.
Some view it as the next logical step towards provincial status for the NWT.
But, as Western Arctic M-P Dennis Bevington suggests, there is still plenty to figure out.
“They’re making a lot of decisions right now about who’s going to be in charge of this and who’s going to be in charge of that but I don’t think that public discussion has been fully had. The ball is in the territorial government’s court to start sharing their thoughts on the direction that devolution will take.”
However, not all are in favour of the deal as it currently reads.
The staunchest opposition is from some Aboriginal groups, upset over changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
Those changes will see several land and water boards rolled into one super board.
Some aboriginal governments have threatened legal action over devolution.
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