Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Call for a #plebiscite on #devolution in the #NWT

Kevin O'Reilly posted this a little while ago...

"...MLAs Bob Bromley and Norman Yakeleya are bringing forward a motion in the NWT Legislative Assembly tomorrow as follows:

Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Sahtu, that this Legislative Assembly recommends to the Commissioner that a plebiscite be held in the Northwest Territories on Monday, May 13, 2013, with the following question: "Should the Government of the Northwest Territories sign the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Final Agreement?"

Do you care about the future of the NWT? Do you want more information on the devolution deal? Do you want a vote on the devolution deal? Do you want an informed debate and discussion about what is in the agreement?

The GNWT has made parts of the so-called Consensus Agreement on Devolution available on-line at:

It's 120 pages and not easy going but here are a few highlights from my reading:
several important parts of the Agreement are not finished or made public at this point including an intergrovernmental agreement between GNWT and Aboriginal governments on how resources should be managed more efficiently (Schedule 5), or an implementation plan for devolution (Schedule 15);
the federal government retains decision-making over all aspects of environmental assessment (see s. 3.19);
the federal governmnent can take and use any lands and water for any energy project (see s. 3.38 and 3.40);
the federal government will provide GNWT $67.3 million to manage lands and waters (s. 9.7) but GNWT can spend the money on whatever it wants without proving the money was actually used to properly manage our resources; and
the GNWT does not commit to any particular use of new revenues from resource development so these funds could be used for infrastructure or paying down debt instead of being invested in our Heritage Fund.
While GNWT says there will be "unprecedented" public consultation, the Premier has said this is a "done deal" and that no changes will be made. A consultation plan has yet to be released for the 60 day period covering consultation. There will be a vote in the Assembly by our MLAs only in May or June 2013.

If you want a debate and a say on devolution, please contact your MLA tonight by phone or by e-mail and ask them to support the motion to be brought forward tomorrow on a plebiscite. This will allow time and space for a more informed discussion on one of the most important political developments in the history of the NWT. Thanks.

Kevin O'Reilly..."


No comments:

Post a Comment