YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES (May 3, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and Minister of the Canadian Economic Development Agency, today announced an Action Plan to improve northern regulatory regimes.
The Action Plan will ensure that Northern regulatory regimes are more effective, predictable and provide greater certainty to industry, Northerners and all Canadians.
It contains three key elements: legislative changes to improve Northern regulatory processes that will reduce overlap and duplication; enhanced environmental stewardship; and a strong voice for Aboriginal peoples. Any changes to the legislative frameworks will be made while respecting comprehensive land claims agreements.
"Potential investors in northern resource projects have faced complex and overlapping regulatory processes that are unpredictable, costly and time-consuming in certain jurisdictions," said Minister Strahl. "Our government is committed to fixing these regulatory processes in the North today to secure increased economic potential for Northerners and Aboriginal Peoples."
"This Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's efforts to create a strong and prosperous North that realizes its resource potential while safeguarding the environmental health and heritage of the region," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister Responsible for the North and Minister of Health.
The Action Plan will help unlock the resource potential in Canada's North, which is recognized world-wide. In support of this Action Plan, our Jobs and Growth Budget committed $11 million to streamline the regulatory regimes in the North and $8 million to support community-based environmental monitoring.
The Action Plan will complete and strengthen current regulatory regimes in the North and will focus on three elements that will:
Minister Strahl also announced the appointment of John Pollard as Chief Federal Negotiator. Mr. Pollard will lead consultations and negotiations with the Government of the Northwest Territories and Aboriginal leaders on structural changes to the Land and Water Boards as part of the work to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and Northwest Territories Waters Act and the Territorial Lands Act.
"Mr. Pollard is a proud Northerner I am pleased he has accepted this important role," said Minister Strahl.
The Minister also announced the Northern Project Management Office opened its doors for business today. The Office will start providing government-wide coordination of federal regulatory work in the territories to improve predictability and transparency of regulatory processes by ensuring that environmental assessments and permits proceed smoothly on northern resource projects. The Northern Project Management Office is part of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) .
Today's announcements reinforce the Government's commitment to the Northern Strategy , which aims to strengthen Arctic sovereignty, protect the North's environmental heritage, promote social and economic development, and improve and devolve northern governance.
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