Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes


On June 3, 2014, Bill S-6, Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act, was introduced in the Senate. Read More.

The Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes 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. It is a key step forward in implementing the Northern Strategy.

The Action Plan seeks to promote the creation of jobs, growth and long term prosperity by making the northern regulatory frameworks strong, effective, efficient and predictable. It will do this by:

  • Making reviews of projects more predictable and timely;
  • Reducing duplication for project reviews;
  • Strengthening environmental protection; and
  • Achieving meaningful Aboriginal consultation.

The introduction of Bill S-6 completes the legislative component of the Action Plan which will modernize the Northern Regulatory Regime and ensure consistency across the North.


In the Northwest Territories, the legislative portion of Canada's Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes was completed on March 25, 2014 when the Northwest Territories Devolution Act received Royal Assent. The Act will help to spur economic development in the North by placing more decision making power in the hands of Northerners. It involved amendments to three existing pieces of legislation: the Territorial Lands Act, the Northwest Territories Waters Act, and the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Some of these regulatory changes came into force on Royal Assent. The remaining changes will come into force gradually, over several years, in order to help ensure a seamless transition.

Proposed Legislation

Bill S-6, Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act, introduced in the Senate on June 3, 2014, is the final step towards completing the legislative portion of Canada’s Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes.

Bill S-6 will unlock the economic potential of the North, ensure sound environmental stewardship and help the territories remain an attractive place in which to live, work and invest. A key part of the Action Plan is to promote jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.


The proposed amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act would contribute to the efficient and predictable environmental assessment process in Yukon, which will promote investor confidence, foster economic opportunities and growth while promoting sound environmental stewardship.


The proposed amendments to the Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act will modernize the regulatory regime in Nunavut by streamlining water licensing processes and ensuring timely and predictable water licence reviews. The proposed amendments would also enhance environmental stewardship and leverage investor confidence.

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