Frequently Asked Questions - Amendments to the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act

Q.1. What is the Yukon Surface Rights Board?

A.1. The Yukon Surface Rights Board is a tribunal whose primary responsibility is to hear disputes related to accessing or using Yukon First Nation settlement land and, in certain circumstances, disputes involving access to or use of non-settlement land.

Q.2. Why are we introducing amendments to this Act now?

A.2. Amendments to the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act are being introduced to improve the dispute resolution function in the Yukon. The amendments harmonize the surface and subsurface dispute resolution mechanism in the Yukon with those of the proposed Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board. The harmonized regulatory regime enhances the predictability of the regulatory regime and contributes to a consistent surface and subsurface regulatory frameworks across the North.

Q.3. What are the proposed amendments?

A.3. The proposed administrative amendments to the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act would:

  • Grant legal immunity to members and employees of the Board for decisions made in good faith and any actions performed under the Act in good faith;
  • Alter audit requirements. The Auditor General will no longer be required to audit the Yukon Surface Rights Board. Instead an independent auditor hired by the Board will audit accounts, financial statements and financial transactions on an annual basis;
  • Propose changes to board memberships. Members of the Board whose terms have expired are currently ineligible to render final decisions on a hearing. The changes proposed allow a position to be vacated for replacement purposes, while a member, whose term has expired, could continue as a participant until a final decision is taken. The member would remain a member for the sole purpose of that application and would cease to be a member upon rendering a final decision.