Northwest Territories Devolution - Delegated Authorities Before and After Devolution

Implementation of the NWT Devolution Agreement (PDF – 4.28 Mb, 403 pages) will transfer jurisdiction and decision making over most lands and resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Before Devolution After Devolution

Government of Northwest Territories

  • Limited input on land and water management
  • Existing responsibilities: forestry, wildlife, air quality

Government of Northwest Territories

  • Land management
  • Water management
  • Land and water inspections
  • Regional studies
  • Cumulative impact monitoring
  • Increased Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP's)
  • On-shore oil and gas
  • Recommend Board appointments
  • Existing responsibilities: forestry, wildlife, air quality

Federal Government

  • Land management
  • Water management
  • Land and water inspections
  • Regional studies
  • Cumulative impact monitoring
  • On-shore and off-shore oil and gas
  • Board appointments
  • Policy direction to boards
  • Federal legislation and regulations
  • Aboriginal Land Claim and Treaty Issues

Federal Government

  • Land and water management for designated federal lands
  • Off-shore oil and gas
  • Board appointments
  • Policy direction to Boards
  • Federal legislation and regulations
  • Aboriginal Land Claim and Treaty Issues

Shared Responsibility

  • Environmental Assessments

Shared Responsibility

  • Environmental Assessments
  • Overlapping oil and gas (on-shore/off-shore)

Land under Federal and Territorial Control after Devolution

Territorial Lands (90%)

After Devolution the territorial government will have authority over land and water management across most of the Northwest Territories. This includes Commissioner's, settlement and private land.

Federal Lands (10%)

After Devolution, only certain designated areas will remain under federal control. These areas are identified in the Devolution Agreement and include national parks and federally managed contaminated sites.

After Devolution, who makes the final decision on…

Environmental Assessments

These will remain a joint decision between federal and territorial ministers. While consensus must be reached, the Territorial Government will lead the decision making process for most proposed projects.

Land Use Permits

Final decisions for all land use permits will continue to be made by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB).

Water Licences

Most decisions for water licences will continue to be made by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) or the Territorial Government. Decisions on water licences for lands remaining under federal control will be made by the Federal Minister.

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