August 2, 2017
The Government of the Northwest Territories is currently in the process of proposing the NWT’s first-ever Mineral Resources Act.
Today, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment — lead on the Act’s creation — launched the public engagement phase of the project; releasing a discussion paper on the Act and launching a new online interactive engagement portal to spark conversation using discussion forums, surveys, and other brainstorming tools.
How did we get here? And what comes next?
The legislative process follows a six-step model. Below is a description of the steps already completed, and those still to come. We are currently on Step 2.
1. Preliminary Scoping: The GNWT undertook discussions and completed research in collaboration with stakeholders and subject matter experts in natural resource governance. This helped set the stage for the rest of the project.
2. Public Engagement: Based on preliminary scoping and research, taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the Northwest Territories, the GNWT produced a discussion paper. This paper was designed to spark conversation around key areas of focus for NWT mining and exploration.
Currently,The GNWT is collecting feedback from Indigenous governments and organizations, industry, interest groups, and members of the public to find out what’s important to them. All input collected will feed into a What We Heard report to inform the rest of the process.
3. Development of a Bill: The GNWT will use feedback to inform proposed legislation and the development of a Bill.
4. Section 35 Consultation: Once a Bill is drafted, consultation with regard to potential impacts on established or asserted Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights will occur. This is in-line with the GNWT’s commitment to protecting Indigenous rights and traditions as decisions on land, water, and wildlife are made.
5. Introduction to passage: A Bill reflecting Section 35 Consultations will be introduced for debate in the NWT Legislative Assembly. After 2nd Reading, the Bill will be referred to Standing Committee, providing an additional opportunity for public hearings and feedback, before moving to 3rd Reading and passage.
6. Implementation: Once a Bill is passed it does not immediately become the law of the land. The GNWT will make the necessary preparations, working with stakeholders, in order to bring the Act into force. This will likely require the development of supporting regulations, training materials, and public awareness content.
For more information
Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of the Northwest Territories