Nunavut review board, planning commission bill moves to Senate
New legislation intended to streamline environmental assessment in Nunavut
A bill that sets out rules and procedures for the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Planning Commission is on its way to the Senate, after MPs in the House of Commons passed the bill on March 4.
The bill, marketed as “The Northern Jobs and Growth Act,” and introduced to the Commons Nov. 6, 2012, aims at implementing part of the Nunavut land claims agreement and improving the planning of resource development in Nunavut and the assessment of potential impacts.
“As northerners, we remain closely tied to our land and water. The Northern Jobs and Growth Act will put in place legislated land use planning and environmental assessment processes in Nunavut that respect the northern environment and the distinct needs of the people who live there,” said Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq in an Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development news release.
“This bill empowers the people of Nunavut to manage our land and resource development to fuel strong, healthy, self-reliant communities.”
The bill includes the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act and the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act, along with amendments related to the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act.
Nunavut premier Eva Aariak has called the act “an important milestone in establishing an effective and streamlined regime for Inuit and government to manage resource development in Nunavut together.”
But the new legislation can’t work unless the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Planning Commission get more funding, board officials told a House of Commons committee in Ottawa recently.