Canada's Northwest Territory is set to receive its power and authority over land and resources directly from the principles of Constitution Act, 1867 and not from the federal government, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced.
The government of Canada and the Northwest Territories, will finalize a devolution agreement April 1 and that would formally give the power to the Northwest Territory to administrate independently based on the principles of the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas, rest of the two territories (Yukon Territory and Nunavut) have to function under the administration of the federal government.
"Our government believes that opportunities and challenges here would be better handled by the people who understand them best... you who live here in the Northwest Territories," said Stephen Harper in a press release while making the historical announcement.
"The heavy lifting is done, the issues are resolved and negotiators have reached consensus on the terms of a final devolution agreement."
Before making the final decision, aboriginal organizations in the Northwest Territory and other stakeholders will be consulted and after the final decision, Ottawa will authorize the territory to own the resource revenues generated in the territory. However, some of the resource revenues will have to be shared with five aboriginal groups who have signed onto the agreement.
While announcing the devolution of power in terms of land and resources, Stephen Harper was joined by Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, and Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories
Canada has ten provinces whose power and authority come directly from the principles of the Constitution Act, 1867. The North West Territories have now received the same power.
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