Category Archives: Legislation
April 23, 2018
The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians has submitted comprehensive comments on the Government of the Northwest Territories’ proposals for legislation governing petroleum development and industry operations.
The Chapter submission points out a wide array of shortcomings in the GNWT’s suggestions for a legislative framework, including:
- Failure to address and uphold the requirements of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s, which the NWT Legislative Assembly endorsed unanimously in 2008;
- The lack of integration and cohesion of the legislation with other renewable and non-renewable regulatory regimes;
- Its allowance of the acceptability of horizontal fracturing—fracking—for petroleum resources, including the failure to heed best scientific evidence of the environmental and human health harms of the practice, or to carry out regional analysis of fracking in the NWT;
- The unacceptable ethics of assigning responsibility for regulating petroleum exploration and development to the same ministry responsible for promoting petroleum industry development;
- The lack of enforceable requirements for the posting of full financial security to meet the costs of environmental remediation and site abandonment, and,
- A wide variety of other concerns.
The NWT Chapter filed comments to the federal consultation on Bill C-69, with respect to changes to the Impact Assessment Act, Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
Many concerns were noted, including:
- The failure to fulfill the campaign promise of reinstating protection on the lakes and rivers stripped of protection by the Harper government;
- The lack of precision and clarity of the Impact Assessment Act and the imposition of artificial deadlines for completion of reviews;
- The lack of sweeping and powerful protections on the purity of water, and it’s non-commercial availabilty as a human right; and,
- The exclusion of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act from the comprehensive review of environmental protection laws.
On April 28, 2018, Environment Minister Catherince McKenna replied to our letter.
The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has provided comments into the GNWT consultation on a new Mineral Resources Act. The Chapter submission provides comments on subjects including gaps in proposed legislation, engagement with Indigenous governments, incentives to companies and prospectors and the government’s approach to the importance of mining jobs.