Legislative Initiatives

What legislation is being developed?

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is in the process of developing five new or amended pieces of legislation:

  • Protected Areas Act
  • Forest Act (amending and combining Forest Management Act and Forest Protection Act)
  • Amendments to the Environmental Protection Act
  • Amendments to the Environmental Rights Act
  • Amendments to the Waters Act

Why do we need new legislation?

A thriving economy for the Northwest Territories starts with our most important and cherished resources: our land, water and air. Our collective efforts across a suite of legislation will result in a made-in-the-NWT model that better integrates environmental protection with economic and social needs, while respecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

Our current legislation needs updating. The proposed amendments are required to bring GNWT law in line with the authorities received through devolution, to help give the GNWT a legislative base to better integrate environmental protection with economic and social needs, and to ensure the GNWT is using the most current and comprehensive legislative tools to manage lands and resources.

The new and amended pieces of legislation will address feedback brought forward by Indigenous governments and organizations, stakeholders and the public. They will help us to design and implement an effective regulatory process by increasing efficiencies, filling gaps, eliminating overlaps and establishing a consistent legislative base for existing policy. They will also explicitly affirm Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

How is the legislation being developed?

Each legislative initiative is being developed concurrently through a partnership approach with a Technical Working Group (TWG) of Indigenous governments and organizations, with input from a Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) consisting of non-government organizations, regulatory boards and industry representatives.

The partnership approach ensures coordination across resource management legislation, reducing the potential for conflict or duplication. It will result in strong legislation that has the support of Indigenous governments and organizations, as well as stakeholders.

The partnership process does not impact the regular review process. The public is invited to provide feedback on summary documents through an online engagement period, and will have an opportunity to comment on the draft legislation once it is ready through a review process carried out by Standing Committee.