Strahl introduces Nunavut resources bill in Commons

Bill C-25 would simplify territory’s regulatory system


Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl put the final piece of Nunavut land claim legislation before the House of Commons May 12.

Backers of the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act—often called NUPPAA—hope the bill will boost resource development while giving Inuit more control over development.

The bill aims to clarify roles for agencies like the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Planning Commission, establish timelines for the review of projects, create social and environmental monitoring plans and create new enforcement rules.

Both the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. expressed enthusiasm at the introduction of C-25 after nearly eight years of consultation with Ottawa.

“The legislation will provide more regulatory certainty for land and resource management in Nunavut and contribute to self-reliance,” said Peter Taptuna, Nunavut’s minister of Economic Development and Transportation, in a news release.

NTI president Paul Kaludjak said he is optimistic C-25 will become law.

“This is an important piece of legislation because it brings NTI and the Inuit we represent one step closer to full implementation of the NCLA,” he said in a release.

The passage of C-25 has been a longstanding goal of the Northern mining industry. In April, John Kearney, vice president of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, called on Ottawa to pass the bill as quickly as possible.

In a news release issued May 14, the chamber praised news C-25 had been introduced in the commons and said it would establish a working group to follow progress of the bill.

“It is important that the legislation be enacted as soon as possible to encourage continued mineral exploration in Nunavut and facilitate the responsible development of Nunavut’s considerable mineral endowment,” the release quoted Kearney as saying.

The bill must still be debated in the House of Commons and then referred to committee before a final vote. It’s not clear when that will happen.

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