The Liberal Senate Forum


facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Jane Cordy

The Hon. Jane  Cordy, B.Ed. An accomplished educator, Senator Jane Cordy was appointed to the Senate on June 9, 2000, by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien. She represents the province of Nova Scotia.

Statements & Hansard

Northwest Territories - Devolution of Land, Water and Resource Management

More on...



Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Statement made on 16 February 2011 by Senator Nick Sibbeston

Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston:

Honourable senators, a few weeks ago, the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories signed an agreement in principle to negotiate devolution. Devolution will transfer authority for the management of land, water and resources on Crown land from Canada to the GNWT. The agreement is a good thing. There are also provisions for resource revenue sharing.

This agreement is historic. Every premier of the NWT has aspired to transfer province-like powers from the federal government to the territorial governments. When negotiations are complete, the Government of the Northwest Territories will have virtually the same control over their resources as any province in southern Canada.

Two regional Aboriginal organizations signed on as parties to these negotiations. The remaining five Aboriginal groups in the North did not sign. They have expressed varying opposition to the agreement. Some feel it will impede their own land claim negotiations. Others feel the financial terms are not sufficient.

It is essential, however, for the Government of the Northwest Territories and all Aboriginal groups in the North to come to terms. I encourage them to be realistic, remembering that politics is the art of the possible.

Devolution of land and resources is not a surprise to anyone in the North. Three of the signed land claim agreements explicitly anticipate devolution. At one time or another, all Aboriginal groups have participated in the current negotiations that have been under way since 2001.

The agreement in principle makes it clear that Aboriginal rights will not be abrogated or derogated by the devolution process. When a conflict exists between a land claim or self-government agreement and the final devolution agreement, the former prevails. Moreover, devolution also impacts the management of Crown lands and not the jurisdiction Aboriginal people have negotiated over their lands.

The devolution process envisions government-to-government negotiations between the Government of the Northwest Territories and Aboriginal governments to coordinate management in their respective jurisdictions to promote economic development and ensure environmental protection. It also includes a process to share in the resource revenues that will come to the North as a result of devolution.

Devolution is not a new issue. It has been ongoing since the territorial governments moved North in 1967. The last major devolution — health services, the administration of justice and the management of forestry — occurred during my time in the Northwest Territories cabinet.

There were those at the time who opposed that devolution for many of the same reasons. Yet, because devolution gives control to the people of the North through time, hard work and made-in-the-North programs, people see the merits of devolution.

We have always said in the North, anything the federal government can do, we can do better in the North.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 

You can retrieve this page at:
Please recycle this document.