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Northwest Territories Act (S.C. 2014, c. 2, s. 2)

Act current to 2019-11-19 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Northwest Territories Act

S.C. 2014, c. 2, s. 2

Assented to 2014-03-25

An Act respecting the Northwest Territories

[Enacted by section 2 of chapter 2 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, in force April 1, 2014, see SI/2014-34.]

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Northwest Territories Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Aboriginal party

Aboriginal party means an Aboriginal organization that is a party to the Agreement. (partie autochtone)

Agreement

Agreement means the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement that was made on June 25, 2013, as amended from time to time. (accord)

federal appurtenant undertaking

federal appurtenant undertaking means an undertaking in relation to which a use of waters or a deposit of waste is permitted by a licence and that is

  • (a) related to remediation that is performed by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada

    • (i) under the Agreement, or

    • (ii) in respect of an Excepted Waste Site as defined in section 1.1 of the Agreement; or

  • (b) located on public lands that are under the administration of a federal minister. (entreprise fédérale en cause)

former Act

former Act means the Northwest Territories Act, chapter N-27 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985. (ancienne loi)

gas

gas means natural gas — including coal-bed methane — and all substances other than oil that are produced in association with natural gas. (gaz)

Gwich’in Agreement

Gwich’in Agreement means the Agreement as defined in section 2 of the Gwich’in Land Claim Settlement Act. (accord gwichin)

Inuvialuit Final Agreement

Inuvialuit Final Agreement means the Agreement as defined in section 2 of the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act. (Convention définitive des Inuvialuits)

line of delimitation

line of delimitation means the Line of Delimitation that is described in Schedule 18 to the Agreement. (ligne de démarcation)

minerals

minerals means precious or base metals or other non-living naturally occurring substances — including coal, but not including oil, gas or water — that are, or were before their production, part of the land, whether solid, liquid or gaseous. (ressources minérales)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Northern Affairs. (ministre)

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories means that part of Canada that is north of the 60th parallel of north latitude, west of the boundary described in Schedule I to the Nunavut Act and not within Yukon. (Territoires du Nord-Ouest)

oil

oil means

  • (a) crude petroleum — regardless of gravity — that is produced at a well-head in liquid form; or

  • (b) any other hydrocarbons — except coal and gas — including hydrocarbons that may be extracted or recovered from surface or subsurface deposits, including deposits of oil sand, bitumen, bituminous sand or oil shale and other types of deposits. (pétrole)

onshore

onshore means that part of Canada that is north of the 60th parallel of north latitude, west of the boundary described in Schedule I to the Nunavut Act and not within Yukon that consists of the following lands:

  • (a) lands, including lands under water, that lie landward of the low-water line — or in respect of Inuvialuit lands as defined in section 2 of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, landward of the mean or ordinary high-water mark — of the sea coast of the mainland or of the sea coast of any naturally occurring permanent island;

  • (b) lands under water that are within small enclosed bays along the sea coast of the mainland or the sea coast of any naturally occurring permanent island; and

  • (c) lands, including lands under water, that lie landward of the line of delimitation and seaward of the low-water line — or in respect of lands that are contiguous with the sea coast of Inuvialuit lands as defined in section 2 of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, seaward of the mean or ordinary high-water mark — of the sea coast of the mainland.

It does not include lands that lie seaward of the line of delimitation, other than those lands — including lands under water — that lie landward of the low-water line of the sea coast of those naturally occurring permanent islands and those lands under water that are within small enclosed bays along the sea coast of those islands. (région intracôtière)

public lands

public lands means

  • (a) lands — including minerals, oil, gas, timber or wood and buildings, structures, improvements or other fixtures — that are situated in the onshore and that belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada; or

  • (b) interests — in lands that are situated in the onshore — that belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada. (terres domaniales)

Sahtu Agreement

Sahtu Agreement means the Agreement as defined in section 2 of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claim Settlement Act. (accord du Sahtu)

self-government agreement

self-government agreement means an agreement between Her Majesty in right of Canada and an Aboriginal people of the Northwest Territories that is implemented by an Act of Parliament and that recognizes

  • (a) the legal status and capacity of a governing body to represent that Aboriginal people; and

  • (b) the authority of that governing body to enact laws. (accord sur l’autonomie gouvernementale)

settlement agreement

settlement agreement means an agreement that is listed in Schedule 1 to the Agreement. (entente de règlement)

settlement lands

settlement lands means lands in the Northwest Territories whose title is vested in an Aboriginal organization under a settlement agreement. (terres visées par un règlement)

small enclosed bay

small enclosed bay means any coastal indentation that meets the following conditions:

  • (a) the distance of a straight line across the entrance of the indentation at the low-water line measures four kilometres or less; and

  • (b) the area of the indentation, including any islands or parts of islands lying within the indentation, is greater than that of a semicircle whose diameter is the distance of the straight line referred to in paragraph (a). (petite baie fermée)

Tlicho Agreement

Tlicho Agreement means the Agreement as defined in section 2 of the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act. (accord tlicho)

waters

waters means any inland waters — whether in a liquid or frozen state — that are on or below the surface of lands that are situated in the onshore. (eaux)

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “2”
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 374

Marginal note:Consultation

 Wherever in this Act a reference is made, in relation to any matter, to a duty to consult, that duty must be exercised

  • (a) by providing the person to be consulted with the following:

    • (i) notice of the matter in sufficient form and detail to allow the person to prepare their views on the matter,

    • (ii) a reasonable period for the person to prepare those views, and

    • (iii) an opportunity to present those views to the person having that duty; and

  • (b) by considering, fully and impartially, any views so presented.

Executive Power

Marginal note:Commissioner

  •  (1) A Commissioner of the Northwest Territories must be appointed by order of the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Publication of order

    (2) The order appointing the Commissioner must be published in the Canada Gazette.

  • Marginal note:Instructions

    (3) The Commissioner must act in accordance with any written instructions given to him or her by the Governor in Council or the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Instructions laid before Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories

    (4) The Commissioner must, as soon as possible after receiving written instructions, make them available to the Executive Council of the Northwest Territories and cause them to be laid before the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, but the written instructions are effective when they are made.

Marginal note:Deputy Commissioner

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint a Deputy Commissioner to act as Commissioner during the Commissioner’s absence or inability or when that office is vacant.

  • Marginal note:Absence, inability or vacancy

    (2) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories is authorized to act as Deputy Commissioner during the Deputy Commissioner’s absence or inability or when that office is vacant.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “5”
  • 2017, c. 33, s. 258

Marginal note:Oaths

 Before assuming office, the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner must take and subscribe the oath of office and the oath of allegiance prescribed by the Governor in Council.

Marginal note:Salaries

 The salary of the Commissioner and of the Deputy Commissioner are to be fixed by the Governor in Council and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada.

Marginal note:Executive Council

 An Executive Council of the Northwest Territories is established, the members of which are to be appointed by the Commissioner.

Marginal note:Seat of government

 The seat of the Government of the Northwest Territories is at Yellowknife or at another place in the Northwest Territories that is designated by the Legislature.

Legislative Power

Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Continuance

 The Council of the Northwest Territories established under the former Act is continued as the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Each member of the Legislative Assembly is elected to represent an electoral district in the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Duration

  •  (1) No Legislative Assembly is to continue for longer than five years after the day on which the writs are returned for a general election, but the Commissioner may dissolve it before then.

  • Marginal note:Writs

    (2) Writs for the election of members of the Legislative Assembly are to be issued on the Commissioner’s instructions.

Marginal note:Oaths

 Before assuming office, each member of the Legislative Assembly must take and subscribe before the Commissioner the oath of office prescribed by the Legislature of the Northwest Territories and the oath of allegiance set out in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution Act, 1867.

Marginal note:Sittings

 The Legislative Assembly must sit at least once every 12 months.

Marginal note:Speaker

  •  (1) The Legislative Assembly must elect one member as Speaker to preside over the Legislative Assembly when it is sitting.

  • Marginal note:Speaker’s vote

    (2) The Speaker may vote in the Legislative Assembly only in the case of a tie.

Marginal note:Quorum

 A majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, including the Speaker, constitutes a quorum.

Marginal note:Rules

 The Legislative Assembly may make rules for its operations and procedures, except in relation to the subjects set out in paragraph 18(1)(b).

Legislature of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Continuance

 The Commissioner in Council as defined in section 2 of the former Act is continued as the Legislature of the Northwest Territories; the Legislature consists of the Commissioner and the Legislative Assembly.

Legislative Powers

Marginal note:Subjects

  •  (1) The Legislature may make laws in relation to the following subjects in respect of the Northwest Territories:

    • (a) the election of members of the Legislative Assembly, including the name and number of electoral districts and the qualifications of electors and candidates;

    • (b) the disqualification of persons from sitting or voting as members of the Legislative Assembly and the privileges, indemnities and expenses of those members;

    • (c) the Executive Council;

    • (d) the establishment and tenure of public offices and the appointment, conditions of employment and payment of office-holders;

    • (e) municipal and local institutions;

    • (f) direct taxation and licensing in order to raise revenue for territorial, municipal or local purposes;

    • (g) the levying of a tax on furs — or any other parts of fur-bearing animals — that are to be shipped or taken from the Northwest Territories to any place outside the Northwest Territories;

    • (h) the incorporation of companies with territorial objects, except railway — other than street railway —, steamship, air transport, telegraph and telephone companies;

    • (i) the solemnization of marriage;

    • (j) property and civil rights;

    • (k) the administration of justice, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of territorial courts — of both civil and criminal jurisdiction — and procedure in civil matters in those courts;

    • (l) the establishment, maintenance and management of prisons and other places of confinement;

    • (m) the conservation of wildlife and its habitat;

    • (n) waters — the rights in respect of which are under the administration and control of the Commissioner — including the disposition under subsection 52(3) of those rights, the deposit of waste in those waters and what constitutes waste;

    • (o) education, but any law respecting education must provide that

      • (i) a majority of the ratepayers of any part of the Northwest Territories may establish any school in that part that they think fit and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates for it, and

      • (ii) the minority of the ratepayers of that part of the Northwest Territories — whether Protestant or Roman Catholic — may establish separate schools in that part and, if they do so, are liable to assessments of only the rates that they impose on themselves in respect of those schools;

    • (p) immigration;

    • (q) those public lands that are under the administration and control of the Commissioner, including their disposition under subsection 51(1);

    • (r) intoxicants, including what constitutes an intoxicant;

    • (s) hospitals and charities;

    • (t) agriculture;

    • (u) the entering into of intergovernmental agreements by the Commissioner or any other official of the Government of the Northwest Territories;

    • (v) the expenditure of money for territorial purposes;

    • (w) the adoption and use of an official seal;

    • (x) generally, all matters of a merely local or private nature;

    • (y) the imposition of fines, penalties, imprisonment or other punishments in respect of a contravention of a provision of a law of the Legislature; and

    • (z) any other subject that may be designated by order of the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Laws — intoxicants

    (2) The Legislature may make laws relating to the importation of intoxicants into the Northwest Territories from another part of Canada or elsewhere and defining what constitutes an intoxicant for the purposes of those laws.

Marginal note:Laws — natural resources

  •  (1) The Legislature may make laws in relation to the following subjects in respect of the onshore:

    • (a) exploration for non-renewable natural resources;

    • (b) the development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources, including the rate of primary production from those resources;

    • (c) oil and gas pipelines that are situated entirely in the onshore;

    • (d) the development, conservation and management of sites and facilities for the production of electrical energy; and

    • (e) the export, from the onshore to another part of Canada, of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources and of the electrical energy that is produced in the onshore.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — no discrimination

    (2) A law that is made under paragraph (1)(e) is not to authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies that are exported.

  • Marginal note:Laws — taxation

    (3) The Legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode of taxation in respect of resources referred to in paragraph (1)(b) and the primary production from those resources and in respect of sites and facilities referred to in paragraph (1)(d) and the production of electrical energy from those sites and facilities. The Legislature may make those laws even if the production is exported.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — no differentiation

    (4) A law that is made under subsection (3) is not to authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production that is exported and that which is not.

  • Definition of primary production

    (5) In this section, primary production means

    • (a) production from a non-renewable natural resource if

      • (i) it is in the form in which the resource exists on its recovery or severance from its natural state, or

      • (ii) it results from processing or refining the resource and is not

        • (A) a manufactured product, or

        • (B) a product that results from refining crude oil, refining upgraded heavy crude oil, refining gases or liquids derived from coal or refining a synthetic equivalent of crude oil; and

    • (b) production from a forestry resource if the product consists of sawlogs, poles, lumber, wood chips, sawdust or any other primary wood product — or of wood pulp — and is not manufactured from wood.

  • Marginal note:No derogation

    (6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) derogates from any powers that the Legislature has under this Act.

Marginal note:Laws — access to lands and waters

 The Legislature may make laws in relation to access to the public lands that are under the administration of a federal minister and to the waters overlying those lands, including the compensation that is to be paid in respect of that access.

Marginal note:Roads on Tlicho lands

 Laws of the Legislature that are made in relation to public highways apply to roads identified in the Tlicho Agreement — as if they were on public lands — if the Tlicho Agreement provides that those laws apply to those roads.

Marginal note:Unitization of straddling resources

  •  (1) Despite sections 18 and 19, the Legislature must not amend a law of the Legislature without the consent of the Governor in Council if the law as amended would

    • (a) affect the unitization of those straddling resources that are referred to in the Agreement for Coordination and Cooperation in the Management and Administration of Petroleum Resources in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region that was made on June 25, 2013, as amended from time to time; or

    • (b) limit how that agreement applies to or is implemented by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

  • Marginal note:Canadian Energy Regulator

    (2) Despite sections 18 and 19, during the period of 20 years beginning on the day on which section 1 comes into force, the Legislature must not amend a law of the Legislature without the consent of the Governor in Council if the law as amended would affect the regulatory functions of the Canadian Energy Regulator in that part of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region — as defined in section 2 of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement — that is situated in the onshore.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “22”
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 185

Marginal note:Federal appurtenant undertakings

 Only a federal minister may, in relation to a federal appurtenant undertaking, exercise the following powers and functions under a law of the Legislature:

  • (a) approve the issuance, renewal or amendment of a licence permitting the use of waters or the deposit of waste in waters;

  • (b) consent to a declaration by a water board that an amendment to such a licence — as a result of which the use, flow or quality of waters would be altered — is required on an emergency basis;

  • (c) approve the form of any security posted in respect of such a licence;

  • (d) hold and apply the security;

  • (e) exercise powers that are substantially the same as those set out in section 39 of the Northwest Territories Waters Act, as it read immediately before the coming into force of section 1;

  • (f) issue policy directions to a water board that may issue, renew or amend such a licence; and

  • (g) designate inspectors and grant them powers that are substantially the same as those set out in section 37 or 44.02 of the Northwest Territories Waters Act, as they read immediately before the coming into force of section 1.

Marginal note:Composition of water board

 For every five members who are appointed to a water board that may — under a law of the Legislature — issue, renew or amend a licence permitting the use of waters or the deposit of waste in waters, one must be nominated by a federal minister.

Marginal note:Restrictions on powers

  •  (1) Nothing in subsection 18(1) or section 19 must be construed as giving the Legislature greater powers than are given to legislatures of provinces under sections 92, 92A and 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  • Marginal note:Water power

    (2) Despite subsection 18(1) and sections 19 and 20, the Legislature must not make laws in respect of the right to the use and flow of waters for the production or generation of water power to which the Dominion Water Power Act applies.

Marginal note:Agreement implementation Acts

 Despite subsection 25(1), the Legislature may, in exercising its powers under sections 18 and 19 for the purpose of implementing an Aboriginal land claim agreement or a self-government agreement, make laws that are in relation to the matters coming within class 24 of section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Marginal note:Laws — conservation of wildlife

 Despite subsection 25(1), any law of the Legislature that is in relation to the conservation of wildlife applies, unless the contrary intention appears in it, to and in respect of Aboriginal people.

Marginal note:Laws — borrowing, making loans and investing

  •  (1) The Legislature may make laws for the

    • (a) borrowing of money by the Commissioner on behalf of the Northwest Territories for territorial, municipal or local purposes;

    • (b) making of loans to persons; and

    • (c) investing by the Commissioner of surplus money standing to the credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Northwest Territories.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) The aggregate of all borrowings is not to exceed the maximum amount set under subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Charge on Consolidated Revenue Fund

    (3) The repayment of money borrowed under a law made under paragraph (1)(a) — and the payment of interest on that money — is a charge on and is payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Northwest Territories.

  • Marginal note:Maximum amount — borrowings

    (4) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, set the maximum amount of the aggregate of all borrowings.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (5) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, make regulations respecting borrowings for the purposes of subsections (2) and (4), including regulations

    • (a) respecting what constitutes, or is deemed to constitute, borrowing;

    • (b) respecting the entities, or classes of entities, whose borrowings are to be taken into account; and

    • (c) respecting the manner in which the value of a borrowing must be determined.

Marginal note:Withholding assent

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, in writing, direct the Commissioner to withhold his or her assent to a bill that has been introduced in the Legislative Assembly.

  • Marginal note:Assent of Governor in Council

    (2) A bill in respect of which a direction is given must not become law without the Governor in Council’s assent, which is not to be given later than one year after the day on which the bill is adopted by the Legislative Assembly.

Marginal note:Transmittal of laws

  •  (1) A copy of every law of the Legislature must be transmitted by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly to the Governor in Council within 30 days after the day on which it is made.

  • Marginal note:Disallowance

    (2) The Governor in Council may disallow any law of the Legislature or any provision of such a law at any time within one year after the day on which it is made.

Marginal note:Conflicting laws

 In the event of a conflict between a law of the Legislature and a federal enactment, the federal enactment prevails to the extent of the conflict.

Marginal note:Official Languages Act

  •  (1) The ordinance entitled the Official Languages Act — made on June 28, 1984 by the Commissioner in Council, as amended on June 26, 1986 or by an Act referred to in section 33 — must not be amended, repealed or rendered inoperable by the Legislature without the concurrence of Parliament by way of an amendment to this Act.

  • Marginal note:Additional rights and services

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as preventing the Commissioner, the Legislature or the Government of the Northwest Territories from granting rights in respect of, or providing services in, English, French or a language of an Aboriginal people of Canada — in addition to the rights and services provided for in the Official Languages Act referred to in subsection (1) — whether by amendment, without the concurrence of Parliament, or by any other means.

Marginal note:Amendments concurred in

  •  (1) Parliament concurs in An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, made on October 29, 1990 by the Commissioner in Council.

  • Marginal note:March 12, 1992

    (2) Parliament concurs in An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, made on March 12, 1992 by the Commissioner in Council.

Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Establishment

  •  (1) All public moneys over which the Legislature has the power of appropriation are to form a fund to be known as the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Northwest Territories.

  • Marginal note:Establishment of bank accounts

    (2) The member of the Executive Council designated for that purpose by a law of the Legislature must establish, in the name of the Government of the Northwest Territories, accounts for the deposit of public moneys with

    • (a) banks as defined in section 2 of the Bank Act; or

    • (b) authorized foreign banks, as defined in section 2 of the Bank Act, that are not subject to the restrictions and requirements referred to in subsection 524(2) of that Act.

Marginal note:Recommendation of Commissioner

 The Legislative Assembly must not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address or bill — for the appropriation of public moneys, or of any tax, for any purpose — that has not been first recommended to the Legislative Assembly by message of the Commissioner in the session in which the vote, resolution, address or bill is proposed.

Marginal note:Appropriation of moneys granted by Parliament

 If a sum of money is granted to Her Majesty in right of Canada by Parliament to defray expenses for a specified public service in the Northwest Territories, the power of appropriation by the Legislature over that sum is subject to the purpose for which it is granted.

Public Accounts of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Fiscal year

 The fiscal year of the Government of the Northwest Territories is the period beginning on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 in the next year.

Marginal note:Submission to Legislative Assembly

 The Commissioner, with the consent of the Executive Council, must lay before the Legislative Assembly — on or before the day of each fiscal year that the Legislative Assembly fixes — a report called the Public Accounts of the Northwest Territories for the preceding fiscal year; the Legislative Assembly must consider the report.

Marginal note:Form and contents

 The Public Accounts of the Northwest Territories must be prepared in any form that the Commissioner, with the consent of the Executive Council, directs and are to include

  • (a) consolidated financial statements for the Government of the Northwest Territories, prepared in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards;

  • (b) any other information or statements that are required in support of those consolidated financial statements under any law of the Legislature; and

  • (c) the opinion of the Auditor General of Canada that is referred to in subsection 40(1).

Marginal note:Annual audit

  •  (1) The Auditor General of Canada must audit the accounts — including those related to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Northwest Territories — and financial transactions of the Government of the Northwest Territories in each fiscal year in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards and must express his or her opinion as to whether

    • (a) the consolidated financial statements present fairly — in all material respects and in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards — the financial situation of the Government of the Northwest Territories as at the end of the fiscal year; and

    • (b) the transactions of the Government of the Northwest Territories that have come to the notice of the Auditor General in the course of the audit are within the powers of that Government under this or any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The Auditor General must report to the Legislative Assembly any matter falling within the scope of the audit that, in his or her opinion, ought to be reported to the Assembly.

Marginal note:Supplementary report

 The Auditor General of Canada may, at any time, inquire into and submit a supplementary report to the Legislative Assembly about any matter relating to the activities of the Government of the Northwest Territories, including whether

  • (a) accounts have not been faithfully and properly maintained or public money has not been fully accounted for or paid, if so required by law, into the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

  • (b) essential records have not been maintained or the rules and procedures applied have been insufficient to safeguard and control public property, to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of the revenue and to ensure that expenditures have been made only as authorized;

  • (c) money has been expended for purposes other than those for which it was appropriated by the Legislature or has been expended without due regard to economy or efficiency; or

  • (d) satisfactory procedures have not been established to measure and report the effectiveness of programs, if such procedures could appropriately and reasonably be implemented.

Marginal note:Report at Commissioner’s request

 At the Commissioner’s request, made with the consent of the Executive Council, the Auditor General of Canada may — if in his or her opinion it does not interfere with the Auditor General’s primary responsibilities — inquire into and report to the Legislative Assembly on any

  • (a) matter relating to the financial affairs of the Government of the Northwest Territories or to public property in the Northwest Territories; or

  • (b) person or organization that has received or is seeking financial aid from the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Auditor General’s powers

  •  (1) For the purposes of carrying out his or her functions under this Act, the Auditor General of Canada has all the powers that he or she has under the Auditor General Act.

  • Marginal note:Access to information

    (2) Except as provided by any law of the Legislature that expressly refers to this subsection, the Auditor General is entitled to free access at all convenient times to information that relates to the fulfilment of his or her responsibilities and is entitled to require and receive from the public service of the Northwest Territories any information, reports and explanations that he or she considers necessary for that purpose.

Administration of Justice

Judicature

Marginal note:Appointment of judges

 The Governor in Council must appoint the judges of any superior, district or county courts in the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Tenure of judges

 The judges of the superior, district and county courts in the Northwest Territories hold office during good behaviour but are removable by the Governor General on address of the Senate and House of Commons and cease to hold office on attaining the age of 75 years.

Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Judges

 A judge — other than a deputy judge — of the Yukon Supreme Court or the Nunavut Court of Justice is, by reason of holding that office, a judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Deputy judges

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint any person who is or has been a judge of a superior, district or county court of a province or a barrister or advocate of at least 10 years standing at the bar of a province to be a deputy judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and fix his or her remuneration and allowances.

  • Marginal note:Duration of appointment

    (2) A deputy judge may be appointed for any particular case or cases or for any specified period.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office

    (3) A deputy judge holds office during good behaviour but is removable by the Governor General on address of the Senate and House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Powers

    (4) A deputy judge must be sworn to the faithful performance of his or her duties in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and, during his or her appointment, has and may exercise and perform all the powers, duties and functions of a judge of that Court.

Marginal note:Jurisdiction — civil cases

 The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories has and may exercise and perform — in Yukon or Nunavut — all of its powers, duties and functions with respect to a civil case other than one for which the Court sits with a jury.

Marginal note:Jurisdiction — criminal cases

  •  (1) A judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories has and may exercise and perform — anywhere in Canada — all of its powers, duties and functions with respect to any criminal offence committed or charged to have been committed in the Northwest Territories.

  • Marginal note:Application of laws

    (2) All laws applicable to criminal proceedings held in the Northwest Territories apply in like manner to proceedings held under this section elsewhere in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Enforcement

    (3) Any judgment, conviction, sentence or other order pronounced or made in any proceedings held under this section outside the Northwest Territories may be enforced at the place at which it is pronounced or made — or elsewhere, either in or outside the Northwest Territories, as the judge may direct — and the proper officers of the Northwest Territories have and may exercise all powers and authority necessary for its enforcement at the place where it is directed to be enforced, even if that place is not in the Northwest Territories.

Court of Appeal of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Sittings

 The Court of Appeal of the Northwest Territories may sit in the Northwest Territories or, unless a law of the Legislature provides otherwise, elsewhere in Canada.

Public Lands and Waters

Administration and Control

Marginal note:Public lands — Commissioner

  •  (1) The Commissioner has the administration and control of public lands and may use, sell or otherwise dispose of those lands and retain the proceeds of the disposition.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Despite subsection (1), the Commissioner does not have the administration and control of the following public lands unless they are transferred to him or her under section 54:

    • (a) those listed under subsection (3);

    • (b) those in respect of which the administration and control is relinquished by the Commissioner under section 53;

    • (c) those in respect of which the administration and control is taken by the Governor in Council under section 55; and

    • (d) those acquired by Her Majesty in right of Canada after the coming into force of section 1.

  • Marginal note:List

    (3) The Governor in Council must, on the day on which section 1 comes into force, list the public lands that are excluded from the administration and control of the Commissioner.

Marginal note:Rights in respect of waters

  •  (1) All rights in respect of waters belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Limitations

    (2) Subsection (1) is subject to any rights granted by or under an Act of Parliament in respect of waters.

  • Marginal note:Commissioner

    (3) The Commissioner has the administration and control of all rights in respect of waters and may exercise those rights or sell or otherwise dispose of them and may retain the proceeds of the disposition.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (4) Despite subsection (3), the Commissioner does not have the administration and control of

    • (a) the right to the use and flow of waters for the production or generation of water power to which the Dominion Water Power Act applies; and

    • (b) the following rights in respect of waters unless the administration and control of them is transferred to him or her under section 54:

      • (i) those listed under subsection (5),

      • (ii) those in respect of which the administration and control is relinquished by the Commissioner under section 53,

      • (iii) those in respect of which the administration and control is taken by the Governor in Council under section 55, and

      • (iv) those acquired by Her Majesty in right of Canada after the coming into force of section 1.

  • Marginal note:List

    (5) The Governor in Council must, on the day on which section 1 comes into force, list the rights in respect of waters that are excluded from the administration and control of the Commissioner.

Marginal note:Relinquishment by Commissioner

 The Commissioner may, with the Governor in Council’s consent, relinquish — in perpetuity or for any lesser term — the administration and control of public lands and of rights in respect of waters.

Marginal note:Transfer to Commissioner

 The Governor in Council may, with the Commissioner’s consent, transfer to the Commissioner — in perpetuity or for any lesser term — the administration and control of public lands and of rights in respect of waters.

Restrictions

Marginal note:Taking of administration and control by Governor in Council

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, on the Minister’s recommendation, take from the Commissioner the administration and control of public lands and rights in respect of waters if, subject to subsection (2), the Governor in Council considers it necessary to do so for the purposes of

    • (a) the national interest, including

      • (i) national defence or security,

      • (ii) establishing — or changing the boundaries of — a national park as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Parks Canada Agency Act, a national historic site as defined in that subsection or another area that is protected under an Act of Parliament, and

      • (iii) the creation of the infrastructure required for initiatives in respect of transportation or energy;

    • (b) the fulfilment of an obligation in respect of an Aboriginal or treaty right that is referred to in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; or

    • (c) the settlement of an Aboriginal land claim or the implementation of an Aboriginal land claim agreement or other treaty, a settlement agreement or a self-government agreement.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) The Minister must — before recommending the taking of the administration and control other than for a purpose related to national defence or security — consult the member of the Executive Council who is responsible for those public lands or those rights in respect of waters and any affected Aboriginal party on the boundaries of the lands that, and the location of the waters the rights in respect of which, are subject to the taking.

Marginal note:Prohibition order — public lands

 The Governor in Council may, by order and on the Minister’s recommendation, prohibit the issuance under a law of the Legislature of interests in — or the authorization under a law of the Legislature of the conduct of activities on — the public lands that are specified in the order if the Governor in Council considers that the prohibition is required

  • (a) before the taking of the administration and control of those lands under paragraph 55(1)(a) or (b); or

  • (b) for the purposes of the settlement of an Aboriginal land claim or the implementation of an Aboriginal land claim agreement or other treaty, a settlement agreement or a self-government agreement.

Marginal note:Prohibition order — waters

 The Governor in Council may, by order and on the Minister’s recommendation, prohibit any use of waters that is specified in the order — or the deposit of waste directly or indirectly into those waters — if the Governor in Council considers

  • (a) that the use or deposit would be incompatible with or would interfere with a particular undertaking that is in the national interest; or

  • (b) that the prohibition is required for the purposes of the settlement of an Aboriginal land claim or the implementation of an Aboriginal land claim agreement or other treaty, a settlement agreement or a self-government agreement.

Marginal note:Consultation — prohibition orders

 The Minister must — before recommending that the Governor in Council make a prohibition order under section 56 or 57 — consult the member of the Executive Council who is responsible for those public lands or those waters and any affected Aboriginal party on

  • (a) the boundaries of the lands — and the interests or activities — that are the subject of the order to be made under section 56; and

  • (b) the location of the waters that are the subject of the order to be made under section 57.

Compensation

Marginal note:No expenditure or compensation

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the following are to be done without expenditures by or compensation to the Government of the Northwest Territories:

    • (a) a relinquishment under section 53;

    • (b) a taking under section 55; and

    • (c) the making of a prohibition order under section 56 or 57.

  • Marginal note:Exception — improvements to public lands

    (2) If the Commissioner relinquishes to the Governor in Council, or the Governor in Council takes, the administration and control of public lands, the Government of Canada must compensate the Government of the Northwest Territories for any improvements that it has made to those lands.

  • Marginal note:Negotiation

    (3) As soon as practicable after the relinquishment or the taking, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories are to attempt to reach an agreement on the amount of compensation.

  • Marginal note:Appraisal expert

    (4) If the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories are unable to reach an agreement, they are to refer the matter to an agreed upon person with expertise in determining the value of improvements to land.

  • Marginal note:Amount of compensation

    (5) That person must determine that value on a basis similar to the determination of the fair actual value of the improvements — at the time the Governor in Council takes or has relinquished to it the administration and control of the lands — calculated in accordance with the method for calculating the fair actual value of improvements to land set out in a law of general application of the Legislature relating to the assessment of taxes on real property. That value is the amount of compensation.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “59”
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 55(F)

Agreements

Marginal note:Management of waters

 With the approval of the Governor in Council and subject to any agreement entered into under section 5 or 11 of the Canada Water Act, the Minister may, on behalf of the Government of Canada, enter into an agreement with a provincial government providing for the management of any waters that

  • (a) are

    • (i) partially on lands situated in the Northwest Territories that are under the administration of a federal minister, and

    • (ii) partially on lands that are not under the administration of a federal minister; or

  • (b) flow between

    • (i) lands situated in the Northwest Territories that are under the administration of a federal minister, and

    • (ii) lands that are not under the administration of a federal minister.

Amending this Act

Marginal note:Consultation — Minister

  •  (1) Before a bill that amends or repeals this Act is introduced in the House of Commons by a federal minister, the Minister must consult the Executive Council with respect to the proposed amendment or repeal.

  • Marginal note:Recommendations — Legislative Assembly

    (2) The Legislative Assembly may make any recommendations to the Minister that it considers appropriate with respect to the amendment or the repeal of this Act.

Transitional Provisions

Marginal note:Ordinances

 An ordinance, as defined in section 2 of the former Act, is continued as a law of the Legislature of the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Commissioner

  •  (1) The Commissioner, as defined in section 2 of the former Act, who is in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continues in office.

  • Marginal note:Deputy Commissioner

    (2) The Deputy Commissioner — appointed under subsection 4(1) of the former Act — who is in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continues in office.

Marginal note:Executive Council

 The members of the Executive Council — chosen or appointed under subsection 61(1) of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, S.N.W.T. 1999, c. 22 — who are in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continue in office as members of the Executive Council established under section 8.

Marginal note:Council

  •  (1) Despite subsection 11(1), the members of the Council — as defined in section 2 of the former Act — who are in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continue in office as members of the Legislative Assembly for the remainder of the period provided under subsection 9(3) of the former Act, but the Commissioner may dissolve the Legislative Assembly before then.

  • Marginal note:Extension of period of Legislative Assembly

    (2) Despite subsection (1), if the election period for the first general election after the coming into force of section 1 would overlap with the election period for a general election to be held under subsection 56.1(2) or section 56.2 of the Canada Elections Act, the period during which the members referred to in subsection (1) continue in office as members of the Legislative Assembly may be extended until five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs at the last general election under the former Act, but the Commissioner may dissolve the Legislative Assembly before then.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 "65", c. 39, s. 224

Marginal note:Speaker

 The Speaker, elected under subsection 12(1) of the former Act, who is in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continues in office.

Marginal note:Judges

  •  (1) Judges, appointed under section 32 of the former Act, who are in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continue in office.

  • Marginal note:Deputy judges

    (2) Deputy judges, appointed under subsection 35(1) of the former Act, who are in office immediately before the coming into force of section 1 continue in office.

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in sections 69 to 71, 73 and 74.

encumbering right

encumbering right means a right referred to in section 7(94) of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, an interest referred to in section 18.5 of the Gwich’in Agreement, section 19.5 of the Sahtu Agreement or section 18.6 of the Tlicho Agreement or a similar right or interest referred to in another settlement agreement. (charge)

existing interest

existing interest means

  • (a) a right or interest that exists — immediately before the coming into force of section 1 — under an Act of Parliament that is repealed or rendered inapplicable to such a right or interest by an Act of Parliament that implements the Agreement;

  • (b) a right or interest that exists — immediately before that coming into force — under an access order, a permit, licence or other authorization, a lease or an agreement for lease or sale that is issued, granted or otherwise obtained under an Act of Parliament that is repealed or rendered inapplicable to such a right or interest by an Act of Parliament that implements the Agreement;

  • (c) a right or interest that exists immediately before that coming into force under a licence — as defined in section 51 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act as it read immediately before that coming into force — other than a licence that is in relation to a federal area as defined in section 51 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act;

  • (d) a right or interest that is a renewal, replacement or successor of a right or interest referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) if a right to that renewal, replacement or successor exists immediately before that coming into force; or

  • (e) a licence that

    • (i) is valid immediately before the coming into force of section 1 and the giving of which was subject to the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, or

    • (ii) is a renewal, replacement or successor of such a licence if a right to that renewal, replacement or successor exists immediately before that coming into force.

For greater certainty, it includes a right or interest referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) that is an encumbering right, as well as an interest referred to in subsection 117.2(1) of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act that is in respect of the portion of those lands situated in the onshore. (intérêt existant)

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “68”
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 56(F)

Marginal note:Existing interests

  •  (1) An existing interest must, subject to subsections (2) to (4), be administered and governed in accordance with any law of the Legislature.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — additional conditions

    (2) A law of the Legislature may provide for additional conditions in respect of the exercise of an existing interest only if those conditions are applicable to similar rights or interests that are issued, granted or otherwise obtained under a law of the Legislature.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — limitation, suspension or cancellation

    (3) A law of the Legislature may, in respect of an existing interest, provide for its limitation, suspension or cancellation only if

    • (a) the circumstances for its limitation, suspension or cancellation are identical to those that would have applied immediately before the coming into force of section 1; or

    • (b) subject to subsection (4), its limitation, suspension or cancellation is for a failure to comply with a condition in respect of the exercise of the existing interest and the law applies to all similar rights or interests.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — paragraph (3)(b)

    (4) A law of the Legislature must not provide for the limitation, suspension or cancellation of an existing interest under paragraph (3)(b) if it arose from

  • Marginal note:Continuation

    (5) An existing interest — other than one described in paragraph (c) of the definition existing interest in section 68 — continues in full force and effect until the earliest of the following takes place:

    • (a) it expires or is surrendered,

    • (b) with the agreement of the holder, it is cancelled and replaced by a right or interest issued or granted by the Government of the Northwest Territories,

    • (c) in the case of an encumbering right, it is — with the agreement of the holder and the relevant Aboriginal organization — cancelled under a settlement agreement,

    • (d) it is limited, suspended or cancelled under a law of the Legislature referred to in subsection (3), or

    • (e) it is expropriated and its holder is compensated under a law of the Legislature.

Marginal note:References to Government of Canada or Minister

 Any reference to the Government of Canada or the Minister in an instrument evidencing an existing interest must be read as a reference to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Marginal note:Pending proceedings

 Every proceeding — other than a civil or criminal one that is before a court — with respect to a right or interest that is referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (e) of the definition existing interest in section 68 that is in progress immediately before the coming into force of section 1 must be taken up and continued under and in conformity with the laws of the Legislature without any further formality.

Marginal note:Validity of laws of Legislature

 A law of the Legislature that specifically provides that it applies to matters governed by section 45, 46, 47, 57, 58 or 59 of the Northwest Territories Act, the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, the Territorial Lands Act, the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, the Northwest Territories Waters Act or the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act — as they read immediately before the coming into force of section 1 — is considered for all purposes to have been validly made if it is made before that coming into force and would have been valid if made after that coming into force. However, it has no force and effect before that coming into force.

Marginal note:Indemnification by Government of the Northwest Territories

  •  (1) The Government of the Northwest Territories must indemnify the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, against all costs, charges and expenses, including amounts paid to settle an action or to satisfy a judgment, that are reasonably incurred in respect of any claim, action or other proceeding brought against the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, arising out of any act or omission of the Government of the Northwest Territories, or any of its employees or agents, occurring

    • (a) after the coming into force of section 1, in respect of

      • (i) public lands that are under the administration and control of the Commissioner other than those that are under his or her administration and control immediately before that coming into force,

      • (ii) rights in respect of waters that are under the administration and control of the Commissioner, or

      • (iii) existing interests;

    • (b) in respect of security that is assigned to the Government of the Northwest Territories under the Agreement;

    • (c) in respect of records that are copied, loaned or transferred under the Agreement unless the act or omission is made under the Agreement; or

    • (d) in respect of remediation that is performed under the Agreement.

  • Marginal note:Indemnification — obligations under Agreement

    (2) The Government of the Northwest Territories must indemnify the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, against all costs, charges and expenses, including amounts paid to settle an action or satisfy a judgment, that are reasonably incurred in respect of any claim, action or other proceeding brought against the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, arising out of a failure by the Government of the Northwest Territories, or any of its employees or agents, to meet its obligations under the Agreement in respect of a federal employee.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “73”
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 57(F)

Marginal note:Indemnification by Government of Canada

  •  (1) The Government of Canada must indemnify the Government of the Northwest Territories, or any of its employees or agents, against all costs, charges and expenses, including amounts paid to settle an action or satisfy a judgement, that are reasonably incurred in respect of any claim, action or other proceeding brought against the Government of the Northwest Territories, or any of its employees or agents, arising out of any act or omission of the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, occurring

    • (a) before the coming into force of section 1, in respect of

      • (i) public lands that are under the administration and control of the Commissioner other than those that were under his or her administration and control before that coming into force,

      • (ii) rights in respect of waters that are under the administration and control of the Commissioner, or

      • (iii) existing interests;

    • (b) in respect of a taking under section 55 or the making of a prohibition order under section 56 or 57;

    • (c) in respect of security that is assigned to the Government of the Northwest Territories under the Agreement;

    • (d) in respect of records that are copied, loaned or transferred under the Agreement; or

    • (e) in respect of remediation that is performed under the Agreement.

  • Marginal note:Indemnification — Aboriginal party

    (2) The Government of Canada must indemnify an Aboriginal party, or any of its employees or agents, against all costs, charges and expenses, including amounts paid to settle an action or satisfy a judgement, that are reasonably incurred in respect of any claim, action or other proceeding brought against that Aboriginal party, or any of its employees or agents, arising out of any act or omission of the Government of Canada, or any of its employees or agents, occurring in respect of remediation performed under the Agreement on that Aboriginal party’s settlement lands.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “74”
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 58(F)

Marginal note:Limitation on indemnification

 The Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories or an Aboriginal party — or an employee or agent of any of them — is not entitled to be indemnified under section 73 or 74 if the claim, action or proceeding is settled out of court without the written consent of the Government that is required to provide the indemnity.

  • 2014, c. 2, s. 2 “75”
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 59(F)

Marginal note:Enforcement actions

 After the coming into force of section 1, the Government of the Northwest Territories may, despite section 71 and to the exclusion of any other person or entity, commence or continue enforcement actions — under an Act of Parliament that is repealed or rendered inapplicable in respect of the onshore on the coming into force of that section — other than one that is before a court on the coming into force of that section.

Marginal note:No waiver — solicitor-client privilege

  •  (1) Communication under the Agreement by the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories of information, however recorded, that is subject to solicitor-client privilege does not constitute a waiver of that privilege.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition

    (2) No employee or agent of the Government of the Northwest Territories is, except with the Minister’s written permission, to knowingly communicate or make available any information referred to in subsection (1) — or permit it to be communicated or made available — to a person who is not an employee or agent of that Government.

Marginal note:Assignment of contracts

  •  (1) In the case of a contract that is to be assigned by the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories under the Agreement, the contract must be assigned even if

    • (a) the contract does not allow for the assignment; or

    • (b) a party’s consent to the assignment is required under the contract and the party does not consent.

  • Marginal note:Compensation

    (2) The Government of Canada must compensate the parties for costs or losses arising from an assignment referred to in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Transfer — public property

  •  (1) Section 61 of the Financial Administration Act does not apply to a transfer of public property, as defined in section 2 of that Act, that is made under the Agreement.

  • Marginal note:Disposition — federal real property and federal immovables

    (2) The Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act does not apply to a disposition that is made under the Agreement of

    • (a) federal real property as defined in section 2 of that Act; or

    • (b) federal immovables as defined in that section.

Amendment to this Act

 [Amendment]

AMENDMENTS NOT IN FORCE

  • — 2014, c. 2, s. 2 "80" [in force but has not yet had its effect]

    • Repeal — subsections 4(3) and (4)

      80 Subsections 4(3) and (4) are repealed 10 years after the day on which section 1 comes into force.

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