Nunavut Act (S.C. 1993, c. 28)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2019-07-15. Previous Versions
S.C. 1993, c. 28
Assented to 1993-06-10
An Act to establish a territory to be known as Nunavut and provide for its government and to amend certain Acts in consequence thereof
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Nunavut Act.
2 In this Act,
Minister means the Minister of Northern Affairs; (ministre)
- public land
public land means any land, and any interest in any land, in Nunavut that belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada or of which the Government of Canada has power to dispose; (terres domaniales)
Tunngavik means Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, a corporation without share capital incorporated under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-32, and any successor to that corporation. (Tunngavik)
- 1993, c. 28, s. 2
- 1998, c. 15, s. 1
- 2019, c. 29, s. 374
PART IEstablishment and Government
Establishment of Nunavut
Marginal note:Establishment of Nunavut
3 There is hereby established a territory of Canada, to be known as Nunavut, consisting of
(a) all that part of Canada north of the sixtieth parallel of north latitude and east of the boundary described in Schedule I that is not within Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador; and
(b) the islands in Hudson Bay, James Bay and Ungava Bay that are not within Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec.
- 1993, c. 28, s. 3
- 2015, c. 3, s. 172
Seat of Government
4 The seat of government of Nunavut shall initially be at such place in Nunavut as the Governor in Council may designate, but the Legislature for Nunavut may thereafter designate another place as the seat of government.
Commissioner of Nunavut
5 (1) There shall be a chief executive officer for Nunavut, called the Commissioner of Nunavut, who shall be appointed by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Publication of order
(2) The order in council appointing the Commissioner shall be published in the Canada Gazette.
Marginal note:Action of Commissioner
6 (1) The Commissioner shall act in accordance with any written instructions given to the Commissioner by the Governor in Council or the Minister.
(2) The Commissioner shall, as soon as possible after receiving written instructions, make them available to the Executive Council of Nunavut and cause them to be laid before the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, but they are effective when they are made.
Marginal note:Executive powers
7 The executive powers that, immediately before the coming into force of this section, were vested by any laws of Canada in the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories shall be exercised by the Commissioner of Nunavut so far as they are applicable to and capable of being exercised in relation to the government of Nunavut as it is constituted at the time of the exercise of those powers.
Marginal note:Deputy Commissioner
8 The Governor in Council may appoint a Deputy Commissioner of Nunavut, who, if the Commissioner is absent, ill or unable to act or the office of Commissioner is vacant, has and may exercise and perform all of the powers, duties and functions of the Commissioner.
Marginal note:Oaths of office
9 The Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner shall, before assuming the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe such oaths of office and allegiance as the Governor in Council may prescribe.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity
10 If both the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner are absent, ill or unable to act or both those offices are vacant, the Chief Justice of the Nunavut Court of Justice has and may exercise and perform all of the powers, duties and functions of the Commissioner.
- 1993, c. 28, s. 10
- 1999, c. 3, s. 1
- 2017, c. 33, s. 256
Executive Council of Nunavut
Marginal note:Executive Council established
11 There is hereby established an Executive Council of Nunavut, the members of which are appointed by the Commissioner on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
Legislature for Nunavut
Marginal note:Legislature established
12 There is hereby established a Legislature for Nunavut consisting of the Commissioner and the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
Marginal note:Assembly established
13 There is hereby established a Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, each member of which is elected to represent an electoral district in Nunavut.
Marginal note:Number of members and electoral districts
14 The Legislature may make laws prescribing the number of members of the Assembly and describing and naming the electoral districts in Nunavut.
- 1993, c. 28, s. 14
- 1998, c. 15, s. 2
15 (1) Writs for the election of members of the Assembly shall be issued on the instructions of the Commissioner.
(2) [Repealed, 1998, c. 15, s. 3]
- 1993, c. 28, s. 15
- 1998, c. 15, s. 3
Marginal note:Oaths of office
16 Each member of the Assembly shall, before assuming the duties of that office, take and subscribe before the Commissioner such oaths of office and allegiance as the Governor in Council may prescribe.
Marginal note:Duration of Assembly
17 No Assembly shall continue for longer than five years from the date of the return of the writs for the general election, but the Commissioner may at any time, after consultation with the Executive Council, dissolve the Assembly.
Marginal note:Sittings of Assembly
18 The Assembly shall sit at least once every twelve months.
19 The Assembly shall elect one of its members to be Speaker, who shall preside over the Assembly when it is sitting.
20 A majority of the Assembly, including the Speaker, constitutes a quorum.
Marginal note:Rules of procedure
21 The Assembly may make rules for its operations and procedures, except in relation to the classes of subjects referred to in paragraphs 23(1)(b) and (c).
Marginal note:Part of indemnity not taxable
22 One thousand dollars of the indemnity paid in any year to a member of the Assembly for sittings of the Assembly is not income for the purposes of the Income Tax Act.
Marginal note:Legislative powers
23 (1) Subject to any other Act of Parliament, the Legislature may make laws in relation to the following classes of subjects:
(a) the election of members of the Assembly, including the qualifications of electors and of candidates for election;
(b) the disqualification of persons from sitting or voting as members of the Assembly;
(c) the indemnity and expenses of members of the Assembly, including members of a committee of the Assembly;
(d) the establishment and tenure of territorial offices and the appointment, conditions of employment and payment of territorial officers;
(e) the administration of justice in Nunavut, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of territorial courts, both of civil and of criminal jurisdiction, and the procedure in civil matters in those courts;
(f) the establishment, maintenance and management of prisons, jails or lock-ups in and for Nunavut;
(g) municipal and local institutions in Nunavut;
(h) hospitals and charities in and for Nunavut;
(i) the management and sale of the lands the right to the beneficial use or to the proceeds of which is appropriated to the Commissioner by section 49, and of the timber and wood on those lands;
(j) direct taxation within Nunavut in order to raise revenue for territorial, municipal or local purposes;
(k) licensing in order to raise revenue for territorial, municipal or local purposes;
(l) property and civil rights in Nunavut;
(m) education in and for Nunavut, subject to the condition that any law respecting education must provide that
(i) a majority of the ratepayers of any part of Nunavut, by whatever name called, may establish such schools in that part as they think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates for those schools, and
(ii) the minority of the ratepayers in that part of Nunavut, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools in that part and, if they do so, they are liable only to assessments of such rates as they impose on themselves in respect of those separate schools;
(n) the preservation, use and promotion of the Inuktitut language, to the extent that the laws do not diminish the legal status of, or any rights in respect of, the English and French languages;
(o) the solemnization of marriage in Nunavut;
(p) intoxicants in Nunavut, including the definition of what constitutes an intoxicant;
(q) the incorporation of companies with territorial objects, excluding railway, steamship, air transport, telegraph and telephone companies;
(r) agriculture in Nunavut;
(s) the preservation of game in Nunavut;
(t) the entering into of intergovernmental agreements by the Commissioner or any other official of the Government of Nunavut;
(u) the expenditure of money for territorial purposes;
(v) generally, all matters of a merely local or private nature in Nunavut;
(w) the imposition of fines, penalties, imprisonment or other punishment in respect of the contravention of any law made by the Legislature; and
(x) such other matters as the Governor in Council may, by order, designate.
Marginal note:Restriction on powers
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as giving the Legislature greater powers with respect to any class of subjects described in that section than are given to the legislatures of the provinces by sections 92 and 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867 with respect to similar subjects described in those sections.
Marginal note:Laws in respect of Indians and Inuit
(3) Subject to any other Act of Parliament, nothing in subsection (2) shall be construed as preventing the Legislature from making laws of general application that apply to or in respect of Indians and Inuit.
24 The Legislature may not make laws under section 23 that restrict or prohibit Indians or Inuit from hunting, on unoccupied Crown lands, for food game other than game declared by order of the Governor in Council to be game in danger of becoming extinct.
Marginal note:Land claims agreements
25 For greater certainty, the Legislature may make laws under any other provision of this Act for the purpose of implementing the land claims agreement entered into by Her Majesty in right of Canada and the Inuit on May 25, 1993 or any other land claims agreement with an aboriginal people as may be designated by order of the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Importation of intoxicants
26 (1) Subject to any other Act of Parliament, the Legislature may make laws respecting the importation of intoxicants into Nunavut from any other place in Canada or elsewhere and defining what constitutes an intoxicant for the purposes of those laws.
Marginal note:Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act not applicable
(2) The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act does not apply to the importation, sending, taking or transportation of intoxicating liquor into Nunavut.
Marginal note:Borrowing and lending
27 (1) The Legislature may make laws
(a) for the borrowing of money by the Commissioner on behalf of Nunavut for territorial, municipal or local purposes;
(b) for the lending of money by the Commissioner to any person in Nunavut; and
(c) for the investing by the Commissioner of surplus money standing to the credit of the Nunavut Consolidated Revenue Fund.
(2) The aggregate of all borrowings must not exceed the maximum amount set under subsection (4).
Marginal note:Charge on Nunavut C.R.F.
(3) The repayment of money borrowed under a law made pursuant to paragraph (1)(a), and the payment of interest on the money, is a charge on and payable out of the Nunavut Consolidated Revenue Fund.
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.
(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 respecting
(a) what constitutes, or is deemed to constitute, borrowing;
(b) the entities, or classes of entities, whose borrowings must be taken into account; and
(c) the manner in which the value of a borrowing is determined.
- 1993, c. 28, s. 27
- 2012, c. 19, s. 215
Marginal note:Transmittal of laws
28 (1) A copy of every law made by the Legislature shall be transmitted to the Governor in Council within thirty days after its enactment.
(2) The Governor in Council may disallow any law made by the Legislature or any provision of any such law at any time within one year after its enactment.
Laws Applicable in Nunavut
Marginal note:Laws of Nunavut
29 (1) Subject to this Act, on the day that section 3 comes into force, the ordinances of the Northwest Territories and the laws made under them that have been made, and not repealed, before that day are duplicated to the extent that they can apply in relation to Nunavut, with any modifications that the circumstances require. The duplicates are deemed to be laws of the Legislature and the laws made under them.
Marginal note:Coming into force
(2) Subject to this Act, a law of the Legislature or a law made under it that is a duplicate of an ordinance of the Northwest Territories or a law made under it that is made, but not in force, on the day that section 3 comes into force, comes into force in accordance with its provisions.
Marginal note:Non-application — transmittal and disallowance
(3) Subsection 28(1) does not apply to laws of the Legislature under subsection (1). For the purpose of subsection 28(2), the period for the disallowance of a law that is a duplicate of an ordinance of the Northwest Territories is deemed to begin on the day that the ordinance of the Northwest Territories was made.
Marginal note:Other laws
(4) The laws in force or having effect in the Northwest Territories on the day that section 3 comes into force, other than the ordinances and the laws made under them referred to in subsection (1), continue to be in force or to have effect in Nunavut to the extent that they can apply in Nunavut and in so far as they are not after that time repealed, amended, altered or rendered inoperable in respect of Nunavut.
- 1993, c. 28, s. 29
- 1998, c. 15, s. 4
- Date modified: