Policies, Acts and Regulations
Much of the legislation affecting wildlife and habitat is administered and governed by NWT Environment and Natural Resources.
Legislation relating to fish and fisheries is administered and governed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. On June 29 2012, amendments to the Fisheries Act received Royal Assent. For more information about the changes, click here . The Fisheries Act can be found here http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-14/
Migratory birds are administered and governed by the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The original law was passed in 1917 to satisfy the terms of an agreement with the United States, signed because of concern in both countries of uncontrolled hunting of waterfowl and shorebirds. The version updated in 1994 includes stronger enforcement and greater penalties.
Currently proposed changes to the migratory bird harvest regulations for non-aboriginal harvest are under public review. The one proposed change affecting the Northwest Territories applies to non-aboriginal harvesters only, as follows:
"Increasing the daily bag limit and eliminating the possession limit for Snow and Ross’s Geese (combined). It is proposed to increase the daily bag limit for Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese to a combined total of 50 birds and to remove the possession limit for these species. This measure may increase the harvest of overabundant species that are above population objectives while maintaining good use of harvested birds. Establishing a spring conservation harvest for Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese. It is proposed to implement a spring special conservation season for Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese. This measure would provide additional opportunity to manage these overabundant species, and contribute to reducing the growth of these populations through hunting.”
Species at Risk Act
Within the NWT, both the Federal and Territorial Species At Risk Acts (SARAs) govern wildlife management.
COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) is a committee of experts that assesses and designates which wildlife species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada.
Click here for information about the NWT SARA. The Species At Risk Committee (SARC) was established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to assess the biological status of species that may be at risk in the NWT.
Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) was established in 1998 to provide for an integrated system of land and water management in the Mackenzie Valley, including Boards within the land claim regions and for the NWT as a whole. Section 9.1 states that "the purpose of the establishment of boards by this Act is to enable residents of the Mackenzie Valley to participate in the management of its resources for the benefit of the residents and of other Canadians."
Part 4 of Bill C-15 which was introduced in Federal Parliament on December 3, 2013, amends the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to consolidate the structure of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, to establish time limits for environmental assessments and reviews and to expand ministerial policy direction to land use planning boards and the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. This Part also amends the administration and enforcement provisions of Part 3 of that Act and establishes an administration and enforcement scheme in Part 5 of that Act, including the introduction of enforceable development certificates. Moreover, it adds an administrative monetary penalty scheme to the Act. Lastly, this Part provides for the establishment of regional studies and regulation-making authorities for, among other things, consultation with aboriginal peoples and for cost recovery and incorporates into that Act the water licensing scheme from the Northwest Territories Waters Act as part of the implementation of the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement.
In February 2014, Aboriginal leaders including Sahtu Secretariat Inc. Chairperson Ethel Blondin-Andrew made presentations to the parliamentary Standing Committee reviewing Bill C-15 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/aboriginal-groups-oppose-n-w-t-devolution-act-1.2514077. Blondin-Andrew took a stand against the proposed amalgamation of regional Land and Water Boards into a single super-board: "We would lose our voice, we would lose the regional perspective."