Economy, Environment and Climate Change

The Government of the Northwest Territories has made
68 commitments
under this theme.
16
Fulfilled
51
In Progress
1
Planning
  • Commitment Progress Markers
    • Fulfilled
    • In Progress
    • Planning
  • Milestone Progress Markers
    • Fulfilled
    • In Progress
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  • Commitment
    • 2016
    • 2017
    • 2018
    • 2019
Making strategic investments in transportation infrastructure, resource development, workforce development and the knowledge economy.
 
1.1.1
We will work to secure funding to advance planning and construction of transportation projects, including three priority corridors: the Mackenzie Valley Highway, Tłı̨chǫ All-season Road, and Slave Geological Province Access Corridor.
Background Note

Economy, Environment and Climate Change 1.1.1:

 

We will capture opportunities for investment in transportation infrastructure by working to secure funding to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway, make an all-weather road from Highway 3 to Whatì, and improve access into the Slave Geologic Province.

 

 

Status:

 

In September, 2017, INF submitted Expressions of Interest to Transport Canada for funding to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway (MVH) and Slave Geological Province (SGP) Access Corridor projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund. In October, INF received confirmation from Transport Canada that its submissions had been accepted and to proceed to the next step of the approval process. INF submitted comprehensive project proposals to Transport Canada in early November and is currently awaiting a response.

 

Conditional funding for the Tłı̨chǫ All-season Road was announced by the federal government in January, 2017 though the P3 Canada Program. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released in March, which identified three successful proponents. On December 4, 2017, the three proponents where invited to participate in the next stage of the competitive process, the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, which has technical and financial submission deadlines set for August 2018.

 

Next Steps:

 

Completion of environmental assessment activities for all project components and construction of the Great Bear River Bridge represent the most critical next steps to advancing the MVH project. INF is working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) to identify potential risks to wildlife as a result of the proposed construction. Work to advance the P3 business case for the project is progressing.

 

INF, in conjunction with the Department of Finance and ITI, is also in the process of developing a P3 business case of the chosen route for the Slave Geological Province. INF and officials from the Government of Nunavut have set up a joint working group to collaborate in accelerating the project in both jurisdictions.

 

Work is continuing with the Tłı̨chǫ Government to take the necessary steps required to complete environmental assessment activities for the Tłı̨chǫ All-season Road. A final funding agreement with the federal government is anticipated late 2018. It is expected that the RFP process will wrap up and that a preferred proponent will be announced in October 2018.

 

Background:

 

The construction of new road corridors will have significant benefits for residents of the NWT.

 

The GNWT has been working with Tłı̨chǫ Government to advance progress on the Tłı̨chǫ all-season road for several years now. The project will provide year-round access to Whatì and more reliable and longer access to Gamètì and Wekweètì, reducing the cost of living in the region. The road will also help facilitate existing and future economic opportunities in the region.

 

Improving access into the Slave Geological Province will reduce costs for industry exploration and development in a region that holds world-class deposits of natural resources and continues to be a major contributor to the NWT economy. The long-term vision of the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor includes connecting an all-weather road to an all-weather road and port in Nunavut, resulting in a significant new Northern trade corridor.

 

The Mackenzie Valley Highway will connect several NWT communities to the public highway system, resulting in a lower cost of living for residents, improved social, cultural, and employment opportunities, and provide incentive to develop rich petroleum reserves and mineral deports located in the Sahtu Region.

 

All three projects will contribute to significant employment and training opportunities, supporting the development of a stronger Northern workforce and a more resilient transportation system in the face of climate change by replacing winter roads with all-weather highways.

 

Links to Other Government Activities:

 

  • NWT Transportation Strategy 2015-2040: Supports strategic priority of capturing opportunities by continuing to expand the transportation system through partnerships to better connect our communities and support our economic development potential.

     

  • NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy: More reliable, effective and cost-effective transportation services greatly helps to strengthen and diversify the NWT economy by stimulating investment and providing access to natural resources.

 

  • NWT Mineral Development Strategy and Oil and Gas Strategy: Mineral exploration and development is largely dependent upon the availability and adequacy of transportation infrastructure and services.

 

  • NWT Tourism 2020: Greater road access and improved infrastructure help to attract visitors and provide new opportunities for the NWT tourism industry.

 

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Infrastructure.

Engage federal government on transportation infrastructure needs
Submit Expressions of Interest and Comprehensive Project Proposals for Slave Geological Province Access Corridor and Mackenzie Valley Highway under National Trade Corridors Fund
Sign bilateral agreement with the federal government for infrastructure funding under Investing in Canada Plan
Sign final agreement with the federal government for funding of Tlicho All-season Road
Complete Slave Geological Province highway P3 business case
Sign agreement with the federal government for funding under Canada Infrastructure Bank
 
1.1.2
We will strengthen connections with private sector partners in transportation infrastructure (rail, trucking, airline, and marine).
Background Note

Economy, Environment and Climate Change 1.1.2:

We will strengthen connections with private sector partners in transportation infrastructure, such as encouraging CN Rail to continue improving the rail line to Hay River to serve resupply needs and expand the system in accordance with demand.

As the GNWT has established the Marine Transportation Services (MTS) Division, significant opportunity exists to further partner with CN Rail in the delivery of essential goods to communities and industry.

 

The Yellowknife Airport (YZF) revolving fund has been in effect since July 1, 2017. A 2017-18 to 2021-22 Business Plan for the Yellowknife Airport was tabled in the fall 2017 session of the Legislative Assembly. The Economic Advisory Committee has been formed and had their first meeting in early November, 2017.

 

Next Steps:

The Department will continue to meet with CN Rail to receive updates on operations and improvements to the rail line and pass on concerns of local businesses in Hay River and the NWT.

CN is currently updating a plan that it produced internally a number of years ago for a new intermodal facility in Hay River and will share this with the CN Working Group. CN plans to ship industrial cargo via rail and GNWT tug and barge to the high Arctic. The working group aims to facilitate the successful addition of this new industrial cargo to CN’s NWT rail service and the new GNWT tug and barge service.

 

INF is also working with CN to acquire certifications and training required to receive CN rail traffic into the Hay River cargo terminal now owned by the GNWT. CN currently provides the necessary training via a three-day course at their rail yard facilities in Winnipeg.

 

INF will continue to work with the Airline Consultative Committee and Economic Advisory Committee for the Yellowknife Airport to provide a forum for input from the aviation industry and to ensure business objectives of the airport are aligned with the local business sector.

 

A 2018-19 to 2022-23 Business Plan for the Yellowknife Airport is currently being finalized, and will be tabled in the February/March 2018 session.

 

Background:

INF has had a positive and very constructive working relationship with CN for many years. In response to concerns brought to INF's attention in September 2015 regarding operational challenges concerning CN rail service into Hay River and the offloading of bulk fuel products, an engagement plan was developed whereby CN and INF formed a working group and now meet on a regular basis to discuss and resolve railway-related challenges and issues.

 

In March 2017, the Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the Revolving Funds Act establishing a revolving fund for the Yellowknife Airport. Under the revolving fund model, all revenues generated by the Airport will be directed to capital and operations and maintenance for the Yellowknife Airport. The revolving fund came into effect July 1, 2017 at which time fee increases were implemented along with a new Airport Improvement Fee (AIF).

 

Accomplishments to Date:

CN invested over $21 million in NWT railway improvements in 2015 and 2016 in response to the challenges and issues discussed during CN Working Group meetings.

To improve CN Rail operations into Hay River, CN has stationed a local CN yard crew in the community to provide rail car switching services and deployed a new type of transloader at the rail yard to assist in more rapid and efficient transloading of bulk fuels into trucks.

INF is already making progress on advancing several improvements to the Yellowknife Airport. These include:

  • Pre-design of a new security screening facility;

  • Food and beverage services in the pre-board departures lounge;

  • Development of a Gate 5 Business Centre for staff waiting for mine flights;

  • Relocation of Oversize Baggage Facility to create more passenger queue space at check-in area;

  • Development of a tender to secure a contractor to complete design and geotechnical work for an improved YZF de-icing bay;

  • Design and implementation plans being finalized for Common Use Terminal Equipment; and

  • Design work for parking facility upgrades

 

 

Links to Other Government Activities:

  • NWT Transportation Strategy 2015-2040: Supports priority of strengthening connections to continue maintaining and improving our existing transportation system to enhance the level of service, increase reliability, improve transportation safety, and build on partnerships.

     

  • NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy: Changes to the fee structure of the Yellowknife Airport will establish a positive entrepreneurial environment and support economic opportunities for residents by reinvesting revenues toward capital improvements at the airport.

     

  • Tourism 2020: Infrastructure and service improvements at the Yellowknife Airport help to attract visitors and provide new opportunities for the NWT tourism industry.

     

     

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Infrastructure.

Meet with Airline Consultative Committee for YZF
Establish Economic Advisory Committee for YZF
Complete a business plan for YZF
Hold GNWT-CN Rail Working Group meetings as needed (ongoing
Commence quarterly meeting of the Economic Advisory Committee
Release Yellowknife Airport Business Plan for 2018/19 to 2022/23
 
1.1.3
We will strengthen connections with public sector partners in transportation infrastructure, including working with the federal government to maintain federal community resupply port facilities and marine services in the NWT, to restore safe marine operating conditions in the Port of Hay River and at key sections of the Mackenzie River Corridor, and to improve charting and navigational aids.
Background Note


Economy, Environment and Climate Change 1.1.3:

We will strengthen connections with public sector partners in transportation infrastructure, such as encouraging the Fisheries and Oceans Canada to maintain federal community resupply port facilities and marine services in the NWT, to restore safe marine operating conditions in the Port of Hay River and at key sections of the Mackenzie River Corridor, and to improve charting and navigational aids.

On August 27, 2017, Transport Canada announced that under the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP), $94.3 million will be invested over five years in the Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative. This initiative is intended to make Arctic resupply operations faster, safer, and more efficient for remote coastal communities along the Arctic Ocean. Investments will be made in on-the-ground safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure to support safer community resupply operations and in training for the use and maintenance of equipment and infrastructure.

 

There is an opportunity to use OPP funding to improve the state of NWT marine facilities to support important resupply operations that help stabilize the cost of living in NWT communities, better take advantage of shipping opportunities, and increase the efficiency and safety of operations across the NWT marine corridor.

 

Next Steps:

 

INF is continuing discussion with Transport Canada and DFO Small Craft Harbours about investments to improve marine transportation infrastructure in the NWT, including investments to rehabilitate the harbour bed in Hay River and expand facilities at the Port as the territory’s marine hub and the base of marine operations across the NWT marine system.

 

The Department of Infrastructure (INF) is refining a list of priority marine infrastructure in the NWT, which may benefit from federal funding under the Oceans Protection Plan, including improvements to the Port of Hay River, the purchase of double-hulled barges to augment the GNWT’s Marine Transportation Services fleet, and establishing a Marine Services Centre in the community of Tuktoyaktuk as a few key initiatives.

 

The GNWT is requesting that Canada could provide GNWT with special consideration and first right of refusal where marine related services are supplied to federal departments, boards and agencies within the waters of the NWT.

 

The federal government is currently developing regional engagement plans to initiate formal discussions on the OPP with provinces and territories. There is currently no timeframe for these engagements.

 

Accomplishments to Date:

 

INF has worked with CCG to review the results of the June 2016 harbour survey, which determined the scope of work required to dredge the harbour. A total of 99,391 cubic metres of mud, sand, and silt are required to be removed to restore the harbour to grade.

 

INF also worked with Hay River’s Great Slave Harbour Authority and the NWT Fisherman’s Federation to develop an informal Request for Quotes (RFQ) for dredging services and to solicit reponses from local contrators. Restoration of the harbour to grade is estimated at $10 million. $1 million annually would be required or operations and maintenance (O&M) for 15 years ($25 million total).

 

 

Background:

 

The Hay River Harbour is heavily silted affecting marine safety and limiting the efficiency and effectiveness of critical marine resupply operations provided by the GNWT’s Marine Transportation Services (MTS), federal operations, and local industry. Hay River Harbour was last dredged by Public Works and Government Services Canada's dredging fleet in 1993 under the former dredging program operated by the federal government. Annual funding is no longer provided to Public Works and Government Services Canada for regular harbour maintenance in the NWT, including dredging. However, funding for dredging activities remains a federal responsibility and the Department of Infrastructure does not have the mandate or the resources to undertake this initiative.

 

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are responsible for the delivery of marine support services in the NWT, including marine search and rescue, aids to navigation, marine communications, charting, navigation channel maintenance, icebreaking support, and community marine resupply facilities. Starting in 1995, the Department of Infrastructure maintained community marine landing sites and docks on behalf of the federal government through a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada that provided $500,000 in funding. The federal government cut funding to the Federal Marine Re-supply Site Program in 2013/14. Since then, the INF has increasingly received report from communities regarding the poor condition of federally-owned marine facilities.

 

Links to Other Government Activities:

 

  • NWT Transportation Strategy 2015-2040: Supports priority of strengthening connections to continue maintaining and improving our existing transportation system to enhance the level of service, increase reliability, improve transportation safety, and build on partnerships and priority of embracing innovation to adapt the transportation system to the effects of climate change.

 

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Infrastructure.

Submission on Canada Transportation Act Review recommendations
Support Hay River Harbour Working Group to identify dredging requirements
Work with Transport Canada on Northern engagement on the Oceans Protection Plan
Support Hay River Harbour Working Group acquiring federal funding
Finalize and submit list of priority marine infrastructure projects for funding consideration under Oceans Protection Plan
 
1.1.4
We will continue to implement the government’s Hard-to-Recruit initiative to link regional job vacancies with potential employees and on-the-job training for residents
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

Commitment 1.1.4 – We will continue to implement the government’s Regional Recruitment Program initiative to assist with increasing regional employment opportunities by linking residents with regional vacancies and on-the-job training.

Developed in 2014, the Regional Recruitment Program (RRP) is an on-going program under the umbrella of the Workforce Planning Strategy and is intended to assist with increasing regional employment opportunities by using unique approaches to recruitment to link residents with on-the-job training.

The Department of Finance continues to implement the Regional Recruitment Program (RRP) to assist with increasing regional employment opportunities. Since the program was created, 16 individuals have been appointed to indeterminate positions after completing their RRP training programs. These indeterminate placements include Inuvik, Fort Simpson, Fort Providence, Fort Liard and Yellowknife.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.5 – We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment, skill development, and matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.
  • Commitment 1.1.7 – In collaboration with the federal government, we will increase the number of immigrants working in the NWT and increase investment by immigrants. We will implement an immigration strategy that prioritizes streamlining application processes, increasing awareness of immigration programs, and consolidating our administrative supports.
  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities.

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Finance.

Launch campaign to promote Regional Recruitment Program
Track employee placements beginning in 2017
Review Regional Recruitment Program
Amend Regional Recruitment Program based on review
 
1.1.5
We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment, skill development, and matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.5 – We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment, skill development, and matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is leading the GNWT’s work to implement the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework (S4S) and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 to help develop the skills, knowledge and talents of the people of the NWT. The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT.

Implementation of the Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 (milestone 1) continues and ECE is focusing on the development of a Small Community Employment Strategy, and a Foundational Review and strategic plan for Aurora College. These efforts have interrelated actions that all contribute to developing a skilled workforce to build a strong and thriving northern economy.

The Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 (milestone 1) which contains 24 actions to improve employment success for the people of the NWT supports the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework and used a combination of program research, extensive stakeholder engagements, and information identified in the Northwest Territories Labour Market Forecast and Needs Assessment. The Minister of ECE tabled the Northwest Territories Labour Market Forecast and Needs Assessment on June 14, 2016.

The Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 provides direction on how the GNWT plans to achieve the priorities that will realize the S4S Framework’s vision and goals. It includes actions and ways to measure success, and focuses on achieving system wide improvements for better employment outcomes for NWT residents.

The Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework was tabled on October 7, 2015. Over 700 people across the NWT engaged in the process of developing the S4S Framework. Feedback from regional focus group sessions, the S4S Symposium, and an online survey have been documented in a full Skills 4 Success Initiative Engagement Report and shorter report, Skills 4 Success Initiative Engagement Summary: “What We Heard”.

In May 2017, as part of the implementation of the S4S Framework and Action Plan, the Department of ECE released the NWT Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupational Certification Strategy 2017-2022 (ATOC), and in June 2017, released the NWT Immigration Strategy 2017-2022: Building a Skilled Workforce and a Vibrant Economy.

The ATOC Strategy outlines how the GNWT will improve training, apprenticeship, and certification opportunities in skilled trades and industrial occupation. The strategy includes four goals, each having specific objectives and key actions. The goals mirror the S4S goals:

  • Increase skill levels through relevant education and training;
  • Bridge education and employment gaps through targeted supports;
  • Grow the NWT workforce through partnerships; and
  • Improve decision making with relevant labour market information

The Northwest Territories’ Immigration Strategy: Building a Skilled Workforce and a Vibrant Economy 2017-2022 focuses on growing the population, assisting employers to meet critical workforce needs and increasing investment in the NWT. It includes the following five goals:

  • Attract foreign nationals to the NWT whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs;
  • Attract foreign investment to benefit the economy;
  • Support and be responsive to settlement and integration needs;
  • Support the workforce by educating foreign nationals and NWT employers on workers’ rights and responsibilities; and
  • Consolidate administrative efforts between the Departments of Education, Culture and Employment and Industry Tourism and Investment.

ECE is currently engaged in discussions with the federal government and other provinces and territories to revise existing agreements for labour market development (milestone 2). The discussions are focused on ensuring that renewed federal-territorial agreements provide sufficient flexibility to address labour market needs. Federal-territorial labour market transfer agreements (LMTA) provide over $7 million in annual funding to the GNWT to support delivery of labour market programs, services and supports. Under the LMTA the GNWT received an increase of $231,000 in 2016-17.

On April 1, 2017, interim changes were implemented to the existing Small Community Employment Support (SCES) program to increase benefit levels and add flexibility for community employers and organizations. These changes were made pending the completion of a strategy to increase employment in small communities.

Moving forward, the SCES program is targeted to the NWT’s smallest communities and the Strategy will provide direction for future enhancements that will be made to the program. These future enhancements will aim to maximize the training and employment opportunities of residents in small communities (milestone 1).

Although SCES programming provides direct supports to small communities, the bulk of programs that support labour force development across the NWT are funded through federal labour market transfer agreements.

Related Mandate Commitments:

Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities by:

  • Enhancing the Small Communities Employment Support Program.
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to increase employment in small communities that guides the delivery of territorial programming and includes a performance measurement plan.

Commitment 2.3.1 - We will take steps to close the skills gap, by conducting a Foundational Review of Aurora College followed by a renewed strategic plan and updates to the Aurora College Act where indicated by the Foundational Review, improving outcomes from our Community Learning Centres, strengthening the apprenticeship program, and improving our career development services.

Commitment 2.5.4 - We will promote and improve student financial assistance to support NWT youth in developing the skills and abilities to meet their potential as well as territorial labour demand.

Release Skills 4 Success Action Plan
Sign updated Labour Market Agreements with federal government
 
1.1.7
In collaboration with the federal government, we will increase the number of immigrants working in the NWT and increase investment by immigrants. We will implement an immigration strategy that prioritizes streamlining application processes, increasing awareness of immigration programs, and consolidating our administrative supports.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.7 – In collaboration with the federal government, we will increase the number of immigrants working in the NWT and increase investment by immigrants. We will implement an immigration strategy that prioritizes streamlining application processes, increasing awareness of immigration programs, and consolidating our administrative supports.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) are implementing a five-year NWT Immigration Strategy. ECE and ITI released the NWT Immigration Strategy in June 2017 (milestone 2).

The Immigration Strategy fulfills the GNWT Mandate of the 18th Legislative Assembly and an action item of the S4S 4-Year Action Plan. ECE, in partnership with ITI, held facilitated stakeholder engagements during September and October 2016. Stakeholder engagement consisted of direct one-on-one engagement and one focus group in each region. In addition, a survey was promoted to stakeholders to provide the opportunity to review the questions and provide feedback, and an engagement report was prepared by a contractor. Following the engagement, ECE, in partnership with ITI, finalized the Immigration Strategy.

The Strategy includes an Action Plan that will focus on five goals:

  • Attract foreign nationals to the NWT whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs;
  • Attract foreign investment, through the establishment or purchase of a business by a foreign national, to benefit the economy;
  • Support and be responsive to settlement and integration needs;
  • Support the workforce by educating foreign nationals and NWT employers on rights and responsibilities; and
  • Consolidate administrative efforts between the Departments of Education, Culture and Employment and Industry Tourism and Investment.

The Immigration Strategy supports the promotion of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) to attract skilled foreign nationals improving stakeholder partnerships and safeguarding employment opportunities for NWT residents. The Strategy will address labour market gaps and skills shortages by:

  • Supporting population growth objectives of the GNWT and attracting foreign nationals whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs to the NWT;
  • Diversifying and increasing investment by foreign nationals through the Business Driven stream; and
  • Improving partnerships with immigration stakeholders to ensure immigration in the NWT is inclusive and responsive to the needs of Northern Employers.

The Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) is an immigration program delivered by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) under to an agreement with the federal governments department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It allows the GNWT to nominate foreign nationals to apply for Canadian permanent residency. ECE is the lead on the NTNP, though responsibility is shared with ITI.

ECE is responsible for administering the Employer Driven stream, designed to support employers to recruit and retain foreign nationals who possess the skills and experience required by the employer and who meet program eligibility criteria, when there are no qualified Canadians or permanent residents available.

ECE implemented a comprehensive communications strategy in 2016 to promote the Nominee Program to target audiences at the local, national and international level to increase the uptake of the Nominee Program (milestone 1). The Nominee Program has a new visual identity, and the www.immigratenwt.ca website has been enhanced.

The Employer Driven Program is comprised of three streams:

  • Critical Impact Workers;
  • Skilled Workers; and
  • NWT Express Entry.

Improvements to delivery since 2014 include:

  • introducing services standards and consolidating program delivery;
  • refining website content to provide clear, concise and timely information;
  • launched a 1-800 toll free information line for NWT employers;
  • revised program guidelines and processes; and,
  • visits to regional centers to promote the program.

Participation in the NWT Nominee Programs employer driven streams continues to increase. In 2016, 128 nominees and their dependents were approved. Since 2009, 644 nominees and their dependents have been approved. The Department of ECE has exceeded its target of a 25% increase annually in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is responsible for administering the Business Driven stream of the NTNP which is designed to support entrepreneurs with business expertise who want to immigrate to the NWT to either purchase, start or invest in a business in the NWT.

As part of its work to increase the number of immigrants working and investing in the NWT, the GNWT is pursuing the Business Stream of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program, led by ITI, which is designed to attract entrepreneurs with business expertise and investment capital to settle in the NWT and enhance the economic environment of the NWT by purchasing, starting or investing in a local business.

Awareness of, and applications to, the Business Driven stream continues to increase. The first applicant arrived in Yellowknife in August 2016 with his family and purchased a business. The second approved applicant has also arrived in Yellowknife and her business is operational. A third applicant has been approved.

The NTNP Business Driven stream receives a number of inquiries every week from interested applicants and consultants. Work is underway to further streamline and promote the program.

The program guidelines were updated in January of 2017 to make them more user-friendly while clarifying program requirements in line with the Federal Government requirements. A promotional brochure and materials have been developed for the NTNP Business Driven stream and distributed to consultants that work with the program. Brochures are currently in English, French and Mandarin.

ITI is in the process of developing a Marketing Plan specific to the Business stream in order to determine how to best target efforts and resources and identify the top markets for the best chance at success.

A “Newcomers Guide to doing Business in the NWT” guide is also being developed. The guide is meant to be distributed to business stream applicants once they have been approved for their two-year temporary work permit. It is a pre-arrival tool to help an applicant feel better prepared to navigate operating a business in a foreign country.

Related Mandate Commitments:

Commitment 1.1.5 - We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment and skill development, while matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.

Launch campaign to promote NWT Nominee Progam
Release Immigration Strategy
 
1.1.8
We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implementing the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.8

We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implement the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.

Mineral Development Strategy

The Mineral Development Strategy (MDS) was developed in collaboration with the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines using a consultative approach.

The MDS is organized into five key pillars:

  1. Creating a Competitive Edge;
  2. Establishing a New Regulatory Environment for the NWT;
  3. Enhancing Aboriginal Engagement and Capacity;
  4. Promoting Sustainability; and
  5. Enriching Workforce Development and Public Awareness.

Mining Incentive Program

The NWT Mining Incentive Program (MIP) (milestone 2) provides funding to prospectors and exploration companies who propose new exploration projects or are already carrying out NWT mineral exploration work.

The MIP is intended to stimulate and sustain mineral exploration activities throughout the NWT and reduce the risk associated with grass roots mineral exploration - exploration that is vital to a healthy, sustained, and productive mining industry.

The MIP is an initiative of the MDS and was developed in response to the findings of a Stakeholders Engagement Panel. The MIP is modeled after successful incentive programs offered by other Canadian jurisdictions.

Mineral Resources Act

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is committed to developing and introducing a new Mineral Resources Act (MRA) during the 18th Legislative Assembly (milestones 3 and 4).

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) assumed jurisdiction over mineral resources management in the NWT with Devolution on April 1, 2014.

Mineral resources in the NWT are currently governed by the Mining Regulations under the Northwest Territories Lands Act.  This legislation was mirrored from the federal government at the time of Devolution.

A new Act will reflect the unique regulatory needs and priorities of the NWT and make things more transparent and simpler, by bringing the administration of mineral tenure and royalties together under one Act.

The MRA will support sustainable, inclusive mineral development in the NWT that helps us to manage our lands and resources in a way that benefits NWT residents, while increasing our competiveness in the mining sector.

The MRA will establish clear and modern rules for mining in the NWT, reducing risk and attracting investment.

The process to develop and implement a Mineral Resources Act will take several years and the first steps in the process have begun.

Regional Mineral Development Strategies

The GNWT assists and supports Indigenous government organizations in developing regionally driven strategic approaches to natural resources development through the delivery of workshops and strategy development assistance.   Indigenous government organizations are able to discuss, formulate and learn from other examples of regional resource development strategies.

ITI is working with Indigenous governments on developing Regional Mineral Development Strategies.  These strategies are owned by each region and allow policy decisions on exploration and resource development to be made by the land claimant for each settlement area.  These strategies are designed in such a way as to work in harmony with other GNWT strategies.  The Regional Mineral Development Strategies initiative supports implementation of MDS goal 3.2.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.10 - We will ensure that residents have meaningful opportunities to participate in the assessment of potential benefits and risks associated with resource development, including hydraulic fracturing.
  • Commitment 1.1.11 - We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
    • Implementing the NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan, including carrying out Slave Province geoscience studies, ensuring the availability of high quality geoscience knowledge to promote the successful exploration for and discovery of NWT mineral resources, and defining permafrost conditions that may impact future infrastructure development.
    • Implementing the Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of NWT renewable and non-renewable mineral and energy resources and the means by which they can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.
  • Commitment 1.1.12 - We will support the growth of Aboriginal business development corporations and the capacity of Aboriginal governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act
    • Making amendments to the NWT Mining Regulations
Implement Mineral Development Strategy
Implement Mining Incentive Program
Develop policy key elements for the Mineral Resources Act
Introduce Bill to create Mineral Resources Act
Participate in three industry conferences to promote and attract direct investment in minerals
 
1.1.9
We will develop a long-term strategy to attract investment in oil and gas resources that will provide economic and energy benefits to NWT residents and businesses, while recognizing and protecting environmental, social, cultural and economic values.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.9

We will develop a long-term strategy to attract investment in oil and gas resources that will provide economic and energy benefits to NWT residents and businesses, while recognizing and protecting environmental, social, cultural and economic values.

Economic Opportunities Strategy

The 2013 NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy recommended development of a strategy to encourage growth of the oil and gas industry to benefit NWT residents.

The Pathways to Petroleum Development Public Engagement Report was developed in the 17th Legislative Assembly and informed the development of the first draft of a Petroleum Resources Strategy.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has developed and released the NWT Petroleum Resources Strategy, including an Implementation Plan and a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

The NWT Petroleum Resources Strategy was released in tandem with the 2030 Energy Strategy and the Climate Change Strategic Framework (milestone 2).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.10 - We will ensure that residents have meaningful opportunities to participate in the assessment of potential benefits and risks associated with resource development, including hydraulic fracturing.
  • Commitment 1.1.11 - We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
    • Implementing the NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan, including carrying out Slave Province geoscience studies, ensuring the availability of high quality geoscience knowledge to promote the successful exploration for and discovery of NWT mineral resources, and defining permafrost conditions that may impact future infrastructure development.
    • Implementing the Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of NWT renewable and non-renewable mineral and energy resources and the means by which they can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act
  • Commitment 5.2.4 - We will pursue an agreement with the federal government on the management of offshore resources.
Engage with public on draft strategy
Release Oil and Gas Strategy
 
1.1.10
We will ensure that residents have meaningful opportunities to participate in the assessment of potential benefits and risks associated with resource development, including hydraulic fracturing.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.10

We will ensure that residents have meaningful opportunities to participate in the assessment of potential benefits and risks associated with resource development, including hydraulic fracturing.

Oil and Gas Operations Act (OGOA) and Petroleum Resources Act (PRA)

We are committed to improving our oil and gas legislative framework in accordance with the 18th Legislative Assembly’s priority for improved governance.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment has completed public engagement on amendments to the OGOA and PRA in early 2018 (milestone 3).

Changes will focus on improving transparency, modernizing language, clarifying purpose and principles, reducing red tape, and ensuring regulatory certainty.  These are a first step towards a fulsome rebuild of our NWT oil and gas legislation.

Improving transparency will provide public information on the benefits and risks of oil and gas development to support discussion and decision-making.

Outreach and Education Events

The Department of Lands and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are collaborating with the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, the Land and Water Boards, and the Land Use Planning Boards on outreach and knowledge-sharing events related to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act system.

At least one outreach and knowledge-sharing event related to the NWT integrated resource management system is held in Quarter 1 of each year (milestones 2 and 4). Workshops were held in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Participant Funding

Participant funding enables NWT residents and organizations to participate in the assessment of potential benefits and risks associated with resource development. Although participant funding is a federal responsibility, the Department of Lands continues to raise the issue with the federal government.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.9 - We will develop a long-term strategy to attract oil and gas development in the territory.
  • Commitment 1.1.11 - We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
    • Implementing the Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of NWT renewable and non-renewable mineral and energy resources and the means by which they can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.
  • Commitent 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act
    • Making amendments to the NWT Mining Regulations
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Commissioner’s Land Act
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Northwest Territories Lands Act
  • Commitment 5.2.5 - We will work to improve the NWT integrated resource management regime to ensure the regime reflects NWT interests and priorities.

Release the What We Heard Report on the Mineral Resources Act
2018 outreach and education event on the NWT integrated resource management system
Complete roll out of public engagement on the Petroleum Resources Act and Oil and Gas Operations Act review
2019 outreach and education event on the NWT integrated resource management system
1.1.11
We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
 
Completing the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link in order to help modernize the economy and enable growth in all economic sectors.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

Commitment 1.1.11 – We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
Completing the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link in order to help modernize the economy and enable growth in all economic sectors.

The Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link (MVFL) project involves the installation of 1,154 km (717 miles) of high-speed fibre optic telecommunications cable north from McGill Lake Microwave Site, approximately 85KM south of Fort Simpson, through the Mackenzie Valley, to Inuvik: the feasibility of an extension to Tuktoyaktuk will be assessed following the completion of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway.

The MVFL provides modern, high speed, backbone communications infrastructure to residents in the NWT’s Mackenzie Valley and support the growth of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (SSF), sustainable economic development and economic diversification opportunities throughout the Mackenzie Valley.

The MVFL was completed in the summer of 2017.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.1 – We will work to secure funding to advance planning and construction of transportation projects, including three priority corridors: the Mackenzie Valley Highway, Tłı̨chǫ All-season Road, and Slave Geological Province Access Corridor.
  • Commitment 1.1.2 – We will strengthen connections with private sector partners in transportation infrastructure (rail, trucking, airline, and marine).
  • Commitment 1.1.3 – We will strengthen connections with public sector partners in transportation infrastructure, including working with the federal government to maintain federal community resupply port facilities and marine services in the NWT, to restore safe marine operating conditions in the Port of Hay River and at key sections of the Mackenzie River Corridor, and to improve charting and navigational aids.
  • Commitment 1.1.8 – We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implementing the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.1.9 – We will develop a long-term strategy to attract investment in oil and gas resources that will provide economic and energy benefits to NWT residents and businesses, while recognizing and protecting environmental, social, cultural and economic values.
  • Commitment 1.1.12 – We will support the growth of Indigenous business development corporations and the capacity of Indigenous governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Finance.

Complete installation of fibre optic link
Test fibre optic link and put into service
Assess the feasibility of extending the MVFL to Tuktoyaktuk after the completion of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway
 
Implementing the NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan, including carrying out Slave Province geoscience studies, ensuring the availability of high quality geoscience knowledge to promote the successful exploration for and discovery of NWT mineral resources, and defining permafrost conditions that may impact future infrastructure development.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11

We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:

  • Implementing the NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan, including carrying out Slave Province geoscience studies, ensuring the availability of high quality geoscience knowledge to promote the successful exploration for and discovery of NWT mineral resources, and defining permafrost conditions that may impact future infrastructure development.

NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan

The NWT Geological Survey (NTGS) Strategic Plan contributes to the GNWT’s knowledge agenda, supports the implementation of ITI’s Mineral Development Strategy, and will link to our Petroleum Resources Strategy. 

The NTGS Strategic Plan describes the mission, vision, and values of the NTGS and ensures overall program alignment with the priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly and the 2016-2019 GNWT Mandate commitments. 

The NTGS Strategic Plan has six goals:

Goal 1
To ensure the availability of framework geoscience knowledge about the NWT in support of natural resource management, environmental stewardship, and sustainable communities.

Goal 2
To promote the discovery of mineral resources in the NWT by characterizing resource potential, generating regional and thematic geoscience knowledge to underpin successful exploration, and providing scientific advice to inform policy and regulatory decisions.

Goal 3
To promote development of energy resources in the NWT by evaluating resource potential, generating regional and thematic geoscience knowledge to underpin successful exploration, and providing scientific advice to inform policy and regulatory decisions.

Goal 4
To inform decisions affecting use of the land, environmental stewardship, and infrastructure security.

Goal 5
To ensure excellence in information management, discovery, and dissemination.

Goal 6
To position the NTGS to achieve its vision as the principal source of public geoscience knowledge about the NWT.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.8 - We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implement the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Indigenous governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act
    • Making amendments to the NWT Mining Regulations
Open the Geological Collections Storage Facility
Introduce new web applications for public use
Compile and publicly release regional ground temperature data to inform permafrost-related decisions and research
 
Implementing the Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of NWT renewable and non-renewable mineral and energy resources and the means by which they can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11

We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:

  • Implementing the Resources and Energy Development Information initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of NWT renewable and non-renewable mineral and energy resources and the means by which they can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI)

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has committed to ensuring NWT residents have an opportunity to weigh-in on decisions about the future of resource development in our territory, including the management of hydraulic fracturing.

The REDI initiative is a public outreach initiative intended to encourage public awareness and knowledge about resource and energy development in the NWT.

The REDI initiative was formally introduced with a launch event at the Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies conference and tradeshow in Inuvik from June 12 to 14, 2017 (milestone 1).

Another community information session was held in Hay River on November 9, 2017, and more community information sessions are being planned for Yellowknife and Inuvik in June 2018 (milestone 2).

As part of the REDI initiative, a web-based information portal will be introduced and educational materials to support awareness and understanding in school aged children are being developed (milestones 3 and 4).

Departments participating in the Industry, Tourism and Investment-led REDI initiative include Environment and Natural Resources, Lands, Infrastructure, Education, Culture and Employment, and Executive and Indigenous Affairs.

Non-government partners include the National Mining Matters campaign, territorial regulatory boards and the Chamber of Mines for the NWT and Nunavut.  

REDI also supports the GNWT’s NWT Mineral Development Strategy.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.9 - We will develop a long-term strategy to attract oil and gas development in the territory.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act
Launch the Resources and Energy Development Information (REDI) public education program
Launch a web-based information portal
Host one community information session per region
Develop and make available stand-alone educational materials to support awareness and understanding in school age children
 
In partnership with other organizations, supporting the creation of a central repository that supports knowledge dissemination, research, and best practices for northern farming conditions, and promoting innovative farm practices and northern based greenhouse and related technologies.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11

We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:

  • In partnership with other organizations, supporting the creation of a central repository that supports knowledge dissemination, research, and best practices for northern farming conditions, and promoting innovative farm practices and northern based greenhouse and related technologies.

Farming Central Repository

Feedback from the Agriculture Strategy engagement process indicated that anecdotal evidence about successful historical practices, such as those used by experimental farms, is not easily accessible.  A recommendation was made to create a centralized, on-line repository for historical documents, research, learning resources and current information specific to agricultural production in the north.

A central repository will enhance the sharing of information to fill gaps, reduce duplication and create awareness of sector development and advancements.

In support of continued learning and training, information and networking resources will be created and shared. This will include information on training opportunities, conferences, circumpolar and pan-territorial networks and other topics identified by food producers.

Territorial Agriculture Conference

The first NWT Agriculture Conference took place in Hay River on October 13-15, 2017.

The NWT Agriculture Conference provided an opportunity for NWT growers to connect and learn from one another.  The conference is one of the ways the Government of the Northwest Territories is building capacity in commercial agriculture and food production.

The conference focused on food growers and producers, with a variety of sessions covering a central theme of helping farmers and producers to grow their businesses.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.2.1 - We will expand the agricultural sector by:
    • Implementing the Agriculture Strategy
    • Improving access to agricultural land
    • Updating agricultural funding programs
    • Supporting training for commercial farmers
  • Commitment 2.5.5 - We will implement programs that support youth in their communities and in their schools to encourage local food production and consumption.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Facilitate the 1st Annual Territorial Agriculture Conference
Engage the Aurora Research Institute regarding an agriculture research central repository
Work with agriculture sector representatives to identify a central location for disseminating research and best practices
 
Building upon the research vision developed in the GNWT Knowledge Agenda: Northern Research for Northern Priorities, and other strategic instruments, to support the generation of knowledge (e.g. traditional and local knowledge and western science) and innovation to enhance decision making and sustainable economic opportunities.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11 – We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
Building upon the research vision developed in the GNWT Knowledge Agenda: Northern Research for Northern Priorities, and other strategic instruments, to support the generation of knowledge (e.g. traditional and local knowledge and western science) and innovation to enhance decision making and sustainable economic opportunities.

The Knowledge Agenda supports the GNWT’s overall goal of positioning the NWT as an active leader, practitioner, partner and promoter of all forms of research, including traditional knowledge and community-based research, necessary to inform relevant, timely and effective policy, planning and legislation. Recognizing that NWT residents possess a broad range of knowledge which can be applied to solving important questions, is an important step in encouraging more NWT residents to play a role in developing the Knowledge Economy.

In June 2017, The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) released the GNWT Knowledge Agenda: Northern Research for Northern Priorities. The GNWT is developing an action plan which will enable the collection and use of traditional, local and scientific knowledge (milestones 1 and 2).

The Knowledge Agenda provides a list of clearly defined research goals established by GNWT departments. This assists the development of a Knowledge Economy by clearly communicating to external research funders and practitioners what research GNWT requires and why. The Agenda establishes the need for the use of new technology and greater participation in research by our residents in all phases of research planning which will also create new opportunities to build the Knowledge Economy.

Draft Action Plan for GNWT Knowledge Agenda
Release GNWT Knowledge Agenda Action Plan
 
Supporting the development and growth of post-secondary institutions and programs available in the NWT.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11 – We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
Supporting the development and growth of post-secondary institutions and programs available in the NWT.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is leading the GNWT’s work to implement the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework (S4S) and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 to help develop the skills, knowledge and talents of the people of the NWT. The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT.

A Foundational Review (Review) of Aurora College is being undertaken (milestone 1). The Review is an important step to help expand opportunities for postsecondary education in the NWT by refocusing support for Aurora College and ensure that the NWT’s public postsecondary education institution keeps pace with the changing dynamics of the labour market.

The Review will make recommendations regarding the governance structure and operations of Aurora College. The Terms of Reference for the Review included an examination of:

  • Operations;
  • Governance structures;
  • Accountability measures;
  • Academic program and course selection; and
  • Student recruitment and retention.

In the summer of 2018, Aurora College will develop its long term Strategic plan (milestone 3) which will be informed by the Foundational Review and the ECE response to the Foundational Review (milestone 4).

ECE is also developing a legislative proposal for the creation of an overarching legislative framework to oversee postsecondary education in the NWT.

The primary objectives of this new legislation (milestone 2) will be to create a process of recognition that ensures the effective governance and quality assurance of post-secondary institutions and their programs in alignment with national and international best practices. ECE remains committed to presenting a new post-secondary legislative framework and will involve stakeholder feedback, including consultation with Aurora College and other NWT post-secondary institutions. The legislative work will also be informed by the results of the Aurora College Foundational Review.

Together, the interrelated work of the Skills 4 Success Framework (S4S) and Action Plan, the Aurora College Strategic Plan and Foundational Review, and the proposed post-secondary legislative framework will support the development of a strong knowledge economy in the NWT for years to come.

Related Mandate Commitments:

Commitment 1.1.5 - We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment and skill development, while matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.

Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities by:

  • Enhancing the Small Communities Employment Support Program.
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to increase employment in small communities that guides the delivery of territorial programming and includes a performance measurement plan.

Commitment 2.3.3 - We will develop legislation that outlines a quality assurance system on the basis of which post-secondary institutions will be recognized/authorized in the NWT.

Commitment 2.5.4 - We will promote and improve student financial assistance to support NWT youth in developing the skills and abilities to meet their potential as well as territorial labour demand.

Complete the Aurora College Foundational Review
Release the Aurora College Strategic Plan
Release government response and implementation plan of the Aurora College Foundational Review
Introduce legislative bill to recognize NWT post-secondary institutions
 
Researching the feasibility of creating a Northern Centre of Excellence to promote and support research, innovation, and use of traditional Indigenous knowledge, and foster partnerships with universities, governments and other organizations.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.11 – We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
Researching the feasibility of creating a Northern Centre of Excellence to promote and support research, innovation, and use of traditional Indigenous knowledge, and foster partnerships with universities, governments and other organizations.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is uniquely positioned to explore innovative opportunities for diversifying the NWT economy through development of a Knowledge Economy. Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) has been working with other departments to develop a proposal for a Northern Centre for Sustainability and Community Resilience which will promote a Knowledge Economy in the NWT by:

  • Developing and leading a hub of expertise to provide leadership on practical issues;

  • Producing and exporting products and services that foster a prosperous and competitive NWT;

  • Promoting innovation and creating the space to explore creative and novel ways to address complex challenges; and

  • Promoting the NWT as a preferred jurisdiction for conducting applied Northern research.

The GNWT is currently working toward a feasibility study around the creation of a Northern Centre for Excellence and will be conducting internal engagement soon, followed by external engagement with partners, including Indigenous governments and organizations, Canada, academic institutions, industry and the business sector.

Begin preliminary discussions on conducting a feasibility assessment around the creation of Northern Centre for Excellence
 
1.1.12
We will support the growth of Aboriginal business development corporations and the capacity of Aboriginal governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.12

We will support the growth of Aboriginal business development corporations and the capacity of Aboriginal governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) recognizes the value of maintaining and fostering strong relationships with our partner Indigenous governments, and is working to develop and diversify the economy through strategic economic investments and partnerships with Indigenous businesses.

In the past, the GNWT has entered into contracting memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) and the Sahtú Secretariat Incorporated (SSI) to strengthen Indigenous business capacity.

The GNWT will renew MOUs with interested Indigenous governmental organizations in order to strengthen business capacity as well as assist in the development of commercially viable businesses, provide business and economic training, encourage employment of participants in the settlement area and support their traditional economy (milestones 3 and 4).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
Advance approach for Economic Measures Reviews
Review progress with Aboriginal govts to develop next steps
Begin contracting MOU negotiations with Gwich'in Tribal Council and Sahtu Secretariat Inc
Finalize contracting MOUs with Gwich'in Tribal Council and Sahtu Secretariat Inc
1.1.13
We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
 
Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.13

We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:

  • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities

Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Policy

The Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) policy was first introduced in 2008 as the principal economic development support program. It offers a variety of program-based funding supports to entrepreneurs and small businesses. It includes a special focus on Level 2 communities – those businesses operating outside of Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik and Yellowknife, which are Level 1 communities.

Feedback gathered from internal review of the SEED Policy indicated that adjustments were needed to match cost increases with SEED Policy programming. 

The SEED Policy is being changed to better respond to client needs:

  1. A new Strategic Investments pilot project for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 fiscal years which allows for one-time contributions of up-to $75,000 for regional initiatives; and
  2. Program funding enhancements:
    • Entrepreneur Support – increase the maximum contribution from $15,000 to $25,000;
    • Micro Business – change the maximum contribution from $5,000 over five years to $5,000 over three years;
    • Business Intelligence and Networking - increase the maximum contribution from $3,000 to $4,000; and
    • Corrections and clarifications to reflect organizational changes since the introduction of the SEED Policy.

The results of the Strategic Investments pilot program will be assessed upon its completion in March 2019 (milestone 4).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.12 - We will support the growth of Aboriginal business development corporations and the capacity of Aboriginal governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
  • Commitment 1.2.2 - We will invest in artist-to-market and product-to-market opportunity chains, with a particular emphasis on making investments that enable the showcasing of art and increase sales at the regional level.
  • Commitment 1.2.3 - We will support the film industry to further develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers, build infrastructure, assist below-the-line crew and support services, and help develop marketing and communications plans for films made in the NWT.
Update Business Intelligence and Networking contribution
Update Entrepreneur Support contribution
Update Micro Business contribution
Complete evaluation of Strategic Investments pilot program
 
Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.13

We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:

  • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy

Economic Opportunities Strategy

The Economic Opportunities Strategy (EOS) is a partnership of the NWT’s key economic stakeholders: the NWT Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Aboriginal Business Association, the NWT Association of Communities, and Canada’s Northern Economic Development Agency.

The EOS was introduced in October 2013, followed by the release of the EOS Implementation Plan in October 2014. The EOS Implementation Plan details planning, implementation and monitoring recommendations to achieve the vision of the EOS. The Government of the Northwest Territories releases annual EOS Progress Reports detailing work undertaken by EOS partners, and has begun reporting annually on performance measures (milestones 1 and 3).

The EOS is considered to be a ten-year strategy.  It has four themes:

  1. Climate for growth 
  2. Building on success
  3. Regional diversification
  4. People and opportunity readiness

The EOS includes 117 recommendations identified to realize seven target areas:

  1. Stimulate investment
  2. Encourage residency
  3. Expand our potential
  4. Enhance our connections
  5. Build sectors using regional strengths
  6. Establish a positive entrepreneurial environment
  7. Prepare NWT residents for employment

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.9 - We will develop a long-term strategy to attract oil and gas development in the territory.
  • Commitment 1.1.12 - We will support the growth of Aboriginal business development corporations and the capacity of Aboriginal governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
  • Commitment 1.2.1 - We will expand the agricultural sector by:
    • Implementing the Agriculture Strategy
    • Improving access to agricultural land
    • Updating agricultural funding programs
    • Supporting training for commercial farmers
  • Commitment 1.2.2 - We will invest in artist-to-market and product-to-market opportunity chains, with a particular emphasis on making investments that enable the showcasing of art and increase sales at the regional level.
  • Commitment 1.2.3 - We will support the film industry to further develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers, build infrastructure, assist below-the-line crew and support services, and help develop marketing and communications plans for films made in the NWT.
  • Commitment 1.2.4 - We will finalize and implement the Commercial Fisheries Revitalization Strategy to increase fish production, encourage and mentor new entrants to the Great Slave Lake fishery, negotiate an agreement with the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to access markets outside of NWT, seek federal funding to build a new fish processing plant in Hay River, and work with the Tu Cho Co-Operative to promote and market fish caught in Great Slave Lake.
  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:
    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.
    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.
    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.
Release the first annual Economic Opportunities Strategy Performance Measures Report
Complete online availability of all business forms
Release the annual Economic Opportunities Strategy Performance Measures Report
 
Enhancing the Small Communities Employment Support Program.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
Enhancing the Small Communities Employment Support Program.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is leading the GNWT’s work to implement the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework (S4S) and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 to help develop the skills, knowledge and talents of the people of the NWT. The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT.

The GNWT is engaged in initiatives to increase the participation of residents in small communities in the workforce by focusing on training, skills development and employment. Initiatives include administering funding for the Small Community Employment Support (SCES) program, and implementing the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020. The Minister of ECE tabled the Skills 4 Success (S4S) 10-Year Strategic Framework on October 7, 2015 and a four-year S4S Action Plan in the fall 2016 session of the Legislative Assembly (milestone 1).

The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT. Skilled workers are critical to Canada’s, and the NWT’s, productivity, innovation and economic competitiveness. The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) tabled the Northwest Territories Labour Market Forecast and Needs Assessment on June 14, 2016.

As part of the GNWT Mandate and the Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020, a Strategy is being developed to increase training and employment opportunities in small communities. To inform the development of the Strategy, ECE has completed engagements with partners and stakeholders including Aboriginal Governments, communities (leadership and staff), employers, residents, GNWT departments, and Aurora College. Engagement consisted of community visits, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and an online survey. The Small Community Employment Strategy is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 (milestone 3).

On April 1, 2017, interim changes were implemented to the existing Small Community Employment Support (SCES) program to increase benefit levels and add flexibility for community employers and organizations. These changes were made pending the completion of a strategy to increase employment in small communities.

Moving forward, the SCES program is targeted to the NWT’s smallest communities and the Strategy will provide direction for future enhancements that will be made to the program. These future enhancements will aim to maximize the training and employment opportunities of residents in small communities (milestone 1).

Although SCES programming provides direct supports to small communities, there are other programs that support labour force development across the NWT are funded through federal labour market transfer agreements.

ECE is engaged in multilateral and bilateral discussions with the federal government to amend and renew federal-territorial agreements that provide federal funding for labour market transfer agreements. Renewed agreements are expected to be concluded by spring 2018 (milestone 2). Federal-territorial labour market transfer agreements provide over $7 million in annual funding to the GNWT to support its delivery of important labour market programs, services and supports.

ECE is also engaged with Regional Training Partnership Committees, and continues to meet with Committees to identify training needs regionally and to align their priorities with labour market demand.

Related Mandate Commitments:

Commitment 1.1.5 - We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment and skill development, while matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.

Commitment 1.1.7- In collaboration with the federal government, We will increase the number of immigrants working in NWT and increase investment by immigrants, by implementing an immigration strategy that prioritizes streamlining application processes, increasing awareness of immigration programs, and consolidating our administrative supports.

Commitment 2.3.1 - We will take steps to close the skills gap, by conducting a Foundational Review of Aurora College followed by a renewed strategic plan and updates to the Aurora College Act where indicated by the Foundational Review, using the Skills4Success strategic framework, by working with Aurora College on a renewed strategic plan, refocusing support for post-secondary institutions in NWT, improving outcomes from our Community Learning Centres, strengthening the apprenticeship program, and improving our career development services.

Implement enhancements to the Small Community Employment Support program
Release the Small Community Employment Strategy
Sign updated Labour Market Agreements with federal government
 
Developing and implementing a strategy to increase employment in small communities that guides the delivery of territorial programming and includes a performance measurement plan.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
Developing and implementing a strategy to increase employment in small communities that guides the delivery of territorial programming and includes a performance measurement plan.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is leading the GNWT’s work to implement the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework (S4S) and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 to help develop the skills, knowledge and talents of the people of the NWT. The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT.

The GNWT is engaged in initiatives to increase the participation of residents in small communities in the workforce by focusing on training, skills development and employment. Initiatives include administering funding for the Small Community Employment Support (SCES) program, and implementing the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework and 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020. The Minister of ECE tabled the Skills 4 Success (S4S) 10-Year Strategic Framework on October 7, 2015 and a four-year S4S Action Plan in the fall 2016 session of the Legislative Assembly (milestone 1).

The S4S is an evidence-based initiative about making system wide improvements to adult and post-secondary education and skills training programs to close education and employment gaps in the NWT. Skilled workers are critical to Canada’s, and the NWT’s, productivity, innovation and economic competitiveness. The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) tabled the Northwest Territories Labour Market Forecast and Needs Assessment on June 14, 2016.

As part of the GNWT Mandate and the Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020, a Strategy is being developed to increase training and employment opportunities in small communities. To inform the development of the Strategy, ECE has completed engagements with partners and stakeholders including Aboriginal Governments, communities (leadership and staff), employers, residents, GNWT departments, and Aurora College. Engagement consisted of community visits, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and an online survey. The Small Community Employment Strategy is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 (milestone 3).

On April 1, 2017, interim changes were implemented to the existing Small Community Employment Support (SCES) program to increase benefit levels and add flexibility for community employers and organizations. These changes were made pending the completion of a strategy to increase employment in small communities.

Moving forward, the SCES program is targeted to the NWT’s smallest communities and the Strategy will provide direction for future enhancements that will be made to the program. These future enhancements will aim to maximize the training and employment opportunities of residents in small communities (milestone 1).

Although SCES programming provides direct supports to small communities, there are other programs that support labour force development across the NWT are funded through federal labour market transfer agreements.

ECE is engaged in multilateral and bilateral discussions with the federal government to amend and renew federal-territorial agreements that provide federal funding for labour market transfer agreements. Renewed agreements are expected to be concluded by spring 2018 (milestone 2). Federal-territorial labour market transfer agreements provide over $7 million in annual funding to the GNWT to support its delivery of important labour market programs, services and supports.

ECE is also engaged with Regional Training Partnership Committees, and continues to meet with Committees to identify training needs regionally and to align their priorities with labour market demand.

Related Mandate Commitments:

Commitment 1.1.5 - We will get more 18-24 year olds into the labour market by removing barriers to employment, using a better mix of improved educational attainment and skill development, while matching skills with employer needs through improved career development supports.

Commitment 1.1.7- In collaboration with the federal government, We will increase the number of immigrants working in NWT and increase investment by immigrants, by implementing an immigration strategy that prioritizes streamlining application processes, increasing awareness of immigration programs, and consolidating our administrative supports.

Commitment 2.3.1 - We will take steps to close the skills gap, by conducting a Foundational Review of Aurora College followed by a renewed strategic plan and updates to the Aurora College Act where indicated by the Foundational Review, using the Skills4Success strategic framework, by working with Aurora College on a renewed strategic plan, refocusing support for post-secondary institutions in NWT, improving outcomes from our Community Learning Centres, strengthening the apprenticeship program, and improving our career development services.

Release the Small Community Employment Strategy
 
Establishing a committee with Cabinet Ministers and Regular Members on rural and remote communities.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:

  • Establishing a committee with Cabinet Ministers and Regular Members on rural and remote communities.

The Committee on Rural and Remote Communities was established by the Executive Council (Cabinet) on September 28, 2017 (Milestone 1). 

The Committee’s mandate is to:

  • provide advice to Cabinet to help ensure that initiatives and activities of government address the unique needs of rural and remote communities in the NWT;
  • provide critical comment and advice to Cabinet regarding coordination of ongoing initiatives that affect rural and remote communities;
  • provide advice on programming, from the perspective of rural and remote communities;
  • provide advice on the priorities related to policy or program review, from the perspective of rural and remote communities; and
  • request research or analysis on matters affecting rural and remote communities.

The Committee has nine members, consisting of Cabinet Ministers and Regular Members, and is co-chaired.  The Committee met for the first time in October 2017 (Milestone 2).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
  • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
  • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
  • Enhancing the Small Communities Employment Support Program.
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to increase employment in small communities that guides the delivery of territorial programming and includes a performance measurement plan.
  • Commitment 2.2.1 – We will implement the Education Renewal and Innovation Framework by:
    • Expanding the NWT distance learning pilot project to increase access for NWT senior secondary students in all communities.
  • Commitment 3.1.1 – We will continue to implement northern solutions for northern housing by:
    • Implementing community based housing property management services in rural and remote communities to improve service levels.
  • Commitment 5.3.10 – We will do a better job of making our residents, particularly those in smaller communities, aware of available government programs and services, and how to access them, through Single Window Service Centres and our Government Service Officers.

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs.

Establish Terms of Reference for Rural and Remote Committee
Hold first meeting of Rural and Remote Committee
 
1.1.14
We will reduce taxes on small businesses.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

Commitment 1.1.14 – We will reduce taxes on small businesses.

The federal government, provinces and territories offer tax breaks for small businesses in the form of the small business deduction. This recognizes the potential high cost small businesses have to raise capital and allows more after-tax income for reinvestment and expansion. For private corporations that are Canadian-controlled and have less than $15 million in capital, the GNWT has a small business tax rate of 4 per cent on business income less than $500,000.  The NWT has the highest small business corporate income tax rate among the five western provinces and territories but is still below the population-weighted national average of 4.5 per cent.

The GNWT receives about $2.7 million in small business corporate income taxes from NWT corporations eligible for the small business tax rate.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.2 – We will strengthen connections with private sector partners in transportation infrastructure (rail, trucking, airline, and marine).
  • Commitment 1.1.3 – We will strengthen connections with public sector partners in transportation infrastructure, including working with the federal government to maintain federal community resupply port facilities and marine services in the NWT, to restore safe marine operating conditions in the Port of Hay River and at key sections of the Mackenzie River Corridor, and to improve charting and navigational aids.
  • Commitment 1.1.8 – We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implementing the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Indigenous governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.1.9 – We will develop a long-term strategy to attract investment in oil and gas resources that will provide economic and energy benefits to NWT residents and businesses, while recognizing and protecting environmental, social, cultural and economic values.
  • Commitment 1.1.12 – We will support the growth of Indigenous business development corporations and the capacity of Indigenous governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.
  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Finance.

Review and assess small business tax considerations
Analyze report to inform course of action
Investing in renewable resources and energy, agriculture, arts, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, tourism, and traditional harvesting.
1.2.1
We will expand the agricultural sector by:
 
Implementing the Agriculture Strategy.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.1

We will expand the agricultural sector by:

  • Implementing the Agriculture Strategy

Agriculture Strategy

The need for an agriculture strategy to advance economic opportunities in the agriculture sector was first identified in the Economic Opportunities Strategy (EOS).

In developing an Agriculture Strategy, input was received from agricultural experts, producers, businesses, community organizations and residents.

The Agriculture Strategy is a five year plan that provides a foundation to guide the expansion and growth of the business of food in the NWT.  It is the blueprint with which we intend to grow the economic viability of our agriculture sector.  It outlines the actions we must take, the investments we must make and the legislative tools that need to be put in place.  Over time, the implementation of this Strategy will support and advance commitments that we have made to address the cost-of-living, foster healthy families and enhance capacity-building programs for our youth.

The Agriculture Strategy was released in March 2017 (milestone 2).  The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) leads the implementation of the Strategy and is working in particular with the Departments of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, Health and Social Services and external partners to advance the Agriculture Strategy (milestones 3 and 4).

Since fall 2016, ITI has led an Interdepartmental Agriculture Working Group to initiate various activities within the Strategy’s Action Plan.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy
  • Commitment 2.5.5 - We will implement programs that support youth in their communities and in their schools to encourage local food production and consumption.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Compile toolkit of agricultural development resources
Release Agriculture Strategy and Action Plan
Work with the NWT Association of Communities to develop municipal bylaw templates compliant with agriculture regulatory framework
Develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for reporting progress
Roll out "Take a Kid Gardening" program across the NWT
 
Improving access to agricultural land.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.1

We will expand the agricultural sector by:

  • Improving access to agricultural land

Access to Agricultural Land

Land has been identified as one of the primary requirements to facilitate agriculture development in the NWT Agriculture Strategy.

Access to land for agriculture will be addressed by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) through collaborative processes with all relevant groups and key stakeholders including the Department of Lands, municipalities, Indigenous governments and land use planning boards.

Wherever possible, the GNWT will encourage the development of land use plans that include land for commercial food production to advance the development of agricultural activities.

GNWT Departments will work together and with Indigenous governments and communities to determine opportunities to develop agriculture initiatives, and the appropriate available lands for these initiatives (milestones 1 and 2).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy
  • Commitment 2.5.5 - We will implement programs that support youth in their communities and in their schools to encourage local food production and consumption.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Initiate development of an inventory of land available for agriculture
Support the development of a land use approach that supports the agricultural sector
Work with the Department of Lands to develop a land use and tenure approach that supports the agricultural sector
 
Updating agricultural funding programs.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.1

We will expand the agricultural sector by:

  • Updating agricultural funding programs

Agricultural funding programs

Through our Growing Forward partnership with the federal government, ITI is continuing to invest $1.2 million annually in programs and initiatives to support and grow the NWT agriculture sector. The multi-lateral Growing Forward 2 Agreement expired on March 31, 2018.

The new Canadian Agricultural Partnership came into effect on April 1, 2018, replacing the Growing Forward Agreements that saw $6 million invested in NWT agriculture in the last five years (milestone 2). The new partnership could lead to $1.2 million invested annually in the NWT agriculture sector.

As the Government of the Northwest Territories works to shape the programs that this funding will support, we continue to engage stakeholders and will begin evaluating how well this agriculture programming is meeting its objectives (milestone 1).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 – We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy
  • Commitment 2.5.5 - We will implement programs that support youth in their communities and in their schools to encourage local food production and consumption.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Conduct an agriculture survey regarding Growing Forward 2 to help develop future Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs
Sign bilateral agreement with the federal government under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP
 
Supporting training for commercial farmers.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.1

We will expand the agricultural sector by:

  • Supporting training for commercial farmers

Training for commercial farmers

The Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes the need for information sharing to support agricultural production, particularly in specific areas, such as technical expertise for commercial crop and greenhouse techniques. The development and transfer of knowledge and skills in northern contexts is essential to advance NWT food production.

Training and capacity building is one of the six foundational pillars identified in the NWT Agriculture Strategy required to ensure the successful development of the agriculture sector for food producers and residents alike. Through the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership with the federal government, funding for training and capacity building can be advanced (milestone 1).

A successful agriculture sector is dependent on having a sufficient number of interested local producers and processers with specialized skills and expertise in food production.

Training and educational resources will be developed to enable and allow producers to learn from a variety of individuals and experiences, and linkages will be created with partners to develop effective training programs that meet regional and local needs (milestones 2 and 3).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 2.5.5 - We will implement programs that support youth in their communities and in their schools to encourage local food production and consumption.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Sign bilateral agreement with the federal government under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP
Work with the agriculture sector to develop a needs assessment of required training for farmers
Fund extension services for farmer training
 
1.2.2
We will invest in artist-to-market and product-to-market opportunity chains, with a particular emphasis on making investments that enable the showcasing of art and increase sales at the regional level.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.2

We will invest in artist-to-market and product-to-market opportunity chains, with a particular emphasis on making investments that enable the showcasing of art and increase sales at the regional level.

Arts Sector

The arts sector plays an important role in supporting the NWT’s overall tourism sector and provides economic opportunities and diversity in our smaller communities. Traditionally-created and locally-made products are also an essential element of the Indigenous tourism product the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is advancing in the NWT.

ITI and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment share responsibility for support to the arts and fine crafts sectors in the NWT. ITI focuses on the marketing and business development side of the arts sector by providing regional access to business planning, workshops, and funding for marketing and arts promotion (milestones 1 and 2).

Regional input into program delivery and initiatives is provided by the Regional Arts Working Group, comprised of five representatives, one from each of ITI’s regional offices that meets bi-annually to discuss the state of the arts sector across the NWT.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
Complete and update artist database
Survey purchasers of NWT arts via retailers
 
1.2.3
We will support the film industry to further develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers, build infrastructure, assist below-the-line crew and support services, and help develop marketing and communications plans for films made in the NWT.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.3

We will support the film industry to further develop the skills and competencies of NWT film producers, build infrastructure, assist below-the-line crew and support services, and help develop marketing and communications plans for films made in the NWT.

Film Industry

In 2013-2014, with financial support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) commissioned Take One: Northwest Territories Film Strategy and Action Plan. The Film Strategy is a five year plan that was tabled and released in March 2015 (milestone 1). 

The NWT Film Strategy focuses on five key strategic objectives to grow the film industry in the NWT:

  1. Strengthen government/industry roles and partnerships;
  2. Enhance funding and financial support;
  3. Create training opportunities;
  4. Assist in building infrastructure, below-the-line crews and support services; and
  5. Develop efficient and effective marketing and communications.

The GNWT also supports the NWT film industry through funding identified under the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development Policy and $100,000 through the Northwest Territories Film Commission (NWTFC) Film Industry Funding Contributions for marketing and promotion activities.

With funding from CanNor’s Targeted Investment Program the GNWT is also implementing a marketing and promotional strategy.  Activities include the creation of a new website, visual identity and co-branded logo, and display/promotional materials that will build the NWTFC’s brand and enhance efforts to promote the NWT as a prime filming location to the global film industry.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
Ongoing Implementation of the Film Strategy Action Plan
 
1.2.4
We will finalize and implement the Commercial Fisheries Revitalization Strategy to increase fish production, encourage and mentor new entrants to the Great Slave Lake fishery, secure and build access to local and new markets for fishers, build a new fish processing plant in Hay River, and work with the Tu Cho Co-operative to promote and market fish caught in Great Slave Lake.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.4

We will finalize and implement the Commercial Fisheries Revitalization Strategy to increase fish production, encourage and mentor new entrants to the Great Slave Lake fishery, negotiate an agreement with the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to access markets outside of NWT, seek federal funding to build a new fish processing plant in Hay River, and work with the Tu Cho Co-Operative to promote and market fish caught in Great Slave Lake.

Commercial Fisheries Revitalization Strategy

The need to revitalize the NWT’s commercial fishing sector was first identified in the 2013 NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy which recommended that the commercial fishing industry be revitalized to give greater benefit and opportunity to northerners.

The Strategy for Revitalizing the Great Slave Lake Fishery was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on March 2, 2017 (milestone 2).

The Government of the Northwest Territories has made a $1.41 million investment to build a new fish processing plant in Hay River.  Building of the plant is expected to begin by the fall of 2018 (milestones 4 and 5).

The Strategy, as developed, relies on the existence of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation.  We are monitoring the situation regarding its future closely and advocating for the best interests of NWT fishers.

The Strategy is reliant on the re-establishment of a full processing plant in Hay River and enhanced collection points in Yellowknife and Fort Resolution.  Discussions have been held with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on establishing a collection point in Yellowknife (milestone 6).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract foreign direct investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
  • Commitment 4.3.5 - We will reduce the burden of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles and improving screening and management, with specific focus on:
    • Expanding the production and availability of local foods such as fish, country food, and garden produce.
Work with NWT Fishermen's Federation and Freshwater Fish Corporation about fish plant
Release Great Slave Lake Commercial Fisheries Revitilization Strategy
Design a new fish processing plant to allow exporting of fish to southern and foreign markets
Begin building a new fish processing plant to allow exporting of fish to southern and foreign markets
Develop and maintain a branding program to promote Great Slave Lake fish products
Work with the City of Yellowknife and Small Craft Harbours (DFO) to identify potential landing sites in Yellowknife
 
1.2.5
Through agreements with communities, we will help to establish and/or expand self-sufficient businesses that sell products from renewable resource harvesting.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.5 – Through agreements with communities, we will help to establish and/or expand self-sufficient businesses that sell products from renewable resource harvesting.

Forest Industry Development Strategy

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is developing a Forest Industry Development Strategy (milestone 1). Working with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), the strategy will support the development of a viable forestry sector in the Northwest Territories, providing opportunities for jobs, training and economic development through the harvest and processing of timber for use as biomass and other products.

 

Forest Management Agreements (FMAs)

Forest Management Agreements (FMAs) are enabled under Section 9 of the Forest Management Act. The agreements allow for a partner to have long term rights to harvest wood from a defined area for the purposes of forest industry business development and growth (milestones 2 and 3).

 

FMAs are a recent development in the Northwest Territories (NWT). They are a made-in-the-north solution to provide business development opportunities to residents by offering:

  • a sustainable supply of timber for harvest;
  • a viable commercial use for the wood;
  • the ability to secure financing for equipment; and
  • an opportunity to participate in a range of forest management activities.

 

FMAs are intended to provide these key benefits to northerners:

  • Development of a new, sustainable forest industry sector.
  • Development of local and regional job opportunities and training.
  • Promotion of biomass energy substitution for fossil fuels.
  • Aboriginal participation in forest management planning.

The first two agreements were signed in 2015 with Timberworks Inc. in Fort Resolution, and Digaa Enterprises in Fort Providence. Both companies are Indigenous development corporations jointly owned by local Indigenous organizations.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by: Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.

  • Commitment 1.2.10 - We will build partnerships to expand resources available for community-based traditional economy programs, which could be used to support, amongst other things, local operators, culturally-based tourism, and the conservation economy.

  • Commitment 4.3.10 - We will finalize a strategic plan to enhance existing programming and build new partnership initiatives to support healthy and sustainable traditional lifestyles.

Develop Forest Industry Development Strategy
Sign Wood Fibre Supply Agreements to support Forest Management Agreement holders and local industry
Support Forest Management Agreement holders' process to begin timber harvesting
 
1.2.6
We will develop a northern manufacturing strategy in collaboration with industry and the NWT’s Manufacturers’ Association to expand the manufacturing sector, identify potential areas of growth, promote and market products manufactured in the NWT and aid in the professional and technological advancement of the industry
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.6

We will develop a northern manufacturing strategy in collaboration with industry and the NWT's Manufacturers' Association to expand the manufacturing sector, identify potential areas of growth, promote and market products manufactured in the NWT and aid in the professional and technological advancement of the industry.

Manufacturing Strategy

The Government of the Northwest Territories is supporting NWT manufacturers through the development of a Manufacturing Strategy (milestones 2, 3, 4 and 5).

It is envisioned that the strategy will identify areas of growth and ways to promote and market NWT manufactured products, while encouraging professional and technological advancement in the manufacturing sector.

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment is already working:

  • To ensure the NWT manufacturing community understands our current policies, and that we are applying the policies properly;
  • With individuals across the NWT to ensure they are properly recognized as manufacturers and that their products are properly registered to benefit from our policy;
  • With interested proponents and communities to promote the development of future manufacturing projects and facilities; and
  • With the NWT manufacturer’s association to ensure public and private sector buyers are aware of, and have the information they need, to purchase products made and available in the NWT (milestone 1).

Public engagement on the Manufacturing Strategy is now complete and the Strategy is expected to be released by the fall of 2018.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy
Finalize marketing materials with NWT Manufacturing Association
Develop work plan for Manufacturing Strategy
Conduct public and stakeholder engagement on Manufacturing Strategy
Share draft Manufacturing Strategy with key stakeholders
Release Manufacturing Strategy
1.2.7
We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public tourism facilities by:
 
Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.7

We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:

  • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage

Expanding and Modernizing Parks Infrastructure and Signage

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is working and investing to provide and maintain modern, high quality public tourism facilities.

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) is responsible for 35 territorial parks, including 14 wayside parks.  Wayside parks are maintained by ITI and usually consist of a parking area, picnic tables and toilet facilities.  These are established to provide for the enjoyment and convenience of the traveling public and around scenic points of interest.

Tourism numbers reached record heights in the NWT in 2016-17. For the first time, visitor spending surpassed the $200 million mark and over 100,000 visitors travelled to the NWT.

The GNWT invested over $3.7 million in parks infrastructure in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and will invest the same in 2018-2019.

Investing in our parks system is an important part of our tourism sector and to the enhanced quality of life and enjoyment parks offer to residents.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
  • Commitment 1.2.8 - We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
Begin installation of renewable energy for all off-grid campgrounds
 
Improving road side facilities along remote highways.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.7

We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:

  • Improving road side facilities along remote highways

Improving road side facilities along remote highways

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) recognizes the need to ensure residents, visitors, and professional truck drivers can travel safely on our highways, and that accessible facilities can assist with this. The GNWT is working to improve roadside facilities along remote highways.

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) maintains 14 wayside parks around scenic points of interest for the enjoyment and convenience of visitors.

The Department of Infrastructure (INF) maintains a number of rest stops that allow drivers to pull off the road safely to stop and rest, conduct road side repairs, change drivers, or conduct other activities.

INF will be completing an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Study and Long Range Plan in the near future that will identify incident response technologies that could be put in place to improve road safety.

INF’s long-term plan is to have a minimum of one major rest area every 150 kilometres along the highway network and a pullout every 50 kilometers.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
  • Commitment 1.2.8 - We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
Identify options for improving highway travel information and enhancing emergency roadside response
 
Building new parks such as Doi'Toh Territorial Park in the Sahtu Region.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.7

We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:

  • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region

Doi T’oh Territorial Park and Canol Heritage Trail

The proposed Doi T’oh Territorial Park follows the route of the CANOL pipeline and includes several waste sites and an old roadway. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is working with the Federal government, in consultation with the Sahtú Secretariat Incorporated, the various Sahtú Beneficiary Land Corporations, Town of Norman Wells and other GNWT departments, on remediation and transfer of lands to the GNWT to establish the Doi T’oh Territorial Park and CANOL Heritage Trail (milestones 1 and 2).

The Sahtú Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement includes an obligation for the GNWT to prepare a park management plan for a territorial park along the former CANOL pipeline. 

The Doi T’oh Territorial Park Corporation, established in 2015, is equally owned by the Norman Wells Land Corporation, Norman Wells Renewable Resource Council, Tulita Dene Band, Tulita Land Corporation, Fort Norman Métis Land Corporation and the Tulita Renewable Resource Council.

In 2017-2018, the GNWT invested $399,000 in the construction of emergency shelters along the CANOL Heritage Trail.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by:
    • Updating the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) programs as necessary to better align with the needs of NWT entrepreneurs and businesses, including those in small communities.
    • Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.
  • Commitment 1.2.8 - We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
Complete wire clean-up as a step toward establishing Doi T'oh Park
Work toward land transfer to GNWT from Canada for Doi T’oh Park
 
1.2.8
We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.8

We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.

Tourism

Tourism is the NWT's single largest renewable resource-based sector contributing more than $201 million to the NWT economy in 2016-2017.  NWT Tourism numbers reached record heights in 2016-2017 with over 100,000 visitors travelling to the NWT.

As our destination Marketing Organization, NWT Tourism receives core funding to market and promote the NWT around the world and across a number of promotional platforms.  This includes funding dedicated to promoting and marketing initiatives specific to each of our regions.

The Tourism 2020 Plan: Opening our Spectacular Home to the World will guide tourism investment by the Government of the Northwest Territories through to 2020-2021.

Diamonds

There are currently two Approved Northwest Territories Diamond Manufacturers in the NWT: Crossworks Manufacturing Limited and Almod Diamonds Limited.

The addition of Almod diamonds has confirmed the potential of our manufacturing sector to move forward.  It means opportunities for our territory directly related to the international marketing of our diamonds.

Traditional Economy

On behalf of NWT trappers, Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) facilitates the promotion, marketing and sale of NWT furs through national and international auctions (milestone 3).

The Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur (GMVF) and Hide and Fur Procurement Programs are designed to market NWT furs in the national and international marketplace to support the NWT traditional economy and residents wishing to live and work in a traditional employment lifestyle.

The industry partnership between the GNWT, American Legend Cooperative, Fur Harvesters and Saga Furs continues to realize benefits including international exposure, positive recognition of the GMVF brand and convenient access to the world fur markets.

The GNWT’s support is reflected in the fact that NWT trappers consistently out-perform trappers from across Canada and the United States.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:
    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.
    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.
    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors
Launch communications campaign for outdoor adventure markets
Send industry promotional information to Embassies and Trade Commissioner Offices
Promote Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur to international markets
 
1.2.9
We will attract foreign direct investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.9

We will attract direct foreign investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.

Minerals

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is working to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of the NWT's world-class resource potential with a view to attracting investment.

The NWT faces strong and well-funded competition for investment from other Canadian and international jurisdictions.

Under the Unlocking Our Potential brand, the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) is increasing awareness, knowledge and understanding of the NWT’s world-class mineral potential and profiling our partnerships with Indigenous and community governments.  Also under this brand, ITI has been successful in expanding and increasing the presence and profile of the NWT at key mineral industry events, conferences and trade shows (milestones 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6).

Work has begun on a new Mineral Resources Act that will serve to increase certainty for potential investors.

Furs

The industry partnership between the GNWT, American Legend Cooperative, Fur Harvesters and Saga Furs continues to realize benefits including international exposure, positive recognition of the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur brand and convenient access to the world fur markets.

Fish

GNWT is moving forward with designing and constructing a new fish processing plant in Hay River to allow us to brand Great Slave Lake fish for export to southern and foreign markets.  ITI is also leading a marketing strategy for Great Slave Lake fish. 

Tourism

Through Northwest Territories Tourism, ITI invested close to $4 million 2017-2018 to develop the tourism sector and promote the NWT to potential visitors around the world. This includes funding dedicated to promoting and marketing initiatives specific to each of our regions.  Visitor spending in 2016-2017 surpassed the $200 million mark and over 100,000 visitors travelled to the NWT.

With a small domestic market, we are reliant on trade to advance growth opportunities in sectors such as arts, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, tourism and traditional harvesting.

Trade agreements allow NWT governments to procure resources and goods more affordably, thereby saving tax payer dollars.

Film

Through Take One: Northwest Territories Film Strategy and Action Plan, the GNWT supports the NWT film industry.

Investments in the NWT film industry and incentives provided to national and international film projects serve to support the indirect promotion of NWT products in the creation of NWT-based television and film productions worldwide (milestone 3).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.8 - We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implement the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.2.4 - We will finalize and implement the Commercial Fisheries Revitalization Strategy to increase fish production, encourage and mentor new entrants to the Great Slave Lake fishery, negotiate an agreement with the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to access markets outside of NWT, seek federal funding to build a new fish processing plant in Hay River, and work with the Tu Cho Co-Operative to promote and market fish caught in Great Slave Lake.
  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:
    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.
    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.
    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.
  • Commitment 1.2.8 - We will increase exports by working with the tourism, diamonds, and traditional economy sectors to promote NWT products to international markets.
Participate in China Mining Conference and Expo
Participate in Mines and Money Americas event
Host Yellowknife International Film Festival
Send industry promotional information to Embassies and Trade Commissioner Offices
Participate in three industry conferences to promote and attract direct investment in minerals
Participate in three industry conferences to promote and attract direct investment in minerals
 
1.2.10
We will build partnerships to expand resources available for community-based traditional economy programs, which could be used to support, amongst other things, local operators, culturally-based tourism, and the conservation economy.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.2.10 – We will build partnerships to expand resources available for community-based traditional economy programs, which could be used to support, amongst other things, local operators, culturally-based tourism, and the conservation economy.

Northern ecosystems are diverse and especially sensitive. The land, rich in biodiversity, contributes to the high quality of life enjoyed in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Food security and traditional economy rely on continued biodiversity in the north.

The GNWT recognizes the intersection of cultural landscapes, biodiversity protection and sustainable livelihoods. Communities and Indigenous governments want to see the creation of a diversified economy as well as the stewardship of natural, ecological and cultural values.

The term conservation economy refers to the attainment of social and economic benefits through the conservation of ecosystems within an area. It complements and secures the traditional economy, which is grounded in cultural practices and the abundance of natural resources. Together, these assets contribute to sustaining a local economy that ultimately supports the development of a strong and sustainable regional economy.

In partnership with Indigenous governments, the GNWT’s establishment of protected areas and conservation areas will protect ecologically and culturally significant parts of the NWT. It will also provide economic opportunities for local residents and certainty regarding land use consistent with the GNWT’s balanced approach to resource management.

New NWT legislation for protected areas is being created in partnership with Indigenous governments and will include provisions for shared management and monitoring of protected areas, such as guardian stewardship programs, and the creation of a diversified economy.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by: Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy.

  • Commitment 1.2.5 - Through agreements with communities, we will help to establish and/or expand self-sufficient businesses that sell products from renewable resource harvesting.

  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:

    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.

    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.

    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.

  • Commitment 4.3.10 - We will finalize a strategic plan to enhance existing programming and build new partnership initiatives to support healthy and sustainable traditional lifestyles.

Develop management framework for candidate protected areas
Release Traditional Economy Strategy
Improving coordination and effectiveness in resource management systems, recognizing traditional knowledge, land claims agreements, and devolution.
1.3.1
Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
 
Create a defined set of collective land use and sustainability objectives
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Create a defined set of collective land use and sustainability objectives.

Land Use and Sustainability Framework objectives

The Land Use and Sustainability Framework (LUSF) is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) high level aspirational document that sets out a vision, guiding principles, and land interests for how the GNWT will manage land. The LUSF seeks to balance economic, environmental, and cultural interests in land management decisions.

In support of the vision set out in the LUSF, the Department of Lands is leading the development of a suite of government-wide land use and sustainability objectives to be incorporated into government decision-making processes. The Department is also evaluating options for monitoring and evaluation of the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to the objectives. This is being conducted collaboratively with other departments to ensure a consistent GNWT-wide approach to implementing the LUSF (milestone 1).

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.1: Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:

    • Develop a method for integrating our land use and sustainability objectives into GNWT decision processes.

    • Develop an approach to monitor and evaluate the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to our collective objectives.

Release GNWT approach to implementing Land Use and Sustainability Framework
 
Develop a method for integrating our land use and sustainability objectives into GNWT decision processes
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Develop a method for integrating our land use and sustainability objectives into GNWT decision processes.

Land Use and Sustainability Framework integration

The Land Use and Sustainability Framework (LUSF) is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) high level aspirational document that sets out a vision, guiding principles, and land interests for how the GNWT will manage land. The LUSF seeks to balance economic, environmental, and cultural interests in land management decisions.

In support of the vision set out in the LUSF, the Department of Lands is leading the development of a suite of government-wide land use and sustainability objectives to be incorporated into government decision-making processes. The Department is also evaluating options for monitoring and evaluation of the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to the objectives. This is being conducted collaboratively with other departments to ensure a consistent GNWT-wide approach to implementing the LUSF (milestone 1).

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.1: Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
    • Create a defined set of collective land use and sustainability objectives.
    • Develop an approach to monitor and evaluate the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to our collective objectives.

 

Release GNWT approach to implementing Land Use and Sustainability Framework
 
Develop an approach to monitor and evaluate the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to our collective objectives
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Develop an approach to monitor and evaluate the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to our collective objectives.

Land Use and Sustainability Framework evaluation

The Land Use and Sustainability Framework (LUSF) is the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) high level aspirational document that sets out a vision, guiding principles, and land interests for how the GNWT will manage land. The LUSF seeks to balance economic, environmental, and cultural interests in land management decisions.

In support of the vision set out in the LUSF, the Department of Lands is leading the development of a suite of government-wide land use and sustainability objectives to be incorporated into government decision-making processes. The Department is also evaluating options for monitoring and evaluation of the degree to which GNWT decisions are contributing to the objectives. This is being conducted collaboratively with other departments to ensure a consistent GNWT-wide approach to implementing the LUSF (milestone 1).

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.1: Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:

    • Create a defined set of collective land use and sustainability objectives.

    • Develop a method for integrating our land use and sustainability objectives into GNWT decision processes.

Release GNWT approach to implementing Land Use and Sustainability Framework
 
Complete land-use plans for all areas, including regions without land and resources agreements, in collaboration with Aboriginal governments
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Complete land-use plans for all areas, including regions without land and resources agreements, in collaboration with Aboriginal governments.

Land use planning is a shared responsibility in the Northwest Territories. These efforts respect existing agreements, including interim measures agreements, and the interim land withdrawals associated with those agreements. The resulting land use plans are typically multi-party agreements that require the approval of Aboriginal governments, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Canada.

The Department of Lands is working with the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs (EIA) to develop a proposed approach for working collaboratively with Aboriginal governments/organizations (milestone 1) to initiate regional planning in the southeastern NWT.

In addition, the Department of Lands provides annual contribution funding to Aboriginal governments and organizations to build land use planning capacity. In fiscal year 2016-2017, $325,000 was targeted for areas where a formal land use planning process has not yet been initiated.

In the Dehcho region, the Department of Lands, in collaboration with the EIA, will work with the other approving parties - Dehcho First Nations, Government of Canada - to revise the Draft Interim Dehcho Land Use Plan so that it may be approved (milestone 2) and implemented.

Acho Dene Koe is developing its own land use planning process as part of its negotiations. Work on the Draft Interim Dehcho Land Use Plan may adjust as negotiations within the region progress.

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.1 - Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:

    • Implement the agreed upon governance structure for land use planning in the Wek’èezhìi Management Area.

Engage with other Aboriginal government organizations on land use planning options (ongoing
Dehcho Regional Land Use Plan approved by GNWT, Canada, Dehcho First Nation
 
Implement the agreed upon governance structure for land use planning in the Wek’eezhii Management Area
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Implement the agreed upon governance structure for land use planning in the Wek’eezhii Management Area.

Wek’èezhìi Management Area

A priority for the Department of Lands is to promote and support the development of effective land use plans in areas where none exist.

The Wek’èezhìi Management Area, located in the Bear and Slave geological provinces of the Northwest Territories, is a region without an existing land use plan.

In coordination with the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Canada, the Department is currently exploring the possibility of moving forward with a land use plan for the Wek’èezhìi Management Area.

The Tłıc̨hǫ Final Agreement provides for governments to complete a land use plan for public lands in the Wek’èezhìi Management Area. A land use planning process in the Wek’èezhìi Management Area would consider social, cultural, ecological, and economic values in a holistic manner that supports the sustainable use of land and reflects community interests and aspirations.

Establishing a planning mechanism and process (milestone 1) in the Wek’èezhìi Management Area would ensure the appropriate involvement of Aboriginal organizations and governments with rights and interests in the area and the public.

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.1: Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:

    • Complete land use plans for all areas, including regions without land and resources agreements, in collaboration with Aboriginal governments.

Establish planning mechanism and process
 
Finalize the Recreational Leasing Management Framework, and the plan for the Yellowknife Periphery Area
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Finalize the Recreational Leasing Management Framework, and the plan for the Yellowknife Periphery Area.

Recreational Leasing Management Framework

The Recreational Leasing Management Framework was approved and released publicly in March 2017 (milestone 1). The Framework guides the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) approach to the management and administration of recreational leasing opportunities in the NWT. It applies NWT-wide on both Territorial and Commissioner’s Land.

Yellowknife periphery area recreation management plan

The GNWT is developing a recreation management plan for the lands outside and around Yellowknife, Detah, and Ndılǫ that are well-used for outdoor recreation. The plan will not be a comprehensive land use plan.

A recreation management plan in the Yellowknife periphery area will position the GNWT to:

  • Improve the coordination between GNWT departments on recreation resource management

  • Make informed decisions about strategic investments in recreation infrastructure

  • Support the recreation and tourism industry that depends on access to a diversity of high quality recreational opportunities

Prior to releasing the final plan (milestone 2), the initiative involves comprehensive public engagement and meaningful consultation with Aboriginal governments and organizations to collect information on values and recreation management issues within the Yellowknife periphery area.

The plan will outline:

  • The type of recreation opportunities desired in the area, including where the GNWT may offer more cabin lot leases and where it should avoid issuing them

  • Strategies and actions to address area-wide issues like waste management, public education, and parking

  • Strategies and actions to address specific issues within particular locations in the study area

Release Recreational Leasing Management Framework
Release plan for the Yellowknife Periphery Area
 
Finalize and implement the Conservation Action Plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Finalize and implement the Conservation Action Plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas.

Making sure that land in the NWT remains healthy for future generations is a priority of the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT). The GNWT has set out its vision for land use and management in “Northern Lands Northern Leadership – The GNWT Land Use and Sustainability Framework” (LUSF). This includes protecting biodiversity through the establishment and management of protected areas and conservation areas - often referred to as conservation network planning.

The GNWT is collaboratively implementing a northern approach to conservation network planning to ensure biodiversity and ecosystem integrity is maintained into the future by strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new relationships. Healthy Land, Healthy People: GNWT Priorities for Advancement of Conservation Network Planning 2016-2021 is a five-year work plan outlining key tasks the GNWT will undertake, in partnership with Indigenous governments and other planning partners, to pursue a responsible, sustainable and balanced approach to conservation network planning in the NWT (milestone 1, 2, 3 and 4).

One of the key priority outcomes of Healthy Land, Healthy People is to conclude the planning processes associated with existing candidate areas (Dinàgà Wek’èhodì (North Arm), Edéhzhíe (Horn Plateau), Ejié Túé Ndáde (Buffalo Lakes, Rivers and Trails), Ka’a’gee Tu (Kakisa), Łue Túé Sųlái (Five Fish Lakes), Sambaa K’e (Trout Lake), Ts’ude niline Tu’eyeta (Ramparts), and Thaidene Nëné (East Arm of Great Slave Lake).

Related Mandate Commitments:

    1. 1.3.1 - Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will: Establish Thaidene Nëné Park.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by: Developing and proposing amendments to the Territorial Parks Act

Release 2016-2021 priorities for conservation network planning
Define extent of the conservation network
Develop renewed conservation planning strategy
Finalize existing candidate protected areas
 
Establish Thaidene Nene Park
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Establish Thaidene Nëné Park.

Parks Canada began pursuing the establishment of a national park in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in the 1970s, which included an initial indeterminate land withdrawal of 7,340 km2. Subsequently, in 2007 an interim land withdrawal for this area was put in place, bringing the total withdrawal to 33,690 km2. Over the subsequent years, Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN) actively advanced the establishment of Thaidene Nëné (TDN) through negotiations with Parks Canada, leading to an initial establishment agreement between the parties in November 2013.

Since April 1, 2014, following Devolution, the GNWT has worked collaboratively with Parks Canada and interested Indigenous governments, including members of the Akaitcho First Nation (LKDFN, Deninu Kue First Nation, Yellowknives Dene First Nation), Northwest Territory Métis Nation, North Slave Métis Nation, and Tlicho Government on agreements toward the establishment of a Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve and territorial protected and conservation areas (milestones 1, 2 and 4).

Public and stakeholder engagement has been sought by the GNWT throughout the process, including formal meetings in July 2015. A second set of formal meetings is being planned for winter 2018 to provide further updates.

The proposed consultation boundaries for TDN include approximately 14,000 km2 for the National Park Reserve and over 12,000 km2 for the territorial protected and conservation areas. TDN (federal and territorial combined) would increase total protection from 10% to 12% in the NWT and from 10% to 17% in the South Slave area.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.3.1 - Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will: Finalize and implement the Conservation Action Plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas.

  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by: Developing and proposing amendments to the Territorial Parks Act

Core components of Thaidene Nene agreement completed
Draft establishment agreement with Aboriginal Governments
Conduct public engagement and Aboriginal government consultation
Finalize land transfer and establishment agreements
 
Finalize and implement the Water Stewardship Strategy action plan
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Finalize and implement the Water Stewardship Strategy action plan.

The NWT Water Stewardship Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2020 (milestone 1) identifies a number of key approaches, which are central to the successful implementation of the Water Strategy, namely: continuing strong collaboration and coordination among water partners (milestone 3); ongoing community capacity-building within water monitoring and research; continuing transboundary water agreement negotiations and implementing established agreements; increasing understanding of aquatic ecosystem health in the NWT; supporting municipal water licencing; providing expert knowledge and advice on industrial development; and, evaluating and reporting progress (milestone 5).

The development of decision support tools (milestones 2, 4, and 6) and the incorporation of traditional knowledge and western science in decision-making are part of ENR's Strategic Plan and the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy.

The Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan is available at:

http://www.nwtwaterstewardship.ca/plan_for_action

ENR’s Strategic Plan is available at:

http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/sites/enr/files/2015_enr_strategic_plan.pdf

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.3.6 - We will negotiate with Yukon, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan towards the completion of transboundary water agreements.

Release Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan
Identify research priorities
Release water partner's roles and responsibilities
Release Mixing Zone Guidelines
Release Water Strategy Action Plan Progress report
Release baseline data collection guidelines for public review
 
Develop an integrated comprehensive approach to the management of contaminated sites including prioritizing, sharing of responsibility in collaboration with other governments, monitoring, and a sound financial security system to prevent public liabilities
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
Develop an integrated comprehensive approach to the management of contaminated sites including prioritizing, sharing of responsibility in collaboration with other governments, monitoring, and a sound financial security system to prevent public liabilities.

Contaminated Sites Management

The purpose of the Contaminated Sites Management Policy and Procedures Manual is to provide a policy and comprehensive set of procedures on the approach to managing contaminated sites (milestone 1, 2 and 6). The Policy and Procedures Manual will cover program-level requirements (e.g., the annual cycle of program activities such as: maintaining an inventory of sites; booking and updating environmental liabilities; ranking sites according to priority for action and funding; preparing a longer-term contaminated sites management plan; reviewing and approving project plans and progress reports; and preparing annual performance reports) and project-level procedures.

Financial Security System

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) holds financial securities for resource development projects to ensure that developers minimize and remediate the environmental impact of their activities without recourse to public funds.

The Department of Lands is working with other GNWT departments to build a financial securities tracking system to assist in managing this GNWT responsibility. The development of the Securities Administration and Processing system addresses a priority recommendation from the 2012 federal Auditor General’s report on financial assurances and environmental risks. Steps involved in developing the system include the system design (milestone 3), development and testing (milestone 4), and implementation and training (milestone 5).

Draft Contaminated Sites Policy and Procedures Manual
Begin pilot of Policy and Procedures Manual
Design Securities Administration and Processing System
Develop and test Securities Administration and Processing System
Implement and provide training on Securities Administration and Processing System
Release Policy and Procedures Manual
1.3.2
In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
 
Developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2

In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

  • Developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act

Mineral Resources Act

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment has committed to developing and introducing a new Mineral Resources Act (MRA) during the 18th Legislative Assembly (milestones 1 and 2).

The Government of the Northwest Territories assumed jurisdiction over mineral resources management in the NWT with Devolution on April 1, 2014.

Mineral resources in the NWT are currently governed by the Mining Regulations under the Northwest Territories Lands Act.  This legislation was mirrored from the federal government at the time of Devolution.

A new Act will reflect the unique regulatory needs and priorities of the NWT and make things more transparent and simpler, by bringing the administration of mineral tenure and royalties together under one Act.

The MRA will support sustainable, inclusive mineral development in the NWT that helps us to manage our lands and resources in a way that benefits NWT residents, while increasing our competiveness in the mining sector.

The MRA will establish clear and modern rules for mining in the NWT, reducing risk and attracting investment.

The process to develop and implement a Mineral Resources Act will take several years and the first steps in the process have begun.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.8 - We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implement the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.1.11 - We will develop and foster the knowledge economy by:
    • Implementing the NWT Geological Survey Strategic Plan, including carrying out Slave Province geoscience studies,  ensuring the availability of high quality geoscience knowledge to promote the successful exploration for and discovery of NWT mineral resources, and defining permafrost conditions that may impact future infrastructure development.
  • Commitment 1.2.9 - We will attract foreign direct investment, and cross-promote minerals, furs, fish, forest products, and tourism to investors and markets.
Develop policy key elements for the Mineral Resources Act
Introduce Bill to create a Mineral Resources Act
 
Making amendments to the NWT Mining Regulations
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2

In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

  • Making amendments to the NWT Mining Regulations

NWT Mining Regulations

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment has committed to amend the NWT Mining Regulations during the 18th Legislative Assembly (milestones 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.8 - We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implement the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Aboriginal governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
Policy development
Propose amended regulations
Amend regulations
Bring amended regulations into force
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the NWT Lands Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
Developing and proposing amendments to the Northwest Territories Lands Act.

Northwest Territories Lands Act

To address challenges and opportunities related to operating with two different land management systems, the Department of Lands must align the Northwest Territories Lands Act and the Commissioner’s Land Act to better reflect the Government of the Northwest Territories’ vision for effective integrated land management. The Department is reviewing the two Acts from an operational perspective to determine where policies and legislation can be updated or developed to ensure land management practices are as effective and consistent as possible.

To achieve this, the Department must complete its policy development (milestone 1), propose legislative amendments to both Acts (milestone 2) and develop a Bill for the Minister to introduce during the 18th Legislative Assembly (milestone 3).

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.2: In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Commissioner's Land Act.

Policy development to inform proposed amendments to the Commissioner’s Land Act
Develop legislative proposal to amend the NWT Lands Act for Cabinet approval
Introduce Bill to amend the NWT Lands Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Commissioner’s Land Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
Developing and proposing amendments to the Commissioner’s Land Act

Commissioner’s Land Act

To address challenges and opportunities related to operating with two different land management systems, the Department of Lands must align the Northwest Territories Lands Act and the Commissioner’s Land Act to better reflect the Government of the Northwest Territories’ vision for effective integrated land management. The Department is reviewing the two Acts from an operational perspective to determine where policies and legislation can be updated or developed to ensure land management practices are as effective and consistent as possible.

To achieve this, the Department must complete its policy development (milestone 1), propose legislative amendments to both Acts (milestone 2) and develop a Bill for the Minister to introduce during the 18th Legislative Assembly (milestone 3).

Related GNWT Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.3.2: In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Northwest Territories Lands Act.

Policy development to inform proposed amendments to the Territorial Lands Act
Develop legislative proposal to amend the Commissioner’s Land Act for Cabinet approval
Introduce Bill to amend the Commissioner’s Land Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Territorial Parks Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2

In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

  • Developing and proposing amendments to the Territorial Parks Act.

There are three kinds of parks in the NWT:

  1. Those that have been created for recreational use and tourism;
  2. Those dedicated to conservation; and
  3. Those dedicated to cultural and heritage sites.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) needs to separate the regulation of recreational and tourism activities in the NWT from conservation-based regulation.

Protected Areas Legislation

The GNWT has been promoting the use of territorial legislation to advance candidate areas.

A factor in advancing these candidate areas is to demonstrate that territorial legislation can meet the expectations and management objectives previously identified for candidate areas. Preliminary discussions with Indigenous Governments and Organizations suggested that the Territorial Parks Act does not meet current conservation needs and that the GNWT must be able to designate parks that meet modern goals and demands.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is currently in the process of developing new protected area legislation that will help protect biodiversity and allow for the permanent protection of proposed areas. (milestones 1 and 3).

Territorial Parks Act

Amendments to the Territorial Parks Act will be made as part of standalone protected areas legislation being led by ENR.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) will work together to recommend required consequential amendments to the Act. 

ITI will continue to have authority over recreational and wayside territorial parks, as well as existing park operations.

Proposed changes to the Territorial Parks Act are an example of work we’re doing to evolve the NWT’s legislative and regulatory framework.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:
    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.
    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.
    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.
  • Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:
    • Finalize and implement the Conservation Action Plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas.
    • Establish Thaidene Nene Park
Begin public engagement and Aboriginal consultation on proposed legislation for protected areas
Develop legislative proposal(s) to create new protected areas legislation and make consequential amendments to the Territorial Parks Act for Cabinet approval
Introduce Bill to create new protected areas legislation
Introduce consequential amendments to Territorial Parks Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2

In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

  • Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act

The 18th Legislative Assembly has committed to a comprehensive review of all resource management legislation that was mirrored from the Government of Canada through the Devolution process.

Petroleum Resources Act

The Petroleum Resources Act was inherited from the federal government as part of the Devolution Agreement.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to improving our oil and gas legislative framework in accordance with the 18th Legislative Assembly’s priority for improved governance, and is initiating a review of the Petroleum Resources Act to address issues of regulatory certainty and clarity. These amendments will be introduced during the life of the 18th Legislative Assembly to increase transparency (milestones 1 and 2).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.9 - We will develop a long-term strategy to attract oil and gas development in the territory.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act
  • Commitment 5.2.4 - We will pursue an agreement with the federal government on the management of offshore resources.
Develop policy key elements for the Petroleum Resources Act
Introduce Bill to amend the Petroleum Resources Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2

In order to advance the territorial vision of land resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

  • Developing and proposing amendments to the Oil and Gas Operations Act

The 18th Legislative Assembly has committed to a comprehensive review of all resource management legislation that was mirrored from the Government of Canada through the Devolution process.

Oil and Gas Operations Act

The Oil and Gas Operations Act was inherited from the federal government as part of the Devolution Agreement.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is committed to improving our oil and gas legislative framework in accordance with the 18th Legislative Assembly’s priority for improved governance, and is initiating a review of the Oil and Gas Operations Act to address issues of regulatory certainty and clarity.

These amendments will be introduced during the life of the 18th Legislative Assembly to increase transparency (milestones 1 and 2).

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.9 - We will develop a long-term strategy to attract oil and gas development in the territory.
  • Commitment 1.3.2 - In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
    • Developing and proposing amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act
  • Commitment 5.2.4 - We will pursue an agreement with the federal government on the management of offshore resources.
Develop policy key elements for the Oil and Gas Operations Act
Introduce Bill to amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Waters Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
Developing and proposing amendments to the Waters Act.

Working collaboratively with multiple agencies, the Water Resources Division bears the primary GNWT roles and responsibilities related to water management and water stewardship. It ensures that water stewardship and management objectives of ENR are met in an integrated and timely manner. Water stewardship functions involve the ongoing implementation of the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy in collaboration with other water partners. One of the key areas of responsibility includes the administration of the Waters Act and Regulations and the provision of information and expert advice to resource management boards and other clients on the effects of proposed water and land activities on the aquatic environment, as required by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Waters Act and regulations. The Division also suggests ways to address these impacts and assists NWT water boards in making informed decisions on how development should proceed.

The Waters Act and Regulations were mirrored upon Devolution (April 1, 2014) and provides the GNWT with new authorities and responsibilities with respect to the management of NWT waters. The Waters Act needs to be modernized to reflect post devolution authorities and responsibilities, as well as current approaches to water management (milestones 1, 2 and 3).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.2.7 - We will expand tourism options and provide high quality public facilities by:

    • Expanding and modernizing our parks infrastructure and signage.

    • Improving road side facilities along remote highways.

    • Building new parks such as Doi T'oh Territorial Park in the Sahtú Region.

  • Commitment 1.3.1 – Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will:

    • Finalize and implement the Conservation Action Plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas.

    • Establish Thaidene Nëné Park

Begin public engagement and Aboriginal consultation on proposed amendments to the Waters Act
Develop legislative proposal to amend the Waters Act for Cabinet approval
Introduce Bill to amend the Waters Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Environmental Protection Act (including the development of air quality regulations).
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
Developing and proposing amendments to the Environmental Protection Act (including the development of air quality regulations).

Air Regulations

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) committed to developing air regulations during the Ekati Jay Project Public Hearing in September of 2015. This was previously a long-standing gap in the NWT's regulatory regime. Since fall of 2015, ENR has focused on the development of a comprehensive framework for air emissions management and air quality protection, applicable in all of the NWT. Associated amendments to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) (Bill 27) which are required to give authority to the proposed framework, were completed in the fall of 2017 (milestone 1). ENR conducted internal review with Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) departments and external regulators (e.g. the National Energy Board, NWT Land and Water Boards, etc.) on the proposed Framework in March and April, 2016. Feedback was incorporated into the framework. External stakeholder engagement and Consultation was initiated in June 2016. Regulations are expected to be enacted before the end of 2018 (milestone 4).

Modernizing the EPA

The Environmental Protection Act (formerly Environmental Protection Ordinance) was enacted in 1973 and several minor amendments have been made since enactment. Currently contemplated amendments will modernize the Act to improve implementation and enforcement of GNWT's environmental protection laws and regulations (milestones 2, 3 and 5).

Updating EPA Guidelines

ENR is responsible for the 16 Guidelines that fall under the EPA. These Guidelines are being reviewed and revised to provide clarity and certainty to the requirements of the legislation. All 16 guidelines will be updated over the next five years.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.4.1 - We will develop a territorial climate change strategy that takes into account northern energy demands and the cost of living, while reflecting international and national commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions, exploring options for carbon pricing systems, and capturing local alternatives such as biomass, wind, geothermal and solar.

Introduction of legislative amendments to enable air regulations
Begin consultation and engagement on proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act
Develop legislative proposal to amend the Environmental Protection Act for Cabinet approval
Enact air quality regulations
Introduce Bill to amend the Environmental Protection Act
 
Developing and proposing amendments to the Forest Management Act
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:
Developing and proposing amendments to the Forest Management Act.

The Forest Management Act and the Forest Protection Act were established in 1988 with the transfer of forestry from the federal government. The Acts are outdated and require new language and a more sustainable approach in terms of managing forest within northern ecosystems. The Forest Protection Act is based on a very old act and requires the development of new regulations (milestones 1, 2 and 3).

The proposed Forest Management and Protection Act provides an update to the current forest legislation by expanding it beyond a focus on the economic value of timber to a holistic one that allows for the sustainable use of forest resources. It recognizes that wildland fire is a significant natural occurrence and effective forest and wildland fire management will utilize a well-informed and participatory public.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.1.13 - We will support small communities by enhancing job-creation programs, building community capacity and supporting new economic opportunities, by: Implementing the Economic Opportunities Strategy

  • Commitment 1.2.5 - Through agreements with communities, we will help to establish and/or expand self-sufficient businesses that sell products from renewable resource harvesting.

  • Commitment 3.2.2 - We will develop a range plan for boreal caribou in the Northwest Territories.

Begin public engagement and Aboriginal consultation on proposed amendments to the Forest Management and Proctection Act
Develop legislative proposal to amend the Forest Management and Protection Act for Cabinet approval
Introduce Bill to amend the Forest Management and Protection Act
 
We will review and develop amendments to the Northwest Territories Heritage Fund Act in light of devolution to ensure a defined revenue stream and stronger public governance.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE 

Commitment 1.3.2 – In order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, we will evolve our legislative, regulatory, and policy systems by:

We will review and develop amendments to the Northwest Territories Heritage Fund Act in light of devolution to ensure a defined revenue stream and stronger public governance.

The NWT Heritage Fund was created on August 1, 2012 with the passage of the Northwest Territories Heritage Fund Act. The purpose of the NWT Heritage Fund is to save a portion of future resource revenues for the benefit of future generations of NWT residents. Each year the Legislative Assembly may approve funds to the NWT Heritage Fund. Once transferred, these monies become part of the principal of the Fund.

Under the Act, for the first 20 years both the principal and interest or income generated in the Fund are retained in the Fund; therefore the first withdrawal of income generated from the Fund cannot occur until 2032-33.

The current Act includes a requirement for the Legislative Assembly to conduct a comprehensive review of the provisions and operations of the Act, including recommendations on how to seek public input and advice on expenditures for the Fund and whether independent oversight and management of the Fund is required in 2022. The review included in this Mandate Commitment moves the required review up by five years.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 1.1.8 – We will support mineral exploration and the mining sector, by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implementing the Mining Incentive Program, developing and proposing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Indigenous governments to build capacity in dealing with mining-related activities.
  • Commitment 1.1.9 – We will develop a long-term strategy to attract investment in oil and gas resources that will provide economic and energy benefits to NWT residents and businesses, while recognizing and protecting environmental, social, cultural and economic values.
  • Commitment 1.1.12 – We will support the growth of Indigenous business development corporations and the capacity of Indigenous governments, through the completion and implementation of memoranda of understanding that reflect the economic opportunity objectives found in modern land claims.

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Finance.

Review provisions and operations of NWT Heritage Fund Act
Analyze report to inform course of action
 
1.3.3
We will develop a strategy to manage the resources and potential economic and environmental benefits derived from household, commercial, and industrial garbage from private sector sources and in our municipalities.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.3 – We will develop a strategy to manage the resources and potential economic and environmental benefits derived from household, commercial, and industrial garbage from private sector sources and in our municipalities.

NWT Waste Resource Management Strategy

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is working on developing and implementing an NWT Waste Resource Management Strategy (milestones 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). Working with other Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) departments, land and water boards, and local governments, the Strategy will explore ways to improve NWT waste disposal systems, consider which waste reduction and diversion programs to implement, demonstrate how waste diversion programs will contribute to a green economy in the NWT, provide positive environmental benefits such as greenhouse gas reduction, and reduce GNWT environmental liability.

Finalize Baseline Report for NWT Waste Management Systems
Determine data gaps based on baseline report
Finalize engagement plan for Strategy development
Begin engagement on Waste Resource Management Strategy
Release approved Waste Resource Management Strategy
 
1.3.4
We will continue to implement the Traditional Knowledge Policy and Framework across the GNWT, while working with Aboriginal governments to develop an action plan to improve the inclusion of traditional knowledge in program development, implementation and decision making.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.4 – We will continue to implement the Traditional Knowledge Policy and Framework across the GNWT, while working with Aboriginal governments to develop an action plan to improve the inclusion of traditional knowledge in program development, implementation and decision making.

In 1997, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) passed the Traditional Knowledge (TK) Policy to incorporate TK into GNWT decisions and actions where appropriate. While the TK Policy applies to all GNWT departments, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is accountable for the implementation of this policy, and must also ensure that TK regarding the environment is taken into consideration in all environmental management actions and decisions (milestones 1, 2 and 4).

According to this Policy:

The Government recognizes that Aboriginal traditional knowledge is a valid and essential source of information about the natural environment and its resources, the use of natural resources, and the relationship of people to the land and to each other, and will incorporate traditional knowledge into government decisions and actions where appropriate.

ENR established the TK Task Group which will support the TK Coordinator to complete the review and edits to the TK Policy and the TK Implementation Framework (milestone 3). ENR has developed a TK Implementation Plan to assist in the integration and the utilization of TK in its programs and services (milestone 5).

Release Traditional Knowledge Annual Report for 2015/2016
Finalize co-management board traditional needs assessment
Review Traditional Knowledge policy and framework
Update Traditional Knowledge best practices manual
Release Traditional Knowledge Action Plan
 
1.3.5
We will support the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) that supports the regulatory process and builds community capacity related to environmental monitoring. We will respond to recommendations in the Northwest Territories Environmental Audit for improved environmental management.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.5 – We will support the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) that supports the regulatory process and builds community capacity related to environmental monitoring. We will respond to recommendations in the Northwest Territories Environmental Audit for improved environmental management.

NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP)

Cumulative impacts are changes in the environment caused by multiple interactions among human activities and natural processes that accumulate across space and time. The NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP), based on territorial legislation and settled land claims, coordinates, conducts and funds the collection, analysis and reporting of information related to environmental conditions in the NWT (milestone 4). Its main purpose is to support better resource management decision-making and the wise use of our resources by furthering our understanding of cumulative impacts and environmental trends (milestone 1). Five-year program priorities were set in the 2016-2020 Action Plan by a Steering Committee of territorial and Indigenous government representatives working with support from subject-matter experts and regulators.

NWT Environmental Audit

The NWT Environmental Audit is an independent audit to assess the quality of existing environmental information, processes related to monitoring cumulative impacts and the effectiveness of the regulatory regime in the Mackenzie Valley. It is an obligation of the Sahtú, Gwich'in and Tłįchǫ land claim agreements and a legislated requirement of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). The Audit provides recommendations for ways of improving how the environment is managed.

The MVRMA requires that an audit be completed every five years. Previous audits were conducted in 2005 and 2010 with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) as the Responsible Minister. The 2015 Audit was completed and delivered to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) in March 2016, and released in June 2016 (milestone 2). The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) responded to recommendations of the NWT Environmental Audit in 2015. ENR will annually track GNWT progress on those commitments (milestone 3). The 2015 Audit results will inform revisions to the Cumulative Effects Framework (milestone 5).

A copy of the Audit Report can be found here: http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/programs/nwt-cimp/nwt-environmental-audit

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.3.1 - Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will: Finalize and implement the Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan.

Pilot online water quality data on Mackenzie DataStream
Release NWT Environmental Audit results
Track GNWT Audit responses
Funding decisions made to support cumulative impact monitoring
Incorporate audit results into Cumulative Effects Framework
 
1.3.6
We will negotiate with Yukon, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan towards the completion of transboundary water agreements.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.3.6 – We will negotiate with Yukon, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan towards the completion of transboundary water agreements.

The Northwest Territories (NWT) is the ultimate downstream jurisdiction in the Mackenzie River Basin. NWT waters can be impacted by management decisions in the upper basin, which includes parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory.

The negotiation and implementation of bilateral water management agreements (bilateral agreements) with upstream jurisdictions is necessary to ensure we can achieve our vision that the waters of the NWT remain clean, abundant and productive for all time. Northern Voices, Northern Waters: NWT Water Stewardship Strategy (the Water Strategy), released in May 2010, was developed with extensive input from Indigenous Governments and Organizations, stakeholders, and the public, and considers diverse environmental, cultural, social and economic interests. The Water Strategy helps to guide future water-related management actions in the NWT, including transboundary water discussions and negotiations and includes the Water Strategy's visions, goals and 'keys to success'.

In 1997, the Governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, the NWT and Canada signed the Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement (the Master Agreement). This agreement commits all six governments to work towards cooperatively managing the water and aquatic ecosystems of the entire Mackenzie River Basin and made provisions for the parties to develop bilateral water management agreements (milestones 2 and 3).

In 2010, Northern Voices, Northern Waters: The NWT Water Stewardship Strategy was released. A purpose of the Strategy is to inform and advance transboundary discussions, agreements and obligations.

In March 2015, the NWT-Alberta Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreement was signed by the Government of Alberta and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). Subsequently, the Government of British Columbia and the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) signed the NWT-British Columbia Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreement in October 2015.

Active negotiations to update the existing 2002 Yukon (YT)-NWT Transboundary Water Management Agreement began in the fall of 2017 and will continue into 2018.

ENR anticipates ongoing discussions towards establishing a Saskatchewan (SK)-NWT agreement will resume in winter 2018 and negotiation of an NWT-Nunavut (NU) Transboundary Water Management Agreement will occur once NU has completed their territorial water strategy.

Information about NWT's Transboundary Water Management Agreements, including those with Alberta and British Columbia can be found at http://www.nwtwaterstewardship.ca/transboundary

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.3.1 - Using the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to be clear and transparent, we will: Finalize and implement the Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan.

Implement Alberta and British Columbia transboundary water agreements (ongoing
Begin technical discussions with the Government of Saskatchewan
Sign transboundary agreements with Saskatchewan and Yukon
Mitigating and adapting to climate change in collaboration with other governments, businesses and NGOs.
 
1.4.1
We will develop a territorial climate change strategy that takes into account northern energy demands and the cost of living, while reflecting international and national commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions, exploring options for carbon pricing systems, and capturing local alternatives such as biomass, wind, geothermal and solar.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.4.1 – We will develop a territorial climate change strategy that takes into account northern energy demands and the cost of living, while reflecting international and national commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions, exploring options for carbon pricing systems, and capturing local alternatives such as biomass, wind, geothermal and solar.

Climate Change Strategic Framework

Climate change is one of the most serious environmental, economic and political challenges of our time and is an important issue to Northwest Territories (NWT) residents.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has committed to develop an NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework (Framework) that takes northern energy demands and the cost of living into account. The strategy will reflect commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, explore carbon pricing systems and how to capture local alternatives such as hydro, biomass, wind and solar.

Work to develop the Framework is almost complete, led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in collaboration with GNWT departments and organizations. The Framework will improve the ability to prepare for and withstand impacts from climate change, and strengthen and diversify the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Framework is being developed for several reasons:

    1. to articulate how the NWT will contribute to Canada's efforts to address climate change (through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change);

    2. to replace the NWT Greenhouse Gas Strategy (2011-2015) which expired December 31st, 2015; and,

    3. to better prepare the NWT to adapt to climate change impacts by improving monitoring, planning, coordination and implementation.

Extensive engagement work was completed in 2016/17 and a draft version of the Framework was prepared from April to December 2017. The draft Framework was released for external review from early December 2017 until January 19, 2018. A final version of the Framework will be prepared incorporating comments received.

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 1.4.3 - We will reduce diesel use for heating and electricity in off-grid communities under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, as well as set targets for greenhouse gas reduction in the new NWT Energy Strategy and Climate Change Strategic Framework.

Conduct public and stakeholder engagement on Climate Change Strategic Framework
Release Climate Change Strategic Framework
 
1.4.2
We will work with our partners in the territory and in the federation to implement a Canadian Energy Strategy, by participating in intergovernmental working groups on energy efficiency, energy delivery, technology and innovation, and transitioning our country towards a lower-carbon economy.
Background Note

Economy, Environment and Climate Change 1.4.2

 

We will work with our partners in the federation and in the territory to implement a Canadian Energy Strategy, by participating in intergovernmental working groups on energy efficiency, energy delivery, technology and innovation, and transitioning our country towards a lower carbon economy.

 

 

 

Status:

 

In June 2017 Premiers were presented with the Canadian Energy Strategy Progress Report to the Council of the Federation, which highlights progress in pursuing the goals and objectives of the CES, and fulfill direction given by Premiers in July of 2016. The report includes a cross-section of PT actions in the energy sector; highlights collaborative activities with the federal government; and a summary of work completed by each CES working committee in 2016/17. The report also provides recommendations on future CES implementation, including external communications and stakeholder engagement.

 

Next Steps:

 

Continued PT collaboration action under the CES as required.

 

Accomplishments to Date:

 

  • Work and next steps under the Canadian Energy Strategy were reviewed by Premiers in July 2016.

  • Draft reports produced by workgroups - 2016 Q3.

  • Canadian Energy Strategy Progress Report to the Council of the Federation released – June 2017.

 

Background:

 

In July 2015, Premiers released the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES) to enable a cooperative approach to sustainable energy development that enhances the ways that energy is produced, moved and used in Canada. As a flexible framework, the CES provides a common vision among provinces and territories (PTs) that enables collaboration on energy related initiatives according to each jurisdiction’s energy priorities, opportunities and unique strengths.

 

In July 2016 Premiers welcomed participation of the federal government in certain areas of CES work, including reducing diesel use in remote and off-grid communities, supporting clean energy technology and innovation, and enhancing energy efficiency policies and mechanisms. Consistent with the Vancouver Declaration, CES work will also contribute to the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

 

 

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Infrastructure.

 

Draft reports (Provincial/Territorial working groups
Working group reports to Council of the Federation
Working group reports to Council of the Federation
Continue to participate in working groups (ongoing
 
1.4.3
We will reduce diesel use for heating and electricity in off-grid communities under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, as well as set targets for greenhouse gas reduction in the new NWT Energy Strategy and Climate Change Strategic Framework.
Background Note

Economy, Environment and Climate Change 1.4.3:

 

We will participate in the Pan-Canadian Task Force on Reducing Diesel in Off-Grid Communities.

 

 

Status:

 

The Provincial and Territorial led Pan-Canadian Task Force under the Canadian Energy Strategy has completed its work. Work continues on this issue at the Federal Provincial and Territorial level through the Energy Ministers under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF).

 

Next Steps:

 

The GNWT will continue to participate in this work under the PCF.

 

Accomplishments to Date:

 

On January 16–18, 2017, the Pan-Canadian Task Force on Reducing Diesel Use in Remote Communities hosted a national summit in Winnipeg, to explore options to reduce the reliance on and use of diesel fuel for electricity generation in remote communities throughout Canada. The summit report can be found here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/jec/energy/pubs/narrative_summit.pdf

 

Background:

 

Pan-Canadian Task Force on Reducing Diesel Use in Remote Communities was announced in 2015 at the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference in Halifax by the governments of Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, The Northwest Territories, Yukon and Ontario. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nunavut joined the task force shortly after.

 

Reducing diesel use in remote communities is a priority action under the provincial and territorial Council of the Federations’ Canadian Energy Strategy (CES, action 6.2.1) and is also a key priority identified in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

 

Provincial and territorial Energy Ministers have been collaborating on solutions for remote diesel communities and reported progress to Canada’s Premiers in June 2017 through the Canadian Energy Strategy Progress Report to the Council of the Federation report.

 

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Infrastructure.

 

Release draft 2030 Energy Strategy, including greenhouse gas reduction targets, for public comment as committed to under the Pan-Canadian Framework
Compile public input on Draft Strategy, and make changes if necessary
Submit funding proposals under the Pan-Canadian Framework and sign bilateral agreement with the federal government
Release final Energy Strategy and Action Plan, including greenhouse gas reduction targets as committed to under the Pan-Canadian Framework
Begin implementing Energy Strategy to reduce diesel use for heating and electricity under the Pan-Canadian Framework agreement
 
1.4.4
We commit to assisting community governments as they innovate to address climate change, by supporting the development of community government capital plans and asset planning, and ensuring that training recognizes the challenges of climate change.
Background Note

ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Commitment 1.4.4 – We commit to assisting community governments as they innovate to address climate change, by supporting the development of community government capital plans and asset planning, and ensuring that training recognizes the challenges of climate change.

Background:

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) will assist community governments to address climate change issues. MACA provides training to elected officials and community government staff in a variety of community government operations both online and in traditional classroom delivery newly designed courses in climate change. The Department has expanded its training content in a number of courses to include information on climate change and energy management and efficiencies (Milestone 1).

As part of the Gas Tax Agreement, and in partnership with the Northwest Territories Association of Communities and guidance from community government representatives, MACA developed the NWT Asset Management Strategy. The Strategy is designed to be flexible and adaptable so that all community governments can make progress and move forward at their own pace to ensure successful implementation of asset management practices. The Strategy will work towards communities having the necessary support to meet basic maintenance requirements and extend the useful life of their infrastructure, as well as taking into account new building technologies, energy efficiencies and conservation and climate change. MACA compiled a series of preventative maintenance activities through the Asset Management program (Milestone 2).

The NWT Asset Management Strategy was released in May 2016 and MACA is currently working with 10 community governments to pilot electronic asset management software. MACA will begin implementing changes to the municipal capital planning process to highlight climate change adaptation best practices for community governments (Milestone 3).

Federal Funding is also available through the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) to help reduce potential damage to municipal infrastructure from reoccurring flood events. MACA provides community governments with information and support to access NDMP to address rising flood risks and costs (Milestone 4). In addition to the NDMP, MACA will provide support and prepare tools for community governments to update their emergency plans to address risks associated with climate change. (Milestone 5 & 6).

Related Mandate Commitments:

  • Commitment 3.3.3 – We will assist community governments to improve energy efficiency and conservation, to reduce the impact of climate change by supporting development of community governments’ capital and asset plans, to ensure training includes challenges related to climate change, and enable community governments to use local improvement charges for the purpose of assisting residents and/or businesses in implementing energy efficiency retrofits and/or renewable energy technologies.
  • Commitment 5.4.4 – We will continue to pursue and assist communities in accessing new federal funding for the enhancement of community government infrastructure, including implementing the asset management framework through the Gas Tax Agreement to ensure that all communities have asset management plans.
  • Commitment 5.4.9 – We will assist community governments with technical assistance in identifying energy efficiency improvements for community government buildings and taking action to improve energy efficiency.
Include climate change and energy management in course curriculum
Incorporate Preventative Maintenance Activities through Asset Management Strategy
Support community governments to update their emergency plans to address risks associated with climate change
Provide community governments with information and support to access Federal Disaster Mitigation funding
Prepare tools to encourage community governments to update their community plans to include climate change as an environmental factor
Implement changes to municipal capital planning process
 
1.4.6
We will support Net Metering through clear policy direction to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), to provide certainty to allow customers to recover their investments in renewable energy.
Background Note

Economy, Environment and Climate Change

Economy, Environment and Climate Change

Commitment 1.4.6 – We will support Net Metering through clear policy direction to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), to provide certainty to allow customers to recover their investments in renewable energy.

Power Rates

In recent years, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has made a substantial commitment to stabilizing power rates and lowering the cost of living, including by providing subsidies to the electricity system totaling approximately $55 million. These subsidies smoothed the impacts of the most recent Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) General Rate Application, and offset costs associated with low water conditions in the Snare hydro system.

Net Metering

Net Metering is a program that allows residential and commercial electricity customers to install intermittent renewable generating sources up to 15 kW to offset their personal consumption and to sell any excess electricity back to the utility’s grid.  Any excess energy sold back to the grid is purchased at the full retail rate. Excess energy purchased by the utility is tracked on the customer’s account as a credit, which can be used to offset subsequent electricity bills.

The GNWT is committed to supporting the Net Metering program and has issued clear policy direction to the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

The GNWT is currently considering the role of net metering within the broader NWT Energy Strategy, and will seek public input through review of the draft NWT Energy Strategy.

Related Mandate Commitments

  • Commitment 3.3.1 – We will expand and improve access to incentives for residents to invest in energy-efficient products, help businesses, condominiums, and cooperatives invest in energy conservation and efficiency, and support residents and communities so that they can make investments into renewable energies, such as solar.
  • Commitment 3.3.2 – We will create a new three-year energy action plan, building on previous investments made over the past three years and the outcomes of the energy plan review.
  • Commitment 3.3.3 - We will assist community governments to improve energy efficiency and conservation, to reduce the impact of climate change by supporting development of community governments’ capital, energy and asset plans, to ensure training includes challenges related to climate change, and enable community governments to use local improvement charges for the purpose of assisting residents and/or businesses in implementing energy efficiency retrofits and/or renewable energy technologies.
  • Commitment 3.4.2 - We will implement a new NWT Energy Strategy that will include renewable and alternative energy solutions and actions that the GNWT and our partners will undertake to meet targets for greenhouse gas reductions in heating and power generation as well as a 10-year strategy for investing federal and other funding towards energy projects.
  • Commitment 3.4.3 - We will continue to develop and advance initiatives to displace diesel generation in the NWT, including:
    • Hydroelectric power and transmission lines, including the Taltson expansion.
    • Wind energy projects, including the Inuvik High Point Wind Project, and assessing the feasibility of wind energy projects in other communities or regions.
    • Solar energy projects.
    • Biomass energy projects.

For more information about this initiative, please contact the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs.

Issue letter of instruction to Public Utilities Board