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

Act current to 2022-09-11 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Northwest Territories Act

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

Assented to 2014-03-25

An Act respecting the Northwest Territories

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

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Northwest Territories Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Aboriginal party

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

Agreement

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

federal appurtenant undertaking

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

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

    • (i) under the Agreement, or

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

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

former Act

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

gas

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

Gwich’in Agreement

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

Inuvialuit Final Agreement

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

line of delimitation

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

minerals

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

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Northern Affairs. (ministre)

Northwest Territories

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

oil

oil means

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

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

onshore

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

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

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

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

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

public lands

public lands means

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

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

Sahtu Agreement

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

self-government agreement

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

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

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

settlement agreement

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

settlement lands

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

small enclosed bay

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

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

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

Tlicho Agreement

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

waters

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

Marginal note:Consultation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Power

Marginal note:Commissioner

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

  • Marginal note:Publication of order

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

  • Marginal note:Instructions

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

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

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

Marginal note:Deputy Commissioner

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

  • Marginal note:Absence, inability or vacancy

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

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

Marginal note:Oaths

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

Marginal note:Salaries

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

Marginal note:Executive Council

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

Marginal note:Seat of government

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

Legislative Power

Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Continuance

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

Marginal note:Duration

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

  • Marginal note:Writs

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

Marginal note:Oaths

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

Marginal note:Sittings

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

Marginal note:Speaker

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

  • Marginal note:Speaker’s vote

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

Marginal note:Quorum

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

Marginal note:Rules

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

Legislature of the Northwest Territories

Marginal note:Continuance

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

Legislative Powers

Marginal note:Subjects

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

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

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

    • (c) the Executive Council;

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

    • (e) municipal and local institutions;

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

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

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

    • (i) the solemnization of marriage;

    • (j) property and civil rights;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • (p) immigration;

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

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

    • (s) hospitals and charities;

    • (t) agriculture;

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Marginal note:Laws — intoxicants

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

 
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