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    Northern Public Affairs

    Irlbacher-Fox: “It looks like the decisions have already been made.” What To Do With NWT Resource Revenues.

    Our NWT correspondent, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, on public consultation, government responsiveness, and the North’s coming resource boom.
    [dropcap_1]C[/dropcap_1]urrently in the Northwest Territories, there is a public consultation process happening. Led by Minister Michael Miltenberger, meeting rooms in various communities have been booked where the public can come out to listen to the Minister’s plans for how Resource Revenues will be spent. Those resource revenues will start flowing to the GNWT, and to the Aboriginal governments who have signed on to a Resource Revenue Sharing deal, starting in April 2014. The size of this windfall: up to an extra $65 million per year. And up to 25% of that will flow to Aboriginal governments. In dollar terms, it gives the GNWT, if resource revenue generation is maximized, approximately $45 million per year.
    The resource revenue sharing deal between Canada, the GNWT, and NWT Aboriginal governments was reached as part of the NWT Devolution Agreement. That agreement, along with the Resource Revenue Sharing deal, will come into effect in April 2014.
    I did some searching to determine which Aboriginal governments have signed on to the current Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement, and it seems that not all of them have signed on yet, including some who have signed the devolution deal. Maybe that is why the only copy of the Resource Revenue sharing agreement that is available on the GNWT devolution website is one from 2007. As far as I can tell, neither the Devolution website nor the Department of Finance website has a copy available. And the last I heard, the Aboriginal governments themselves were in heated discussions about just how they would determine how that money would be shared between them. But for the sake of argument, we will assume that there is a Resource Revenue Sharing deal that will provide GNWT up to $45 million per year.
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