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March 02, 2015

Northwest Territories Supreme Court Grants Tłįchǫ Government Injunction To Delay Elimination of Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board

On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (NWTSC) released its interlocutory decision in Tłįchǫ Government v Canada (Attorney General). The Tłįchǫ Government sought an injunction, alleging that Canada had failed to adequately consult and that legislative changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) violated the Tłįchǫ’s land claim agreement. The decision grants the Tłįchǫ Government an injunction to delay the elimination of the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board (WLWB) pending final determination of the litigation. This has the result of also delaying the federal government’s plans to consolidate the Gwich’in Land and Water Board (GLWB) and the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) in favour of a restructured Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) as part of the devolution process.

The various land and water boards, including the WLWB, had originally been created under land claims agreements with indigenous governments. Under the devolution process, these boards are to be consolidated under the amended MVRMA. The MVLWB will then regulate activities over which the other three land and water boards have jurisdiction.

A full trial on these issues is expected in 2015.

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