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Statement by Minister Valcourt on Reaching Next Milestone in Northwest Territories Devolution Process

OTTAWA, Feb. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today:

"It is a pleasure for me to mark an important milestone in achieving devolution for the Northwest Territories as Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act, received third reading in the House of Commons today. This brings devolution for the Northwest Territories one step closer to reality.

Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act, responds to calls from territorial governments, Aboriginal groups and industry to place decision-making in the hands of Northerners. The passage of Bill C-15 by the House of Commons marks another step towards our Government's commitment to giving Northerners greater control over their resources and decision-making, and completing devolution by the targeted effective date of April 1, 2014. Bill C-15 is awaiting consideration by the Senate of Canada. Bill C-15 also includes important aspects of our Action Plan to Improve Regulatory Regimes by introducing a modernized regulatory regime for the territory, which will help to unlock the economic potential of the region and realize the full potential of devolution. It also strengthens environmental stewardship and protection.

The North remains a key priority for our Government and we continue to take strong action to advance the Northern Strategy thanks to the contributions of many partners, including Aboriginal organizations, First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities, industry and territorial governments of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.''

SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

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