Fast Actions Demonstrate Commitment to Independent NWT – Premier Says

Aug 29 2011

Premier Floyd Roland says the Prime Minister’s quick actions, last week to confirm  ongoing operation of water-quality monitoring stations in the Northwest Territories demonstrate Canada’s commitment to working in partnership with the NWT – and in the true spirit and intent of Devolution.

Premier Roland addressed the predicted closure of 21 NWT monitoring stations in a meeting with Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development John Duncan Thursday in Yellowknife.   His concerns echoed those expressed by NWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Michael Miltenberger in response to questions in the Legislative Assembly.

In a telephone call to Minister Miltenberger Friday morning, the Federal Environment Minister confirmed that any speculation surrounding the closure of water monitoring facilities in the Northwest Territories had been premature.

While Premier Roland says he’s pleased with the Prime Minister’s continued demonstration of support for a strong and independent North, the confusion arising out of this issue reiterates the importance of having decision making authorities devolved to the people of the Northwest Territories.

“Our Territory has the means and the leadership to guide its future – and to play a role in ensuring the sustainability of our resources and environment,” the Premier said.  “This misunderstanding should bring home to all of us exactly how tenuous our current dependence is.”

“Our advancement of the Water strategy is dependent on the ability to continue and affect water monitoring in the NWT,” Minister Miltenberger says. “The best way to secure and protect our place in making these important decisions is to reach an Agreement on Devolution.”

Premier Roland, again, invited all Aboriginal governments in the Northwest Territories to join negotiations in the ongoing AiP process.  “The overarching principle behind these negotiations is our ability to govern our own affairs – something that we all believe in,” Premier Roland notes.

 

For more information, please contact:

Drew Williams
Press Secretary for Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone (867) 669-2304
drew_williams@gov.nt.ca