Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Canadian North

It is time in Canada to take the federal government out of the affairs of the north. Yukon, NWT and Nunavut should be moved from territory status to provincial status and gain full control over their lands.

The Canadian federal government is designed to manage a certain bundle of issues for Canadians - national security, foreign affairs, etc........ These are things they do for Canadians in all 308 ridings. They also act as the equivalent to the provincial government for land management in the three northern territories.

What we have is 305 politicians that do not come from the north having the final say over land management in the north. The 3 northern MPs are at best a codicil to the issue. The territories are deprived of what would likely be there biggest source revenues and are treated as money draining supplicants in this confederation.

Once could create them as provinces rather quickly and then create a transition period for management of lands. Immediately transfer the law making power to the new provinces, but retain the federal staff on secondment to the new lands ministries in the north and have a cost sharing transition in place over ten years. At the end of the ten years, the north should be able to operate things on their own.

The north will have a much higher interest and incentive in looking into how to make their lands support their people and society. They could also make better decisions about the sort of infrastructure they need, something the federal government seems incapable of doing.

All of this could only be done if there are clear arrangements made for the areas where there are no Treaties yet.
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