P.O. Box 2101, Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0 Http://nunavut.

ca  867-983-4625  867-983-4626









Press Release
August 18, 2014
Court Action commenced by NPC due to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Canada (AANDC) Minister’s Inaction that
Cancels the Critical Final Step to enable Completion of the Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan

The Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) has commenced legal proceedings in Federal Court. This arises
from the refusal of the federal government to provide $1.7 million to fund the public hearing which is
necessary to continue the land use planning process. In May of 2013 the government imposed a 2 year
to completion deadline on the Commission. Court documents and evidence to be lead will show that
this came about by way of political interference by federal Ministers in the re-appointment of the NPC
Chair, at the time. The same government now denies the deadline, in spite of clear correspondence to
the contrary and appear to be in no hurry to see the land use planning process proceed to completion.
The residents of Nunavut and the people who wish to do business in Nunavut are casualties in this
dispute. Funding of Institutes of Public Governments (IPG’s) in Nunavut comes from one source. The
federal government has used this leverage to compromise the independent integrity of one of
Nunavut’s regulatory bodies, the NPC. This present court action by the NPC will be the first of several
actions that are expected to follow.

If Nunavut were its own country it would be the 14
th
largest in the world. The Nunavut Land Claims
Agreement (NLCA) established the NPC as an independent IPG intended to operate at arm’s length from
government. Its mandate, taken directly from the NLCA, is to prepare land use plans. The NPC has
prepared the Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan (DNLUP) that, once approved, will be a legally binding land
use plan, which must be implemented by government departments and agencies to manage land use for
65% of Canada’s Arctic.

The formulation of a land use plan for an area of this size, the homeland of Nunavut’s Inuit living in 25
municipalities and applies to all land, freshwater, marine areas and wildlife has never been undertaken
anywhere else in the world. The objective of the land use plan is to guide and direct resource use and
development while providing for the existing and future well-being of the residents and communities
that rely on the Nunavut Settlement Area and outer land fast ice zone. Underlying themes of the DNLUP
are related to addressing poverty reduction and providing for food security.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Minister’s inaction has now cancelled the
critical final step to enable completion of the DNLUP. The DNLUP has been under development for
nearly 7 years. Now following over one year of discussions between the NPC and AANDC officials
regarding the need for funding to support implementation of this NLCA requirement, AANDC officials
have stopped any meaningful responses to NPC enquires. On three occasions AANDC officials offered
funding to the NPC that would have supported the completion of the DNLUP. However, without
justification, those offers were withdrawn and AANDC Implementation Branch staff in Ottawa have
failed to provide reasonable explanations or responses to the NPC’s efforts to resolve the matter.
2

For 10 years the NPC implemented a Use and Occupancy Mapping program to collect information
through one on one interviews with Inuit. This collection of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit resulted in the
collection of over 40,000 points related directly to how Inuit use land for harvesting and traditional
pursuits. NPC’s process is featured prominently in Living Proof the essential data collection guide for
indigenous use and occupancy map surveys prepared by Terry Tobias.

In 2005 – 2006, Conciliator Thomas Berger was engaged to examine funding difficulties related to the
IPG’s in Nunavut and concluded in his Interim Report, in part:

• There is a clear legal requirement that IPGs are to get “sufficient” funds from Canada to enable
them to carry out duties in a “professional manner” and with “public involvement”;
• The purpose of funding IPGs is to enable them to fulfill their NLCA obligations;
• The Auditor General of Canada said INAC [DIAND] officials “have not worked to support the full
intent of the land claims agreements”;
• Canada has resisted submitting funding issues to arbitration;
• The NPC’s plan to complete a Nunavut Land Use Plan in 4-6 years is “sound and funding ought to
be provided”; and
• Government of Canada (GoC) has taken the position that notwithstanding the arbitration clause
in the NLCA and ratified by Parliament, it will veto any dispute submitted to arbitration relating
to financial matters and funding levels, which Berger stated seems “disingenuous”
and “misguided”.


On November 10, 2007, the NPC, in conjunction with the GoC, Government of Nunavut (GN), and
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) prepared and finalized Broad Planning, Policies, Objectives and
Goals (BPOG) to guide the land use planning process and content of the DNLUP. This document was
endorsed by the GN Legislative Assembly and supported by GoC and NTI. The NPC used the BPOG to
guide its land use planning activities and research during the formulation of the DNLUP as required
under the NLCA.

June 2012 AANDC, the GN and NTI completed an Independent Third Party Review (ITPR) of the NPC land
use planning process and the DNLUP. The external land use planning experts at Dillon Consulting Ltd
along with renowned northern resource management policy expert Steve Kennett concluded that both
the plan and process were “reasonable”. The NPC could not have asked for a better outcome than to
have the process and DNLUP considered reasonable. As a result the DNLUP was made public in
September 2012 in accordance with the ITPR. It’s noteworthy that the ITPR in June 2012, mentioned
that funding shortfalls could impact completion of the DNLUP.

Over the past two years, through the use of public workshops and over 60 meetings, NPC collected data
on over 2,300 physical locations that are important to Inuit for economic, cultural and environmental
purposes. This unprecedented consultation resulted in Nunavut’s municipal governments and Hunters
and Trappers Organizations passing motions supporting the incorporation of community knowledge into
the regulatory process. Industry has always asked that land use plans provide them with certainty by
telling them where not to invest. The updated June 2014 version of the DNLUP achieves all of these
expectations and more. A final public hearing on the DNLUP is all that is required under the NLCA to
allow the land use planning process to be concluded.

Despite the numerous achievements of the NPC over the past 10 years, the AANDC Minister and
Implementation Branch staff, lead by Director Allan MacDonald, chose to not meaningfully engage the
NPC on the issue of funding.
P.O. Box 2101, Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0 Http://nunavut.ca  867-983-4625  867-983-4626





Failure to act on this engagement and opportunities to resolve several outstanding funding matters has
resulted in this court action. Promises made by officials in the federal government that were proposed
to NPC have mysteriously disappeared as part of an ill-conceived negotiation strategy. Further court
actions are to be filed by the NPC related to these broken promises and are expected to be filed later
this month.

As written in the Joint IPG letter of July 14
th
, the Commission reiterates:

We were disappointed to receive the GoC March 4, 2014 email response to the NTI and GN
positions in which Ms. Anna Marie Doyle, Chief Negotiator stated:

“While I appreciate your support for the quantum of funding that has been tabled for the
IPGs, it will not be possible to flow these new funding amounts by April 1, 2014.
However, all efforts will be made to ensure that funding for IPGs is made retroactive to
April 1, 2013 and amendments will be made to the IPG's contribution agreements to
allow for the funding to flow”.

We consider it very alarming that the GoC could, at once, recognize that the Nunavut IPGs have been -
and continue to be - critically underfunded, while not also acknowledging the potential implications for
Nunavut’s regulatory system including the efficiencies and safeguards it is intended to ensure. Instead,
the GoC appears to believe that retroactive funding at some yet-to-be-determined date is a reasonable
approach to ensuring stability in Nunavut’s regulatory system. We believe this to be an untenable
approach and are concerned for the unnecessary risks it creates for Nunavut’s future.

NPC is perplexed by the lack of interest to resolve the funding matter displayed by the AANDC Minister
and his officials. Clearly the completion of a single land use plan for the Nunavut Settlement Area that
reflects the priorities and values of residents and implementation of the NLCA is not a priority of the
current government. The federal government will one day fund this process. Apparently, the citizens of
Nunavut will wait until a court requires the funding of $1.7 million for the Nunavut Land Use Plan since
the federal government refuses to fund or even go to the arbitration clause provided in the NLCA. That
approach, to use the words of Thomas Berger in 2005, seems “disingenuous” and “misguided”.
For copies of the Interim and Final reports by Conciliator Berger, go to:
http://www.tunngavik.com/blog/category/nti-documents/thomas-berger-conciliation-reports/


Media Contact:

Mr. Percy Kabloona
Chairperson
Nunavut Planning Commission
pkabloona@nunavut.ca

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