NEWS

PM expected to announce devolution deal in Yellowknife

03/10/2013 04:28 EDT | Updated 05/10/2013 05:12 EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Yellowknife on Monday where it is expected he will announce that a final devolution agreement has been reached between the federal government and the Northwest Territories.

The devolution agreement, which has been in the making for decades, would transfer more province-like powers such as control of public lands and resources in the Northwest Territories from the federal government to the territorial government.

Some of those resource revenues will go to aboriginal groups that have signed on. Despite initial opposition, five out of seven of the Northwest Territories' aboriginal groups have agreed to join the devolution deal.

Harper will be joined by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who also serves as the minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and is the chair of the Arctic Council.

The premier of the Northwest Territories, Bob McLeod, will also be at the announcement along with representatives of the aboriginal groups who have agreed to sign on to the N.W.T.'s devolution agreement-in-principle.

The final agreement, however, won't be signed right away. The territorial government plans to do community consultations before sealing the deal. A final deal is expected to be signed in April 2014.

CBC North will have live coverage of the ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 12:20 p.m. MT.

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