The Canadian Press
In the Thelon area of the central Barrens, for example, management boards
on the Nunavut side are open to uranium development where across the line
in the ...
The Canadian North needs its own free-trade agreement, says the editor of a new book on Arctic policy released this weekend.
Prominent economist Tom Courchene argues the myriad of boards, agencies and self-government councils created by treaty settlements have to learn to work together and sacrifice some of their individual power for the good of the region if northern development is to reach its potential.
"There's so many players in there now that have constitutionalized rights," said Courchene, co-editor of the book "Northern Exposure," being released in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit.
"It's very hard to develop an overarching framework that will guarantee free movement because there's a set of multiple vetoes there."
Over the last couple decades, Ottawa has divvied up the North among different aboriginal groups with a whole series of land deals. Some include self-government, some don't. All include a welter of management boards with considerable power over land use, water and wildlife, some of which work at cross-purposes to each other.
In the Thelon area of the central Barrens, for example, management boards on the Nunavut side are open to uranium development where across the line in the N.W.T., they don't even allow exploration.
The Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline proposal has also been delayed in the regulatory process, due in part to legal tangles over how different aboriginal groups should be represented at public hearings.
"Right now, we're close to balkanizing," said Courchene.