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Federal government scrambles to restore Nunavut wildlife powers –

May 16, 2018

N.W.T. devolution law might have unintentionally erased GN’s authority over muskox, caribou, polar bear

Whoops! The federal government may have unintentionally erased the Government of Nunavut’s legal authority to regulate the harvest of caribou, muskox and polar bear four years ago, members of the Senate special committee on the Arctic heard last week in Ottawa.

“The situation creates a regulatory gap and uncertainty for the Government of Nunavut in its ability to manage wildlife,” Wayne Walsh, a civil servant with the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, told the Senate committee at a hearing May 7.

Ottawa is now quietly moving to fix the legal glitch, which dates to April 1, 2014, after Parliament passed the Northwest Territories Devolution Act.

Their stop-gap fix is stuffed deep inside a section of Bill C-74, the huge omnibus bill that contains the federal government’s 2018-19 budget.

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