Lands & Regulations

Northern Regulatory Regime

The Industry-Government Overview Committee on the Northern Regulatory Regime (IGOC) was formed in 2000 to identify problems associated with working in Canada’s three northern territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon), make recommendations and take actions to resolve them. The committee, which reports to the minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), consists of senior officials from INAC, Natural Resources Canada and the three territories, mining companies and exploration interests, associations, including the PDAC, and aboriginal representatives. Some progress has been made in strengthening the development mandate of INAC, passing much needed legislation, addressing problems with the regulatory boards, obtaining additional funding for geoscience, identifying issues around the permitting process and bringing back the annual Northern Mines Ministers Conference.

On March 9, 2006, the PDAC wrote to INAC Minister Jim Prentice expressing the association’s concerns about a proposed Dehcho land use plan in the Northwest Territories. Implementation of the plan would effectively remove 75 per cent of the Dehcho territory from the allowable exploration area. Click here for a copy of the letter and background information. The association has been seeking an extension of the plan’s deadline and has conducted consultations with communities in the area.

Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative

On November 7, 2007, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, the Hon. Chuck Strahl, announced the appointment of Neil A. McCrank, Q.C., P.Eng., as the Minister's Special Representative to conduct the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative. The federal government has defined the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative as a strategy to improve the current regulatory regimes in the North, particularly the Northwest Territories. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development asked that Mr. McCrank pay particular attention to three over-arching issues during the course of his review: (a) Board capacity and stable funding; (b) policy and management frameworks; and (c) targeted legislative and regulatory amendments.

Following the November 7 announcement, the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and the Mining Association of Canada established a Working Group to ensure a coordinated and cohesive industry response to this initiative. On February 28, 2008, the Working Group submitted its recommendations on behalf of the three associations. Please click here for a copy of the submission.