Report of the committee
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The Special Committee on the Arctic has the honour to table its
Your committee, which was authorized to examine the subject matter of those elements contained in Division 9 of Part 6 of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Tuesday, April 24, 2018, examined the said subject-matter and now reports as follows.
The committee welcomes the inclusion of section 249 within Bill C-74, which proposes the deemed continued application in Nunavut of the Order entitled Game Declared in Danger of Becoming Extinct. Section 249 will ensure that the Government of Nunavut has full legal authority to implement Article 5 of the Nunavut Agreement with respect to placing justifiable limits on Inuit and other Indigenous harvesting for food of barren-ground caribou, musk-ox and polar bear.
This section corrects the unintended consequences of the 2014 repeal of the Order, pursuant to section 68 of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, by deeming the Order to have continued to be in force and to have continued to apply in Nunavut as of April 1, 2014. Closing the legislative gap is, however, only part of the solution to game management in Nunavut. The Government of Nunavut is still restricted by section 24 of the Nunavut Act from fulfilling its harvesting limitation obligations under Article 5 of the Nunavut Agreement for all other game in the territory.
The committee heard concerns, expressed by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, that section 249 applies only to three species. The Committee notes that the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board has a major role to play in all wildlife management decisions as outlined under the constitutionally-protected Nunavut Agreement. As such, the committee strongly urges the Government of Canada to work collaboratively with the Government of Nunavut, as well as all affected Indigenous organizations, to revise the Nunavut Act so as to ensure that the Government of Nunavut has full authority over harvesting limitation obligations for all other game.
DENNIS GLEN PATTERSON