Regional Land Use Planning: Guidelines on what to expect from the Government of the Northwest Territories – 2016

Common Terms

Amendment: A change to an approved land use plan that requires the sequential approval of all three approval authorities.

Approval Authority: Defined by s.43 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, these are the parties responsible for approving land use plans and amendments. It includes the First Nation, the territorial government, and the federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

Conformity Determination: A legally binding decision made by a land use planning board on whether a proposed land use complies with the approved land use plan.

Criteria:  Standards used to assess a land use plan, amendment, or an exception (where asked for advice or information from the planning board).

Exception: A one-time allowance granted by a planning board to a land user to waive a condition or requirement of a land use plan.

The GNWT’s Interdepartmental Land Use Planning Working Group (Working Group): A forum for interdepartmental communication and coordination on regional land use planning issues. This Working Group:

  • reviews and approves existing land use plans
  • develops and approves amendments to land use plans
  • tracks the GNWT’s implementation of land use plans
  • develops proposed GNWT land use planning policies
  • interfaces with the Department of Lands’ Securities and Project Assessment Branch when projects are subject to land use plans

The Working Group develops a cohesive voice for the GNWT regarding plan approvals and implementation. The Terms of Reference for the Working Group ensures that rules of engagement are consistently applied and observed.

Land Use Plan: Land use plans define where certain activities can take place and provide broad criteria to help evaluate and screen project proposals as part of regulatory permitting processes. They are also used to assign special areas for protection and areas designated for development.

Planning Board: A “planning board” means the Sahtù or Gwich’in Land Use Planning Board established by articles 36 and 38 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Planning Partners: Includes, but is not limited to: Land use planning boards, Aboriginal governments and organizations, the GNWT, the federal government, communities, non-government organizations, special-interest groups, and other regulatory boards.