Yellowknife (April 23, 2015) – Five members have been appointed to the new Surface Rights Board in the Northwest Territories by Minister of Lands Robert C. McLeod. Louie Azzolini, Elizabeth Wright, Danny Bayha, Darrell Christie and Mike Vaydik were appointed effective April 1, 2015, each to a five-year term.
The Surface Rights Board will hear applications when a negotiated agreement relating to land access and compensation for that access cannot be reached between parties in the Gwich’in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Môwhì Gogha Dè Nîîtåèè (commonly referred to as the Tłįchǫ Settlement Area), Inuvialuit Settlement Region (NWT portion), and waters overlying those areas. The board will also resolve disputes relating to land access and compensation in unsettled areas.
“Giving Northerners a bigger say in decision making is what devolution was all about,” said Minister McLeod. “These members are all NWT residents and bring a wealth of Northern experience and knowledge to the new board. Establishing this board and a fair process for dealing with land access issues will increase public confidence in the territory’s regulatory system and certainty for investors.”
The board will spend the next year working to establish bylaws and administrative functions and adopting necessary regulations to be able to carry out operations starting April 1, 2016.
The board is established under the Surface Rights Board Act, territorial legislation that mirrored federal legislation, as required by the Devolution Final Agreement which came into effect on April 1, 2014. Establishing the board is another milestone in the Government of the Northwest Territories’ ongoing implementation of devolution and contributes to achieving the 17th Legislative Assembly’s priority of building a strong and sustainable future through implementing the Devolution Final Agreement and working with our partners to ensure responsible stewardship through our land and resource management.
More information about the board members is available here.
Government of the Northwest Territories