While Canada’s HDI has long been one of the highest in the world, Nunavut ranks alongside Occupied Palestine and Paraguay with respect to health and educational outcomes. With their stunning recent election victory over the Conservatives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal government may now have the chance to change that. Originally published by the …
Tag: fiscal federalism
Devolution in the NWT: Progress or poison?
When the Northwest Territories achieved devolution of lands and resources from Ottawa in April, it was a historic moment in Canada’s political evolution. But a key test of devolution’s nation-building potential will be how well it supports real aboriginal-government partnership. On that score, there is cause for concern.
Saving Canada’s marriage
A star-studded constellation of Aboriginal leaders and former politicians has called for a “new partnership” to heal a breakdown in relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. But what can this mean in practice?
Citation in Canadian Parliament debate on NWT devolution
Yesterday, New Democrat MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Jamie Nicholls cited my article, “Nunavut, Greenland and the politics of resource revenues“, during the second reading of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act in the House of Commons. This is the second time he has cited my article in Parliament, and I’m pleased that he’s found it so useful. As …
Citation in Polar Law Textbook II
Yesterday, the Nordic Council of Ministers published its second collection of essays on polar law, Polar Law Textbook II, edited by Natalia Loukacheva, Nansen Professor of Arctic Studies at the University of Akureyri. In his contribution to the collection, entitled “Destiny or dream: Sharing resources, revenues and political power in Nunavut devolution”, Tony Penikett cited …
Lecture at University of Akureyri
On Thursday, April 18, I was at the University of Akureyri in northern Iceland, where just a few days previously I’d been invited to give a presentation based on my May 2012 Policy Options article, “Nunavut, Greenland and the politics of resource revenues“. I also incorporated elements of my Fall 2012 Northern Public Affairs article, “Political vision …
Political vision and fiscal reality in Canada’s North
The fiscal relationship between Ottawa and the three Northern territories will reach a crossroads in little more than a year, when the current federal-territorial fiscal arrangement—known as Territorial Formula Financing (TFF)—comes up for renewal. The territories depend profoundly upon TFF to fund their development, and Ottawa points to it as the principal financial contribution toward its vision of a North of self-reliant individuals, healthy communities and responsible governments. Yet it is unclear whether TFF even covers the extraordinary costs of providing public services in the territories, let alone the costs of realizing Ottawa’s vision. Nowhere is this less clear than in Nunavut, where experts have called into question the adequacy of federal support. Will Ottawa take the upcoming TFF renewal as an opportunity to dispel doubts that its aspirations for the North exceed its willingness to pay for them?
Citation in Canadian Parliament hearings on natural resources
Yesterday, New Democrat MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Jamie Nicholls cited my recent article, “Nunavut, Greenland and the politics of resource revenues,” during a session of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources. He was questioning two senior officials from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Michel Chenier and Mimi Fortier, on resource-revenue sharing …
Nunavut, Greenland and the politics of resource revenues
A cynic’s assessment of Ottawa’s approach to sharing natural-resource revenues with Canada’s three northern territories might go like this: the Yukon got the least attractive deal, the Northwest Territories got a much better one—but Greenland got the best deal of all. Left on the sidelines, Nunavut has had to content itself with an advance look at the terms on offer, including the comparatively generous terms Greenland obtained from Denmark. Should Nunavut try to match Greenland’s revenue-sharing deal for itself?