Deh Cho Land Use Plan Survives Major Blow: Norwegian
It was a victory for the Dehcho, Grand Chief Herb Norwegian said Thursday night as negotiators finalized their work. “We won more than we gave up, in fact we forced
He also said the DFN – often painted by the two governments as intransigent – “had made concessions along the way even as governments had stonewalled progress and refused to implement the Land Use Plan after it was approved by DFN back in June, 2006.”
Three successive negotiating sessions since last December came up blank as the Federal Government adamantly refused to allow the Dehcho Land Use Planning Committee (DLUPC) to continue with its work separate from negotiations for a land claim agreement, wanting to replace the Committee with a powerless working group.
After four long days of talks in a Yellowknife hotel, the DFN’s chief negotiator Georges Erasmus, and Tim Christian, Canada’s chief negotiator, along with Fred Talen, GNWT chief negotiator, signed Terms of Reference and a work plan this morning which would allow the DLUPC and staff to begin revisions under “an aggressive timetable.”
In the last three fruitless negotiating sessions
While calling today’s signing a “big victory”, Norwegian, who has been chair of the DLUPC since its inception five years ago, was also cautious: “Sure, it’s a small step forward that took Canada so long to agree to, but the big fight is still to come because the Plan has to be revised and our people are deeply committed to it and have already approved the 2006 Plan. Now we have to go back to work again and we know
As the two levels of government slowly backpedalled from their hardline positions to today’s agreement, Norwegian agreed it was a victory but deplored the time wasted: “It was so tedious and long. The worst thing about the last six months has been the time it took. The best thing is how far the governments, especially
New appointments by government to the committee should be finalized today. A new chairperson will be appointed at the first meeting of the revised Committee. The three parties will provide details and rationale for zoning and conformity requirements. By the end of June, the DLUPC is to present options for revising the plan to the negotiators. This process will continue through the summer with an interim DLUP to be ready by early October.
Several long-time observers of the process attributed
Norwegian also took strongly held positions on the environment and water to supporters in the North and in southern
A timeline for approval of the Plan by the DFN, GNWT and