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Need to know news

In the spring sitting of the NWT Legislature, several new acts have been passed and several others are in committee. Here are some of the key acts:

Passed - Northwest Territories 911 Act

You will soon be able to call 911 during an emergency after the legislature passed the Northwest Territories 911 Act. Telecommunications companies are required to sign on to the service, which will add a monthly fee to the bill for every landline and mobile phone. The fee cannot be more than $1.70 a month per phone for the next three years.

Passed - Public Lands Act

This act replaces an old system where the territory's public land was divided into a patchwork of competing authorities, with different lease rates under each.
The act introduces deposits, new penalties, and a simpler legal system for those leasing public land. The new bill will create a single legal framework and grant all enforcement officers the power to issue significant penalties — up to $25,000 for individuals — to squatters. Repeated offenders could face up to $100,000 in fines.

In Committee - The Environmental Rights Act

Residents will be able to request investigations where they believe "significant" harm has happened to the environment as a result of someone’s actions.
The act also requires the creation of a "statement of environmental values" to guide future decision making.