Working Toward an Open and Transparent
Legislative Process

Since the signing of the NWT Devolution Agreement in 2013, the Government of the Northwest Territories has been actively replacing what was formerly federal legislation with “made in the North” legislation. These new laws will regulate how the NWT looks after its forests, waters, and protected areas, how it uses its mineral and petroleum resources, and many other environmental concerns that will affect current and future NWT residents. Several environment and natural resource management bills are in the process of becoming law, or have regulations under development.  This website is designed to help people and organizations understand the legislative process, find relevant documents and information, make informed comments about these bills before they become law, and input as possible into the regulations.  

Graphic description of the NWT legislative process. A bill is drafted based on research and consultation with stakeholders and the public. It is brought to the Legislative Assembly for a first and second reading then moves to committee. Over 120 days the Standing Committee makes changes to the proposed bill based on comments from the public. Final changes are make by the whole legislature at the 3rd reading and if the bill passes with a majority vote it becomes law.
Legislative Process

Several Acts passed at the end of the 18th Assembly were drafted as ‘enabling legislation’, with much of their power to rest in the regulations.  Practice within the GNWT regarding stakeholder involvement in the development of regulations is not as defined as it is in the development of legislation. We have asked the Minister of Justice, Minister of ENR, Minister of Lands, and Minister ITI to ensure the involvement of stakeholders in developing Regulations. 

How Standing Committee Works: the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment will hold public hearings on the upcoming legislation that is presented on this website. These meetings are open to the public and accept written and oral submissions. Visit the individual bill pages for more info on how to enter a submission.


Select a bill to read more on how it was developed, who it will affect, and what has been said about it.

Header photo and middle photo by Jennifer Broadbridge. Bottom photo by Brian Kinzie