Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 564

564 Arctic Yearbook 2014 Since the mid to late 2010’s, however, there has been a fundamental shift in the landscape of regulatory control and the visioning of economic development policies. Since the time that the land and water boards were established, and co-management became normative, however, two significant events have happened. First, a political agenda of neoliberalism was advanced specifically for northern territorial development, and secondly, territorial devolution was put forward. In both instances the relationship between development and political agency were oriented towards serving broad corporate interests to enhance opportunities for large-scale regional investment. The Conference Board of Canada (2011), for example, argues that resource development in the North will provide employment and bring revenue into the territories. Indeed, the Conference Board (2011) states that many northern communities want to participate in development projects, not just as employees, but as participants throughout the whole process. It is this type of logic which has also seen a broader strategy of development in the form of the Federal Government’s Northern Strategy, its organization of Canada’s Northern Economic Development Agency (CAN NOR), and its business agenda as a platform for the Canadian Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2013. Both of these events were influenced by a Conservative Federal Government’s approach to the North as laid out in its ‘Northern Strategy’ (see Northern Strategy). The same strategy left the provincial powers more vulnerable and dependent. All un-owned land and resource royalties in the territories has been under federal not territorial control, meaning that the territories did not have access to them the same way provinces would. The devolution of powers of control over natural resources creates considerable opportunity for territorial governments to generate income through larger shares of resource bonanzas. Building upon this model, recent policy and legislation initiated by both federal and territorial governments has contributed to a reassessment of co-management structures. This is why (beginning in 2003, with revisions to the Yukon Act which that led to devolution of resource management authority to the Yukon, and continuing today with the devolution of similar powers to the NWT as well as the continuing accommodation of the role of and claims agreements towards similar ends) economic development needs to be understood in institutional and political context. The structure of local power arrangements has always been instrumental in the way in which the benefits of development have been embedded, or not, within northern communities. In April 2003, for example, the Yukon Act ensured devolution of resource management. Much like a provincial government, it gained control over its natural resources. This gives the Yukon the right to collect royalties on Crown land owned by the federal government. In a development climate here larg