The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate
December 15, 2016
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Leader, Institutions of Public Government, or IPGs as we fondly know them, are co- management boards established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which ensure that Inuit are involved with governments in the regulation of development review and impacts, water, wildlife management and land use planning. The effectiveness of these IPGs are critical to an effective and efficient regulatory regime and welcoming investment climate in Nunavut.
The problem is that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Governor-in-Council have not appointed new members to boards that are now facing serious challenges achieving quorum. Some of the boards have as many as six open seats. Some have been vacant for a number of years.
There are five IPGs dealing with vacancies or bare quorums: the Nunavut Planning Commission, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal.
My question is — I don’t expect an answer at this moment — when will the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Governor-in-Council begin appointing members so these boards can continue their good work effectively and efficiently?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): In responding, I will meet your expectations and not provide an answer, but I will take notice of the question and ensure a response is forthcoming from the appropriate authorities.
Obviously, appointments to these bodies are important for the conduct of the business of these organizations, as is the issue of appropriate representation and diversity on all of these boards, agencies and commissions, and the government is diligently pursuing both objectives.
(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on December 15, 2016)
On February 25, 2016, the Prime Minister announced changes for Governor in Council appointments to support open, transparent and merit-based selection processes.
Under the new process, merit is assessed through rigorous selection methods. Qualifications and criteria are designed to align with the mandate of each Institution of Public Government (IPG). It is anticipated that this new approach will create a pool of qualified, vetted candidates for each organization from which nominees can quickly be drawn.
I remain committed to working closely with my senior officials and counterparts to implement the Government’s approach to appointments in the most timely and effective manner possible. This includes appointments to fill vacancies on the Nunavut Planning Commission, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal.