|Established|| 00, 0000|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||Karma Policeman May 03, 2011 07:16pm|
The Northwest Territories (NT) is a territory of Canada. It entered Confederation in June 1870 when the Hudson's Bay Company transferred Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory to the government of Canada. It was gradually whittled away over the following 129 years to the territory known today. The most recent change to its boundaries was on April 1, 1999, when the eastern three-fifths of Northwest Territories became a separate territory called Nunavut. |
As a territory, Northwest Territories has fewer rights than the provinces do. During his term, Premier Stephen Kakfwi pushed to have the federal government accord more rights to the territory, including having a greater share of the returns from the territory's natural resources go to the territory. Devolution of powers to the territory was an issue in the 20th general election in 2003, and has been ever since the territory began electing members in 1881.
The capital and largest community of the territory is Yellowknife. Other major communities include Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Behchoko, Fort Simpson, and Tuktoyaktuk.
The Commissioner of NT is the chief executive and is appointed by the Governor-in-Council of Canada on the recommendation of the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The position used to be more administrative and governmental but with the devolution of more and more powers to the elected assembly since 1967 the position has become symbolic. Unlike lieutenant-governors, the commissioner is not a formal representative of the Queen of Canada. The current Commissioner of Northwest Territories is Tony Whitford.
The Government of Northwest Territories does not have political parties. It is a consensus government called the Legislative Assembly. This group is composed of one member elected from each of nineteen constituencies. After each general election, the new parliament elects a premier and speaker by secret ballot. Seven MLAs are also chosen as cabinet ministers, with the remainder forming the opposition. The current Premier of Northwest Territories is Hon. Floyd Roland.