Quebec Inuit to sign historic self-governance agreement

Covering a third of the province's area, Nunavik set to become 'a special territory'

Nunavik - un gouvernement territorial

OTTAWA -- A giant swath of mineral-rich land covering one-third of Quebec is on track to become a self-governing region for the province's 10,000 Inuit. To be called the Regional Government of Nunavik, it will have its own elected assembly representing Quebec's 14 remote Inuit communities and a public service responsible for services normally delivered by provinces, such as education and health.
The Globe and Mail has obtained a copy of the agreement-in-principle between the Inuit, Quebec and Ottawa, which was initialled by the three sides last week, meaning it should be ready for a formal signing ceremony within weeks. A final agreement would then follow and the Inuit hope the new government will be in place by 2009.
The Nunavik government would be unlike any other resolved aboriginal land claim in Canada, both because of the region's massive size and because the system of government so closely resembles the British-inspired parliamentary systems found in Ottawa and provincial capitals.
Also, unlike native self-governments such as B.C.'s Nisga'a, the agreement is not based on ethnicity, even though the vast majority of the region's residents are Inuit.
Jean-François Arteau, the head legal adviser for the Quebec Inuit, said he would expect all future maps of Canada to include the Nunavik region, which uses the 55th parallel as a southern border and makes up one-third of Quebec.
"This is going to be a special territory that I think we should see on any map of Canada," he said. "It's something new. A regional government. That doesn't exist anywhere." The historic agreement is the result of decades of negotiations that have had many setbacks, including court rulings and two referendums on Quebec sovereignty, that have complicated the lengthy process toward self-government. Though the talks long precede the current federal Conservative government, the timing of the agreement would fit well with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's push to show the international community that Canada uses its North and will protect its sovereignty.
The Quebec Inuit would not own the subsurface mineral rights, but mining companies would be required to pay millions of dollars in royalties to the Nunavik government for projects in the region. The Inuit have long welcomed a role in promoting Canada's claims to the North by maintaining traditional hunting practices and helping the Canadian Forces patrol the barren Arctic lands.
The use of parliamentary traditions can be found in the proposed assembly of elected officials who will elect a Speaker. The Nunavik Assembly will also have a five-member executive council - the five people with the most votes from the public - who will act as a form of cabinet. The assembly member who receives the most votes from the public will lead the government and be a member of the five-person cabinet. Each of the five will be responsible for at least one government department such as health, education and local and regional affairs.
The federal Indian Affairs Minister will host a conference in Kuujjuaq on Aug. 23 and 24. The community on Quebec's northern tip, just south of Iqaluit, is expected to be the capital of the new government. The federal minister is expected to discuss the agreement-in-principle with Inuit leaders and Quebec Premier Jean Charest to create the new government.
Though Nunavik will have close ties with its northern neighbour, the Inuit territory of Nunavut, it will remain part of Quebec and receive provincial funding to run traditionally provincial services, such as education. Ottawa will also contribute money and further revenue will come from taxes and royalties on natural-resources projects, which already generate millions each year for the Quebec Inuit.
In a sense, Nunavik will be like a territory of the province of Quebec. Because the existing territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are not full provinces, the federal government continues to play a significant role in areas such as funding, regulations and the creation of parks. The Nunavik arrangement could be complicated by the fact that both Ottawa and Quebec City will retain all legal powers in the territory.
Given the sensitivities in the province when it comes to potential dividing lines, some of the terminology has been left deliberately vague. Mr. Arteau, the Inuit legal adviser, said two previous attempts to reach a similar agreement fell apart mostly over what would happen in the event of a referendum vote in favour of Quebec sovereignty. By leaving that issue aside, Mr. Arteau said talks are more promising this time around. The agreement does not address the issue directly, other than to say the laws of Quebec and Canada will apply to Nunavik. "If Quebec were to separate, I don't know how it would play," he said.
A copy of the 25-page agreement-in-principle calls for the amalgamation of the existing entities of Kativik Regional Government, Kativik School Board and Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services into a single government. Operation Nanook, a 10-day arctic sovereignty exercise by the Canadian Forces, is also under way in the waters between Nunavut and what will become Nunavik.
Commentaires à l’article de Bill Curry recueillis sur le site internet
du Globe & Mail en date du 13 août 2007, à 9:53 A.M.)

1. Steven Schellenberg from Salt Spring Island: Wow, quite exciting for the people of Nunavik! I did notice that the map of the soon to be territory of Quebec situated Nunavik at the extreme north part of the map. Why would a cartographer do this? The map even includes parts of the United States! Why not show a representation of Nunavik in the middle so we could clearly see Baffin island and the waters to the North? Just a thought...
2. Arzie Chant from Canada: Leave it to Harper to continue to permanently fragment the nation in a desperate quest to gain some temporary popularity. With the 'Quebec is a Nation' nonesense and now this, Canadians as a whole will be paying for this half-cocked idiocy for generations. The concerns of our Aboriginal people need to be resolved, but not like this, and not with the true motivation behind it being political popularity. Harper is selling the nation for a song.
3. R L from Calgary, Canada: Uh oh... a third of Quebec's territory... this is huge, possibly unconstitutional, and I cannot believe the people of Quebec were not more involved in this. There will be outraged Quebecers, and really I am surprised that such a thing can happen with the provinces being so firmly established. I can only imagine the outrage if a third of Alberta were negotiated out with Ottawa to be a self-governing territory.
o Posted 13/08/07 at 2:16 AM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment
4. Lauren H from Canada: how on earth does this fit with the james bay and northern quebec agreement, the treaty that already covers this area? The only indirect reference to it at all is in the little paragraph at the end talking about amalgamation of the kativik boards and so on. But legally, how?
5. R L from Calgary, Canada: It's not April Fools Day is it? How can something like this happen? It's unbelievable.
6. Rhadamanthus behind the Rockies from Victoria, BC, Canada: Interesting settlement. I think in the event of a Quebec Referendum this agreement would make it extremely difficult for Quebec to ignore the Inuit peoples of Nunavik. So, as a committed federalist, I think that's a big plus for Canada. But could this also be a first step to something else? I refer to the fact that Nunavik, Nunavut and the north coast and Islands of the Yukon/NWT in the Western Arctic are populated by Inuit. Perhaps these regions will someday amalgamate into a single political entity within Canada (as even this larger entity would likely not be economically self-supporting)? Regardless, the people of Nunavik are getting a long overdue self-government agreement. Kudos.
7. Al B from Toronto, Canada: Just wait until natives elsewhere want a third of your province. Coming soon near you. What a can of worms.
8. Lemmy Nothor from BCN, Spain writes: R L from Calgary, Canada writes: Uh oh... a third of Quebec's territory... this is huge, possibly unconstitutional, and I cannot believe the people of Quebec were not more involved in this. There will be outraged Quebecers, and really I am surprised that such a thing can happen with the provinces being so firmly established. I can only imagine the outrage if a third of Alberta were negotiated out with Ottawa to be a self-governing territory.
----------------------------------------------------------------- nailed it. Expect a vigorous response from Quebec........and rightly so. Who the hell is this man cutting off a chunk out of a province of Canada? Silly attempt to prevent Quebec's separation. It won't work.
9. Radcliffe Robinson from Toronto, Canada: Wow! A third of Quebec for 10,000 Inuits. So the other two thirds for the millions of Quebecers... Will the separatists satisfy with the two thirds of the 'country' or they want the 100%? What if Quebec seccede from Canada and the Inuits still want to have Ottawa to cry upon with their problems. Can they really have a government performing all the functions or they will have both of both worlds. Meaning, get the money from Ottawa and Quebec City while at the same time not taking responsibility for themselves?
10. The Bull from Canada: This just in - 'Harper cures Cancer'. Liberal bloggers respond - 'It's a neo-con plot to deny sufferers of herpes fair and equal access to our social medicare dollars!!!' At some point, even die-hard liberals must accept that piping down might help. Having had a decade to do something - anything! - and their greatest accomplishment was putting every tough decision off. Even if Harper makes the odd mistake it's a vast improvement. next topic!
11. Rhadamanthus behind the Rockies from Victoria, BC, Canada: Although Nunavik comprises 1/3 of Quebec's territory this is not some Ottawa or Quebec City plot to carve up provinces.
I think it's important to recall that the Inuit in this region were there for perhaps 1000 years or more before anyone had every uttered a word of French or English on their soil. Quebec's boundaries were extended into this region only in 1912 by the federal government. If anything could be argued to have been unconstitutional it was that extension. No one consulted the Inuit then, and the Government of Canada was bound to do so under the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The RP stated that only the Crown (i.e the Crown-in-right-of Canada in Ottawa) could alienate aboriginal lands in their interest. It certainly did NOT say that the Canadian Crown could just hand over what was then part of a federal territory to a province with no consultation or compensation. It is hard to argue that boundary extension was in the Inuit's interest when their views on the matter were completely ignored.
This settlement is a partial redress of that historic wrong. Self-government brings confidence and pride to those that have it. Nunavik's people, and the people of Canada, can only be better for it.
12. R L from Calgary, Canada: Has Jean Charest bulldozed this through with Stephen Harper? I don't see any chance of the ADQ or PQ agreeing to this, and Jean Charest only has a very tiny minority government (the Quebec legislature is currently in summer break). I can't believe this is real. Assuming this article is actually true, Jean Charest's political career is finished after the news breaks out. As for Stephen Harper, perhaps he has written-off Quebec after his huge handout failed to increase support.
Think, Québec has 7.7 million people, and one-third of the land and its resources is now going to 0.12% of the population? A tenth of 1 percent! This is shocking. I cannot imagine what would happen if Ottawa negotiated away the northern third of Alberta and its resources to become self-governing.
Even the staunchest federalist should know full well that hardball tactics have never ever worked with Québec, and only leads to a huge backlash. And thus, Harper's cowboy tactics sets the stage for the next referendum and the breakup of the country.
13. Dave Rider from Toronto, Canada: How can this just happen overnight? Really random...
14. Arthur Cross from Toronto, Canada: Hey neat. It's useful to remember that the provinces did not come into being in their current forms. Their borders were expanded (or created out of) with federal land. It would only seem natural that what the federal government giveth, it can also take away. Of course the feds aren't technically taking land from Quebec, but the region may become a defacto territory if its government asserts itself.
I for one wouldn't mind a total redrawing of the map of Canada, maybe lop off Northern Ontario, redraw the western provinces. Stir things up a bit. Would be an interesting exercise in identity. Who are you if you're no longer an 'Albertan' and now belong to a different square of land. Would it strengthen or weaken the national identity relative to subnational ones? Territorial divisions tend to create their own cultural identities as governments have an incentive to foster them. I would assume that new identities would appear to replace 'Albertan', 'Manitoban', or 'Ontarian.' Would be especially interesting to divide Quebec into several parts and see whether seperate francophone identities emerge.
15. D A from Canada: Er, pay some attention, people. The new self-governing region is still formally a part of Quebec. As one person in the article that you supposedly read said, it is more-or-less a territory of Quebec. It's not clear what would happen to it in the case of separation, but almost every specific question about the formalities involved in a province separating is equally murky.
16. R L from Calgary, Canada: Rhadamanthus behind the Rockies from Victoria, BC, Canada writes: 'I think it's important to recall that the Inuit in this region were there for perhaps 1000 years or more before anyone had every uttered a word of French or English on their soil.' The same could be said for all of Canada. Do we start portioning off massive parts of B.C., Alberta, Ontario, etc.? Settling land-claims with monetary payouts is one thing, but portioning off huge provincial lands and resources is something else. This is reckless.
17. Al B from Canada: Rhadamanthus, you're naive. This is a very dangerous precedent. Tell me what prevents natives in other provinces to claim the same rights. Surely the arguments you put forth in favour of the Inuits apply to them too. Things that happened hundred years ago cannot be a basis for today's settlements. It leads to circular arguments and never ending feuds.
18. Anna Laslo from Saskatchewan, Canada: Rhadamanthus behind the Rockies: "Self-government brings confidence and pride to those that have it. Nunavik's people, and the people of Canada, can only be better for it." . Bush in Ottawa in August...
On Sunday, Aug 19 there will be a mass rally in Ottawa to protest war and the so-called "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) There will also be events on the 20th and 21st of August in Ottawa and Montebello, Quebec. The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is organizing buses to transport people from Toronto to Ottawa for the protest on the 19th.
For more info please contact the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War at: For event listings throughout Canada see the Canadian Peace Alliance at: . For more information about the SPP see the Council of Canadians at: PEACE!
19. Henry pig from Calgarily, Canada: Hey, cool - a nation within a nation within a nation!
20. Al B from Toronto, Canada: D.A. you give somebody autonomy long enough, they'll proceed to the next logical step. It never works. Once the place gets in the map, the perception will be it's not Quebec. It's why the Chinese are so zealous about maps of Taiwan and I'm not even talking about maps of Jerusalem.
21. D A from Canada: Natives in other provinces do claim the same rights, Al B. These rights have also been recognized by our legal system since before there was a Canada to adopt it. In the case of most of Canada, these claims were resolved by the treaties we all learn about in school. In the other cases the details of how the claims are settled are worked out by negotiation and, in the case of legal questions that cannot be settled by negotiations, in the courts. To the guy who asked how this can happen 'overnight': it can't. Read the article. This is the product of decades of negotiation.
22. R L from Calgary, Canada: 'mining companies would be required to pay millions of dollars in royalties to the Nunavik government for projects in the region.'That's resource royalties that should be going to the provincial government. Enough said. Shocking.
23. D A from Canada: You're right to say that lines on a map are important, Al B. But the importance varies. Generally, one only wants to deny someone a place on the map if one doesn't consider that political division or claim to land legitimate. America manages to live with 50 theoretically very autonomous political divisions, all marked clearly on the map. Taiwan is an interesting situation, because the PRC has based a portion of its domestic legitimacy on reincorporation of Taiwan, and originally in demonization of the KMT. Israel, likewise, cannot afford to recognize any political division of its territory because those reflect territorial claims that it rejects. However, you might notice that when such a claim is denied, whether in Israel or in Ireland, it does not go away if the underlying reasons behind it are still there. Likewise, if there are underlying reasons to maintain unity, such as economic gain or dependence as in this case, there is little likelihood of a bid for total autonomy.
Or put shortly, the issue is vastly more complicated than your comment acknowledges, and there are far more factors and possible outcomes than you suggest.
24. Jo Ingblat from Canada: Great news, I think. Frankly, it could only make it harder for seperatists to claim Nunavik, as the region is ever further from the dictates of provincial jurisdiction. Remember, in 1995, they overwhelmingly voted to stay in Canada. I hate to sound overly tactical, but it can only embolden them in the event of a referendum--and even provide legal grounding, even if ambigous, for self-determination. I wonder what the seperatists will say....
25. Al B from Toronto, Canada: D.A., The natives do claim the same rights but I'm saying that what we have here is totally unprecedented in scope. It's quite shocking and it will change the nature and aims of any future dispute, as well as current ones. As for the lines on the map, even if they are not an absolute harbinger for separation, they have a potent psychological effect, especially in a isolated population. I think one should not take that risk.
26. Terry Quinn from not a tory, Canada: While I think this agreement is a good one in principle why is it being sprung on us without consultation and at this time. My nose is sniffing something political between the two doofuses named Harpercrite and Charest. After all they colluded to give Quebeckers $1B of our money to help Charest try and buy an election.
27. Jo Ingblat from Canada: R L from Calgary, you really should relax. You seem to be having a stroke over this news. 1/3 of the land--because that's where they happen to be. That's kind of how democracy works. It's called representative democracy. But no, you're wrong to think they have absolute control over that land, as if they were a seperate nation all of a sudden. You might want to re-read the article. It's a territory. Kind of like Yukon and Northwest territory, which have been around decades. Do you really feel Yukon and NWT are bad ideas too? Or is it native rights specifically that's got you spooked? Just wondering...
28. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada: Is this a political bombshell, timebomb, or both? So many juicy tidbits to play out. -First nations reactions; -Quebec political, media, and people reactions; ROC reaction; federal opposition reaction.
The bottom line is not much appears to change except a notion of some sort of self rule and new mini bureaucracy for a very tiny amont of people, while continually depe$nding on the Province and Ottawa-but the symbolism cannot be ignored. But the big picture question should be why would Charest (Provincial) and Harper (federal) want to get this over and done with? Something missing here, because PM Harpers does nothing without a reason........
29. R L from Calgary, Canada: Jo Ingblat from Canada, really, is that how democracy works? Wow, what a nice idealistic world-view you have along with D A. Now get back off your fairy cloud and onto reality. Most of the Alberta population for example lives in the southern half, along with Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, and Lethbridge. Now suppose the small population in the northern third wants to take all of the oil for itself. In your nice view, they should go ahead, and Ottawa should push for it! Yee haw! Yeah, Ottawa should push for it all right, and result in the breakup of the country, but no matter about such things! Now that we are firmly a country and have our patriated constitution, one does not just simply portion off massive chunks of provincial land & resources (this one-third would be much larger than most European countries). This country is far beyond its formation stages, the provinces are firmly established.
This is very different from the NWT, Yukon, or Nunavut. Those are territories under the jurisdiction of Ottawa, and they do not have provincial status. No, I do not have a problem with 'native rights', I happen to support increasing funding for aboriginal peoples and making greater efforts to improve their quality of life. Portioning off hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of existing provincial territories is another matter!
30. Al B from Toronto, Canada: Well I wish I could be optimistic like some of you but I can only see troubles ahead stemming from this decision. Good night.
31. Jo Ingblat from Canada: This isn't quite the takeover you make it out to be. For example, the territories we currently have are rich in resources as we know it. They're not generating revenue to the exclusion of the rest of Canada. IT's a TERRITORY! Not a province. You make it sound like they've seceded. All the same, we don't know what the details are. It seems to me, though, that all that's happened is that the people who actually live in that area get to have a greater say on the national scene, and greater control over their daily lives, including their resources. Funny, though, how you would worry so much about how the resources of the LOCAL, should benefit the masses rather than those who actually live in the area. Isn't that what Western alienation is all about? The LOCALS (Alberta) only expect full control of their own resources. I guess it just got too local for you? The principle only works when it's in your personal interest, I guess. Anyways, rest assured. Your oilfields aren't going anywhere. But breakup of the country? Ease-up! If anything this is good for national unity. The QB government will have to reckon with native self-determination, and they have been overwhelmingly federalist in the past. For Quebec to go it alone without 1/3 of its land--it'll never happen. If unity's what your worried about, it seems to me this is a step in the right direction. I don't know what sovereigntists will have to say about it, but it's definetely good for Canadian unity where Quebec is concerned.
32. Jo Ingblat from Canada: Incidentally R L from Calgary, you might want to re-read the article. They're not even a territory of Canada, but rather of Quebec. And they don't even have control over resources, but will receive a cut of revenues from said resources. So it seems they have even less power than Nunavut, for example. So why all the anxiety? I could understand if you were a seperatist from QB, but I doubt you are. I think R Carriere's got it right, 'The bottom line is not much appears to change except a notion of some sort of self rule and new mini bureaucracy for a very tiny amont of people, while continually depending on the Province and Ottawa-but the symbolism cannot be ignored.' The symbolism isn't to be ignored. But your response would suggest they've seperated off the continent.
33. Anna Laslo from Saskatchewan, Canada: 'North American Union Judicial Watch Uncovers 2005 Chertoff Implementation, Memo on Security and Prosperity Partnership' Whose country is it? PEACE!
34. R L from Calgary, Canada: Jo, I support equalization, and support the idea of richer provinces contributing to less rich provinces; and I support the rights of other provinces (including those of Newfoundland as of recently); it's not about personal interest. This 'territory within a province' however, has no precedence, and is a huge deal and an insult to the over 7 and a half million people of Quebec. And no, I did not think of this as being at all equivalent to Nunavut, NWT, etc., it was you who brought that up, and it was me who cleared this as being entirely different, as it is within the land of an existing well-established province. What this does however, is reduce a provincial government's influence over the entire province (which is currently the case with all provinces). You see this as a good thing for Canadian unity? I disagree. That seems to be the crux of your argument now. Well guess what, Canada's unity does not happen in a vacuum at Ottawa. When it comes to Quebec, it depends a lot on the political strength of the Quebec sovereigntist movement. This type of deal will only anger regular Quebecers when they find out about it (especially if lines are ever drawn on an official map) and embolden the sovereigntist movement. That's political reality. Though, this whole idea may fall-through in a few weeks, and be scrapped as another Charest/Harper failure.
35. Stude Ham from Outremont, Canada: SURPRISE!!! HARPER JUST BLEW QUEBEC OUT OF THE MAP!! THE CONSERVATIVES ARE DEAD IN QUBEC!!! HARPER IS NOW POLITICAL CARRION IN QUEBEC!! LET HARPER now go and explain to the people of quebec (along with his toy boy Charest) why some 6,000,000 people of that province should give up over 1/3 of their future heritage to about less than 10,000 people in their province. This move is definitely the push needed by the people of Quebec to understand why SOVEREIGNTY was essential to their future and why noone in Ottawa could ever be trusted to take care of their national interests. For the sake of Canada, DUMP HARPER!!
36. Jo Ingblat from Canada: R L, We've been angering Quebecers about this, that and everything for decades. This isn't going to tip the balance, don't worry. It might anger the minority of hard seperatists, but soft nationalists, I doubt it'll register into something significant. Remember, this isn't the federal gov. imposing this on Quebec, it's Quebec, Canada, and the Inuit coming together here. And this didn't happen overnight, but has been decades in the works--probably with PQ governments too. If you're right, and Charest lacks the political support to get this through, well then, oh well, a nice idea. But he might have PQ backing, possibly. If this goes through, it's hard to see how this is going to be bad for federalists. I really doubt this'll turn into a tidal wave of seperatist anger. Seriously, do you?
What could happen, though, is that when/if a referendum happens, and a Yes wins, then Canada's hand at keeping the north is that much strengthened. That seems very reasonable. Canada's been saying a seperate Quebec is divisible, and now it's even legally stipulated, although it'd be a fuzzy WHAT-IF regardless. It'd come down to what the Inuit themselves want, surely. And they have been staunch federalists in the past. But rest assured, this isn't Canada ramming this down Quebec's throat. Quebec is obviously going along with this, as much as we try and turn it into the perogative of two men, Charest and Harper. It's obviously a lot bigger than that.
37. Jeff Meister from Toronto: Clearly this is going to increase confusion over accountability and responsibility - analogous to current practical problems with the Federal/Provincial power split. Here's another interesting question: what happens if Nunavik holds a successful referendum to separate from Quebec - to join Canada - using the same arguments as the Quebec separatists? Would they accept the 'logic'? Would they appreciate the irony?
38. David Bakody from Dartmouth: Grandstanding at best, time will only tell, perhaps the first real indication will be when gold is found in dem dare hills so to speak. France was 1/3 the size of Quebec so France just got bigger? hmmm, no big news yet, much the same as all that 'Qubece is a Nation' crapbolla, alongside all that other crapolla of building bases and ships for the Artic.... follow the money ladies and gentlemen and remember PMSH could not even find 52 million for fuel for the Navy and Air Force.....''''HELLO''' out there? So let the games begin.... and another thing Remember the 'Atlantic Accord' / ' Income Trust' and the list goes on.... Stay healthy and believe nothing this goverment says, Vote ABC.
39. A Canadian from Cole, Canada: To all the posters that say that 'it is an insult to quebeckers' well I checked a few Quebec news web site. (French CBC does not count) This news item is not even mentionned anywhere. I think that some people are just angry because they are frustrated that the Liberals did not do it first. This is what happens when you put people in office that do what is best for the country instead of what the polls tell them to do in order to get re-elected. DUMP STUDE HAM.
40. David Bakody from Dartmouth: Hey, I just remembered some very important words from the past and this is now even greater news. 'If Canada is divisable then so is Quebec' WOW! Stevie boy just settled the separation debate, it's a done deal, our proud Navtives get 1/3 the Separatist get 1/3 and Quebec gets 1/3 and not one shot fired...... The West is in and boy oh boys are those cowboys smart or what? 'If Quedec is divisable, then so is the West'........'If the West is divisable, then so is the East'......'If the East and West are both divisable then Canada is divisable'……'If Canada is disvisable then Russia gets the Artic'
Some fart semeller that fellor Harper, hey bye?
41. Jo Ingblat from Canada: R L says: 'What this does however, is reduce a provincial government's influence over the entire province (which is currently the case with all provinces)' that's like saying the feds have no jurisdiction in the territories. Not the same thing. They didn't create a province in Quebec. They haven't ceded that much power. It's a territory. Let's find out what exactly the details are, but I doubt it'll mean any significant loss in power for the Quebec govt. It's not a province within Quebec. It's more symbolic than anything.
42. Rollo Tomasi from Belgium: Finally a picture where the PM doesn't look like a complete goof. I guess that they're still working on the Prime Minister part. Why should Quebec expect to leave confederation with any more territory than when she entered? Throw the bum out.
43. Jo Ingblat from Canada: A Canadian from Cole, it's not news yet because G&M got the scoop. It will be, of course, fairly big news. But I agree with u that this is a good thing. I don't like Harper, but he's done the right thing, surely. Although, let's face it, this is something that has been in the works for a while.
44. Anthony B from Sydney, NS, Canada: Harper: 'You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it'.Any constitutional experts out there? Doesn't this move require approval by Parliament and the provinces? The Balkanization of Canada continues. Can you say 'Yugoslavia?'
45. Jo Ingblat from Canada: Anthony B from Sydney, Yugoslavia? Whoah! I had no idea we are on the crusp of civil war. Who'd have thought it. But no, not a constitutional issue. Quebec's jurisdiction. Cheers!
46. Lawrence Hutchinson from Houston, United States: Lemmy Nothor from BCN, Spain writes:Expect a vigorous response from Quebec........and rightly so. It appears that the province of Quebec has already agreed: 'The Globe and Mail has obtained a copy of the agreement-in-principle between the Inuit, Quebec and Ottawa, which was initialled by the three sides last week...'
47. John Arthur from Canada: I'd have given the Inuit two thirds of Quebec. They got rooked in my opinion.
48. L.B. MURRAY from Canada: People, look at the map...Right here at the top of this Globe and Mail article... Hummmm... A straight line across one third of Quebec... Now, what does that remind you of?? The British drawing a straight line between India and Pakistan, or another straight line between Pakistan and Afghanistan...
49. James P from Spruce Grove, Canada: This is like Nunavut, NWT, and the Yukon. So we have one more 'territory'. So big deal for the millions of us who live in the south. Good for these people. Who better to run their lives than the people that live in the region. Oh wait, many here like the thought of a guy in downtown Capital city finding laws and regs. to enforce on all who live in his country. Right....this is the G&M and they live for that stuff...
50. Should check government web site for the facts from Canada: Prentice is given free rein and he soars ? Other cabinet people controlled by PMO face the Rona syndrome ? Who is the person we should shuffle ?
51. jc pomerleau from Montreal, Canada: The basic frame of this agreement was set by the Peace of the brave treaty (M Landry (PQ) then Premier of Quebec. The concept was to have the native to become less dependent on other (Ottawa and Quebec). To get there Quebec have decide to share some revenu base on territory resource with the proceed the native will have set up a self government and pay for it service. This deal is a nation to nation approach that was first appeared in Rene Levesque policy vis-à-vis the natives. It give a chance for them to get out of the frame of the Indians Act (A colonial racist law) to take advantage of a modern treaty (that is praise as a model for the world by the native leader). There is no inherent right recognize on this territory that can be a base for partition. In the Canadian Constitution nobody can change the border of a province without its consent. If Quebec become independent then the succession of state apply (international law), unless somone prefer to flirt with the ethno fascist partition scenario in order to prevent that for happening.
52. Gerry Dunnhaupt from Toronto, Canada: Bye-bye separatism !
53. Stu S from Ottawa, Canada: As someone from the south who has spent time in Salluit, Raglan, and Purvinituk and so actually knows the area and its people, let me say congratulations. For everyone who is complaining about this and has never set foot in Ninavik and never met the people who live there, you haven't the faintest clue about this issue and most of you are trying to spin it for/against the prime minister. He has had almost nothing to do with this process that has been going on for over a decade, he just happens to be the prime minister at the time its all wrapping up. To those of you complaining about the mining compaies having to pay royalties to the regional government, Raglan mine situated near the top of Nunavik has already been paying royalties to the locals for years, this is nothing new.

54. M Warren from Ottawa, Canada: Quebec's voters are not going to accept the divisibility of their province, and this is political hara-kiri for both the federal Conservatives and provincial Liberals.
55. M David from Ottawa, Canada: I think a few commentors on here have got the story wrong. First of all, the new "territory" is a region of the province of Quebec, not a separate entity. Readers, at least from Ontario, will probably be familiar with a regional government. This is something similar, except larger, with a more elaborate government. Also, the agreement is not exclusive to the Inuit, but creates a government for all the people in this part of Quebec. Rather than fragmenting the country, it should (hopefully) strengthen the role of Canada in the North, protecting our interests there long term.
56. A Good Canadian from Canada: M David from Ottawa, Canada writes: I think a few commentors on here have got the story wrong. First of all, the new "territory" is a region of the province of Quebec, not a separate entity. Readers, at least from Ontario, will probably be familiar with a regional government. This is something similar, except larger, with a more elaborate government.
Are you saying this agreement be similar to the regional authorities that set up greater Ottawa, or the greater City of Toronto?
58. Alberto Bayo from Canada: This issue isn't even mentioned in today's Montreal Gazette. Symbolic changes...that's all.
59. Shawn Bull from Canada: Great idea. I like this. I have not agrred with everything Harper is done but I do like how he is handling long outstanding native issues, land claims and apologize to Canadians (Chinese head tax, etc) when a wrong is done. Good work PM Harper.
60. Whodat Singer from St. Catharines, Canada: Now people be nice to Mr. Ham. He is so blinded by his hatred that he cannot see the forests for the trees. If Harper gave everyone a million dollars, eliminatd the national debt and cured cancer Mr. Smoked Pig would still be complaining. DUMP STUDE HAM NOW
61. Ryan Ginger from Ottawa, Canada: David Ryder -- this didn't happen overnight. It literally took decades. The fact that the major media outlets have largely neglected this story as it developed says more about their fascination with conflict, blood and misery instead of cooperation, negotiation and compromise. Any wing-nut with an extravagant grievance--no matter how silly--gets an automatic audience through the major media. It is just easier and more entertaining that way.
If you actually dig around, you will see that there have been numerous settlement and self-government negotiations over the past 15 years--they are all ongoing, as I write. Canadians ought to be more aware of this because it will invariably shape their country in the future.
62. OK from Ontario from Toronto, Canada: Some of the posters here need to go back to school to learn how to read. First of all, Quebec WAS INVOLVED IN THE TALKS... they know what's going on and have agreed to it. Second, THE TALKS HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR DECADES... its not Harper's show. The issue of what would happen to Nunavik if Quebec votes for seperation was intentionally avoided, as no one can agree as to what would happen in that event. So, in order to expedite the process, some of the "what if's" were avoided, to be dealt with if a "what if" becomes a "what now?" Finally, its not Innuit territory, it is a region where the people have self-governence within the framework of both the Province of Quebec and Canada's laws.
63. Douglas Martin from Quebec City, Canada: How many people live in the new region? And what's the implementation timing?
64. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB: Skimming over some of the comments, it's amazing some people here are able to have enough brain power to actually move, let alone type. "How did this happen overnight?" "Harper is responsible for this!" "Harper just blew Quebec out of the map!" As was pointed out in the article a few times, negotiations have been going on for decades! Harper just happened to be in office when the deal was finalized. It could just have easily been Martin or Chretien or possibly even Mulroney. Try and think people - it's not like Harper was sitting watching TV at home and thought "Hey, I have an idea!"
As for the effect of what this will do to the Quebec political landscape, I suspect very little in most regards. I'd need to see a bit more detail than what this article has, so I'm holding my thoughts as to whether or not this is a good or bad proposal. Frankly anyone who comments based solely on what is found in this article doesn't know what they're talking about. And to those who pretend this is some sort of Harper scheme against Canada or against Quebec... you're delusional.
65. Rob Kirsic from Brampton: I remember a few years back sitting in one of my policy classes at the University of Guelph and the topic of native self-government came up. I suggested that in order to better help natives solve the problems they face that they should have their own "province - a place where they would attain self-governance and be on the same level as the rest of the country". Boy I have never seen 150 ppl turn on me like that and say all sorts of things which can be summed by saying that they thought I was wrong and they were right...well looks like I was right!
This should be interesting to see in practice. I bet in the case of a referendum, the Inuit territory would split from Quebec and rejoin Canada. It also seems like the government is making up for 50 years of failure with the Indian Affairs portfolio, which is a good thing, regardless of political stripe.
66. Earl Pearl from Maple, Canada: A lot of itchy trigger fingers on the board today. Read the story again. A territory within the province of Quebec. Quebec is not giving away an inch of their province. No more than they would give to a municipal government. A great strategic maneuvre on the Arctic sovereignty file.' Great leadership.
67. Dave Little from Just back from Tuk, Canada: Please notice that this self-government issue was resolved while the parliment of Canada and the Quebec Assembly are on HOLIDAY. Another example where Harpo is running this country, through the 'Orders In Council'. A very un-democratic system of running the country. Harpo is the worst Prime Minister we have ever had, still on his quest to dilute the authority of the federal government and the quebec government by proxy, yet the taxpayer will be left holding the bag, for this territories mismanagement of money. By the way the Inuvaluit of the Mackenzie Delta region have a self government agreement, and it works well, ONLY because they have some wise elders that have thought past their own personal gain, and run it like a company. Only time will tell if this group is able to look after its' people and their interests for the longterm.
68. M Horon from Calgary, Canada: This reminds me of Canada's track record on the environment. While the liberals laud themselves as the custodians of values and human rights, it is in theory only. Harper has done more for aborigal rights than the liberals have in the past 75 years. Again Liberals are all talk and no action. When action happens they can't handle it. Quebec should be far more concerned with their Cree land claims. Maybe Harper should have taken the liberal high road, created a multi-million study and then shelve it and do nothing. Remember Trudeau with his deerskin jacket and cedar strip canoe?
69. Native Canadian from Canada: More money = more dependence.
70. Jim Shepherd from Lima, Peru: Northern Quebec is legally Prince Rupert's Land, and since few people live there anyway, it does not matter much. This has always been a thorn in the side of Quebec seperatists, since English is actually the majority language in Northern Quebec. English also tends to be dominant in Southern Quebec as well, leading to the question as to who the Parti Quebecois actually represent, beyond a bunch of farmers from Lac St Jean.
Nunavut (slighly different issue) has a population of 30,000 people and has a land mass of roughly Ontario and Quebec combined (about 2 million square kilometres). This is the first that I have heard of the issue of "Nunavik" since "Nanuk of the North" and the concept of sending elders afloat on icebergs when their teeth finally wear out at age 40. The "British Model" does have an appealing point in allowing people to choose their own destiny, although freezing in the dark has never been highly popular, at least with me. Best Regards.
71. Stude Ham from Outremont, Canada: To the stude ham dumpsters... this decision to hand over governance of a huge chunk of Quebec territory to a very tiny fraction of its population was done in typical Harper secrecy and simply announced as if it had been a done deal. In the accompanying press photo... did you notice the extremely worried look on the accompanying military personel in the background? Watch the fireworks... slow to ignite... but soon to be overwhelming to all of Canada. This is the politics of national destruction. It is what we all feared Harper would lead us into. And the fuse has now been lit. For the sake of Canada…DUMP HARPER!!
72. Should check government web site for the facts from Canada: M. Horon : You are from Calgary . Have you seen Harper and / or Prentice face to face ? Is it it truly your opinion ( or fact ) that all the recent progress on the Aboriginal file is due to Stephan Harper ?
73. Don Adams from Canada: There's always wing nuts posting here anti anything Harper does. Their post aren't worth reading. This appears to be an agreement in the works for a long time, and has now come to fruition. It just so happens that Harper and Charest are the federal and provincial leaders. Let's face facts people, if Quebec WERE to vote for separation, this area would be staying with Canada anyway. They held their own vote years ago, (which the PQ claimed was illegal) and voted to stay. To top it all off, the area is peopled by individuals who aren't affected by "Political Correctness"..... they're strong people who decided they'd have their own say and did. Remember too, these folks have guns...LOTS of guns.... which they'd use if necessary. There's just no way Quebec could ever force it's views , it's laws, on them if they decided they were going to remain Canadians in the event of separation.
Yes, there'll be some wingnut separatistes squawking in Qc, but, they always squawk....just like Dippers and left wing LIEberals. No sane individual pays them any mind.
74. Anna Laslo from Saskatchewan, Canada: As a card carrying welfare dependent Indian (actually, less than half, but its enough) I can tell you that this is a great agreement for the Inuit of Northern Quebec. Now there will be enough resource money to ensure that they will not have to work, ever. This means they can have their dependencies and not have it get in the way of earning an income. It works for me! The colonists Quebecers will have to replace the lost income with more federal transfers. Simple enough! As for you that make fun of me, I'm doing very well for someone with almost no aducation, thank you! PEACE!!
75. Should check government web site for the facts from Canada: Don Adams the only pertinent part of your comment I see is that you are a sane individual. That Harper has no redeeming qualities only increases the likely hood that all progress made on this file was by a very competent , hard working , true Progessive Consevative cabinet minister with 10 years experience on the issues involved. That all NDP and Liberals are wingnuts and don't count as Canadians is a Manning Institute / Reform Alliance wet dream .
76. Les Caine from Brampton, Canada: Seems virtually every problem can be solved by a run on the Canadian sovereignty bank, bankrolled with taxpayer dollars. Is it not important for Canada to make clear its sovereignty?
77. Ian Gunn from Minneapolis, United States: Folks, this is nothing more than a virtual city.. Geez. Take a look at what a city receives in resource benefits when resources are found within the cities limits.. It will look really close to this. Congrats to the Inuit of Nunavik. Also kudos go out to Mr Charest and Mr Harper. Great leadership. Come on.. too many CPC 'good time' stories this weekend? Weekend wasn't long enough?? Wait, it wasn't long enough..
78. Jim Shepherd from Lima, Peru: Anna Laslo: As a card-carrying Quebecker (I grew up there), how can I legally become an Inuit? As a "red-skin" (due to sun-burn?) those lousy racist Inuit and Cree types tend to deny my human rights to women, liquor, guns, gambling, and all of my other traditional values, including slotted boots with the local livestock. Best Regards.
79. Armchair March from Canada: Regarding Operation Nanook, note that if anything bad ever happens to your eyes as the result of some sort of conflict with anyone named Nanook, the only way you can get it fixed up is to go trudging across the tundra - mile after mile - trudging across the tundra. Right down to the parish of St. Alphonzo. FZ
80. L.B. MURRAY from Canada: One question: WHY is this happening while our ELECTED representatives in both the Federal and Provincial 'govenmints' are ON VACATION? WHY NOW? After all, if this matter has been on the agenda for decades, WHAT'S THE RUSH to draw a straight line?? WHY NOW? Never mind. No questions asked; deal done. Thank you.
80. Bob Beal from Edmonton, Canada: M David and OK from Ontario make good points. Some others here don't seem to have read the story too carefully.What seems to have happened is that the inhabitants of the region, the province, and the federal government have come to an agreement to create a huge regional municipality with expanded powers and responsibilities. The story says the regional government will have responsibility for such things as "health, education and local and regional affairs." To pay for that, the region gets a share of the royalties and presumably becomes self-supporting. It obviously has no property-tax base to work from, as do other municipalities. The alternative, I suppose, would be transfer payments, hand-outs, from the province.
As well, the region will operate on the one-person-one-vote parliamentary system. Anyone can move there, vote, and run for election. This seems to me to be a very innovative plan that took many years to negotiate. As the story notes, the pieces seem to have come together just at the right time to support Canada's efforts to make visible its sovereignty in the north.
9. Vincent Clement from Southwestern Ontario, Canada: What don't people (like R L) understand about a regional government? It a type of municipal government to which certain provincial powers have been transferred. In this case, you don't even have to be a member of a First Nation to be involved - if you own land or reside in this area, you get a vote. Sounds crystal clear to me.
R L would have us believe this is some revolutionary example of government. There are plenty of examples world wide of municipalities that have certain provincial/state and/or federal powers, largely because the municipal government level is the best system of providing services and infrastructure.
Commentaires colligés le 13 août 2007, à 9:53 A.M.

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