The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Water Board have signed an agreement to clarify their roles with respect to looking after the territory’s water.

The Yukon Water Board was established under the Waters Act in 2003 an independent body. The board is responsible for issuing licences for using water and depositing waste in water. The board’s role is also set out in Chapter 14 of Yukon First Nations Final Agreements.

“The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Water Board each have valuable roles to play when it comes to regulating the use of water in our territory,” said Yukon Premier Sandy Silver. “We have worked closely together to develop an agreement that clarifies our respective roles and responsibilities while preserving the board’s ability to make independent decisions on water licence applications.”

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Following the devolution of the federal Northern Affairs Program in 2003, the Government of Yukon took on the control and administration of territorial waters, not including waters in federal conservation areas.

The new agreement was designed to support a constructive working relationship between the Yukon Water Board and the Government of Yukon and maintains the independence of the board in dealing with water licence application decisions. It also clarifies the staffing and administrative relationship between the Yukon Water Board and the Government of Yukon.

“The memorandum of understanding helps to provide clarity to the important administrative relationship between the Yukon Water Board and the Government of Yukon,” said Yukon Water Board chair Piers McDonald. “It reinforces the independence of the board in adjudicating licences and encourages dialogue between the parties in improving the regulatory process.”

Both the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Water Board share the aim of balancing the conservation, development, and use of water on behalf of all Yukoners and Canadians.

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