Inspections and Enforcement

Department of Lands’ Resource Management Officers, or inspectors, are responsible for the inspection of various resource operations in the Northwest Territories. These inspections help permit/licence/lease holders comply with relevant legislation, regulations, and the terms and conditions in authorizations that are issued by the Lands Administration Division and the various Northwest Territories land and water boards. 

Inspections throughout the Northwest Territories

The Department of Lands inspects on public lands throughout the Northwest Territories. There are offices and inspectors in the following locations:

  • Inuvik (Beaufort Delta Region)
  • Norman Wells (Sahtu Region)
  • Yellowknife (North Slave Region)
  • Fort Smith and Hay River (South Slave Region)
  • Fort Simpson (Deh Cho Region)

Role of inspectors

Regional inspectors support permit/licence/lease holders meet the terms and conditions of various authorizations. They:

  • provide information and help to ensure compliance with the applicable acts and regulations
  • inspect, monitor and analyze data, and conduct investigations to measure compliance
  • recommend options for compliance
  • prepare court briefs and evidence in the case of non-compliance
  • take other actions deemed necessary to prevent or minimize danger to the environment and the public, and to prevent the misuse of natural resources

The Department of Lands inspects public lands under land use permits. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will inspect under water licences. All inspectors deal directly with the land and water boards and licence/permit holders on their specific files.

Legislative and delegated authorities

The legislative and delegated authority to conduct inspections comes from various pieces of legislation, including:

Relationship between Resource Management Officers and Water Resource Officers

There is a close working relationship between land and water inspectors within the GNWT, as the Departments of Lands and Environment and Natural Resources are committed to delivering effective and efficient inspection and enforcement functions. Both types of officers are appointed as inspectors under the Waters Act, the Northwest Territories Lands Act, and the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act , which means that Resource Management Officers also perform inspections related to water licences, and Water Resource Officers conduct inspections related to land use permits.

Some regulations under the Northwest Territories Lands Act, including Oil and Gas Regulations, Mining Regulations, Coal Regulations and Dredging Regulations fall within the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment's mandate.  As inspectors under the Northwest Territories Lands Act, Resource Management Officers also inspect on behalf of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.