Regulations Development - Public Land Act

The Public Land Act (Bill 46) received assent in the 18th Legislative Assembly on August 21, 2019. This legislation was the result of the "Review of the Commissioner's Land Act and the Northwest Territories Lands Act" and broad engagement. More information about the two land acts review is available here.

The Public Land Act consolidates the two systems of land administration currently legislated under the Commissioner’s Land Act and the Northwest Territories Lands Act. The Act replaces them with a single legislative foundation for administering public land in the Northwest Territories.

The new Act cannot be brought into force until new regulations, policies and procedures are developed to support it. This is a significant body of work that will set out clear rules for how to use and administer public land. 

The Department will be engaging with Indigenous and community governments, municipalities, stakeholders and the public throughout the development of the regulations over the next 18 months. There will be two rounds of engagement. The first round, targeted for December 10, 2020 until February 12, 2021, will introduce this regulation project, and invite comments and ideas for the regulatory development process. The second round, targeted for Fall 2021, will be for comment on the proposed regulations.  

How will the regulations support the Public Land Act?

  • Legislation sets the general framework and powers to guide how the government must act. Regulations, policies and procedures specify how those legislated powers are used in greater detail. 
  • This is particularly important in the instance of the Public Land Act, because it does not apply to a single sector or a single user group, but rather it applies to a broad range of land interests. Therefore the specific rules that define and control land interests and the processes to administer them must be described in regulations. 
  • These proposed regulations will have the necessary detail and flexibility to adapt to the evolving needs of users of public land. 


Let’s talk about how to regulate public land! Share your thoughts and ideas about what land administration issues matter to you and help shape the regulations for the Public Land Act.

Learn what’s in the new Public Land Act: