Mr. Allen B. Sulatycky (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):
Mr. Speaker, in reply to the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Rowland) I can give the House the assurance that the regulations should be promulgated this summer. The draft regulations are well advanced. They have been considered by both the new territorial water boards, and their recommendations are being incorporated. Shortly, a draft will be ready for review and comment by the interdepartmental committee on water. Legal drafting by the Department of Justice is expected to get under way by early summer.
The timing of these events still conforms to our original schedule which called for promulgation of the regulations this summer. It should be noted that the primary function of the Northern Inland Waters Act is to license water use in the north. In doing so, of course, precautions against the threat of pollution from the water use can be stipulated by the licensing authority, which is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Mr. Chretien) acting on a recommendation from the appropriate territorial water board.
The water boards were created with proclamation of the act on February 28, 1972, and are functioning within the authority of the act at the present time. A public hearing before the Yukon water board in connection with the proposed Aisihihik power development has recently been held. We are confident that this mechanism is adequate to deal with water management problems on a short-term basis pending promulgation of the regulations this summer.