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RWED to be divided?

Decision on split handed to next government

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 11/03) - In a time of transition, oddly enough, big changes have to wait.

The decision whether or not to divide the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development is being left to the next government to deal with. NWT residents will go to the polls this November.

Boot Lake MLA Floyd Roland read a report in the house in March from a standing committee looking into the issue, saying a division "would eliminate the possibility of an activity overshadowing another vital activity."

The committee suggested RWED be divided into two departments: one dealing with environment and wildlife, the other all economic development programs.

Deputy Minister Mark Cleveland, who heads corporate review and transition planning in the executive, is researching the possibilities. His work will be done by November.

"I've been tasked with putting together information for the next assembly to consider," Cleveland said. "Some of the considerations will be around organizational structure. I won't be specific with you about what at this point."

RWED remains tight-lipped on the issue.

Susan Fleck, executive assistant for RWED, would not comment about the division other than to say: "That task team is looking at all kinds of ideas about government. I don't think it's appropriate for RWED to comment on those things. Because it's not something they're responsible for."

Judy McLinton, a spokeswoman for RWED said, "We wouldn't be commenting on that. We don't know what they're going to recommend. Until that work is done, we can't comment on anything Mark Cleveland runs."

RWED Minister Jim Antoine was not available for comment.