Hearings and Meetings
Public Hearing-Submission Requirements
Notice and Submission Timelines
In most instances, the NWMB provides a minimum of sixty (60) days’ notice of the date, time and place of a hearing, and requires that written response submissions be filed at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the hearing. However, circumstances relevant to any particular hearing may require the Board to increase or decrease such periods of time, subject to the requirements of procedural fairness. Also for reasons of fairness, the Board reserves the right to exclude from the hearing any submissions that are not filed on time.
Written response submissions do not require a specific format for submission to the NWMB but should including a response to the Proposal for Decision or other concerns with the Proposal for Decision and should include all relevant supporting documentation.
All written response submissions and supporting documentation to a Proposal for Decision must be filed with the NWMB –in English and Inuktitut-by the date noted in the public notice or invitation letter that is issued by the NWMB. Submissions may be filed with the Board in-person, by courier or by mail and should clearly indicate that the submission is with respect to the hearing. Delivery of submissions may also be made through fax or electronic transmission, but only if it is confirmed by phone with the NWMB –prior to the deadline of submissions –that a complete and legible copy of the transmission has been received by the NWMB.
Before a submission is added to the agenda of an NWMB meeting, each submission must:
1. Address an issue within the NWMB mandate;
3. Be received at least 28 days before the first day of the meeting;
4. Include a translated copy of the submission;
5. Be delivered in both Word (or Excel as appropriate) and PDF format;
6. Include an estimate of the time required to orally present the issue; and
7. Be provided in the following below format.
Format for Submissions to Nunavut Wildlife Management Board Meetings
SUBMISSION TO THE
NUNAVUT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT BOARD
Information: Check One Decision: Check One
Issue: Describe each issue in a single succinct sentence.
Provide a succinct description of the context for the issue which will permit the Board to understand:
(a) how the issues relates to the NWMB mandate;
(b) why the issue is being presented;
(c) the key facts and circumstances relating to the issue; and
(d) the estimated time required to orally present the issue (excluding questions/discussion).
Keep the language as non-technical as reasonably possible.
Anticipate the questions that the NWMB may ask.
Summarize the consultations which have been undertaken before submitting the issue to the NMWB. This summary should include the following:
(a) the means of consultation;
(b) a list of the organizations consulted and an estimate of the number of individuals consulted, including members of the public; and
(c) a summary of the results, including any responses or accommodations to issues, concerns, etc. raised during the consultations.
Options for addressing the issue or a recommended course of action
Include name, affiliation and phone number of the person who prepared the submission.
Date that the submission was prepared.
Parties are also expected to respect the time allotted for their oral presentation by the Board, so that the NWMB may effectively manage the agenda. The CCEO, at his discretion, may request a party to terminate the presentation if it exceeds the allotted time.
Power point presentations must be translated and submitted with other briefing material.
Any submitted document that is more than fifteen (15) pages in length must be accompanied by a translated summary statement between one (1) and three (3) pages in length.
Any restrictions on the use and distribution of the materials (e.g. whether the material is confidential or not) must be clearly indicated in writing to the COO at the time of submission. In the absence of any such indication, the NWMB will treat the material as public information.
The NWMB may, on occasion, establish an earlier deadline for submissions to provide sufficient time for adequate review by staff and members. The NWMB will ensure that all parties are notified accordingly.
Meetings are open to the public:
As an institution of public government, the NWMB is committed to an overall policy of openness and transparency, and to conducting as much of its wildlife management business as possible on the public record. Accordingly, all Board meetings – except in camera and internal in camera meetings - are open to the public.
Scheduling, Conduct and Location of Quarterly Meetings:
Generally, the NWMB holds quarterly in-person meetings during the second week of June, September, December and March, unless circumstances require that it meet at another time. Additional meetings may be scheduled as required.
The NWMB shall, whenever practicable, meet within the NSA (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.16). Because of efficiency, time, infrastructure and budgetary considerations, Iqaluit - the capital of Nunavut and the territorial headquarters of the NWMB, DFO, the GN, CWS, ANAC and NTI – is generally the most practical and economic location to hold NWMB meetings. The Board’s June quarterly meeting serves as the annual “regional meeting” of the NWMB, and rotates through the three Nunavut Regions.
In order to be as efficient and effective as possible, the NWMB places time limits on each meeting agenda item, and requires presenters to adhere to those time limits. In addition, only those items that, in the opinion of the Board, require face-to-face discussions and/or decision-making will be addressed at in-person meetings. All other items will be addressed at NWMB conference calls or through correspondence.
Quarterly Meeting Notice:
The NWMB generally provides written notice of a pending quarterly meeting at least forty-two (42) days before the scheduled first day of the meeting. Notice is distributed to relevant government departments, Inuit Organizations, and non-government organizations, and is posted on the NWMB website. The notice includes a request for agenda items.
No error or omission in giving notice of any meeting of the NWMB shall invalidate such a meeting or make void any of its proceedings (GB 9.7).
All or part of a meeting may be conducted in-camera (privately), where the NWMB determines that:
(a) confidential or sensitive matters may be disclosed; or
(b) such intimate financial, personal or other matters may be disclosed that the desirability of avoiding disclosure, in the interest of any person affected or in the public interest, outweighs the desirability of adhering to the principle that meetings should be open to the public.
The NWMB is required to forward most of its decisions made pursuant to Article 5 of the Nunavut Agreement to the relevant Minister for his or her ultimate acceptance, variation or rejection/disallowance (Nunavut Agreement 5.3.7 -5.3.23). Because the initial decision made by the NWMB must be kept confidential between the Board and the Minister (Nunavut Agreement 5.3.8 and 5.3.17), the NWMB meets in-camera when making its Nunavut Agreement Article 5 decisions.
Non-voting observers (S. 5.5) are entitled to attend in-camera meetings when the NWMB is making such decisions. However, the observers are permitted only to observe and to answer questions from the NWMB during the proceedings. In addition, if a DIO observer is not an employee of that DIO, the first time he or she attends an in camera meeting, the observer requires a signed and dated authorization from the DIO, delivered to the NWMB prior to the commencement of the in-camera meeting. Otherwise, participation at in-camera meetings is limited to the NWMB members and such individuals as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to deal with the issues at hand.
Internal In-Camera Meetings:
From time to time, the NWMB is required to meet in order to address issues which relate to administrative and internal operational matters of the Board. These meetings are limited to NWMB members and such individuals as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to deal with the issues at hand. These persons attend such meetings only at the invitation of the NWMB.
The NWMB may meet via teleconference as permitted by the terms of the Nunavut Agreement. The operating procedures for other meetings set out in sections 3.1 to 3.11 of this Manual also apply to teleconference meetings, except that:
(a) generally, the time periods for notice of the meeting and for the delivery of submissions are shorter; and
(b) subject to exceptional circumstances, the NWMB does not make special arrangements to allow for public access to a teleconference.
Meeting Procedures-Public Hearings
Nunavut Agreement Directions
The NWMB may hold public hearings into any issue requiring a decision on its part (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.26).
The NWMB may make rules distinguishing between the roles reserved for full parties and the roles reserved for other classes of persons at public hearings (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.27).
Any representative or agent of the federal or territorial Government, any Inuk or any HTO or RWO is to be accorded the status of full party at a public hearing. The NWMB has the discretion, in conformity with its rules, to determine whether any other person is accorded the status of full party for a particular public hearing (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.28).
The NWMB may, in any application, proceeding or matter of special importance pending before it, if in the opinion of the NWMB the public interest so requires, hire counsel to conduct or argue the case or any particular question arising in the application, proceeding or matter (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.29).
The NWMB has the same powers as commissioners appointed pursuant to Part I of the Inquiries Act, R.S.C. 1970, c.I-13 (Nunavut Agreement 5.2.30). Accordingly, the Board has the power to summon before it any witnesses, except Ministers of the Crown, and to require them to:
i) Give evidence on oath or solemn affirmation, orally or in writing; and
ii) Produce such documents and things as the NWMB requires for a full investigation of the matters which it is examining.
Types of Hearings
The NWMB may hold three types of hearings:
1. An in-person hearing, consisting of both a written and an oral component. Generally, the NWMB will hold an in-person hearing for Board decisions that are of significant economic, social and/or cultural interest to Inuit harvesters. Whenever practical, an in-person hearing is held in the community or Region most affected by the proposed decision(s).
2. An electronic hearing, conducted by conference telephone or another form of electronic technology, whereby parties are able to communicate orally. An electronic hearing may also include a written component. Generally, the NWMB will hold an electronic hearing in one or more of the following three circumstances:
(a) time is of the essence in addressing the issue under consideration;
(b) the parties are unable to meet in person in a timely manner; and/or
(c) the cost of holding an in-person hearing is prohibitive.
3. A written hearing, which does not include any oral component. Generally, the NWMB will hold a written hearing in one or more of the following five circumstances:
(a) the “Proposal for Decision” is – either formally or informally – a joint initiative on the part of Government and affected Inuit;
(b) the eventual Board decision is, in the opinion of the NWMB, of relatively less economic, social and/or cultural interest to affected Inuit;
(c) time is of the essence in addressing the issue under consideration;
(d) the parties are unable to meet in person in a timely manner; and/or
(e) the cost of holding an in-person hearing is prohibitive.
The NWMB is a tribunal - a public body which makes decisions that affect people’s rights or interests. Accordingly, the NWMB is subject to administrative law, which is the law that governs public officials and tribunals who make such decisions. That law requires that decisions be made following procedures that are fair to the affected parties. The doctrine of fairness dictates that the parties be provided timely notice, reasonable disclosure and adequate opportunity to respond before a decision is made affecting their interests or rights.
An NWMB in-person hearing generally consists of the following procedural steps:
1. Receipt by the NWMB of a Proposal for Decision and accompanying best available information;
2. Issuance by the NWMB of a formal public hearing notice, including an invitation for public participation;
3. NWMB disclosure of all the best available information;
4. Issuance by the NWMB of an invitation to potential parties to file written submissions;
5. The holding of an NWMB oral hearing; and
6. The holding of an NWMB decision-making meeting following the hearing.
Proposal for Decision:
Every Proposal for Decision must include the following five (5) elements:
2. The best available western scientific, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and/or community information related to the Proposal, including the reasons in support of the Proposal, as well as relevant evidence - and argument, if the proponent wishes - to reasonably justify the proposed decision;
3. A reasonably-detailed summary of what relevant consultations have been undertaken, and with whom – including a report of the matters consulted on, the views raised by those consulted, and the results of the consultations; if Government is the proponent, or one of the proponents, it should also indicate, where appropriate, what accommodations, if any, it has made as a result of the consultation process;
4. If the matter is urgent or otherwise time-sensitive, the provision of reasons and supporting evidence for fast-tracking the Proposal; and
5. All of the above translated into English or Inuktitut (Inuinnaqtun), as the case may be – except that supporting documentation over 10 pages in length need not be translated if accompanied by a reasonably-detailed, translated summary.
NWMB Hearing Rules:
The following set of eighteen (18) Hearing Rules (Rules) applies to all in-person hearings. They also apply – with changes as necessary – to electronic and written hearings. The Board reserves the right to modify the Rules for any particular in-person, electronic or written hearing. The NWMB publishes a set of Rules for each hearing. Hearing parties, interested persons and organizations, and the public are advised to consult the specific Rules for the hearing(s) they will be attending.
1. The hearing shall be open to the public, with notice provided to the public at least sixty (60) days prior to the commencement of the hearing. Part of the hearing may be conducted in camera, where the NWMB considers that confidential or sensitive matters may be disclosed or discussed.
2. Any interested person or body may file with the NWMB a written submission and supporting documentation in response to the “Proposal for Decision” – duly translated into Inuktitut/Inuinnaqtun or English as the case may be – by no later than 5:00 p.m. on [month/day/year].
3. Unless persuasive written and translated reasons are provided to the NWMB for late filing, the NWMB will not consider materials for this hearing that are not filed on time.
4. The requirement for translation of written submissions and supporting documentation filed with the NWMB does not apply to individual members of the public.
5. For all others who file supporting documentation with the NWMB, the requirement for translation does not apply to such documents over 10 pages in length, as long as each supporting document that is not translated is accompanied by a concise, translated summary (English and Inuktitut/Inuinnaqtun) at least two (2) pages in length.
6. The NWMB shall ensure that all materials filed with it or produced by it are made publicly available, subject to relevant confidentiality or privacy concerns.
7. The NWMB shall provide simultaneous English and Inuktitut translation at the hearing, to the extent reasonably possible.
8. A quorum of NWMB members shall be present at the hearing.
9. Any representative or agent of the Government of Canada or Government of Nunavut, any Hunters and Trappers Organization or Regional Wildlife Organization and any Inuk shall be accorded the status of party at the hearing.
10. Unless invited by the NWMB to be a party, any other person or body wishing to be named as a party by the NWMB shall make an appropriate request in writing to the NWMB.
11. All parties and other participants at the hearing are required to treat one another and the NWMB with respect.
12. The NWMB shall provide a reasonable opportunity for oral presentations from each of the parties at the hearing by their choice of official, expert or counsel.
13. Any member of the NWMB, the NWMB’s Director of Wildlife or the NWMB’s Legal Counsel may ask relevant questions of any party at the hearing.
14. Any party may ask relevant questions of any other party at the hearing.
15. The NWMB shall provide members of the public in attendance at the hearing a reasonable opportunity to make statements and to ask questions of the parties and the NWMB.
16. Every person at the hearing wishing to speak or ask a question shall raise his or her hand, and shall only speak once the NWMB Chairperson has recognized him or her.
17. The NWMB Chairperson reserves the right to place reasonable time limits on presentations, statements and questions.
18. The NWMB shall make an audio recording of the hearing available upon request.
 This may be very specific – for instance, setting out an exact TAH number, calibre of weapon, season of harvest, etc. Other times, options are put forward, or the Proposal may even be open-ended – for example, requesting whatever decision the NWMB considers to be best supported by the evidence.
Introduction-Public Hearings and Meetings
The NWMB is a tribunal –a public body which makes decisions that affect peoples’ rights or interests. Accordingly, the NWMB is subject to administrative law, which is the law that governs public officials and tribunals who make such decisions. That law –through the courts, or through statutes or through both –requires that decisions be made following procedures that are fair to the affected parties. The doctrine of fairness dictates that the parties be provided timely notice, reasonable disclosure and adequate opportunity to respond, before a decision is made affecting their interests or rights.
The process that permits parties to be heard by a tribunal is generally referred to as a “hearing”. It is a basic principle of administrative law that all hearings should be held in public. A hearing can take many forms, depending on what level of procedural fairness is required in the circumstances.
Most of the decisions that the NWMB makes are to establish, modify or remove restrictions on fundamental Inuit harvesting rights - rights that are protected by the Canadian Constitution, which is the supreme law of Canada. Any NWMB decision that restricts Inuit harvesting rights is subject to a high standard of procedural fairness. To date, all Board hearings have addressed either Inuit harvesting rights or species at risk designations (which are closely linked to the Nunavut Agreement principles of conservation and Inuit harvesting rights) for wildlife species of significant economic, social or cultural interest to Inuit.
Detailed explanations of the NWMB’s hearing procedures, submission requirements and database of current and past hearings can be found on the left menu.
As an institution of public government, the NWMB is committed to an overall policy of openness and transparency, and to the conducting as much of its wildlife management business as possible on the public record. Accordingly, all Board meetings –except in-camera and internal in-camera meetings –are open to the public.
Detailed explanations of the NWMB’s meeting procedures, submission requirements and database of current and past hearings can be found on the left menu.