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Frequently Asked Questions


Voting
  1. Who can vote?
    If you are eligible to vote in a territorial election, then you are also eligible to vote in the referendum.

  2. What is the percentage of votes required to obtain a “YES” vote?
    The majority (more than 50%) of people that vote “Yes” or “No” will determine the outcome of the Plebiscite. Those who do not vote will have no influence on the outcome.
  3. Who is organizing the vote?
    The Land Referendum will be initiated by the GN. Elections Nunavut will be responsible for the actual voting procedure. CGS will be responsible for the Public Awareness Campaign for the period leading up to the referendum.
  4. When will the vote be conducted?
    The Land Referendum will take place on May 9, 2016.
  5. What question is being asked?
    The question to be asked on the referendum ballot is "Do you want the Municipality of ___________ to be able to sell Municipal Lands?" “YES” or “NO”
  6. Why is the referendum being held?
    Article 14.8 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) required a referendum on the alienation of municipal lands (the ability to sell land) within the first or second year after ratification of the NLCA. A referendum was held on April 10, 1995; which resulted in a majority “No” vote in each community. The “No” vote meant that municipalities would not be able to sell municipal lands; lands would continue to be disposed of by lease.

    Article 14.8.4 of the NLCA says that after 20 years, the "municipal voters" may elect by referendum to remove the restriction on selling municipal land. Therefore, any time after April 10, 2015, a referendum may be held to remove the restriction of selling municipal lands;

    Now that April 10, 2015 has passed the GN has determined that sufficient time has elapsed and that the municipal voters should be given an opportunity to vote to confirm the current system or to allow for private ownership of lands within municipal boundaries.

  7. What am I voting for?
    The referendum lets you vote on how you want your municipal council to manage and control municipal lands. You can vote “No” to continue with the existing procedure which allows council to lease municipal lots or you can vote “Yes” to give council the additional power and authority to sell municipal lots.

    With a “No” vote in your community, the municipality will keep ownership of all municipal lands and will continue with the current process of leasing land.

    With a “Yes” vote in your community, council will be given the option to sell municipal lands. Lands could be sold to an individual, an organization or a company. Council will decide which lots will be sold and when the lots will be available for sale. Council will be required to set out all of the rules and procedures for selling lots in their land administration by-law.

  8. Does the vote affect all lands within a municipal boundary?

    No. The vote only affects “Municipal Lands” as defined in the NLCA. Municipal Lands represent most lands within the municipal boundary, and includes land that has been divided into lots and undivided land as well. These lands are reserved for the use and benefit of municipalities and its residents. However, Municipal Land does not include Inuit Owned Lands, lands owned by the Government of Nunavut and Government of Canada, lands located within 100 feet of a shoreline, and lands that were privately owned before the NLCA came into effect. These lands will continue to be managed by other organizations and individuals.

  9. Why should I vote?

    The outcome of the vote will determine how you, as a community resident, may obtain lots in the future.

  10. What happens if I don’t vote?
    Choosing not to vote on referendum day does not equal a “Yes” or a “No” vote. Only those people who come out and vote will be counted. If you do not vote, you will give up the chance to have a say in how your community manages lands.
  11. What if we vote “NO” and then change our minds?
    If the majority of voters of a community vote “No” then the municipality will have only have the authority to lease land. According to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, this decision can only be changed by another referendum.
  12. What if we vote “YES” and then change our minds?
    If a majority of voters in a community votes “Yes” on the selling municipal land, there is no method to reverse the decision.

    Therefore, another referendum could not be held to restore the restriction on selling municipal lands. However, a municipal council could decide to adopt a "lease only” policy, even though council would still have the authority to sell land.

  13. What is CGS’s position on the referendum?
    CGS supports municipalities. CGS believes that community decisions should be made at the community level. CGS’s position is neutral.



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