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Cannabis law awaits assent

The roll-out of legal weed will likely be top of mind for NWT lawmakers as they gather for the last sitting of the legislative assembly before the summer break.

Photo courtesy of the Legislative Assembly (permission given by Ms. Sue Tkachuk, Executive Assistant to Honourable Paul Delorey Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to reprint with credit)
View from the viewing gallery

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says marijuana will be legalized this summer and the territorial government hopes to have its Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act passed before then.

The proposed omnibus bill, which lays out age restrictions, penalties for drug-impaired driving, and rules for possessing, growing and selling cannabis, is up for a third reading.

It is unclear however, exactly when the cannabis law will be voted on, as it must first be put to a standing committee of MLAs.

The future of Aurora College is also likely to come up in the house.

On Tuesday, the GNWT announced the resignation of president Jane Arychuk, who has helmed the college since 2012.

Arychuk steps down as a so-called foundational review of the college's operations, governance and programs wraps up.

Observers are concerned the review, and a second review the social work program, could lead to funding cuts and the end of the social work and the bachelor of education programs at the college.

The spring sitting will see ministers Caroline Cochrane and Alfred Moses take their first questions as heads of new departments.

In April, Cochrane was moved off Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) and Housing and put in charge of Education, Culture and Employment.

Previously the minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Moses took over MACA and Housing from Cochrane.

Members assumed their seats for the 2018 spring sitting on Thursday, and will rise on June 1.

The next sitting is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.