YELLOWKNIFE — The federal government says it will open talks with northerners on managing offshore energy exploration in the Canadian Arctic.
Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod says that’s a signal the Liberals may relax a current ban on potential development.
In a release, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the northern economy requires both environmental protection and economic development.
Ottawa is promising a research program on marine and climate change science for the area.
It also promises to preserve existing offshore exploration rights for energy companies and to refund remaining deposits related to those licences.
There are 63 exploration and discovery licences in the Beaufort Sea.
It’s not immediately clear how much money would be refunded to energy companies.