The MLA of Frame Lake has stressed the need for a law that will allow cremation in the Northwest Territories. He wants to know what is holding back the legislation from being introduced. There is only one funeral home serving the territory but they cannot provide cremation services due to lack of legislation.
N.W.T. and Nunavut are the only areas in Canada where there is no legislation to regulate cremation services. If a family opts for cremation in the Northwest Territories, they have to spend more because cremation will be done in another jurisdiction.
According to Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly, cremation is regulated across the country through the community affairs department that does not seem interested in drafting the legislation. According to the minister, the development of legislation to regulate cremation is not among the priorities’ of the department because there are more pressing needs to be taken care off.
O’Reilly is puzzled why the process is being stalled given the fact that there are existing cremation laws across the country that can be used as templates to meet the needs of the Northwest Territories. The government must have the ability to move the legislation forward so that there will be an improvement in services and the citizens will have an option for a more affordable service.
MACA Minister Caroline Cochrane said that the creation of legislation for cremation is easy but she has to consider stakeholder engagement. Cremation can impact on some businesses as well consumers particularly seniors. They have to be consulted before introducing a new legislation.
Cochrane has promised the legislative assembly that her department will make the effort to consult with the stakeholders this spring. Cremation will be listed among the topics so that they can determine the legislation they have to work on.
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