Accommodations measures and amended conditions
As part of the re-initiated Phase III consultations, consultation teams had an expanded mandate to discuss specific accommodation measures to address the concerns of potentially affected Indigenous groups. The government has put forward eight accommodation measures that focus on building capacity and long-term relationships, marine safety, spill prevention, response capacity, cumulative effects, fish and fish habitat, quieter vessels, and further terrestrial studies.
- The Salish Sea Initiative responds to concerns related to cumulative effects and is intended to facilitate the active participation of Indigenous groups in the stewardship of the Salish Sea. The initiative provides technical capacity funding for Indigenous groups to assess and monitor the local marine environment and participate in broader planning processes. A long-term investment strategy to support First Nations in evaluating the impacts of human activities on their local ecosystems and to provide for ongoing project delivery is a central objective of the initiative.
- The Co-Developing Community Response (CDCR) addresses Indigenous communities’ concerns about the risks of increased project-related tanker traffic to marine activities, the environment and culturally important and sacred sites in their traditional territories. Through CDCR, the government and Indigenous communities will co-develop response capacity at the community level to support a meaningful role for Indigenous communities in the broader marine response system. The implementation of this accommodation measure will facilitate a tailored approach to meet the needs of individual communities. As part of the CDCR, the Coast Guard will identify information, tools and services with the objective to improve information sharing with coastal communities and response partners. Some of the tools developed may be available on multiple platforms (e.g. mobile, desktop) and will help facilitate preparedness and response capabilities and safety for coastal communities.
- The Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative, launched as part of the Oceans Protection Plan, is a web-based pilot project that displays a range of real-time data on vessel traffic, weather, hydrography and marine protected areas. The information helps coastal communities better plan vessel routes, identify sensitive areas, enhance local marine safety and protect the environment.
- The Marine Safety Equipment and Training Initiative responds to concerns regarding the safety of Indigenous mariners who may face increased interaction with TMX project-related vessels along the shipping route. It will provide funding to Indigenous groups for equipment to enhance the safety of Indigenous vessels and training to build understanding about safety on the water. Specific program parameters, including equipment and training needs, are being developed in partnership with Indigenous communities along the marine shipping route.
- The Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative will be collaboratively developed and involves building capacity and supporting Indigenous-led studies on the cumulative effects of development in freshwater and terrestrial environments.
- The Aquatic Habitat Restoration Fund (AHRF) will assist in the maintenance and restoration of fish and fish habitat in watersheds along the pipeline corridor, including inland watersheds in British Columbia and Alberta, the Fraser River watershed and in the Salish Sea. The AHRF will increase capacity within communities to protect and restore aquatic habitats that may be impacted by the cumulative effects of development. With a goal of encouraging an ecosystem-based approach, projects will be identified collaboratively with Indigenous communities to improve conditions for stocks of concern.
- The Quiet Vessel Initiative will reduce vessel noise in the Salish Sea in order to protect the marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals — including the Southern Resident Killer Whale. This initiative will test the most promising, safe and efficient quiet-vessel designs, retrofits and operational practices to achieve noise reductions, in collaboration with the shipping industry.
- The Terrestrial Studies Initiative will support Indigenous-led studies to better understand TMX’s potential impacts, including on traditional land use. It could also inform cumulative effects work.
Canada Energy Regulator (CER) Amended Conditions
In its August 2018 ruling, the Federal Court of Appeal found that Canada was unwilling to meaningfully discuss and consider changes to the CER’s conditions to the project.
As a result of the re-initiated Phase III consultations and the meaningful, two-way dialogue that included listening to concerns, responding to them and finding solutions and accommodations, a series of amendments to the CER’s conditions were identified. These address impacts to asserted and established Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
The government has amended six conditions. They include changes to:
- how Trans Mountain Corporation (TMC) tracks its commitments to ensure accountability for all commitments made as well as future commitments (Condition 6);
- increase the involvement of Indigenous communities in the development of marine response plans (Condition 91);
- increase the involvement of Indigenous communities in monitoring activities during construction (Condition 98);
- ensure more meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities and increased transparency to inform the Emergency Management Plan (Condition 124);
- seek a process to verify and ensure involvement in the development of post-construction environmental reports (Condition 151); and
- manage and mitigate the potential impacts of the project on sacred and cultural sites (Condition 100).
The amendments have been made to increase Indigenous confidence in the actions and commitments from TMC and the CER, as well as to increase the involvement of Indigenous communities in TMC’s plans.
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