How the consultation unfolded
No relationship is more important to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. We are committed to renewing relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. On the TMX project, we took a whole-of-government approach to ensure Indigenous peoples were sufficiently consulted when actions were being considered that may have adversely impacted Aboriginal or Treaty Rights.
The Government of Canada has a duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Aboriginal or Treaty Rights. These rights are recognized and affirmed in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. To find out more, visit the Government of Canada and the duty to consult.
Consulting with Indigenous groups
The Government of Canada re-initiated Phase III consultations with all potentially impacted Indigenous groups. They were consulted with the goal of ensuring potential impacts to asserted or established Aboriginal or Treaty Rights are accommodated, where appropriate.
During this process, we built on existing relationships; and considered information submitted by Indigenous communities as well as the consultation record from the last review. We made the improvements necessary to ensure this renewed consultation and accommodation process followed the guidance of the Federal Court of Appeal.
Who we consulted with
- More than 129 Indigenous communities were invited to participate.
- 9 consultation teams were on the ground with over 60 team members.
What was different this time?
We committed to working differently as we re-initiate Phase III consultations on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This means that:
- the process was informed by experts to ensure the Crown is fulfilling its duty to consult
- the consultation team more than doubled, with 60 people dedicated to the process
- the process was iterative and based on meaningful, two-way dialogue
- there was timely and accessible support for participation
- there was a higher bar for transparency
- officials were mandated to discuss accommodations
- as a new Crown corporation, Trans Mountain Canada was fully integrated into the consultation process and participated in meetings with Indigenous groups
How have we done this?
In parallel to the National Energy Board’s reconsideration process, the Government of Canada:
- Pursued a two-way dialogue with Indigenous peoples to address potential impacts to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
- Appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, as Federal Representative to oversee the consultation and accommodation process. He provided independent advice and guidance to the Government on how to deliver meaningful Phase III consultations and ensured that this process proceeded as the Court defined.
Consultation with each Indigenous group potentially impacted by the project was focused, targeted, and implemented to discuss issues that were meaningful and relevant to their communities, including potential accommodation measures.
Even after the National Energy Board reassessment was completed, the consultation teams continued to consult on and work with Indigenous groups on marine-related and other outstanding issues raised in the report and by communities.
The government shared the draft of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report and proposed accommodation measures with Indigenous communities to ensure they accurately captured the impacts on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights reported by communities.
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