Better rules to protect Canada’s environment and grow the economy: Partnering with Indigenous peoples and advancing reconciliation

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed, nation-to-nation, government-to-government, and Inuit-Crown relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Under the new rules for major projects, the Government will work in partnership with Indigenous peoples from the start through early and inclusive engagement so we can get to better project decisions. The Government will continue to ensure that respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada is built into processes to support project reviews and regulatory decisions. Indigenous knowledge will be considered alongside science and other sources of evidence to inform decision-making.

Better Impact Assessment System

  • A single agency, the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, will lead Crown consultations
  • New partnerships based on recognition of Indigenous rights and interests from the start
  • Mandatory to consider impacts on rights of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous culture in decision-making
  • Opportunities for Indigenous jurisdictions to exercise powers and duties under the Impact Assessment Act
  • Greater Indigenous expertise on assessment boards and review panels
  • Increased support for Indigenous participation and capacity development
  • An Indigenous Advisory Committee will provide policy and technical guidance on issues of concern to Indigenous peoples

A New Canadian Energy Regulator

  • New partnerships based on recognition of Indigenous rights and interests up front
  • Legislated requirement to consider Indigenous knowledge and impacts on Indigenous rights in decision-making
  • Greater role for Indigenous peoples in the lifecycle monitoring of energy infrastructure projects
  • At least one member of the Board of Directors and one Commissioner must be Indigenous
  • An Indigenous Advisory Committee will provide policy and technical guidance on issues to the CER
  • More open, accessible, inclusive, and transparent regulatory reviews, with enhanced participant funding

Protecting Canada’s Navigable Waters

  • Protections for waterways most important to Indigenous peoples
  • Enhance opportunities for Indigenous communities to participate in monitoring, enforcement and decision-making activities
  • Expand definition of navigable waters to explicitly include those where Indigenous peoples use vessels to exercise existing Indigenous rights
  • Require decision-makers to consider any adverse effects that decisions may have on Indigenous rights
  • Tailored process for Indigenous peoples to proposed additions to the schedule of waters that will receive extra oversight

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