Phase 4: Decision Making

Phase 4: Decision-Making

Roles and Responsibilities

The Minister The Minister
  • Makes the public interest determination or refers the public interest determination to the Governor in Council for impact assessments by the Agency
  • Must be satisfied that the Crown's duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples has been adequately fulfilled prior to making a determination
  • For review panels, refers the public interest determination to the Governor in Council
  • Issues the Decision Statement to the Proponent
Governor in Council Governor in Council
  • Makes the public interest determination, if referred to the Governor in Council by the Minister
  • Must be satisfied that the Crown's duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples has been adequately fulfilled prior to making a determination
The Agency The Agency
  • Posts the Decision Statement to the Registry

Step by Step

Impact Assessment by the Agency

  1. The Agency provides the Minister with the Impact Assessment Report, Consultation Report and potential Footnote conditions.
  2. Based on the Impact Assessment Report, the Minister must determine if the adverse effects within federal jurisdiction and the adverse direct or incidental effects are in the public interest, or refer the determination to the Footnote Governor in Council.
  3. Prior to making the determination, the decision-maker (whether Minister or Governor in Council) must be satisfied that the Crown duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples has been fulfilled.
  4. If the Minister refers the determination to the Governor in Council, a Notice of Referral and the reasons for the referral are posted to the Agency's Registry Internet Site (the Registry).
  5. Once the determination is made by the decision-maker (Minister or Governor in Council), the Minister issues a Footnote Decision Statement to the Proponent with the reasons for the determination and conditions. When the Minister makes the public interest determination, the Decision Statement must be issued no later than 30 days after the Impact Assessment Report is posted on the Registry. When the Governor in Council makes the public interest determination, the Decision Statement must be issued no later than 90 days after the Impact Assessment Report is posted on the Registry.
  6. The Agency posts the Decision Statement to the Registry.

Impact Assessment by a Review Panel

  1. The Minister must refer the public interest determination to the Governor in Council.
  2. The Governor in Council determines whether the adverse effects within federal jurisdiction and the adverse direct or incidental effects are in the public interest, and whether the Crown duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples has been fulfilled.
  3. The Minister issues a Decision Statement to the Proponent with the reasons for the determination. The Decision Statement must be issued no later than 90 days after the recommendations for the Minister with respect to conditions is posted on the Registry.
  4. The Agency posts the Decision Statement to the Registry.

In the case of Integrated Review Panels with lifecycle regulators, in addition to the steps outlined above for Review Panels:

  1. The Minister's referral to the Governor in Council is done in consultation with the Minister of Natural Resources.
  2. The Governor in Council determines whether the adverse effects within federal jurisdiction and the adverse direct or incidental effects are in the public interest, and whether the Crown duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples has been fulfilled.
  3. The Minister issues a Decision Statement to the Proponent with the reasons for the determination. The Decision Statement must be issued no later than 90 days after the recommendations for the Minister with respect to conditions is posted on the Registry.
  4. The Agency posts the Decision Statement to the Registry.
  5. Following the public interest determination made by the Governor in Council, regulatory decisions under the lifecycle regulator's legislation may be taken by lifecycle regulators.
  6. For designated projects regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Minister may designate any condition that is included in the Decision Statement as part of the license issued under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
  7. For designated projects regulated under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, decision statements will be considered part of the certificate issued under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act.

FAQ

1. What does the Minister or the Governor in Council use as the basis for their public interest determination?

Public interest determinations must take into account the Impact Assessment Report and the five public interest factors:

  • The extent to which the designated project contributes to sustainability;
  • The extent to which the adverse effects within federal jurisdiction and the adverse direct or incidental effects that are indicated in the Impact Assessment Report in respect of the designated project are significant;
  • The implementation of the mitigation measures that the Minister or the Governor in Council considers appropriate;
  • The impact that the designated project may have on any Indigenous group and any adverse impact that the designated project may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; and
  • The extent to which the effects of the designated project hinder or contribute to the Government of Canada's ability to meet its environmental obligations and its commitments in respect of climate change.
2. What is in the Minister's Decision Statement?

The Minister's Decision Statement must contain the following:

  • The public interest determination and the reasons for the determination;
  • Any enforceable conditions that the Proponent must comply with;
  • The time limit within which the Proponent must substantially begin to carry out the designated project; and
  • A description of the project.
3. Can the time limit for the issuance of the Decision Statement be extended?

The Minister may extend the time limit to issue the Decision Statement by 90 days. On recommendation of the Minister, the Governor in Council may further extend the time limit any number of times.

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