CNSC publishes REGDOC-3.2.2, Aboriginal Engagement

News Release

February 12, 2016, Ottawa, ON – Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

REGDOC-3.2.2, Aboriginal Engagement sets out requirements and guidance for licensees whose proposed projects may raise the Crown’s duty to consult. While the CNSC cannot delegate its obligation, it can delegate aspects of the consultation process to licensees. The information collected and measures proposed by licensees to avoid, mitigate or offset adverse impacts may be used by the CNSC in meeting its consultation obligations.

The implementation of REGDOC-3.2.2 is expected to lead to more effective and efficient Aboriginal engagement practices, strengthen relationships with Aboriginal communities, assist the CNSC in meeting its duty to consult obligations, and reduce the risk of delays in the regulatory review processes.

Quick facts

  • Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides that the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed, and that Aboriginal peoples of Canada include Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
  • Since 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Crown (federal, provincial and territorial governments) has a duty to consult and – where appropriate – accommodate when it contemplates conduct that might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada determined that the duty to consult stems from the honour of the Crown and the Crown’s unique relationship with Aboriginal peoples.
  • The Government of Canada expects industry to establish positive working relationships with Aboriginal groups and to maintain these relationships throughout the life cycle of the project.
  • The benefits of early engagement with Aboriginal groups include: enhancing relationships, promoting trust, improving Aboriginal groups’ understanding of the proposed project and its objectives, and helping the proponent to understand the interests and concerns of those living in the affected area. With this understanding and information, the proponent can begin to discuss practical strategies for maximizing the project's potential positive impacts, while eliminating or mitigating its possible negative consequences.

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Aurèle Gervais
Media and Community Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

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