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Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan - Gazoduq Project

July 17, 2020

Contents

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

  1. Introduction
  2. Gazoduq Project Description
  3. Objectives of Indigenous Engagement and Partnership
  4. Indigenous Peoples
  5. Engagement and Consultation Tools and Methods
  6. Engagement and Consultation Approach
  7. Provincial Engagement Approaches
  8. Proponent Engagement Approaches
  9. Participant Funding
  10. How to Submit Comments and Contact Information

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

The Agency
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
BAPE
Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement du Québec
Federal Review Panel
An integrated federal review panel formed under subsection 47(1) of the Impact Assessment Act whose mandate covers both the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act
BAPE Commission
A commission formed by the president of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement under section 4 of the Rules of procedure of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (CQLR, c. Q-2, r. 45.1)
Project
Gazoduq Project
IAA
Impact Assessment Act
CERA
Canadian Energy Regulator Act
Regulator or CER
Canada Energy Regulator
Registry
Canadian Impact Assessment Registry
Guidelines
Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines
Section 35 or s.35
Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982

1.  Introduction

This document is an updated version of the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan (IEPP) for the impact assessment of the Gazoduq Project (the project). The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) invited the Indigenous peoples potentially affected by the project to submit their comments on the draft version of the IEPP. The Agency's objective is to seek the free and informed prior consent of Indigenous peoples on the consultation and participation processes proposed for the project. The comments received were integrated into the IEPP whenever possible.

On January 22, 2020, the Agency determined that an impact assessment is required for the project, in accordance with section 16 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). Since the project is subject to the IAA and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CERA), the impact assessment (IA) is automatically referred to a review panel and must meet the legal requirements of both these acts. A review panel whose mandate covers both the IAA and the CERA is an "integrated review panel" (the Federal Review Panel). The Agency will coordinate the impact assessment process with the Canada Energy Regulator (the CER). Upon completion of the impact assessment, if the project is approved, the CER will be responsible for the project's follow-up phase, as the federal regulator of the life cycle of gas pipeline projects.

Several Indigenous peoples have established or potential Aboriginal or Treaty rights in the project's study area. The Government of Canada has the obligation to consult with and, if applicable, accommodate Indigenous peoples and communities when it envisions measures that could have adverse impacts on established or potential Aboriginal or Treaty rights. The IEPP describes the possible occasions and activities making it possible, for the purposes of the project's IA, to ensure the engagement of the Indigenous peoples potentially affected and thus implement meaningful consultations in a spirit of reconciliation through renewed nation-to-nation relations. This Plan is meant to be scalable. This allows the Agency to amend it, in order to account for changes that could arise during the impact assessment process.

In this document, the term "Indigenous peoples" is used to refer to Indigenous communities, Métis and Inuit who wish to participate in the impact assessment. Within the context of the impact assessment process, the Agency encourages the active participation of the Chief and Council, community leaders or other Indigenous collectives, as well as other members of the Indigenous community, including women, elders and youth.

For more information regarding participation of Indigenous peoples throughout the impact assessment process, please see the Agency's guidance at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/impact-assessment-agency/services/policy-guidance/practitioners-guide-impact-assessment-act/interim-guidance-indigenous-participation-ia.html.

To complement this IEPP, which has a general scope, specific consultation plans may be developed with certain Indigenous peoples. The goal of these complementary plans would be to specify the consultation objectives specific to certain Indigenous peoples and the unique considerations to take into account in the context of the project's impact assessment and consultation process. This IEPP replaces any previous plans, including the one released on May 27, 2019 by the Major Projects Management Office at Natural Resources Canada.

A separate public participation plan has also been developed. It is available through the public Registry homepage for the project: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/document/135393?&culture=en-CA . In the event of favourable decisions by the Governor in Council for the project, the Agency will transfer its role as Crown Consultation Coordinator to the CER for the lifespan of the project.

2.  Gazoduq Project Description

The project proposed by Gazoduq Inc. consists of building and operating a natural gas transmission pipeline approximately 780 kilometres long between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay, Quebec. The project would connect TC Energy Limited's existing main natural gas transmission system in northeastern Ontario to the proposed Énergie Saguenay Project, a natural gas liquefaction facility proposed by LNG Quebec in Saguenay, Quebec. The project would also include three compressor stations, one metering station, approximately 25 block valves and an associated control centre.

3.  Objectives of Indigenous Engagement and Partnership

3.1.  Impact Assessment Agency of Canada's Objectives

In the context of this project, the IEPP addresses:

  • The consultation process by which the Agency seeks the free and informed prior consent of Indigenous peoples;
  • Crown consultation on the potential positive and adverse effects (direct and incidental) of the project and the adverse impacts of the project on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 (section 35 rights);
  • Engagement with Indigenous peoples regarding Indigenous knowledge and how it may inform the consideration of potential effects and impacts of the project and impacts on the exercise of Aboriginal or Treaty rights;
  • Engagement with Indigenous peoples to determine cultural considerations and customs that should be taken into account in project decision-making;
  • Engagement with Indigenous peoples throughout the impact assessment process, including opportunities to provide comments on key documents and the broader consultation and engagement processes;
  • Engagement with Indigenous peoples to account for the concerns raised regarding the potential effects; and
  • Opportunities for cooperation with Indigenous peoples, particularly those who show an interest in parts of the impact assessment. Indigenous peoples will have opportunities to present comments and information to the Federal Review Panel to be considered in its assessment.

3.2.  Objectives Determined by Indigenous Peoples during the Planning Phase

The following objectives and values were determined by Indigenous peoples in designing an approach to Indigenous engagement in the project's impact assessment. Like the IEPP, these objectives and values are intended to be scalable. The Agency therefore invites Indigenous peoples to let it know if they would like to add to this list during the impact assessment and consultation process.

  • Open and transparent communication;
  • Transparency in decision-making;
  • Consultation that respects the diverse roles of Indigenous peoples within the project area;
  • Consultation that respects the consultation protocols already established with certain Indigenous peoples;
  • Regular backgrounders and updates provided by the Agency on the impact assessment process;
  • Early consultation that is meaningful and assesses adverse impacts of the project (direct and indirect), to carefully consider and, if applicable, recommend accommodation measures;
  • Sharing of data by Indigenous peoples with the Crown, informing the measures and decisions taken by the Crown;
  • Accounting for Indigenous knowledge as a key determinant of the project's potential effects and the impacts on the exercise of established or potential Aboriginal or Treaty rights;
  • Decisions related to the project are informed through broad and ongoing consultation;
  • Decisions related to the project are informed by the assessment of impacts on rights;
  • Decisions related to the project are informed by the concerns and values of Indigenous peoples;
  • Decisions related to the project are informed by the comments of Indigenous peoples on the assessment of cumulative effects;
  • Transparent communication of the potential adverse effects on the natural environment;
  • Maximization of the possibilities for Indigenous peoples to participate actively and meaningfully in the impact assessment process and take charge of certain aspects of the impact assessment of the project on their rights and values;
  • Specify the possibilities for Indigenous peoples directly affected by the project, whose traditional lands are crossed by the path of the project, to contribute to the proponent's basic studies and the writing of portions of the impact assessment that concern them; and
  • Opportunity for co-writing the Crown Consultation and Accomodation report in collaboration with the Agency, for Indigenous peoples who have expressed an interest.

4.  Indigenous Peoples

The following is a list of Indigenous peoples identified by the Agency for the purposes of Crown consultation related to the impact assessment of the proposed project. This list has been compiled on the basis that the project may adversely impact the exercise of Aboriginal or Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, recognized and confirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. This list is based on information available in the Government of Canada's Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System, as well as information shared by Indigenous peoples during initial meetings and throughout the Planning phase.

Although the impact assessment is not a rights-determination process, the Crown acknowledges that the content and extent of the duty to consult and accommodate vary according to the nature of the rights (established or potential) and the severity of the project's potential impact on these rights. The Agency's assessment of the extent of the duty to consult and accommodate is at its preliminary phase. The Agency also wishes to complete this exercise in collaboration with Indigenous peoples during the Impact Statement phase.

The Crown will consult with the Indigenous peoples listed footnote 1 below to understand the concerns and potential impacts of the project on their exercise of Aboriginal or Treaty rights and, where appropriate, make accommodations. These consultations will also comprise an integral part of the work that will support the assessment of the project.

Table 1 — Crown List of Indigenous Peoples to be Consulted
Province Indigenous Peoples

QC

Algonquins of Barriere Lake

QC

Communauté Anicinape de Kitcisakik

QC

Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon

QC

Première Nation Abitibiwinni

QC

Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan

QC

Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci

QC

Conseil des Atikamekw d'Opitciwan

QC

Cree First Nation of Waswanipi

QC

Cree Nation of Waskaganish

QC

Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) /
Cree Nation Government

QC

Kebaowek First Nation

QC

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

QC

Long Point First Nation

QC

Nation huronne-wendat

QC

Première Nation des Essipiunnuat (Essipit)

QC

Première Nation des Innus de Pessamit

QC

Première Nation des Pekuakamiulnuatsh (Mashteuiatsh)

QC

Timiskaming First Nation

QC

Wolf Lake First Nation

ON

Flying Post First Nation

ON

Matachewan First Nation

ON

Mattagami First Nation

ON

Métis Nation of Ontario

ON

Taykwa Tagamou Nation (New Post)

ON

Temagami First Nation

ON

Wahgoshig First Nation

For the purposes of good governance, the Agency also plans to provide information and discuss the potential effects and impacts of the project with the Indigenous peoples listed below in Table 2 below during each phase of the impact assessment process. The engagement and consultation methods for the following Indigenous peoples will be different from the other Indigenous peoples mentioned in Table 1. Direct mail and email distribution, inclusion of Registry links on key documents, funding through the Agency's regular participant funding program, and online comments on key documents during the impact assessment process will be the primary engagement methods used. This approach will be revisited throughout the process and could be modified should additional information be presented in the course of the impact assessment process.

Table 2— Crown List of Indigenous Peoples to be Consulted for Good Governance Reasons

Province

Indigenous Peoples

QC

Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi

ON

Beaverhouse Indigenous Community

The Government of Canada is committed to renewing its relationship with Indigenous peoples, which is based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Through this IEPP, the Agency supports this commitment. In addition to the IEPP, the Agency plans to engage Indigenous organizations that have indicated an interest in the impact assessment process using the engagement tools and methods outlined in the Public Participation Plan.

For the purposes of the impact assessment and consultation process, certain Indigenous communities agreed to work together, particularly to coordinate their participation and to exchange information. However, each Indigenous community retains its decision-making authority. Société Mamo Aki is a limited partnership formed between the following First Nations: Wahgoshig First Nation, Abitibiwinni First Nation, Lac-Simon Anishnabe First Nation, Atikamew of Opitciwan, Atikamekw of Wemotaci, Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation, Essipit Innu First Nation and Pessamit Innu First Nation. The Flying First Nation Post, Matachewan First Nation and Mattagami First Nation form part of the Wabun Tribal Council.

Table 3 — Crown List of Limited Partnerships and Tribal Councils to be consulted

Province

Limited Partnerships and Tribal Councils

QC/ON

Mamo Aki Limited Partnership

ON

Wabun Tribal Council

5.  Engagement and Consultation Tools and Methods

The Agency has produced a summary of the tools and methods determined by Indigenous peoples during the Planning Phase. This has been done to ensure meaningful engagement and consultation with the Crown in the impact assessment process. In the context of the Agency-led engagement and consultation activities, these tools and methods will include:

  • Funding under the Participant Funding Program to assist with Indigenous people's involvement in the impact assessment and consultation activities, which may include the assessment of the project's potential effects and potential cumulative effects and impacts on Aboriginal or Treaty rights;
  • Providing clear information on available funding, impact assessment process timelines, and the workload expected of Indigenous peoples to ensure participation and engagement;
  • Communication with Indigenous peoples in an ongoing, open and transparent manner;
  • Sharing of information and regular updates by the Agency relating to the evolution of the applicable legal and regulatory framework and the policies and directives adopted by the Agency;
  • Sharing of clear and realistic timelines on the different phases of the impact assessment process and clarification of the importance and nature of the commitment expected from Indigenous peoples at each phase of the impact assessment process;
  • Consideration of cultural needs, including seasonal issues (e.g. greater participation during the hot season, unavailability during the harvesting and hunting periods), cultural protocols (e.g. offering tobacco), and spirituality (e.g. opening prayers);
  • Respecting Indigenous peoples' consultation protocols in consultation or engagement activities, to the extent possible;
  • Outreach and engagement with the Chief and Council, community leaders, elders, youth, and women;
  • Allocation of funding for a reasonable period and, if applicable, for community gatherings, site visits and meetings within or outside the community;
  • Inclusive meetings that allow diverse participation (e.g. accessibility of the meeting places, timing of the meetings, transportation, childcare services, food on site, door prizes to encourage participation);
  • Consultation with community members who live off of reserves (e.g. through meetings at central gathering places, online consultation activities, use of social media, etc.);
  • Inclusion of community events, sharing circles and small-group consultation activities (instead of presentations for several people) to facilitate ways of sharing information openly;
  • The Agency takes the oral comments of members of Indigenous peoples as seriously—and with the same consideration—as when comments are submitted in writing;
  • The Agency organizes meetings directly in the territory;
  • The Agency offers training on the impact assessment process footnote 2;
  • The Agency provides user-friendly summaries of key documents, like fact sheets, infographics, PowerPoint tools, booklets and audio-visual materials;
  • The Agency provides a meeting summary to the Indigenous communities who participated so that they can ensure that the opinions of their members are properly represented in the summary; and
  • The Agency provides all the information relevant to the project held by the Crown to Indigenous peoples in a timely manner.

In addition, the Agency will explore opportunities for:

  • The use of translators or interpreters to support meetings held between Indigenous peoples and the Crown;
  • Translation of key high-level summary documents into French, English or into Indigenous languages, whenever possible;
  • Flexible timelines to accommodate communication and engagement processes in the communities;
  • Workshop formats to discuss key documents through the impact assessment process, where appropriate.

The Agency will work with Indigenous peoples on these items, including bilaterally to develop an individualized, Indigenous community-specific consultation plan.

5.1.  Distinction Between the Federal Review Panel and the Crown Consultation Operations Team

In an impact assessment process involving a Federal Review Panel, the Crown Consultation activities are conducted in a parallel process. Once the Federal Review Panel is established:

  • The members of the Federal Review Panel and the members of the Crown Consultation operations team are not authorized to exchange information with each other, other than through the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry;
  • Indigenous peoples will be invited to participate in the two processes, which are conducted in parallel.

The Federal  Review Panel will prepare the Impact Assessment Report. The Crown Consultation operations team will prepare the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report. The decisions of the Governor-in-Council will be based on these two documents.

6.  Engagement and Consultation Approach

Table 4 provides a description of the main phases in the impact assessment process. It also provides an explanation as to how the Agency, on behalf of the federal Crown, proposes to engage and consult adequately with Indigenous peoples during each phase. The participation of Indigenous peoples in the Crown consultation activities will be supported by the Participant Funding Program. The table reflects the process for an impact assessment by Federal Review Panel. It describes the objectives of each phase, as well as engagement methods, including opportunities for Crown-Indigenous collaboration throughout the impact assessment process.

Before it was determined that an impact assessment was required, the Agency consulted with Indigenous peoples on the Initial Project Description and prepared the Summary of Issues. Subsequently, the Agency provided the Summary of Issues to the proponent for response, including the key issues identified by Indigenous peoples. The Agency sought comments from Indigenous peoples on the Draft Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines footnote 3, the Draft Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan (this document), the Draft Terms of Reference of the Integrated Review Panel and the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental Assessment and Impact Assessment Procedures for the Gazoduq Project.

The Indigenous peoples mentioned in Table 1 that wish to draw up a specific consultation plan are invited to express their interest to the Agency as soon as possible. This will help ensure that the plan can be prepared during the Impact Statement phase.

The plan may also be adjusted if COVID-19 is still a threat to public health when the Agency or the Federal Review Panel organizes participation opportunities for the project. For example, the Agency or the Federal Review Panel may decide that virtual sessions would be safer than in-person sessions. If a change in the process, timelines, tools or participation opportunities is required, the Agency or the Federal Review Panel will post a public notice on the Public Registry and will send an email to the distribution list to notify participants. 

7.  Provincial Engagement Approaches

At the provincial level, the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques du Québec (MELCC) sent the proponent a directive for preparing an environmental impact statement, in accordance with the Environment Quality Act (EQA). It is also expected that the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) will receive a public hearing mandate for the project.

Thus, to facilitate the coordination of participation activities (including public hearings), harmonize timelines and promote a more efficient use of resources, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have entered into the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental and Impact Assessment Procedures for the Gazoduq Project (the Agreement). For more information, see the Cooperation Plan for Impact Assessment of the Gazoduq Project.

For the purposes of the environmental and impact assessment procedures for the project, the constitutional duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous peoples is incumbent on the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada, respectively represented by the MELCC and the Agency. Whenever possible, the Agency and the MELCC will coordinate certain engagement and consultation activities. The Agency undertakes to inform the communities of the various activities related to the process, including around the decision support process and amendment or cancellation of the cooperation agreement.

8.  Proponent Engagement Approaches

During the Planning phase, Indigenous peoples identified the expectation that the proponent should maintain regular contact with Indigenous peoples as the project progresses, and continue to share project details and plans. For information on the proponent's future engagement activities with Indigenous peoples during the impact assessment process, please see the Project Description on the proponent's website: https://gazoduq.com/en/.

As described in the Tailored Impact Statement Guidlines, the proponent must collaborate with Indigenous peoples in completing its Impact Statement, and throughout the lifecycle of the project if it is approved. For the purposes of the Impact Statement the proponent must, among other things:

  • collect available Indigenous knowledge and expertise and integrate it into its Impact Statement, just as it integrates scientific knowledge;
  • share project information frequently and transparently with Indigenous peoples;
  • support the participation of Indigenous peoples in the completion of the Impact Statement, which could include funding studies conducted by Indigenous peoples who will have demonstrated interest in this regard;
  • cooperate with Indigenous peoples to identify preferred mitigation measures to eliminate, reduce, limit or offset the project's adverse effects on valued components and on their rights and interests, as well as to optimize the project's benefits for their communities; and
  • conduct a preliminary assessment of potential effects on the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples that cannot be mitigated. The proponent is not responsible for evaluating the severity of these effects, but is responsible for discussing them with the Indigenous peoples consulted about the project and giving Indigenous peoples the opportunity to draw their own preliminary conclusions in the Impact Statement, if they so choose, at this stage of the impact assessment process.

Practitioner's Guide to Federal Impact Assessments under the Impact Assessment Act,[4] available online, contains guidance documents regarding Indigenous participation and engagement. The proponent is expected to follow and refer to the guidance provided in this guide to consult Indigenous peoples adequately and to complete the impact statement.

If requested, prior to the appointment of the Federal Review Panel, the Agency can explore the option of organizing a series of meetings. These meetings would happen in coordination with the proponent and Indigenous peoples. The goal would be to discuss procedural and technical aspects associated with the assessment process. The outcomes of any such meetings would be documented and posted on the public Registry. For more information about the Agency's expectations of the proponent, please consult the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/document/135390?&culture=en-CA.

9.  Participant Funding

Any reference to participant funding in this section pertains only to funding offered by the Agency, and not to any financial arrangement that may exist between Indigenous peoples and the proponent.

During the Planning phase, funding was made available to Indigenous peoples potentially affected by the project. This funding aimed to support their ability to make comments on the Initial Project Description, the draft Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines, the draft Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, the Draft Terms of Reference of the Integrated Review Panel and the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental Assessment and Impact Assessment Procedures for the Gazoduq Project.

Funding was also offered by the Agency on May 15, 2020 to support the participation of Indigenous peoples throughout the impact assessment process. This funding has sought to support Indigenous peoples, particularly so they may:

  • present comments on the impact statement submitted by the proponent;
  • participate in the impact assessment conducted by the Federal Review Panel, and;
  • provide comments on the preliminary version of the report on consultation and accommodation prepared by the Agency
  • including for the summary of the consultations and the potential conditions to be imposed on the proponent.

The Agency acknowledges that the fact that Indigenous peoples accept funds to participate in the impact assessment process does not mean that they consent to the project or that they agree with the impact assessment process.

For information about the activities that are eligible for funding or to apply for funding, see the National Program Guidelines and application on the following page: https://www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency/services/public-participation/participant-funding-application-environmental-assessment.html.

10.  How to Submit Comments and Contact Information

Until the close of the record for the impact statement by the Federal Review Panel, comments can be submitted at any time during the project assessment. They can be submitted via the "submit a comment" feature on the project's Canadian Impact Assessment Registry page (Reference No. 80264 at https://www.aeic-iaac.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80264?&culture=fr-CA). Attachments can be uploaded using this function. If you have any difficulties with the submission process, please contact the Agency and, when the Integrated Review Panel is appointed, the Integrated Review Panel Secretariat. Contact information is available below. Comments may also be sent by email to iaac.gazoduq.aeic@canada.ca or by mail.

Comments and other documents received by the Agency or Federal Review Panel will form part of the Project File and will be posted on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry Internet site. Please note, comments and documents that are deemed confidential or subject to non-disclosure will not be posted on the Registry. The Agency's Submission Policy footnote 5 determines which submitted information can be shared publicly, and what should remain private. For further information on how we protect your privacy, please refer to the Privacy Notice. footnote 6 If you do not want your comment posted on the Registry, please contact the Agency or the Federal Review Panel Secretariat at the coordinates below prior to submitting the comments or submitting your document.

A summary of comments received throughout the impact assessment process will also be included in the Review Panel's Impact Assessment Report.

For any questions or additional information, contact the Crown Consultation Coordinators or the Agency's main office.

Impact Assessment Agency of Canada—Gazoduq Project

160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Telephone: 613-222-3507
Email: iaac.gazoduq.aeic@canada.ca

Jason Boisvert

Crown Consultation Coordinator
Telephone: 613-219-3220
Email: jason.boisvert@canada.ca

Luc Desroches

Crown Consultation Coordinator
Telephone: 506-878-1756
Email: luc.desroches@canada.ca

Mélanie Sanschagrin

Crown Consultation Coordinator
Telephone: 438-992-2930
Email: melanie.sanschagrin2@canada.ca

Table 4 — Indigenous Engagement Approaches and Activities

Notes: The following table complements Table 1 of the Public Participation Plan, which is also applicable to Indigenous peoples except where specified otherwise in this plan.

The "Timelines" column contains references to the minimum period allocated to complete each phase of the process as the legislated timelines in the Act and the dates stipulated in the draft Terms of Reference of the Integrated Review Panel. As the process advances and the precise dates will be known, they will be communicated to Indigenous peoples.

Objectives of the Phase Expected Activities Possibilities of Participation for Indigenous Peoples footnote 7 Engagement and Consultation Methods Timelines

Phase 1: Planning Phase

  • Communicate information on the project within appropriate periods, whenever possible.
  • Share information on the impact assessment process and participation possibilities, including the possibility of influencing the draft of the proponent's impact statement.
  • Start drafting individualized consultation plans specific to Indigenous groups or Nations, if applicable.
  • Produce a preliminary assessment of the information supporting the existence of Aboriginal or Treaty rights (i.e. the nature, scope and content of the rights). The assessment should include information on the way Indigenous peoples exercise these rights. It should also include a preliminary assessment of the potential adverse impacts of the designated project on these rights. This information will help guide the depth of the consultation process for each Indigenous group.
  • Obtain comments from participants on the planning phase documents, the Federal Review Panel's draft terms of reference, and the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental Assessment and Impact Assessment Procedures.
  • In September and October 2019, the Agency offered and held introductory meetings with a number of Indigenous peoples to present the impact assessment process and initiate dialogue.
  • On October 22, 2019, the Agency accepted the Initial Project Description.
  • From October 22 to November 22, 2019, the Agency sought comments on the Initial Project Description. Those comments were used to prepare the Summary of Issues.
  • On November 29, 2019, the Agency submitted the Summary of Issues to the proponent.
  • From January 30 to March 10, 2020, the Agency invited provide comments and draft versions of the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines and the Public Participation Plan.
  • From January 30 to March 13, 2020 (later extended to April  24, 2020), the Agency also sought comments from Indigenous peoples on the draft Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines and the Public Participation Plan. Those comments were used to finalize the documents published on July 17, 2020.
  • From February 11 to February 26, 2020, the Agency held interactive community sessions.
  • On April 14, 2020, the Agency extended the planning phase of the Gazoduq project by 90 days to encourage cooperation with the Government of Quebec.
  • On May 15, 2020 the Agency invited  comments on the Integrated Review Panel's draft Terms of Reference and the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental Assessment and Impact Assessment Procedures. Comments will be considered when the Agency prepares the final version of the Terms of Reference.
  • At the end of the Planning phase, the Agency posts the main documents on the Registry. This includes the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines, the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, the Public Participation Plan, the Cooperation Plan, and the Permitting Plan. Documents are in English and French.
  • Meeting with Indigenous peoples or community sessions in the communities that could be affected by the proposed project.
  • Comment period on the Initial Project Description, the draft Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines and the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan.
  • Meetings with representatives of Indigenous peoples, before the finalization of the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines.
  • Online comment period on the Federal Review Panel's draft Terms of Reference and the Canada-Quebec Cooperation Agreement on the Coordination of Environmental Assessment and Impact Assessment Procedures.
  • Possibility for each Indigenous group to review, and comment on, the Agency's preliminary assessment used to guide the depth of consultation processes.
  • In-person meetings
  • Community sessions
  • Conference calls
  • Email
  • Online comments
  • Funding

√ Phase completed on July 17, 2020 with the posting of the notice of commencement of the impact assessment and related documents.

Phase 2: Impact Statement Phase

  • Identify, encourage and implement opportunities to cooperate (e.g. studies conducted by Indigenous peoples).
  • Continue the drafting of the individualized consultation plans specific to Indigenous groups or Nations, if applicable.
  • Communicate information on the project, within appropriate periods and whenever possible.
  • Engage, or consult in advance, with Indigenous peoples potentially affected by the issues, and seek information that is important to them.
  • Determine the project's potential impacts on the exercise of Indigenous rights, recognized by section 35.
  • Specify the proponent's commitments and the proposed mitigation and accommodation measures that could respond to Indigenous peoples' concerns regarding the project's potential adverse impacts on their rights. If applicable, propose additional measures.
  • Obtain Indigenous' peoples opinion on whether the impact statement presented by the proponent meets the requirements set out in the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines, and whether the information provided is sufficient to proceed with the impact assessment and the public hearings.
  • Share information on the Federal Review Panel's process, including the Panel's Terms of Reference and the conditions of participation in the public hearings. This is in preparation of the Impact Assessment phase.
  • The Agency cooperates with Indigenous peoples to implement the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan.
  • The Agency cooperates with Indigenous peoples to draft and implement individualized consultation plans specific to an Indigenous group or Nation, if applicable. This includes working together to determine partnership approaches.
  • The Agency maintains a dialogue with the holders of the rights recognized by section 35 concerning the design and information for an assessment of the potential impacts on these rights.
  • The Agency manages participant funding with eligible Indigenous peoples to support their participation in the impact assessment process.
  • The Agency sends an email or a letter concerning updates on the process, including information presented in clear language. It also adds links to the main documents on the Registry.
  • The Agency sends correspondence detailing how Indigenous people's comments—about the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines and the draft version of the Federal Review Panel's Terms of Reference—have been taken into consideration.
  • The Agency shares information or offers Indigenous peoples training on the impact assessment process.
  • The Agency requires the proponent to provide accessible information documents to support Indigenous peoples' participation.
  • The Agency requires the proponent to present information on the project and the results of its studies and informs Indigenous peoples about technical issues.
  • The Agency requires the proponent to work with Indigenous peoples so they can collect and present Indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge is to be considered on the same basis as scientific knowledge during the preparation of the impact statement.
  • The Agency requires the proponent to cooperate with Indigenous peoples on the assessment of the potential positive and adverse effects (direct and incidental) and the mitigation and monitoring measures, in view of the preparation of the impact statement.
  • The Agency works with Indigenous peoples to deploy partnership-based approaches, if applicable, regarding the review of the proponent's impact statement.
  • The Agency provides Indigenous peoples with information on the protection of confidential information.
  • The final version of the Federal Review Panel's Terms of Reference is posted on the Public Registry.
  • Once it is received, the impact statement is posted on the Public Registry. The Federal Review Panel will also be formed at that time.
  • The Agency will inform Indigenous peoples about the appointment of members to the Federal Review Panel.
  • The Federal Review Panel conducts a comment period on the impact statement. The comments help the Panel determine if the information about the assessment of the project is sufficient to proceed with the impact assessment and public hearings. Indigenous peoples can share their opinions on the effects of the project, and any necessary mitigation measures and monitoring program.
  • If applicable, the Agency or the Panel send the proponent requests for additional information.
  • The Agency posts the main documents on the Registry website: the summary of the proponent's impact statement (in English and French), the impact assessment and the appendices (in French).
  • At the end of the Impact Statement phase, the Agency communicates all the necessary updates to Indigenous peoples. This includes updates concerning the implementation of the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, any individualized consultation plan, the integration of Indigenous knowledge, and any necessary update about the Crown's preliminary assessment of the potential adverse  impacts on Aboriginal or Treaty rights (according to the information collected during the Impact Statement phase).
  • Indigenous peoples present additional comments on the partnership possibilities and the ways they wish to participate in the assessment process. This informs the drafting, and implementation of, individualized consultation plans specific to their group or Nation.
  • Indigenous peoples express their views on the consultation process to the Agency.
  • Indigenous peoples submit comments. These include comments related to Indigenous knowledge, if applicable, so that the proponent can consider Indigenous knowledge when drafting the impact statement.
  • Indigenous peoples collaborate with the proponent to collect relevant information about the project's potential positive and adverse effects (direct and incidental), as well as the mitigation and monitoring measures. They may also wish to draft certain sections of the impact statement jointly.
  • Indigenous peoples share their points of view on the project's potential impacts on their rights recognized by section 35.
  • Indigenous peoples collaborate with the Agency to produce a preliminary assessment of the project's potential impacts on their rights and determine the potential mitigation and accommodation measures.
  • o  Indigenous peoples submit opinions or comments on the proponent's impact statement to the Federal Review Panel. This includes their reflections on whether or not the statement has information deficiencies, and suggestions for how to compensate for them.
  • In-person meetings
  • Conference calls
  • Community meetings
  • Email
  • Online comments
  • Funding
  • Drafts of the individualized consultation plans specific to Indigenous groups or Nations are developed. This happens after the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan is finalized.
  • Conference calls or meetings between Indigenous peoples and the Agency will be offered within 30 days after the sharing of the draft versions of the individualized consultation plans specific to Indigenous groups or Nations, if applicable.
  • Once the impact statement is submitted, a collaborative approach is implemented. It includes the Agency, the federal authorities and Indigenous peoples. The goal is to review the proponent's impact statement, in view of the need to formulate comments for the Federal Review Panel. The collaboration is also for gathering information on the project's potential impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • Capacity development activities, including community meetings and conference calls, can be held at any time during the Impact Statement phase and through the Impact Assessment phase.
  • Continuous posting on the Registry of the documents relevant to the impact assessment and the comments received.
  • The "Submit a comment" function of the Registry is accessible throughout the impact assessment process.
  • The Federal Review Panel holds a comment period on the impact statement of at least 60 days. This begins when the Agency notifies the Federal Review Panel that the impact statement is ready for its review.
  • The Impact Statement phase will be completed in 180 days or less following the receipt of the Impact Assessment up to the notice that the Agency is satisfied that the Impact Statement contains the required information or studies, excluding any period the proponent takes to respond to questions or provide additional information or surveys requested.
  • Communications with the proponent are ongoing throughout the impact statement phase.
  • If the Federal Review Panel requests additional information from the proponent, there may be conference calls between the Agency and Indigenous peoples. This would take place during the month following the receipt of the proponent's answers.

Phase 3: Impact assessment conducted by the Federal Review Panel

Part 1— Immediately after the Agency issues the notice saying it is satisfied that the proponent has submitted all necessary information and studies

  • Share information on the impact assessment process and participation possibilities, including the procedures for participating in the public hearing.
  • Communicate updates on consultation procedures, if any, within appropriate periods.
  • Update the individualized consultation plans specific to an Indigenous group or Nation, if applicable.
  • Participation of Indigenous peoples, the Agency and the federal authorities in the public hearings.
  • Obtain Indigenous people's opinion on the draft version of the potential conditions.
  • Submit to the Federal Review Panel the preliminary conclusions of the assessment of the project's potential impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • The Agency collaborates with Indigenous peoples to implement the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, as well as individualized consultation plans, if applicable.
  • Posting of a participation guide for public hearing sessions by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement du Québec (BAPE) and the Federal Review Panel.
  • A pre-hearing information period will be offered by the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel. The purpose is to explain to participants how the joint public hearing sessions will work, the participation procedures, and the timelines.
  • The BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel will hold two-part public hearings in the communities most likely to be affected by the proposed project (dates and locations to be determined).
  • n  The first part of the public hearing will include technical sessions in which registered participants, including holders of Indigenous traditional knowledge who wish to take part, will be able to present their analyses and opinions on a specific topic. Other participants, including the proponent, will have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • n  In the second part of the hearing, participants will have an opportunity to present their opinions on the project. For these sessions, only the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel will be permitted to ask questions.
  • The Agency encourages Indigenous peoples to present their point of view, their concerns and their analyses directly to the Federal Review Panel.
  • The BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel may hold additional public hearings or provide additional participation possibilities, as required, to fulfil their respective mandates.
  • Comment period on the draft potential conditions led by the Federal Review Panel.
  • When the hearings are over and the record is closed, the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel will prepare their respective reports. The Federal Review Panel's report will contain its rationale, conclusions and recommendations, including recommendations on conditions.
  • The Agency cooperates with Indigenous groups and Nations to implement the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, and the individualized consultation plans, if applicable.
  • The Agency manages participant funding for eligible Indigenous peoples to support their participation in this phase, including for the public hearing.
  • The Agency relies on the public hearing, to complement the ongoing dialogue with the holders of the rights recognized by section 35, to continue the assessment of the potential impacts on these rights.
  • The Agency continues to cooperate with Indigenous peoples on the preliminary assessment of the potential impacts on rights, in view of the need to write the draft version of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • Indigenous peoples inform the Agency of their degree of satisfaction regarding the consultation process to date.
  • Indigenous peoples submit comments to the Federal Review Panel on the project's effects. These can include comments on the project's potential impacts on Indigenous peoples and their rights recognized by section 35, the way Indigenous knowledge was integrated, and the proposed mitigation or accommodation measures.
  • The communities potentially affected may ask the Federal Review Panel to hold a public hearing session directly in their communities. The final location of the public hearing sessions will be at the discretion of the Federal Review Panel and the BAPE Panel.
  • The Indigenous peoples participate in the public hearing process of the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel.
  • Activities defined in the Federal Review Panel's Terms of Reference and in the procedures that will be issued by the BAPE Panel
  • Presentation of information directly to the Federal Review Panel, in the form of technical opinions, briefs and oral presentations
  • In-person meetings
  • Conference calls
  • Community meetings
  • Email
  • Feedback period on the draft version of the potential conditions
  • Funding
  • The public information period will be at least 30 days and will be announced 30 days before it begins.
  • Participation timelines, dates, locations and duration of the public hearings will be determined by the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel. Moreover, they will be announced in the Notice of Public Hearing at least 45 days prior to the start of the public hearings.
  • The participants' comments will be accepted continuously during the Impact Assessment phase until the record is closed by the Federal Review Panel.
  • The comment period on the draft version of the potential conditions will be at least 30 days. The Federal Review Panel will determine the starting date.
  • Meetings by conference call conducted by the Agency regarding the preparation of submissions and presentations to the BAPE Panel and the Federal Review Panel, within 30 to 45 days after the posting of the Agency's notice announcing that the proponent's impact statement is completed.

Phase 3: Impact assessment conducted by the Agency

Part 2 – Following the submission of the Federal Review Panel's impact assessment report and potential conditions

  • Review the information contained in the Federal Review Panel's report regarding the project's potential impacts on Indigenous peoples. Consider impacts on the environment, health, social and economic conditions, and the rights recognized by section 35.
  • Consultation on the Federal Review Panel's impact assessment report, including the assessment of potential impact on rights and the unresolved issues.
  • Consultation on the conditions added or amended, if applicable, and determine the additional mitigation or accommodation measures under the Crown's authority, if applicable.
  • Update individualized consultation plans specific to an Indigenous group or Nation, if applicable.
  • Rapidly communicate information on the project, whenever possible.
  • Consultation on the draft version of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • Finalize the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • The Agency collaborates with Indigenous peoples to implement the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, as well as individualized consultation plans, if applicable.
  • The Agency manages participant funding for eligible Indigenous peoples to support their participation in the phase following the hearings.
  • The Agency sends an email or a letter with updates on the process and materials to be distributed. Materials are in clear language and include links to the main documents on the Registry.
  • The Agency posts the main documents on the Registry in French and English.
  • The Agency consults Indigenous peoples about the Federal Review Panel's report.
  • The Agency consults Indigenous peoples on any additional recommended potential conditions that may be required for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change's impact assessment Decision Statement and the Canada Energy Regulator's (CER) potential certificate that were not included in the Federal Review Panel Report.
  • The Agency consults with Indigenous peoples on any proposals for potential complementary measures or other accommodation measures in respect of potential adverse impacts on the exercise of Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights.
  • The Agency maintains a dialogue with the holders of the rights recognized by section 35 concerning the assessment of the potential impacts on these rights articulated in the Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • The Agency cooperates with Indigenous peoples on the draft version of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • Using the draft Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report as the primary vehicle, the Agency will communicate any required updates related to the implementation of the Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, individualized consultation plans, and the Crown's detailed assessment of potential adverse impacts on the exercise of Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights (based on information gathered during the Impact Assessment phase).
  • Indigenous peoples present their comments on the Federal Review Panel's impact assessment report.
  • Indigenous peoples participate in meetings with the Agency to raise potentially unresolved questions and any proposals that address these unresolved questions.
  • Indigenous peoples participate in meetings with the Agency and present their comments on the draft version of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • Online comment period on added or modified conditions, if applicable.
  • Opportunity to have comments on the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report responded to in advance of the finalized report.
  • Indigenous peoples present their points of view to the Agency concerning the adequacy of the consultation throughout the impact assessment process. The assessment of the adequacy of the consultation will be integrated into the Final Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
  • The Agency invites Indigenous peoples to provide a short (2-page) summary of their fundamental views on the project, the consultation process, and the proposed accommodation measures to address impacts and concerns. This would be included in briefing materials to Governor-in-Council.
  • The Agency will reflect the views of Indigenous peoples in the Crown Consultation and Accommodation report. Nonetheless, Indigenous peoples can also elect to prepare their own independent submissions to be presented directly to the Minister and/or Governor-in-Council to help inform federal decision-making in respect of the designated project.
  • Community meetings
  • Conference calls
  • In-person meetings
  • Email
  • Exchanges on the Federal Review Panel's impact assessment report
  • Exchanges on the conclusions of the analysis of potential impacts on rights
  • Comments or collaboration for drafting certain sections of the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report, including the assessment of the adequacy of the consultation, in order to inform decision-making
  • Funding
  • If conditions are added to the conditions proposed by the Federal Review Panel, or if conditions are modified, the public comment period would be 20 days.
  • Meeting and conference calls on the Federal Review Panel's impact assessment report and on the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report, within 30 to 60 days after publication of the Federal Review Panel's report.
  • The Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report must be finalized within 60 days after publication of the Federal Review Panel's report.

 

Phase 4: Decision-making

  • Present the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report to the Minister of the Environment and Climate (the Minister) Change that includes views of Indigenous peoples.
  • Present independent submissions from Indigenous peoples directly to the Minister and/or Governor-in-Council, if applicable.
  • Answer the unresolved questions.
  • Send the Decision Statement to the potentially affected Indigenous peoples.
  • The Agency submits the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report to the Minister, and reflects the views of Indigenous peoples in this report.
  • Indigenous peoples can also elect to submit their own independent submissions directly to the Minister and/or Governor-in-Council to help inform federal decision-making in respect of the designated project
  • The Agency sends an email or a letter with process updates
  • Materials are distributed in clear language and include links to the main documents on the Registry.
  • As required, the Agency will continue to consult Indigenous peoples on the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report, any additional recommended potential conditions, proposals for potential complementary measures or other accommodation in respect of potential impacts on the exercise of Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights.
  • The Agency answers the outstanding issues before reporting the decision to the Governor-in-Council.
  • The Agency posts the Minister's Decision Statement on the public Registry, as well as information about if the adverse effects of the project under federal jurisdiction and the direct or incidental adverse effects are in the public interest. The Decision Statement will include reasons concerning the determination of the public interest and all enforceable conditions with which the proponent must comply.
  • The Agency offers interested Indigenous peoples the opportunity to learn about the phases that will follow the decision regarding the impact assessment.
  • Ongoing dialogue with the Agency about the assessment of the potential adverse impacts on rights, if applicable.
  • Ongoing dialogue with the Agency about the possible accommodation options, if applicable.
  • Letters
  • Conference calls, if applicable
  • In-person meetings, if applicable
  • Funding, if applicable
  • The public notice announcing the Decision Statement will be published within 90 days after the posting of the Agency's recommendation on the potential conditions.
  • Within 30 days after the Decision Statement is posted, there will be an opportunity to hold a teleconference between the Agency and Indigenous peoples to discuss the decision and related documents. Conference calls may also be held, at Indigenous people's request
  • The consultations continue during the decision-making phase, to discuss additional accommodation measures, if applicable.

Phase 5: Post-decision

If the project is approved

  • Transfer of the Federal Crown consultation coordination responsibilities from the Agency to the CER.
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements (e.g. Certificate conditions, the CER Onshore Pipeline Regulations).

 

  • The Crown record for the integrated assessment is transferred from the Agency to the CER.
  • The CER coordinates any Crown consultation responsibilities of other Federal departments.
  • The CER executes its Crown consultation responsibilities that may be required during the construction, operations and eventual decommissioning and/or abandonment phases of the project.
  • The CER verifies compliance (e.g. inspections, audits).
  • The CER prevents or corrects any non-compliance.
  • In addition to any Crown consultation responsibilities that could arise during the phases of the project, the CER will continue to engage with Indigenous communities as part of its lifecycle oversight role and in support of building meaningful relationships. This includes sharing information transparently and addressing concerns related to the project.
  • Depending on the nature of the engagement and consultation, a range of methods is available.
  • The CER has regulatory oversight for the lifecycle of the project.
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