Participant Funding Program–Regular Funding Envelope
Funding Review Committee's Report

Allocation of Federal Funds for the Environmental Assessment of the Harper Creek Mine Project

The Participant Funding Program (PFP) is established pursuant to subsection 58(1.1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which states: "For the purposes of this Act, the Minister shall establish a participant funding program to facilitate the participation of the public in comprehensive studies, mediations and assessments by review panels".

A Funding Review Committee (FRC), independent of the environmental assessment (EA), was established for the Harper Creek Mine Project (the Project), which is being conducted by means of a comprehensive study (CS). Its purpose was to assess applications received under the PFP – Regular Funding Envelope (RFE) for the Project, and to provide recommendations to the President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) on whether funding should be provided, and if so, in what amount.

On April 28, 2011, a total of $50,000 was made available under the RFE for the EA of the Project to support public participation in the EA, including:

  • Attend community-specific meetings (e.g. open houses);
  • Review and comment on the Application/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by Yellowhead Mining Incorporated (the proponent); and
  • Review and comment on the Comprehensive Study Report (CSR) prepared by the Agency.

The deadline to submit an application was May 30, 2011. Two applications were received for a total funding request of $43,221.85.

On June 9, 2011, the FRC met to review these two applications. The FRC members were Mr. Paul Scott, retired Regional Director of the Agency's Pacific and Yukon office, acting as Committee Chairperson; Mr. Ray Crook and Mr. Patrick Duxbury, Environmental Assessment Consultants.


The proponent is proposing to construct and operate a copper-gold-silver mine with an anticipated production rate of 70,000 tonnes of ore per day (25 million tonnes per year) over an 18 to 24-year life span. The Project is located adjacent to the North Thompson River, approximately 150 kilometres northwest of Kamloops, British Columbia (BC).

The Agency accepted the project description for the Project on January 14, 2011. In consultation with interested federal authorities, the Agency has determined that the Project would be subject to a federal EA pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The federal EA of the Project is subject to a CS as per Part V, Section 16 (a) of the Comprehensive Study List Regulations:

  • the proposed construction, decommissioning or abandonment of a metal mine, other than a gold mine, with an ore production capacity of 3,000 tonnes per day or more.

The potential trigger for the EA of the proposed Project is an authorization under subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act. Therefore, Fisheries and Oceans Canada may participate as a responsible authority. Additionally, the Canadian Transportation Agency, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada and Environment Canada may participate as federal authorities.

An initial public comment period on a background document describing the proposed Project and the CS process commenced on April 28, 2011, immediately following the posting of the Notice of Commencement. An opportunity to participate in the conduct of the CS will be offered to the public during the review of the Application/EIS submitted by the proponent (anticipated in September 2011). A public comment period will be held on the CSR prepared by the Agency and submitted to the Minister of the Environment (anticipated in March 2012).

The Project has also been identified as a major resource project by the Major Projects Management Office. The proposed Project is also subject to a provincial EA pursuant to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act. The federal and provincial EAs will be coordinated and conducted in a cooperative manner.


Under the PFPRFE, funding may be provided to applicants to support their input to an EA conducted by the federal government under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. These activities must be linked to the EA of a proposed project through a CS, mediation or review panel.

Eligible recipients must plan to engage in activities linked to the EA of the proposed Project and be able to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have a direct, local interest in the Project, such as living or owning property in the Project area;
  • Have community knowledge or Aboriginal traditional knowledge relevant to the EA; or
  • Have expert information relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the Project.

The applications received were deemed to have met at least one of these criteria; therefore, both of the applicants were found to be eligible for funding.

Under the PFPRFE, applicants can request funding for expenditures related to:

  • professional fees;
  • staff salaries and benefits;
  • local collection and/or distribution of information;
  • travel expenses;
  • honoraria for Elders and Chiefs to attend meetings and functions;
  • ceremonial offerings related to receiving traditional knowledge in relation to the EA;
  • rental of office space and meeting rooms;
  • office supplies and telephone charges;
  • administrative and reporting costs;
  • legal fees;
  • purchase of relevant information material, with supporting documentation;
  • general media advertising and/or promotion; and
  • other detailed expenses.

Rationale for Allocation

In reviewing the two applications and in reaching its conclusions and recommendations, the FRC took into consideration a number of factors including the following:

  • The ability of applicants to demonstrate that they had met one or more of the eligibility criteria listed above;
  • The quality, clarity and content of the application and the applicant's proposed EA participation work plan; and
  • The eligible activities under the PFPRFE for the Project, which include attending community-specific meetings (e.g. open houses), and reviewing and commenting on both the Application/EIS and the CSR.


The FRC recommends allocating a total of $20,110.85 to the two applicants as follows:

  • $16,540.00 to MiningWatch Canada; and
  • $3,570.85 to Mr. Trevor Goward.

The Participant Funding Review Committee
Harper Creek Mine Project

Regular Funding Envelope

Paul Scott, Committee Chairperson, Retired Regional Director of the Agency's Pacific and Yukon Office

Ray Crook, Environmental Assessment Consultant

Patrick Duxbury, Environmental Assessment Consultant

Recommended Participant Funding Allocations
Harper Creek Mine Project

Regular Funding Envelope

Applicant Total Allocation Amount Recommended
MiningWatch Canada $16,540.00
Mr. Trevor Goward $3,570.85
Total $20,110.85

Document Reference Number: 5

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