Horizontal Initiative & Major Projects Management Office Initiative

Name of lead department(s): Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

Lead department program: Investment in Natural Resource Sectors

Start date of the Horizontal Initiative: April 1, 2012

End date of the Horizontal Initiative: March 31, 2015

Total federal funding allocation (start to end date): $81 million

Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement): Budget 2012 provided $81 million over three years to renew funding for the Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) Initiative. The MPMO Initiative is an inter-departmental initiative across 12 federal departments and agencies established in 2007 to enable efficient and effective regulatory reviews of major resource projects and to advance government-wide efforts to modernize the regulatory system for major resource projects. Major resource projects are an important driver of job creation and long-term economic growth; it is estimated that hundreds of major projects representing approximately $650 billion of potential new investments in communities across Canada could occur over the next 10 years. More than 70 proposed major resource projects accounting for over $200 billion of potential investments are currently undergoing federal regulatory reviews that are managed under the Initiative.

The MPMO Initiative supports the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development, which was launched in 2012 to support government-wide efforts to improve the performance of the federal regulatory system for major natural resource projects. Under the Responsible Resource Development plan, federal regulatory departments and agencies are working collaboratively to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental assessment, regulatory permitting and Aboriginal consultation processes related to the review of major resource projects. The aim is to create a favourable business climate needed to unlock potential investment in major projects while also protecting the safety of Canadians and strengthening environmental protection.

Shared outcomes: Key outcomes from this initiative include:

  • A more accountable, predictable and transparent regulatory review process with reduced regulatory burden to facilitate investment and planning decisions and improve the competitiveness of Canada's resource industries;
  • Reduced duplication across federal departments and across jurisdictions;
  • High-quality assessments of the environmental and social effects of resource development so that federal decisions in relation to projects safeguard the environment; and
  • The fulfillment of Aboriginal consultation responsibilities in a more consistent and meaningful manner.

Governance structures: The Cabinet Directive on Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Resource Projects establishes the governance framework for federal government departments and agencies to facilitate the effective, coordinated and concurrent discharge of their statutory duties, functions and obligations related to the regulation of major resource projects. It encourages federal departments and agencies to work together to identify areas where the consistency, efficiency and effectiveness of the federal regulatory system can be improved and to develop and implement system-wide improvements. These activities are intended to improve the accountability, transparency, timeliness and predictability of the federal regulatory system for major resource projects.

The Minister of Natural Resources is the lead minister for the MPMO Initiative. In collaboration with his counterparts in other regulatory departments, the Minister of Natural Resources reports regularly to Cabinet on progress towards achieving the objectives of the Initiative, and will report to Parliament and the public through NRCan’s annual reporting process.

A Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee serves as the governance body for the implementation of the Initiative. This Committee provides direction for the resolution of project and policy-related issues and oversees the application of the Cabinet Directive. Membership on this committee includes the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources (Chair), the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Deputy Minister of the Environment, the Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Associate Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, the Associate Deputy Minister of Justice, the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) of the Privy Council Office, the President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and the Chair of the National Energy Board.

The MPMO provides overarching management and coordination of the federal regulatory system for major resource projects. It also provides support to the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee, through the provision of strategic policy advice, analysis and other information.

To ensure effective communication with federal regulatory departments and agencies on key issues and to facilitate collaboration and cooperation, interdepartmental working groups have been established at the Assistant Deputy Minister, Director General and working levels.

Federal partners Federal partner program Names of programs for federal partners Total allocation
($)
2012–13
($)
Planned spending Actual spending Expected results Results achieved
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Investment in Natural Resource Sectors Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) $12,600,000 $4,200,000 $4,429,926

1. Lead the development and implementation of system-wide legislative, regulatory and policy improvements to deliver predictable and timely project reviews, reduce regulatory burden, improve environmental protection and provide for more meaningful Aboriginal consultation.

1. In 2012-13, the MPMO worked closely with partner departments and agencies to advance fundamental improvements to the regulatory system for major resource projects through the development and implementation of the Government's plan for Responsible Resource Development, a key component of the Government's Economic Action Plan 2012. Key elements of this plan, including changes to seven pieces of legislation relating to major projects, were brought into force as part of Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act on July 6, 2012. The plan will deliver on four key objectives: making the review process for major projects more predictable and timely, reducing duplication in the review process, strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples. The changes–including related legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives (e.g., Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations for pipeline operators, review timelines regulations, guidance documents, etc.)–are now being implemented.

2. Ensure the effective management and oversight of over 70 major resource project reviews through the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee, development of Project Agreements, and regular tracking and reporting on progress to meet a 2-year average target timeline for project reviews.

2. At the end of 2012-13, the MPMO was overseeing the federal regulatory review process for 74 major natural resource projects, representing over $200 billion in potential new capital investment in communities across Canada. NRCan chaired monthly meetings of the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and supporting Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General Committees to successfully transition to the new regulatory regime as well as ensure timely resolution of project-related issues, and to advance new policies, procedures and analysis to further improve the performance of the federal regulatory system for major resource projects.

The average review time for project reviews completed in 2012-13 was 18 months.

The MPMO maintained a robust performance management system to ensure project reviews meet new legislated timelines. This includes:

  • Project Agreements signed by federal Deputy Heads that contain milestones and target timelines for each project review;
  • Publicly tracking/monitoring milestones through the MPMO Tracker website; and
  • Monthly reporting to Deputy Heads to ensure issues are effectively managed.

3. Lead the development and implementation of a consistent, whole of government approach to Aboriginal consultation.

3. The MPMO led the development of the government's plan for Responsible Resource Development, which introduced a number of new measures to enhance Aboriginal consultation, including:

  • Integrating Aboriginal consultation into the project review process, to ensure that potential project impacts to Aboriginal and treaty rights are effectively considered;
  • Designating a lead department or agency to coordinate consultations for each project review to coordinate the process and build stronger relationships with Aboriginal groups;
  • Providing additional funding of $13.6 million over two years to support Aboriginal consultations on projects; and
  • Developing consultation MOUs and protocols with provinces and Aboriginal groups to align processes and clarify expectations.

As part of its commitment to promoting Aboriginal economic development, on March 19, 2013, the Government of Canada announced the appointment of Mr. Douglas Eyford as Canada's Special Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure. The Special Federal Representative will explore opportunities for greater Aboriginal participation in the development of proposed west coast energy infrastructure.

4. Engage with partners to improve the alignment of federal and provincial regulatory review processes for major resource projects and to strengthen northern regulatory regimes.

4. The federal-provincial-territorial Assistant Deputy Ministers' Regulatory Reform Working Group (RRWG), co-chaired by the MPMO, delivered on key commitments made through the 2012 annual Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference. In jurisdictions across Canada, the RRWG is overseeing the implementation of Early Warning Systems to proactively manage risks, Aboriginal consultation coordination mechanisms to ensure governments are better able to meet their obligations in a timely manner, inter-governmental agreements to reduce duplication, and environmental assessment and regulatory process maps to identify opportunities for improved alignment. The group applied these and other alignment tools to four pilot projects.

To strengthen northern regulatory regimes, the MPMO supported Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in the development of a suite of policy proposals to align policy approaches both North and South of the 60th parallel. The MPMO also supported the Northern Projects Management Office to improve the consistency of project management approaches both North and South of 60.

The MPMO chaired bilateral discussions with several provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, to advance efforts to better align federal and provincial review processes to ensure a modern and effective regulatory system.

5. Engage with industry, provinces, Aboriginal groups and ENGOs to build awareness of improvements underway and gain an understanding of continuing issues. 5. The MPMO has been working with other government departments and agencies, stakeholders and Aboriginal groups to identify and manage issues pertaining to the implementation of Responsible Resource Development and federal regulatory responsibilities for major resource projects. This included supporting numerous Ministerial speeches, stakeholder engagement sessions, and a national advertising campaign.
TOTAL NRCan 12,600,000 4,200,000 4,429,926

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) 4.3
Northern Land Resources and Environmental Management
4.3.5
Environmental Management
1,955,853 651,951 508,431

Meet AANDC's legislative responsibilities and obligations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEEA 2012); ensure fulfillment of AANDC's legal duty to consult including departmental participation in comprehensive studies, panels, and multi-jurisdictional screenings for projects on reserve and off reserve where there may be impacts to Aboriginal rights and title or implications on federal land obligations.

Northern Affairs Organization (NAO)1 coordinated MPMO/NPMO Governance responsibilities for AANDC by supporting policy and legislative initiatives undertaken by other federal regulatory departments, which included participation and/or support for senior management meetings in 2012-13 (Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General meetings).

Support policy and legislative initiatives undertaken by other federal regulatory departments to modernize the regulatory system for major projects and provide expert advice on the impact of such changes in the North and in areas with modern land claims agreements; support and participate in bilateral and multilateral discussions with provinces on the implementation of regulatory and policy initiatives; and support the MPMO Initiative horizontal governance structure in preparation for policy discussions.

AANDC provided expert advice on the impact of policy and legislative changes on the North, including in areas with modern land claims, and participated in and provided technical input to environmental assessments, and contributed to Crown consultation assessment and planning.

AANDC worked with NPMO and the Consultation and Accommodation Unit on project issue files regarding Responsible Resource Development, Section 35 and legislative changes to regulatory matters.

Provide training and guidance to implement Canada's whole-of-government approach to Aboriginal consultation; lead the negotiation of consultation arrangements and protocols on behalf of Canada with Aboriginal groups and the development of Memoranda of Understanding with provinces and territories, and provide policy advice and advisory services to other federal departments on Aboriginal consultation.

AANDC collaborated with other federal departments by providing input into the development of NPMO's Memorandum of Understanding. AANDC approved two northern Project Agreements and expects to approve two others.

AANDC conducted information sessions on Major Projects north of 60 for improvement to the northern environmental assessment and regulatory regimes.

3.2 Federal Administration of Reserve Land 3.2.4
Environmental Management – 3.2.4.2 Environmental Sustainability
2,646,573 882,191 882,191

Enhance the capacity of AANDC regional and headquarters offices to enable them to better meet their environmental assessment, Aboriginal consultation and regulatory responsibilities.

Provide funding support to First Nations communities to build capacity to better equip them to coordinate and to participate in major resource development projects.

Improve the transparency and accountability of the federal regulatory review process through increased oversight and regular monitoring, tracking and reporting on progress against commitments in Project Agreements.

Provide Aboriginal consultation information services and support to the Major Projects Management Office and all other federal partners, and support the implementation of Canada's Responsible Resource Development initiative and legislative changes.

AANDC enhanced the capacity of its regional offices, which enabled them to meet their environmental assessment, Aboriginal consultation and regulatory responsibilities on MPMO project files.

AANDC held a two-day Environmental Learning Regime workshop for Tribal Councils and unaffiliated First Nations in February 2013, providing updates on the recent legislative changes in Bills C-38 and C-45.

AANDC's Lands and Environmental Management Branch (LEMB), as AANDC's Responsible Authority for the Northern Gateway Project and pursuant to the Project Agreement, met the established timelines and service standards.

AANDC headquarters and regional staff participated, along with the Northern Gateway Project (NGP) Technical Working Group and Aboriginal Advisors Working Group (AAWG) in the preparation of Information Requests and responses, supported the AAWG and Director General NGP Working Group on several NGP matters related to process and Aboriginal issues for the tracking sheets, reviewed and prepared witness preparation materials, testified at the hearing to support questions pertaining to on-reserve lands, British Columbia treaty process and emergency planning. An AANDC staff member works directly at the Strategic Project Secretariat on the NGP file.

AANDC and Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia regions were directly and indirectly involved in supporting working groups, federal Crown coordination and participation in project reviews: Ring of Fire, Jackpine, Robb Trend Coal Mine, TECK Frontier, and Site C, and other major projects across Canada. This includes a vast array of project-specific activities ranging from meetings to ongoing document review of materials stemming from the environment and regulatory review process for each project, and input to correspondence prepared by the Crown Consultation Coordinator for MPMO projects. Alberta region and headquarters staff provided input regarding federal roles and responsibilities related to the recommendations proposed by Aboriginal groups to the Joint Review Panel for Jackpine.

Non project-specific activities included meetings and ongoing collaborationwith the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency regarding AANDC's role and responsibilities for environmental and land management on reserve, and participation in AANDC's intra-departmental oil sands working group.

AANDC's Alberta Region supported monitoring of federal Crown coordination efforts related to legal challenges by Aboriginal groups to MPMO projects for Jackpine and NGP.

Land and Economic Development Regional Environmental Operations and headquarters staff worked with the Consultation and Accommodation Unit on project files to support project and issues management.

Through its Alberta Region, AANDC worked with NRCan's Task Force on Energy Security, Prosperity and Sustainability in gathering information on oil sands projects and federal activities, coordinating briefing materials for the Minister of AANDC, providing input to federal oil sands fact sheet and messaging on oil sands, and organizing semi-annual teleconferences to share updates.

AANDC supported the development of briefing notes on the Northern Gateway Project for regional senior management and developed project management tracking and monitoring tools within the Alberta Region.

The Land and Economic Development Sectors are the lead on implementation of Responsible Resource Development for AANDC and are finalizing its Environmental Management Approach with policy and procedure tools to ensure CEAA, 2012 and other Responsible Resource Development legislative changes are addressed on regulatory matters.

AANDC headquarters and regions contributed staffing resources and AANDC newly developed policies and procedures to assist the Director General Federal Lands Working Group in developing a national framework for conducting CEAA 2012, Section 67 determinations.

1.2
Co-operative Relationships
1.2.4
Consultation and Engagement
797,577 265,859 265,859

Implement enhanced Aboriginal consultation under Responsible Resource Development

AANDC improved Aboriginal consultation through:

  • Information services to disseminate and share information on Aboriginal treaty rights;
  • Training for federal officials on meeting the Crown's consultations and accommodation responsibilities; and
  • MOUs with provinces (e.g., Nova Scotia, Alberta and BC) and protocols with Aboriginal groups to align consultation processes and clarify expectations.
TOTAL AANDC 5,400,000 1,800,000 1,656,481

Transport Canada (TC)

Stewardship and Sustainable Transportation Programs

Environmental Assessment Program2

4,039,233 1,346,411 1,704,759

Participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO where there are impacts for transportation

TC participated in various governance mechanisms established for the MPMO Initiative, which assist the Director General, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Deputy Minister Committees.

Participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that involve transportation required to operationalize the MPMO office

Headquarters and regional TC staff participated in interdepartmental working groups to assist with the creation and approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems required to operationalize the MPMO Initiative.

Work on departmental processes to ensure MPMO processes are applied in an efficient manner internally

TC has established a national MPMO working group to ensure that MPMO processes are applied internally in an efficient manner and that advice to the Associate Deputy Minister is provided in a timely and coordinated manner.

Participate in projects that involve transportation elements in the MPMO process

Funding received was used to increase capacity for technical review of environmental assessments for major resource projects.

Marine Safety

Navigable Waters Protection Program

2,405,097 801,699 577,176

Participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO where there are implications for navigation

TC participated in various governance mechanisms established for the MPMO initiative, which assist the Director General, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Deputy Minister Committees.

Participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that involve navigation required to operationalize the MPMO office

Headquarters and regional TC staff participated in interdepartmental working groups to assist with the creation and approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems required to operationalize the MPMO Initiative.

Participate in projects that involve navigation elements in the MPMO process.

TC has established a national MPMO working group to ensure that MPMO processes are applied internally in an efficient manner and that advice to the Associate Deputy Minister is provided in a timely and coordinated manner.

Stewardship and Sustainable Transportation Programs

Aboriginal Consultation

1,192,353 397,451 367,280

Participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO and Aboriginal consultation activities

TC participated in various governance mechanisms established for the MPMO initiative, which assist the Director General, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Deputy Minister Committees.

Assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems related to Aboriginal consultation on MPMO projects

Headquarters and regional TC staff participated in interdepartmental working groups to assist with the creation and approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems related to Aboriginal consultation on MPMO projects.

Promote consistent and efficient application within Transport Canada of MPMO processes related to Aboriginal consultation

Headquarters and regional TC staff have established a national network of Aboriginal consultation specialists to promote consistent and efficient application within TC of MPMO processes related to Aboriginal consultation.

Internal Services

Departmental Administration, Finance and Legal Services

2,863,314 954,438 935,502

Deal with legal issues associated with the regulatory processes for transportation across the country

TC engaged its legal services staff for review of various MPMO documents.

Support corporate involvement

Legal services staff applied a portfolio approach to deal with legal issues associated with the regulatory process across the country.

TOTAL TC 10,500,000 3,500,000 3,584,820

Environment Canada (EC)

Canada's natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations

Biodiversity-Wildlife and Habitat

1,465,419 488,473 449,030

Enhance efficiency and effectiveness of Canadian Wildlife Service's regulatory role in major resource projects

EC improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the Canadian Wildlife Service's regulatory role in major resource projects, including regulating the timeliness of permitting under the Species at Risk Act.

Enhance provision of expertise within the environmental assessment processes for major resource projects to ensure expertise is timely and embodies the best science

The department enhanced its provision of expertise within the environmental assessment processes for major resource projects, supporting timely scientific advice.

Develop guidance to support Canadian Wildlife Service involvement in the environmental assessment process for major resource projects, specifically national standards, policies and practices developed for permit issuance under the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the National Wildlife Act

The department proposed the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulationsunder the Species at Risk Act to establish a time limit for issuing or refusing to issue permits as well as outline the circumstances under which the time limit would not apply. The proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on February 16, 2013, for a 30-day consultation period.

Water Resources

318,687 106,229 105,090

Provide enhanced hydrologic, water quantity and hydraulic advice from the Sustainable Water Management Division to support environmental assessments on major resource projects

EC provided enhanced hydrologic, water quantity and hydraulic advice to support major resource project reviews. This expertise came from across EC, and not solely from Sustainable Water Management Division as the department's organizational structure changed over the course of the year.

Support EC's responsibilities associated with the International River Improvements Act through standard operating procedures and policies for licensing

The department continues to provide proponents with advice and information on operating procedures and licensing policiesrelated to the International River Improvements Act (IRIA). However, the department decided that for major resource projects it is more effective to provide water-related support in key areas beyond IRIA.

Sustainable Ecosystems

2,244,963 748,321 742,883

Support EC's participation in the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and associated governance structure

MPMO's governance structure was supported through participation in the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and associated committees and working groups.

Coordinate EC's participation in the regulatory streamlining initiative for major resource projects across regional offices

EC participated in the regulatory streamlining initiative for major resource projects, coordinating effective outreach and implementation with regional offices.

Enhance departmental environmental assessment processes to ensure efficient and effective review process for major resource projects, specifically enhance quality assurance of departmental input into environmental assessment, project tracking, national-level advice, coordination of expert advice and preparation of guidance material

Departmental environmental assessment processes are being enhanced to ensure efficient and effective review processes for major resource projects through the development of a quality management system, environmental assessment objectives and outcomes, updated and improved project tracking, as well as effective coordination and development of expert advice through communities of practice and preparation of guidance material.

Provide regular, timely, and strategic advice on consulting and engaging Aboriginal groups throughout the regulatory process for major resource projects

EC provided regular, timely and strategic advice on consulting and engaging Aboriginal groups across a broad range of major resource projects.

Support EC's participation on the Crown Oversight Committee and associated working groups on Aboriginal consultation

EC engaged broadly with other government departments to address Aboriginal consultation issues, including participation on the Crown Oversight Committee and associated working groups on Aboriginal consultation.

Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions

Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

318,687 106,229 8,832

Enhance provision of hydrological and climate change expertise to ensure impacts of project development on the environment are mitigated

The provision of expertise in hydrology and climate change was expanded and enhanced to ensure effects of the environment on the project are mitigated.

Threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution are minimized

Substances and Waste Management

1,236,954 412,318 286,616

Consistently authorize proposed mine tailings impoundment areas within 8-10 months of the date of the environmental assessment decision

EC worked consistently with project proponents to ensure sufficient information was available in environmental assessment processes to support the authorization of mine tailings impoundment areas within 8-10 months of the date of the environmental assessment decision.

Provide timely mining and processing expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects

Mining and processing expertise in environmental assessments of major resource project was provided in a timely manner.

Render timely regulatory decisions related to Ocean Disposal permitting

EC's regulatory decisions related to Ocean Disposal permitting were made in a timely manner, with supporting regulations nearing completion.

Support EC's involvement in the regulatory process for major natural resource projects through up-to-date sector-specific guidance

EC's involvement in the regulatory process for major natural resource projects was supported by the development of up-to-date sector-specific guidance, including setting objectives and outcomes on a sector basis to guide the department's participation in environmental assessments.

Climate change and clean air

734,787 244,929 208,587

Enhance sector support on climate modelling and greenhouse gas emissions to environmental assessments and related follow-up and mitigation

Enhanced sector support was provided on climate modelling and greenhouse gas emissions to environmental assessments and related follow-up and mitigation.

Provide timely oil and gas sector expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects

Oil and gas sector expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects was provided in a timely manner.

Internal Services

Internal Services

634,587 211,529 211,529

Provide core support services to support program delivery

Core support services were provided to support program delivery.

Legal Services

545,928 181,976 191,864

Provide timely legal advice and support on delivery of national environmental assessment program related to major resource projects

EC's Legal Services provided timely legal advice and support to deliver national environmental assessment program involvement in major resource projects, interpretation of court challenges and key policy considerations. It also participated in the MPMO Legal Working Group.

TOTAL EC 7,500,000 2,500,000 2,204,431

Canadian Environ-mental Assessment Agency (CEAA)

Environmental Assessment Delivery

14,867,400 4,955,800 5,538,941

Support a whole-of-government approach to addressing strategic and project-specific environmental assessment issues, including supporting implementation of the major resource projects initiative

CEAA worked in collaboration with other organizations involved in the MPMO Initiative to ensure a smooth transition from the former Act to CEAA 2012. This included the continuation of the environmental assessment process of major resource projects as per the former Act for 3 screenings and 28 comprehensive studies, as well as transitioning 8 panel reviews under CEAA 2012.

Manage the federal environmental assessment process and related Aboriginal consultation activities for major resource projects in an effective and efficient manner

CEAA led the federal environmental assessment process for major resource projects (with the exception of CNSC and NEB projects), and coordinated Aboriginal consultation activities with the environmental assessments of these projects consistent with the Cabinet Directive on Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Resource Projects and its Memorandum of Understanding, and the Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Legal Duty to Consult (2011).

Environmental Assessment Policy

2,634,000 878,000 449,323

Support implementation of this horizontal initiative and improvements in the process, capacity and associated Aboriginal consultations related to major resource projects

CEAA worked in collaboration with other organizations involved in the MPMO Initiative to bring into force and implement CEAA 2012 as part of the Government of Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development to modernize its regulatory system for project reviews. This included supporting the parliamentary process for CEAA 2012 and developing and implementing its supporting regulations.

Develop policies, procedures and guidance materials for enhancing coordination and collaboration on high-quality, timely and predictable environmental assessments within the regulatory approval process

Develop policies and procedures to support the integration of Aboriginal Crown consultations in the environmental assessment and regulatory approval process

In cooperation with federal departments and agencies involved in the MPMO Initiative, CEAA:

Continued to refine policies, processes, procedures and guidance on the integration of Aboriginal consultation in the environmental assessment and regulatory approval process.

  • Provided subject-matter contributions and advice related to the integrated approach to Aboriginal consultation and the environmental assessment process in CEAA 2012 to MPMO in the development of guidance for major resource project proponents.
  • Collaborated in the establishment of new short project agreements for environmental assessments by the Agency or by review panels and their overarching companion document.

Internal Services

6,498,600 2,166,200 2,011,736

Provide core support services to support program delivery

CEAA provided infrastructure support for program delivery.

TOTAL CEAA 24,000,000 8,000,000 8,000,000

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Habitat Management

Habitat Management Operations

19,491,438 6,497,146 6,497,146

Continue participation in MPMO governance mechanisms (e.g., Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and supporting working groups at the Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister levels, as well as interdepartmental project committees) in support of effective management of the federal regulatory system in relation to major natural resource projects

DFO participated in the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and supported Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister level working groups.

Provide DFO technical capacity in the areas of the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act (SARA), Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and Aboriginal consultation activities relative to DFO's regulatory decisions associated with major resource projects identified under this initiative

DFO participated in several interdepartmental project committees, including weekly meetings of the Northern Gateway Project DG working group, in support of effective management of the federal regulatory system in relation to major natural resource projects and horizontal initiatives (e.g., Portland Canal working group).

DFO provided technical capacity in the areas of the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act (SARA), Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). It led or provided support to Aboriginal consultation activities on MPMO projects related to DFO's regulatory decisions.

Implement policies and approaches relative to major natural resource projects involving DFO.

DFO met all of its milestones for MPMO projects as set out in the respective Project Agreements.

Habitat Management Program Policy

898,773 299,591 299,591

Provide input in the development and implementation of a whole-of-government strategy to modernize the federal regulatory review process

DFO provided input to the development and implementation of a whole-of-government strategy to modernize the federal regulatory review process. This included amendments to the Habitat Provisions of the Fisheries Act which were included in Bills C-38 and C-45. Preparations undertaken for implementation of amendments are not yet in force.

Continue to participate in MPMO governance mechanisms (e.g., Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and supporting working groups at the Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister levels, as well as interdepartmental working groups) in support of improving the federal regulatory system

DFO participated in the MPMO governance mechanisms (i.e., Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee and supporting Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister level groups, as well as interdepartmental working groups), including presenting on the Fisheries Act amendments.

Provide support to the development of policies and approaches led by the MPMO in relation to the areas of regulatory activities, environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation

DFO provided input and support to the development of policies and approaches led by the MPMO in relation to the areas of regulatory activities, environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation.

Communicate policies and approaches and, where appropriate, integrate policies and approaches into DFO activities

DFO communicated MPMO-related policies and approaches to program staff and, where appropriate, integrated these into DFO activities.

Internal Services

Legal Services

609,789 203,263 203,263

Provide Legal Services to DFO and legal support to MPMO members through MPMO legal working groups, on policy and operational issues associated with the implementation of the MPMO Initiative with a focus on matters relating to the Fisheries Act, CEAA, 2012, SARA, and Aboriginal consultation.

DFO Legal Services provided legal advice and legal risk analysis associated with the review of environmental assessment reports and preparation of the Responsible Authority's course of action decision.

DFO Legal Services provided legal advice and support for DFO's input to MPMO to operationalize the initiative.

Coordinate, through a senior counsel, all legal advice and support on relevant MPMO-listed projects where DFO has a high degree of involvement with the projects in question and liaising with the Justice Portfolio and the ADM's office

DFO Legal Services provided legal support to Justice litigators on an ongoing basis for hearings before boards, tribunals and courts.

DFO Legal Services provided legal advice and support of DFO's input to MPMO to operationalize the initiative.

Provide legal support to Justice litigators for hearings before boards, tribunals and courts

DFO Legal Services provided legal support to Justice litigators on an ongoing basis for hearings before boards, tribunals and courts.

Identify legal issues and risks associated with ongoing implementation of the MPMO initiative and develop proposed positions and options to address the issues and risks

As part of the Department's integrated risk management approach, MPMO-related legal risks are identified on an ongoing basis and integrated into the Risk Management Framework on a yearly basis. Strategies to mitigate risks and issues are addressed by the Habitat Management Program with the support of Legal Services
TOTAL DFO 21,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000

TOTAL (2012-13) 81,000,000 27,000,000 26,875,555

Comments on Variances:

1 Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Northern Affairs Organization – Salary coding error resulted in a small amount to be sent back to Consolidated Revenue Fund.

2 Transport Canada has absorbed the difference in salary as more resources are required in the Environmental Assessment Program to deliver on this initiative in a timely manner. Variance in Navigable Waters Protection Program spending was due to lower-than-expected travel requirements and staff vacancies

Results to be achieved by non-federal partners (if applicable): N/A

Contact information:

Mr. Terry Hubbard, A/Assistant Deputy Minister
Major Projects Management Office
Natural Resources Canada
155 Queen St, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0E4