Horizontal Initiatives 2013-14

Name of Horizontal Initiative: Major Projects Management Office Initiative

Name of lead department(s): Natural Resources Canada

Lead department program activity: Economic Competitiveness - Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive

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):

Through Budget 2012, the Government has allocated $81 million over three years to renew funding for the Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) Initiative 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, with more than 600 major projects representing $650 billion of potential new investment in communities across Canada over the next 10 years. More than 66 proposed major resource projects accounting for approximately $178 billion of potential investment are currently undergoing federal regulatory review with federal regulatory activities being merged under the auspices of the MPMO Initiative.

The Initiative is a government-wide effort to improve the performance of the federal regulatory system for major natural resource projects. 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 so as to create the favourable business climate necessary to unlock potential investment in major new projects while also protecting the health and safety of Canadians and strengthening environmental protection.

Shared outcome(s):

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 promote sustainability; and,
  • The fulfillment of Aboriginal consultation responsibilities in a more consistent and meaningful manner.

Governance structure(s):

The Cabinet Directive on Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Resource Projects establishes the new 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 Initiative. In collaboration with his counterparts in other regulatory departments, the Minister of Natural Resources will report to Cabinet on progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Initiative, and will report annually to Parliament and the public through NRCan’s annual reporting requirements.

A Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee serves as the governance body for the implementation of the Initiative. This Committee will continue to provide direction for the resolution of project and policy-related issues and oversee the application of the Cabinet Directive.  Membership on this committee includes the Deputy Minister of NRCan (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) - 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 (ADM), Director General (DG) and working levels.

Planning Highlights:

To achieve the expected results of the MPMO Initiative in FY 2013-14, NRCan and its federal partners will:

  • Advance fundamental system-wide improvements to modernize the federal regulatory system for major resource projects, including implementation of legislative, policy and regulatory changes announced as part of the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development;
  • Ensure strong project management and executive oversight of all major resource projects;
  • Improve the coordination and meaningfulness of Aboriginal consultation on major resource projects; and,
  • Enhance the alignment of federal and provincial review processes to achieve the objective of one project, one review.

Federal Partner: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013-14
Investment in Natural Resource Sectors Major Projects Management Office $12,600,000 $4,200,000
Total $12,600,000 $4,200,000

*Expected results by program as per:

Major Projects Management Office

  • 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, including implementation of the government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development.
  • Ensure the effective management and oversight of more than 66 major resource project reviews through the Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee, development of Project Agreements and guidance materials for proponents, and regular tracking and reporting on progress to meet new legislative and regulatory timelines for project reviews.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a consistent, whole-of-government approach to Aboriginal consultation, including advancing the development of new measures to provide greater clarity on the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal groups.
  • Engage with partners to improve the alignment of federal and provincial regulatory review processes for major resource projects and to strengthen northern regulatory regimes.
  • Work with partners to strengthen environmental protection, including the development and implementation of new measures to ensure world class marine and pipeline safety regimes.
  • Engage with industry, provinces, Aboriginal groups and ENGOs to build awareness of improvements that are underway and gain an understanding of continuing issues.

Link: http://www.mpmo.gc.ca/

Federal Partner: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013-14
AANDC Breakdown 4.0 The Northern Affairs Organization
4.3 Northern Land Resources and Environmental Management
4.3.5 Environmental Management
$2,211,000 $737,000
3.2 Federal Administration of Reserve Land
3.2.4 Environmental Management
3.2.4.2 Environmental Sustainability
$2,391,000 $797,000
1.2.4 Consultation and Engagement $798,000 $266,000
Total $5,400,000 $1,800,000

*Expected results by program as per:

  • Support Aboriginal economic development opportunities on reserve by modernizing policies and regulations and by providing project support and expertise.
  • Meet AANDC’s legislative responsibilities and obligations in relation to environmental assessments for major natural resource projects subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
  • Develop consistent approaches for managing the fulfillment of AANDC’s legal duty to consult on projects in which the department has statutory responsibilities.
  • Provide training and guidance to implement Canada’s whole-of-government approach to Aboriginal consultation.
  • Lead the negotiation of consultation arrangements/protocols on behalf of Canada with Aboriginal groups and the development of Memoranda of Understanding with provinces.
  • Support and participate in bilateral and multilateral discussions with provinces.
  • Provide policy advice and advisory services to other federal departments on Aboriginal consultation.
  • Support policy and legislative initiatives to strengthen federal laws of general application undertaken by other federal regulatory departments.
  • Provide expert advice on the impact of policy and legislative changes on reserve, in the North and in areas with modern land claim agreements.
  • Coordinate AANDC participation in MPMO horizontal governance committees; prepare and support the Deputy Minister for policy discussions.

Federal Partner: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013-14
CEAA Environmental Assessment Delivery $14,867,400 $4,955,800
Environmental Assessment Policy $2,634,000 $878,000
Internal Services $6,498,600 $2,166,200
Total $24,000,000 $8,000,000

*Expected results by program as per:

Environmental Assessment Delivery

  • The federal environmental assessment process and related Aboriginal consultation activities for major resource projects are conducted or managed in a timely, effective and efficient manner; and,
  • A whole-of-government approach addresses strategic and project-specific environmental assessment issues, including supporting implementation of the major resource projects initiative.

Environmental Assessment Policy

  • The implementation of this horizontal initiative is supported. Improvements in the process, capacity, and associated Aboriginal consultations with respect to major resource projects is achieved;
  • Policies, procedures and guidance materials are revised or developed for application under CEAA 2012, with a view to deliver high-quality environmental assessments within established timelines, and enhance coordination and collaboration on environmental assessments within the regulatory approval process; and,
  • Policies, procedures and guidance materials are finalized in light of CEAA 2012 to support the integration of Aboriginal Crown consultations in the environmental assessment and regulatory approval process.

Internal Services

  • Core support services are provided to support program delivery.

Federal Partner: Environment Canada (EC)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013–14
Canada’s natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations Biodiversity-Wildlife and Habitat $1,824,000 $608,000
Water Resources $351,000 $117,000
Sustainable Ecosystems $1,863,000 $621,000
Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users $396,000 $132,000
Threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution are minimized Substances and Waste Management $1,251,000 $417,000
Climate change and clean air $807,000 $269,000
Internal Services Internal Services $48,000 $162,000
Legal Services $522,000 $174,000
Total $7,500,000 $2,500,000

*Expected results by program as per:

Biodiversity-Wildlife and Habitat

  • Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of Canadian Wildlife Service’s regulatory role in major resource projects.
  • Enhanced provision of expertise within the environmental assessment processes for major resource projects, in order to ensure expertise is timely and embodies the best science.
  • Guidance developed 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.

Water Resources

  • Enhanced hydrologic, water quantity and hydraulic advice from the Sustainable Water Management Division to support environmental assessments on major resource projects.
  • Environment Canada’s responsibilities associated with the International River Improvements Act are supported by standard operating procedures and policies for licensing.

Sustainable Ecosystems

  • Environment Canada’s participation in the Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee and associated governance structure is well supported.
  • Environment Canada’s participation in the regulatory streamlining initiative for major resource projects is well coordinated across regional offices.
  • Departmental environmental assessment processes are enhanced to ensure efficient and effective review process for major resource projects. Specifically, enhanced quality assurance of departmental input into environmental assessment, project tracking, national-level advice, coordination of expert advice and preparation of guidance material.
  • Regular, timely, and strategic advice is provided on consultations and engagement with Aboriginal groups throughout the regulatory process for major resource projects.
  • Environment Canada’s participation on the Crown Oversight Committee and associated working groups on Aboriginal consultation is supported.

Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

  • Provision of hydrological and climate change expertise is enhanced to ensure environmental impacts of project development are mitigated.

Substances and Waste Management

  • Environment Canada is consistently able to authorize proposed mine tailings impoundment areas within 8-10 months of the date of environmental assessment decision.
  • Provision of mining and processing expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects is timely.
  • Environment Canada’s regulatory decisions related to ocean disposal permitting are timely.
  • Environment Canada’s involvement in the regulatory process for major natural resource projects is supported by up-to-date sector specific guidance.

Climate Change and Clean Air

  • Enhanced sector support on climate modelling and greenhouse gas emissions to environmental assessments and related follow-up and mitigation are enhanced.
  • Provision of oil and gas sector expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects is timely.

Internal Services

  • Core support services are provided to support program delivery.

Legal Services

  • Legal advice and support on delivery of national environmental assessment program involvement in major resource projects are timely. 

Federal Partner: Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013-14
Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fisheries Protection (PA 2.2) Fisheries Protection Operations $17,440,332 $5,787,840
Legal services $609,789 $203,263
Fisheries Protection Program Policy $898,773 $299,591
Internal services and other (e.g. Real Property, Human Resources) $3,485,500 $683,702
Total $21,000,000 $7,000,000

*Expected results by program as per:

Fisheries Protection Operations

  • Continued participation in MPMO governance mechanisms (e.g., Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee and supporting Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister working groups, as well as interdepartmental project committees) in support of effective management of the federal regulatory system in relation to major natural resource projects.
  • Provision of DFO technical capacity in the areas of the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act (SARA), Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and Aboriginal consultation activities related to DFO’s regulatory decisions associated with major natural resource projects identified under this initiative.
  • Implementation of policies and approaches related to major natural resource projects involving DFO.

Fisheries Protection Program Policy

  • Continued participation in MPMO governance mechanisms (e.g., Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee and supporting Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister groups, as well as interdepartmental working groups) in support of improving the federal regulatory system;
  • Provision of 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;
  • Continued support to the development of policies and approaches associated with the plan for Responsible Resource Development in relation to DFO’s mandate; and
  • Continued progress in developing the policy and regulatory framework for the implementation of the Fisheries Act amendments associated with the plan for Responsible Resource Development.

Legal Services

  • Provision of 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, SARA and Aboriginal consultation.
  • Coordination by a senior counsel of 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 office.
  • Provision of legal support to Justice litigators for hearings before boards, tribunals and courts.
  • Identification of legal issues and risks associated with ongoing implementation of the MPMO initiative and development of proposed positions and options to address such issues and risks.

Federal Partner: Transport Canada (TC)

Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners* Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) Planned Spending for 2013-14
Marine Safety Navigable Waters Protection Program $2,405,097 $801,699
Environmental Stewardship of Transportation Aboriginal Consultation Unit $1,192,353 $397,451
Environmental Stewardship of Transportation Environmental Programs $4,039,233 $1,346,411
Internal Services Departmental Administration, Finance and Legal Services $2,863,314 $954,438
Total $10,500,000 $3,500,000

*Expected results by program as per:

Navigable Waters Protection Program

  • To participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO where there are implications for navigation;
  • TC (headquarters and regional staff) to participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that concern navigation required to operationalize the MPMO office; and
  • TC to participate in projects that impact navigation in the MPMO process.

Aboriginal Consultation Unit

  • To participate in various MPMO governance mechanisms and Aboriginal consultation activities;
  • To assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems related to Aboriginal consultation on MPMO projects; and
  • To promote consistent and efficient application within TC of MPMO processes related to Aboriginal consultation.

 Environmental Programs

  • To participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO where there are implications for transportation;
  • TC (headquarters and regional staff) to participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that involve transportation required to operationalize the MPMO office;
  • TC to work on departmental processes to ensure MPMO processes are applied in an efficient manner internally; and
  • TC to participate in projects that involve transportation elements in the MPMO process.

 Departmental Administration, Finance and Legal Services

  • TC Legal Services to deal with legal issues associated with the regulatory processes for transportation across the country; and
  • To support corporate involvement.
  • Link: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/menu.htm
Total Allocation for All Federal Partners
(from Start to End Date)
Total Planned Spending for All Federal
Partners for 2013-14
$81,000,000 $27,000,000

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

N/A

Contact information:

Jay Khosla, Assistant Deputy Minister
Major Projects Management Office
Natural Resources Canada
155 Queen Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0E4