Horizontal Initiatives

Name of horizontal initiative

Major Projects Management Office Initiative (MPMO)

Name of lead department(s)

Natural Resources Canada

Federal partner organization(s)

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), Environment Canada (EC), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Transport Canada (TC)

Non-federal and non-governmental partner(s)

N/A

Start date of the horizontal initiative

April 1, 2012

End date of the horizontal initiative

March 31, 2015

Total federal funding allocated (start to end date) (dollars)

$81,000,000

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners (dollars)

N/A

Description of the horizontal initiative

Budget 2012 provided $81 million over three years to renew funding for the MPMO Initiative. Established in 2007, the MPMO Initiative is an interdepartmental initiative across 12 federal departments and agencies to enable efficient and effective regulatory reviews of major resource projects and meaningful Aboriginal consultations.

Major resource projects are an important driver of job creation and long-term economic growth.

The MPMO Initiative supports the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development (RRD), which was launched in 2012 to enable government-wide efforts to improve the performance of the federal regulatory system for major natural resource projects. Under the 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 climate needed to unlock potential investment in major projects while also protecting the safety of Canadians and strengthening environmental protection. The MPMO core office within NRCan provides oversight, overarching project management, horizontal policy leadership, and senior-level accountability for major projects.

Shared outcome(s)

Key outcomes from the MPMO 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;
  • Reduce 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 resource 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 Natural Resources Canada’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 Ministers of Natural Resources Canada (Chair), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Associate Deputy Ministers of Infrastructure Canada and Justice Canada, the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) of the Privy Council Office, the Presidents of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and 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 to facilitate collaboration and cooperation, interdepartmental working groups have been established at the Assistant Deputy Minister, Director General and working levels.

Performance highlights

NRCan and its federal partners have consistently worked to develop and implement the Government’s plan for RRD, bringing together several key Government initiatives that support the creation of jobs and long-term growth in Canada, while strengthening safety and environmental protection. The MPMO Initiative, and the changes made through RRD, has improved the review process for major resource projects. As of March 31, 2015, the MPMO is managing a portfolio of more than 88 major projects, which represent a total capital investment of approximately $300 billion. The MPMO's activities have enhanced market access and the investment climate for Canada's natural resource sectors while strengthening environmental protection and enhancing Aboriginal engagement and consultation.

Comments on variances

For MPMO and TC, costs include EBP and Accommodations.

DFO actual spending was affected by positions vacated during the fiscal year and delays in staffing – this affected expenditures related to salary, EBP and O&M.

Results achieved by non-federal and non-governmental partners

N/A

Contact information Mollie Johnson, Director General, Major Projects Management Office
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth St., 12th Floor
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0E4

Federal organizations

Link to department's Program Alignment Architecture

Contributing
programs and
activities

Total allocation
(from start to end date) (dollars)

2014-15
Planned spending
(dollars)

2014-15
Actual spending
(dollars)

2014-15
Expected Results

2014-15
Actual results
against targets

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

1.3
Investment in natural resource sectors

1.3.5
Major Projects Management Office

$12,600,000

$4,300,000

$4,763,450

 

Regulatory reviews of major projects are completed in a predictable and timely manner

Target: 

Ensure average review time of less than 2 years for major resource projects. System-wide improvement of the federal regulatory process for major project reviews

Actual:

As of March 31, 2015, all 37 projects that completed the environment assessment process under the MPMO Initiative met the target. The average federal time to complete an environmental assessment was 17 months.

Target: 

Continuous improvement of the federal regulatory system for major projects. 

Actual:

MPMO continued to lead ongoing system-wide regulatory reforms (e.g., continued implementation of Responsible Resource Development, commitment to develop a Forward Policy Agenda for the identification of priority project-related issues such as enhanced consultations with Aboriginal peoples, and strengthened environmental protection).  

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

 

4.0
The North - Northern Affairs Organization

 

4.3
Northern Land Resources & Environmental Management 
4.3.5
Environmental Management

$2,211,000

$737,000

$737,000

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.
Northern Affairs coordinates AANDC’s participation in MPMO horizontal governance committees while supporting meeting preparation for the Deputy Minister. The sector also supports policy and legislative initiatives undertaken by other federal regulatory departments, which include participation and/or support for MPMO and NPMO meetings.

Target: 

30 senior management major project meetings between April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 10 DM, 10 ADM and 10 DG meetings).
AANDC has currently approved 4 northern Project Agreements, and is anticipating another 4 in fiscal year of 2014-2015.

Actual:

AANDC completed the legislative component of the Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes, Bill S-6 (the Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act), and implemented the Northwest Territories Devolution Act (including amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Territorial Lands Act, and the Northwest Territories Waters Act).

30 senior management meetings occurred during this period. 

 

No Northern Project Agreements were signed in 2014-15; however, three Project Agreements are underway. AANDC’s Northern Project Management Office is also developing a template that will help streamline the Project Agreement process in the future.

3.2
Community DevelopmentFootnote 1

3.2.1
Land and Economic Development Services

$2,391,000

$797,000

$797,000

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 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 for projects in which the department has statutory responsibilities.
Provide expert advice on the impact of policy and legislative changes on-reserve.

Target:  

AANDC will have south of 60 Project Agreements approved in five business days during the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Actual:

A total of 6 Project Agreements were approved South of 60, all within the 5 day timeline.

AANDC supported key major projects (i.e., Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain and Energy East and other liquid natural gas projects such as Kitimat LNG) involving inter and intra-departmental coordination of operational and policy input, and  management of Aboriginal issues relating to the environmental review processes.

AANDC actively collaborated on MPMO renewal efforts, including the development of a Treasury Board Submission.

1.2
Aboriginal Rights and Interests Footnote 2

1.2.3
Consultation and Accommodation

 

$798,000

 

$266,000

 

$266,000

 

Implement enhanced Aboriginal consultation under Responsible Resource Development.
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.
Provide Aboriginal consultation information services and support to the MPMO and all other federal partners, and support the implementation of Canada's Responsible Resource Development initiative and legislative changes.

Target: 

Continue to support the committee structure and monthly meetings of the MPMO to provide guidance on Aboriginal consultation across government on major projects. Provide expert advice and contribute to the government’s responses and approaches to Aboriginal consultation on major projects such as Northern Gateway Pipeline, New Prosperity Mine, Jackpine, TransMountain Project, Energy East, etc., according to relevant timelines of the files.

Actual:

AANDC assisted the Crown in fulfilling the duty to consult by providing information, advice and guidance to federal departments and agencies through a wide range of activities, such as: monthly meetings of the MPMO; answers to information requests to the Consultation Information Service; use of the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System by federal officials; delivery of training sessions; guidance provided by Regional Consultation Coordinators; and file-specific advice on major projects and other government activities and priorities.

AANDC provided direct guidance and support on consultation for several major natural resource projects, (i.e., Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain Expansion, Energy East, Jackpine, Site C, and LNG Canada, Pacific NorthWest LNG, Woodfibre LNG).

Environment Canada

1.1

 

 

Biodiversity-Wildlife and Habitat

 

$ 1,465,419

 

$ 488,473

 

$ 446,448

 

 

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

Target: 

EC provides timely advice related to wildlife and habitat for environmental assessments of major resource projects.

Actual:

EC strengthened its provision of scientific expertise regarding wildlife and habitat within environmental assessment processes for major resource projects respecting regulatory timelines.

 

1.2

Water Resources

$ 318,687

$106,229

$8,466

Provide enhanced hydrologic, water quantity and hydraulic advice to support environmental assessments on major resource projects.

Target: 

EC provides timely advice related to water resources for environmental assessments of major resource projects.

Actual:

In 2014-15, EC provided hydrological expertise focused on surface water quantity and stream flow to support the EA review for seven MPMO projects including five gold mining projects (Blackwater, Rainy River, Cote, Goliath and Magino), the Dumont nickel mine and Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell copper-gold mine. The hydrological reviews for mining projects generally involve:

  • Baseline hydrology and hydrometric observations
  • Water balance assessment use to design tailing management structures
  • Applied hydrological methods including modelling used to support the design of infrastructure to control water quantity and quality.

 

1.3

Sustainable Ecosystems

$ 2,244,963

$748,321

$714,567

 

Support EC’s participation in the Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee and associated governance structure.
Coordinate EC’s participation in the regulatory streamlining initiative for major resource projects across 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.
Provide regular, timely, and strategic advice on consulting and engaging Aboriginal groups throughout the regulatory process for major resource projects
Support EC’s participation on the Crown Oversight Committee and associated working groups on Aboriginal consultation.

Target: 

EC participates in a timely manner in environmental assessments of major resource projects.

Actual:

EC regularly participated in and supported the Major Projects Deputy Ministers’ Committee.

EC provided high quality input into environmental assessments for major projects, as well as guidance materials.

EC provided regular, timely, and strategic advice on Aboriginal consultation through participation in the Crown Oversight Committee and the Federal Consultation Team for key projects.

 

2.2

Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

$318,687

$106,229

$126,657

 

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

Target: 

EC’s advice for environmental assessment of major resource projects includes hydrological and climate change expertise, when applicable.

Actual:

EC provided expert advice on climate change aspects of 6 MPMO projects (including development of detailed comments and IRs on Project EAs and preparation of climate change aspects of EC’s written evidence).

 

3.1

Substances and Waste Management

$1,236,954

$412,318

$417,611

 

Consistently authorize proposed mine tailings impoundment areas within 8-10 months of the date of the environmental assessment decisions.
Provide timely mining and processing expertise in environmental assessments of major resource projects.
Render timely regulatory decisions related to Ocean Disposal permitting.
Support EC’s involvement in the regulatory process for major resource projects through up-to-date sector-specific guidance.

Target: 

EC’s advice for environmental assessments of major resource projects includes information that supports timely regulatory decisions.

Actual:

EC implemented its new Responsible Resource Development regulations to introduce regulatory timelines and permit renewal (for Disposal at Sea). New Service standards for the fees were developed. Major projects and other permits were assessed in a timely manner using newly developed policy and guidance. Work continues on an information tracking system to improve program efficiency with respect to permit assessments, payment tracking and refunds of unused permit quantities. 

EC also continued to provide detailed technical input to all environmental assessments of all mining projects where the proponent proposed the development of tailings impoundment areas in waters frequented by fish, the total number of which now stands at 21. EC also provided technical advice on other metal and non-metal mining projects that are in the environmental assessment process.

 

3.2

Climate change and clean air

$ 734,787

$244,929

$164,567

 

Enhance sector support 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.

Target:

EC provides timely advice related to climate considerations for environmental assessments of major resource projects.

Actual:

EC reviewed in detail the proposed project designs and environmental statements, and provided advice to MPMO and to CEAA on the climate considerations of major resource projects, for example, for four liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in British Columbia. This advice was provided within the required timelines. EC has maintained expertise through training and research on the current technologies and level of environmental performance of other countries’ LNG projects. 

 

 

Internal Services

 

$ 634,587

 

$211,529

 

$211,529

 

 

Provide core support services to support program delivery.

Actual:

EC provided core support services to support program delivery.

 

 

Legal Services

$ 545,928

$181,976

$196,479

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

Target: 

Legal advice supporting environmental assessments of major resource projects is timely.

Actual:

EC provided legal advice and support on a number of MPMO projects including the participation in MPMO legal working group; the provision of legal advice to EC clients with respect to MPMO projects as well as legal support on litigation related to MPMO projects.

Transport Canada (TC)

 

2.3

[a] Environmental Stewardship of Transportation – Environmental Assessment Program & Aboriginal Consultation UnitFootnote 3

$ 5,231,589

$ 1,686,825

$ 2,483,610

Participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO, where there are impacts for transportation.
Participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that involve transportation required to operationalize the MPMO office.
Work on departmental processes to ensure MPMO processes are applied in an efficient manner internally.
Participate in projects that involve transportation elements in the MPMO process.

Target: 

Where required, TC will contribute to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

Actual:

Where required, TC contributed to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

 

3.2

 

[b]Marine Safety – Navigation Protection Program

 

$ 2,405,097

 

$ 801,699

 

 

$ 659,878

 

Participate in the various governance mechanisms for the MPMO, where there are implications for navigation.
Participate in working groups to assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems that involve navigation required to operationalize the MPMO office.
Participate in projects that involve navigation elements in the MPMO process.

Target: 

Where required, TC will contribute to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

Actual:

Where required, TC contributed to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

 

5.1

[d] Internal Services – Departmental Administration, Finance and Legal Services

$ 2,863,314

$ 1,011,476

 

$ 771,810

 

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

Target: 

Where required, TC will contribute to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

Actual:

Where required, TC contributed to the review of all major resource projects entering the MPMO system.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)

[P1]

[a]Environmental Assessment Delivery

$14,867,400

$4,955,800

$5,183,302

 

Support a whole-of-government approach to addressing strategic and project-specific environmental assessment issues, including supporting implementation of the MPMO Initiative.
Manage the federal environmental assessment process and related Aboriginal consultation activities for major resource projects in a timely, effective and efficient manner.

Target: 

A Project Agreement is signed for 100% of major resource projects, unless the environmental assessment of the project is substituted to the province.
CEAA meets 100% of the timelines for its activities, as established in the MPMO Project Agreement.

Actual:

CEAA met 100% of the statutory timelines for projects undergoing an EA.

 

 

[b]Environmental Assessment Policy

$2,634,000

$878,000

$649,824

 

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

Target: 

75% of users of CEAA’s policy instruments who indicated moderate to high satisfaction with these instruments.

Actual:

The level of user participation was too low to support a reliable and representative quantitative assessment of user satisfaction. CEAA will examine options for updating its policy and capacity-building performance measurement approach.

 

 

[P2]

[c] Internal Services

$ 6,498,600

$2,166,200

$1,659,479

 

Provide core support services to support program delivery.

Actual:

CEAA provided support for program delivery in areas such as finance and human resources.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

[P1]

Fisheries Protection Program

$20,390,211

$6,796,737

$6,360,768

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 and policy discussions) in support of effective management of the federal regulatory system in relation to major resource projects.
Provide support to the development of policies and approaches led by the MPMO and/or other federal partners, in relation to the areas of regulatory activities, environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation.
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.
Communicate to program staff of policies and approaches and where appropriate, integrate policies and approaches into DFO activities for program implementation.
Continue the development of policy and guidance in support of the implementation of Fisheries Act amendments in relation to the plan for Responsible Resource Development.

Target: 

Meet legislative requirements under CEAA 2012 and ensure fulfillment of the legal duty to consult with respect to decisions under the fisheries protection provisions of the Fisheries Act.
Provide timely advice to responsible authorities and review panels under CEAA 2012.
Provide Fisheries Act authorization decisions as per the Applications for Authorization under Paragraph 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act Regulations.

Actual:

As set out in Project Agreements, DFO:

  • Met legislative requirements under CEAA 2012 and fulfilled the legal duty to consult relative to DFO’s regulatory decisions associated with major resource projects identified under this Initiative.
  • Provided timely advice to responsible authorities and review panels under CEAA 2012 in relation to DFO’s areas of mandate.
  • Provided Fisheries Act authorization decisions as per the Applications for Authorization under Paragraph 35(2)(b) of the Fisheries Act Regulations.

DFO also:

  • Participated in senior management meetings, including those of the Major Projects DMs’ Committee and supporting working groups at the Director General and Assistant Deputy Minister levels.
  • Participated in interdepartmental project and policy discussions in support of effective management of the federal regulatory system in relation to major resource projects. This included providing support to the development of policies and approaches related to the reviews of major resource projects led by MPMO Initiative partners.
  • Continued to develop policy guidance to Program staff in relation to the implementation of the Fisheries Act amendments.

 

[P2]

[c] 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 and CEAA, 2012, SARA, and Aboriginal consultation.
Coordinate, through senior counsel, all legal advice and support on relevant MPMO-listed projects where DFO is involved with the projects in question and liaising with the Justice Portfolio and the ADM’s office.
Provide legal support to justice litigators 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.

Actual:

DFO provided legal services and support internally and also to MPMO and Justice Steering Committees on issues related to DFO’s areas of responsibilities, including review of briefing materials submitted to MPMO committees, review and comments on proposed legal or policy direction contemplated during the review of a project or during litigation.

DFO participated on, or provided advice on the adequacy of consultation with Aboriginal communities potentially affected by an MPMO project.

DFO identified legal issues and risks associated with the application of CEAA 2012, the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act and proposed approach to avoid and minimize those risks.

Total for all federal organizations

$81,000,009

$27,100,003

$26,821,246

Not applicable