Horizontal Initiatives 2014-15

Major Projects Management Office Initiative

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

Lead department PAA 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.

Planning Highlights:

Ensuring that the regulatory process is efficient and effective is essential for attracting capital investment in all natural resource sectors. NRCan will implement the plan for Responsible Resource Development by advancing system-wide improvements to the federal regulatory system, and ensuring consistency across federal legislative, regulatory, policy and program initiatives related to major resource projects. These efforts support more predictable and timely reviews, reduced duplication in the review process, strengthened environmental protection and enhanced Aboriginal consultation.

NRCan also provides project management and oversight of more than 70 major resource projects to ensure timely and predictable reviews. In collaboration with federal partners of the MPMO Initiative, the MPMO serves as a single window into the review process for project proponents and stakeholders. As a result, a growing portfolio of major resource projects has benefited from a clearer and more consistent federal review process and more effective project management and issue resolution. In addition, NRCan collaborates with provincial partners to develop mechanisms and agreements for aligning federal and provincial regulatory review processes for major projects. These efforts further enhance the predictability, transparency and accountability of the review process for major resource projects.

Horizontal Initiatives

 Federal Partner

PAA Program

Contributing activities/ programs

Total Allocation (from Start to End Date) ($)

2014-15 Planned Spending ($)

2014-15 Expected Results, including 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 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

Target: Continuous improvement of the federal regulatory system for major projects.                                                                    
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

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1377263949667/1377263979371#sp4_3_5  
$2,211,000 $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.
Targets:  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.
3.2
Federal Administration of Reserve Land
3.2.4
Environmental Management

3.2.4.2 Environmental Sustainability

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1377263949667/1377263979371#sp3_2_4
$2,391,000 $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 2014-2015 fiscal year.
1.2
Cooperative Relationships
1.2.4
Consultation and Engagement

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1377263949667/1377263979371#sp1_2_4
$798,000 $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.
Environment Canada 1.1 Biodiversity-Wildlife and Habitat
http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=09DD7F56-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2.1.1
$ 1,465,419 $488,473 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.
  1.2 Water Resources
http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=09DD7F56-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2.1.2
$ 318,687 $106,229 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.
  1.3 Sustainable Ecosystems http://ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=09DD7F56-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2.1.3 $ 2,244,963 $748,321 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.
  2.2 Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users
http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=B3F88B37-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2-2.2
$ 318,687 $106,229 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.
  3.1 Substances and Waste Management
http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=B3F88B37-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2-3.1
$1,236,954 $412,318 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.
  3.2  Climate change and clean air
http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=B3F88B37-1&offset=3&toc=show#s2-3.2
$ 734,787 $244,929 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.
    Internal Services $ 634,587 $211,529 Provide core support services to support program delivery.
    Legal Services $ 545,928 $181,976 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.
Transport Canada (TC) 2.3 [a] Environmental Stewardship of Transportation – Environmental Assessment Program
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-environmentalassessment-ea-150.htm
$ 4,039,233 $1,346,411 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.
3.2 [b]Marine Safety – Navigable Waters Protection Program
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oep-nwpp-menu-1978.htm
$ 2,405,097 $801,699 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.
  2.3 [c] Environmental Stewardship of Transportation – Aboriginal Consultation Unit
https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/corporate-services/planning-rpp-2013-14-1009.htm#program2_3
$ 1,192,353 $397,451 Participate in various governance mechanisms for the MPMO and Aboriginal consultation activities.
Assist with approval of key documents, processes and tracking systems related to Aboriginal consultation on MPMO projects.
Promote consistent and efficient application within TC of MPMO processes related to Aboriginal consultation.
Target: Where required, TC will contribute 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 $954,438 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.
Canadian Environ-mental Assessment Agency (CEAA) [P1] [a]Environmental Assessment Delivery
http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=en&n=C179D8F7-1#eadp
$14,867,400 $4,955,800 Support a whole-of-government approach to addressing strategic and project-specific environmental assessment issues, including supporting implementation of major resource projects.
Manage the federal environmental assessment process and related Aboriginal consultation activities for major resource projects in a timely, effective and efficient manner.
Targets: A Project Agreement is signed for 100% of major resource projects, unless the environmental assessment of the project is substituted to the province.
The Agency meets 100% of the timelines for its activities, as established in the MPMO Project Agreement.
[b]Environmental Assessment Policy
http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=en&n=C179D8F7-1#eapp
$2,634,000 $878,000 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 the Agency’s policy instruments who indicated moderate to high satisfaction with these instruments.
  [P2] [c] Internal Services $ 6,498,600 $2,166,200 Provide core support services to support program delivery.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) [P1] Fisheries Protection Program
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/fpp-ppp/index-eng.html
$20,390,211 $6,796,737 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 andwhere 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.
  [P2] [c] Internal Services – Legal Services $609,789 $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.
Total for All Federal Partners $81,000,009 $27,100,003  

Contact information:
Annette Gibbons, Assistant Deputy Minister
Major Projects Management Office
Natural Resources Canada
155 Queen Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, ON   K1P 6L1