Northern Project Agreement for the De Beers Canada Gahcho Kué Diamond Project in the Northwest Territories

Table of contents

1.0 Introduction

The Government of Canada recognizes that timely, predictable and transparent environmental assessments and regulatory reviews of major natural resource and regional infrastructure projects will contribute to more effective assessment and mitigation of potential environmental effects, while protecting the health and safety of Canadians and supporting a positive investment climate across Canada. In the territories, the Northern Projects Management Office (NPMO) was established to help facilitate these objectives by coordinating federal participation and activities throughout the environmental assessment and regulatory permitting process.

Federal departments and agencies with regulatory responsibilities in the three territories have signed a Memorandum of Understanding Defining Terms and Scope of Cooperation between Federal Departments, Agencies and the Northern Projects Management Office for Coordination of Northern Projects (the "MOU"). The MOU outlines the manner in which federal departments and agencies work cooperatively to promote timely, predictable, transparent and accountable processes for carrying out their activities and obligations in relation to environmental assessment and regulatory permitting in the territories. This Northern Project Agreement (the "Agreement") will support coordination activities carried out by all federal participants on De Beers Canada's (the "Proponent") Gahcho Kué Diamond Project (the "Project") in relation to the environmental impact review (EIR), regulatory permitting, and Crown consultation and accommodation with Aboriginal peoples ("Crown consultation and accommodation").

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this Agreement is to clearly articulate the roles, responsibilities, and commitments of each of the federal departments or agencies signatory to the Agreement (the "Parties") in relation to the EIR, regulatory permitting, and Crown consultation and accommodation for the Project.

3.0 Nature of Agreement

The signatories to this Agreement commit to work together to facilitate effective, accountable, transparent, timely and predictable participation by federal departments and agencies in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting of the Project, including Crown consultation and accommodation.

This Agreement is designed to be a publically accessible document that coordinates federal activities as a Project advances through the EIR and regulatory permitting. It is not intended to be legally binding.

This Agreement is to be interpreted in a manner consistent with all applicable statutes, regulations, and rules of natural justice and does not create any new legal powers or duties, or fetter in any way the jurisdiction, powers and duties of the Parties.

For further clarity, the Agreement shall be read together with the Annexes, which form part of this Agreement.

4.0 Regulatory Review Process

The EIR process is governed by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) has appointed a review panel (the "Gahcho Kué Panel") to analyze the Project and issue a report which recommends whether the Project be approved, with or without mitigative or remedial measures or a follow-up program, or rejected. This Agreement acknowledges and respects that the EIR process is managed by the Gahcho Kué Panel, and that most timelines during the review may be subject to change at the discretion of the Panel. The Gahcho Kué Panel's report will be provided to the federal MinisterFootnote 1 (FM) and responsible ministersFootnote 2 (RM) for final decision under section 135 of the MVRMA. There are no timelines under the MVRMA for a decision, so timing of the decision phase is entirely dependent on the FM and RMs.

The regulatory permitting process is managed in part by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) and in part by the authorizing departments or agencies. Each of the federal regulatory authorities must manage the regulatory permitting process in accordance with its governing legislation and policies, but may also modify timelines to coordinate with the MVLWB process.

5.0 Project Description

The Proponent proposes to develop an open-pit diamond mine and processing plant at Kennady Lake, Northwest Territories, approximately 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. The kimberlite ore bodies are vertical pipes underlying the lake bed in Kennady Lake, portions of which are proposed to be dewatered to access the ore. The kimberlite is proposed to be extracted and processed on site. The anticipated mine life is 15 years. If approved, this would be the fourth operating diamond mine in the territory.

The scope of the project review includes:

Following a preliminary screening by the MVLWB, the Project was referred to an environmental assessment on December 22, 2005. On June 12, 2006, the MVEIRB concluded that the Project would likely cause significant public concern and ordered an EIR be conducted for the Project pursuant to the MVRMA. The Proponent immediately filed a judicial review of the MVEIRB's decision to conduct an EIR, but on April 2, 2007 that application was dismissed by the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. Following a delay due to an internal review by the Proponent of the viability of the project, the Proponent submitted its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Gahcho Kué Panel on December 23, 2010. A technical review by the Panel of the Project is underway.

6.0 Roles and Responsibilities

The following federal departments and agencies have an identified interest in the Project:

For greater clarity, all departments and agencies listed above may have responsibilities related to any Crown consultation and accommodation and, where required, accommodation that arises for the Project.

Further information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Parties is provided in the Annexes.

7.0 Crown Consultation and Accommodation

The Government of Canada is committed to undertaking a process of early, effective and meaningful consultation with Aboriginal groups concerning contemplated Crown conduct that may adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

The Parties will use the existing EIR process, including the Gahcho Kué Panel public hearings, as their primary avenue for consulting with Aboriginal groups and collecting information on potential Project impacts to potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights. Through the EIR and regulatory permitting processes, NPMO will manage the official record of Crown consultation for the Project, and will work with other federal departments and agencies to coordinate Crown consultation and accommodation, including identification and resolution of issues, as needed. Crown consultation and accommodation roles and responsibilities are identified in Annex II of this Agreement.

8.0 Service Standards

Service standards are identified in this Agreement to promote accountable and transparent participation of the Parties in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting of the Project. It is recognized that the timelines in relation to the EIR are set by the Gahcho Kué Panel and are subject to change. The service standards outlined in this Agreement in relation to the EIR process are designed to ensure Parties work together to meet the Panel's deadlines. RAs have also identified service standards they will meet in relation to the permitting phase of the Project. Service standards are outlined in Annexes III and IV.

9.0 Administration

Reporting Progress

The activities and service standards set out in this Agreement, subject to any amendments, will provide the basis against which the NPMO will monitor the progress of the federal involvement in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting. NPMO will report on the progress of the Project as necessary through the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee, and will inform other federal departments involved in the Project of the updates.

Project milestones identified in Annexes III and IV will be uploaded and tracked on the NPMO Tracker to provide publicly accessible monitoring of the progress of federal activities in relation to the EIR and regulatory review.

Issue Resolution

The Parties will use their best efforts to resolve any differences of opinion in the interpretation or application of this Agreement in an effective and timely manner.

Issues involving multiple federal departments relating to the EIR or regulatory permitting of the Project will be resolved through direct discussions and collaboration between the involved parties, supported by NPMO.

Should issues remain outstanding, NPMO will refer them to the appropriate senior level committee.

Post Review Evaluation

NPMO will lead the design and implementation of an evaluation to determine the effectiveness of federal participation in relation to the EIR and regulatory process. Parties will participate in a meeting organized by NPMO to discuss lessons learned during the review within three months following the completion of the MVLWB process. The level of effort and format of the evaluation will be appropriate to the scale of the issues encountered.

Amendments

One or more of the Parties may recommend to NPMO whether a change in relation to the EIR, the regulatory permitting, or the Project warrants an amendment to this Agreement. Where there is agreement among the majority of Parties that an amendment is warranted, and where such amendment is considered significant, NPMO, on behalf of the Parties, will provide the proposed amendment to the Major Projects Deputy Ministers' Committee for consideration. If a Party requires an amendment to their own specific regulatory Annex, they may bring the proposed changes to NPMO for incorporation into the Agreement, without agreement from the other Parties.

Amendment of the Agreement shall not cause the participation of federal departments and agencies in the EIR and regulatory permitting to stop with respect to any Agreement-related activities that might be ongoing at the time the amendment is identified.

10.0 Signatories

The Parties hereto have signed the Agreement, in counterpart, on the dates indicated below.

Original signed by
Patrick Borbey
President
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
February 04, 2013
Date

 

Original signed by
Michael Wernick
Deputy Minister
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
February 11, 2013
Date

 

Original signed by
Bob Hamilton
Deputy Minister
Environment Canada
February 11, 2013
Date

 

Original signed by
David Bevan
A/Deputy Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
January 09, 2013
Date

 

Original signed by
Serge Dupont
Deputy Minister
Natural Resources Canada
January 11, 2013
Date

 

Original signed by
Marie Lemay
Associate Deputy Minister
Infrastructure Canada
(on behalf of Louis Lévesque, Deputy Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities)
January 11, 2013
Date

Annex I: Roles, Responsibilities and Expertise in relation to the Environmental Impact Review and Regulatory Permitting Process

Environmental Impact Review (EIR)

The Parties commit to the following activities in relation to the EIR of the Project:

  • Participate on the Gahcho Kué working group, led by NPMO.
  • Attend meetings with NPMO and other parties (including the Proponent and the territorial government), as appropriate.
  • Review, analyze, and provide comment on the EIS and other information provided to the Gahcho Kué Panel, as appropriate.
  • Provide expert advice to the Gahcho Kué Panel based on their respective mandates, regulatory responsibilities, and areas of interest throughout the EIR, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate requests for information from the Panel (including information requests and technical reports) in advance of the deadline, by sharing them with other departments and agencies to ensure consistency in messaging, and no duplication, gaps, or overlap. NPMO will be responsible for compiling them into a single, Government of Canada submission.
  • Advise NPMO, in advance, of any potential federal requests to the Gahcho Kué Panel that could impact the timelines associated with the review process (i.e. requests for additional information or timeline extensions).
  • Seek to gather sufficient information from the proponent to inform RA decisions with respect to regulatory permitting.
  • Participate in a hearing preparation session, organized by NPMO, in advance of the Gahcho Kué public hearing.
  • Participate in the public hearings, as appropriate.
  • With NPMO as the coordinator, the FM and RMs (including the Government of the Northwest Territories) will work together to review the EIR Report, including any mitigation measures, evaluate the options (adopt the recommendation or refer the report back for further consideration; or, after consulting the review panel, adopt the report with modifications or reject it), and make an appropriate decision.
  • With the FM as the lead, draft a response to the Gahcho Kué Panel outlining the FM/RM decision.
  • If necessary, with the FM as the lead, participate in the consult-to-modify or further consideration process, as appropriate, with the Gahcho Kué Panel.

Regulatory Permitting

Federal RMs and RAs commit to the following activities in relation to the regulatory permitting of the Project:

MVLWB Process:

  • Participate on the Gahcho Kué working group, led by NPMO.
  • Participate in meetings with other federal and territorial authorities, as appropriate.
  • Participate in the MVLWB review and provide expert advice with respect to their mandate and regulatory responsibilities, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate submissions, by sharing them and discussing content with other departments and agencies, prior to them being filed with the MVLWB. NPMO will coordinate and be responsible for compiling them into a single, Government of Canada submission.
  • Advise NPMO, in advance, of any potential federal requests to the MVLWB that could impact the timelines associated with the review process (i.e. requests for timeline extensions, requests for additional information).
  • Participate in the MVLWB public hearing, as appropriate.

Federal authorizations:

  • Review applications and make a regulatory decision as outlined in Annex IV.
  • If necessary, undertake any additional required activities related to their mandate, regulatory responsibilities, and/or areas of interest including consulting with affected/potentially affected Aboriginal groups as appropriate to support a regulatory decision.
  • Update NPMO on the progress of the regulatory review to ensure milestones (from Annex IV) are tracked in the NPMO Tracker and that any consultation and accommodation records are provided for keeping in the official record of Crown consultation and accommodation.
  • Ensure that terms and conditions within individual permits/authorizations/licences are consistent with the recommendations of the Gahcho Kué Panel that were approved by the FM and RMs.
  • Conduct site visits and inspections to support regulatory decisions, as required.

Areas of Expertise

Department/Agency Areas of Expertise/Interest
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Water quantity and quality
  • Tailings management
  • Closure and reclamation
  • Advice on Crown consultation and accommodation
Environment Canada
  • Wildlife, including:
    • Migratory birds
    • Species at risk (terrestrial)
    • Biodiversity
    • Habitat conservation
    • Wetlands
  • Water quality
  • Acid rock drainage
  • Waste and effluent management
  • Mine design alternatives
  • Air quality
  • Hazardous waste management
  • Solid waste management
  • Environmental emergencies and spill contingency planning
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Fish habitat
  • Fish passage
  • Fish health and mortality
  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Species at risk (aquatic)
Natural Resources Canada
  • Permafrost and terrain conditions
  • Geotechnics
  • Geology
  • Minerals and metals science
  • Manufacturing and storage of explosives
Parks Canada
  • Potential impacts of Project on proposed national park on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake
Transport Canada
  • Right to navigate
  • Aviation safety
  • Marine safety and security
  • Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG)

Annex II: Crown Consultation and Accommodation: Approach and Associated Roles and Responsibilities

1.0 Context

The Government of Canada consults with Aboriginal people for reasons of good governance, sound policy development and decision making as well as legal reasons. The legal duty to consult is grounded in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which recognizes and affirms "existing Aboriginal and Treaty rights." 

The Crown has a duty to consult, and where necessary accommodate, when the Crown contemplates conduct that might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights. Federal departments and agencies commit to working together to develop a coordinated approach to Crown consultation and accommodation that will ensure the duty to consult is met. The Parties will use the consultation efforts of the Proponent, the existing EIR process, and the Gahcho Kué Panel public hearings as their primary avenue for consulting with Aboriginal groups and collecting information on project impacts to potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights.

2.0 The Federal Crown Consultation Process

The Crown's approach to consultation and accommodation will be consistent with Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation: Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Legal Duty to Consult (AANDC, March 2011). Federal departments and agencies will work collaboratively, as the Crown, to assess roles and responsibilities and ensure that their process fulfills the Crown's duties to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate any project impacts on potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights. This work will be outlined in a Crown consultation work plan that is developed by NPMO, in collaboration with the other Parties. Best efforts will be made to ensure that the timeframe for Crown consultation and accommodation activities coincides with key milestones and processes, but it is important to acknowledge that timeframes may diverge based on consultation and accommodation requirements.

When Crown conduct is proposed, federal departments and agencies, led by NPMO, must assemble information to assess whether the Crown has a duty to consult, determine the scope of that duty, and design a consultation and accommodation process.  The Crown will use and rely on, where appropriate, existing consultation and accommodation mechanisms, such as the EIR and regulatory permitting processes, to support decision-making and will assess, as necessary, if additional consultation and accommodation activities are required. The Crown will also take into account, to the extent possible, any additional engagement efforts of the Proponent or other party to meet the duty to consult.

When accommodation is appropriate, the Crown, coordinated by NPMO, will monitor and determine whether identified measures have reasonably addressed concerns regarding potential adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

Aboriginal groups consulted may change over time based on information received during the course of the assessment and information received from Aboriginal groups, as may the level of consultation and accommodation activities undertaken by the Crown.

3.0 Roles and Responsibilities of Parties

Participating federal departments and agencies hereto agree to work together to ensure a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to Crown consultation and accommodation activities in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting process.

The NPMO will act as CCC in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting, and will:

  • Lead, with input from other federal departments and agencies, the development and implementation of a Crown consultation work plan that is consistent with the Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation: Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Legal Duty to Consult (AANDC, March 2011).
  • Coordinate and provide logistical support, as necessary, to federal departments and agencies when they consult with potentially impacted Aboriginal groups (i.e. ensure all departments/agencies are aware when a consultation meeting is planned, help organize venues, etc.).
  • Monitor Crown consultation and accommodation activities and processes to ensure they meet the objectives of the agreed-upon consultation work plan.
  • Compile, house and maintain the official record of Crown consultation and accommodation for the Project, which will include records of activities undertaken by each department and agency.
  • Coordinate the development of the Crown Consultation Assessment (CCA) report which includes compiling the responsible ministers' and regulatory authorities' substantive input on the adequacy of their consultation obligations. The CCA must be complete prior to the FM and RMs making a final decision on the Panel's Report.
  • Following completion of the CCA, lead, with input from departments and agencies, the drafting of a Government of Canada response to potentially impacted Aboriginal groups outlining how any outstanding issues will be addressed (if necessary)
  • Coordinate outstanding consultation and accommodation activities during the regulatory process if more than one federal department or agency is involved.
  • Document lessons learned.

Responsible Ministers and Regulatory Authorities will:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of a Crown consultation work plan for the Project.
  • Participate in Crown consultation and accommodation activities, as appropriate, throughout the entire federal review (including in relation to the EIR and regulatory permitting) in areas relevant/appropriate to their mandates and areas of statutory and policy responsibility.
  • Inform NPMO and provide summaries of any interactions with Aboriginal groups (outside of the public EIR and regulatory permitting process).
  • Work together to encourage Aboriginal groups to make their concerns known about the Project's potential impacts on their potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights during the EIR and regulatory permitting.
  • Contribute to the Crown consultation and accommodation record, including the tracking table to aid in follow-up efforts.
  • Contribute, for compilation by NPMO into a single CCA report, their substantive assessment of the adequacy of their consultation and accommodation obligations.  The CCA must be complete prior to the FM and RMs making a final decision on the Gahcho Kué Panel's Report.
  • Following completion of the CCA, with NPMO as the lead, support the drafting of a response to the potentially impacted Aboriginal groups on how any outstanding issues will be addressed (if necessary).
  • Address any additional concerns that are raised by Aboriginal groups during the regulatory process (if necessary).
  • Ensure that adequate Crown consultation and accommodation has been conducted prior to making a regulatory decision(s).

Annex III: Key Federal Milestones and Service Standards in relation to the Environmental Impact Review

Milestone Activities/Description Lead Support or other agencies Federal Service Standard
*Indicates a milestone that is not the responsibility of the federal government and that is shown only to provide context to the EIR process.
Information Requests Gahcho Kué Panel issues information requests Gahcho Kué Panel   Complete
Submission of information requests to the Gahcho Kué Panel Federal Departments & Agencies NPMO Complete
Proponent response to information requests Proponent   N/A
Technical Reports Submission of technical report to NPMO for compilation into a single, Government of Canada response. Federal Departments & Agencies NPMO Complete
Submission of technical reports to the Gahcho Kué Panel NPMO Federal Departments & Agencies Complete
Public Hearings Participation at pre-hearing conference Federal Departments & Agencies NPMO Complete
Federal hearing preparation and mock hearing. NPMO Federal Departments & Agencies Complete
Participation at the public hearings Federal Departments & Agencies NPMO Complete
Submission of undertakings (if necessary) Federal Departments & Agencies (if necessary) NPMO (if necessary) Complete
Final Report and Minister's Response Gahcho Kué Panel submits their Report of EIR to the federal Minister Gahcho Kué Panel   N/A
Federal Minister's decision regarding the Report of EIR NPMO and federal Minister (AANDC) Responsible ministers 120 – 180 days from issuance of Report of EIR, except for possible Crown consultation and accommodation activities

Annex IV: Roles, Responsibilities and Milestones for Regulatory Authorities in relation to Regulatory Permitting

Note: The following milestones represent the key activities associated with the regulatory permitting for the Project and are not intended to reflect the entire work plan schedule associated with this Project. Furthermore, these milestones may need to be adjusted as additional information is made available. Depending on the timing of submission of information by the Proponent, some of the steps below may be completed during the EIR.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

The following milestones occur after DFO has determined that an authorization under subsection 35(2) and/or section 32of the Fisheries Act is likely required. DFO will then request that the Proponent submit an application for authorization as part of the regulatory review process (Step 1).  

The Proponent will be required to provide appropriately detailed information associated with potential impacts on fish and fish habitat during the environmental impact review (EIR) to support the Gahcho Kué Panel's determination of the significance of adverse impacts of the project on the environment or to be a cause of significant public concern. DFO will clearly identify these information requirements throughout the EIR including in recommendations made to the Panel on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) terms of reference. DFO will only consider issuing an authorization under the Fisheries Act if the EIR deems the project to be acceptable and if the impacts can be compensated, to the extent possible, by a fish habitat compensation plan.

Step Milestone Activities / Description Lead Service Standard
1. Liaise with the Proponent regarding requirements under the Fisheries Act Liaise with the Proponent regarding proposed activities that could require an authorization under the Fisheries Act DFO Ongoing
2. Receipt of an application for a subsection 35(2) and/or section 32 Fisheries Act authorization(s) DFO receives an application from the Proponent for the authorization of impacts to fish habitat under subsection 35(2) and/or the destruction of fish under section 32 of the Fisheries Act.

The application must be complete and be supported by adequate plans, maps, reports and data.

The application should also be supported by proposed mitigation to minimize impacts on fish and fish habitat and a proposed fish habitat compensation plan (FHCP) associated with a Subsection 35(2) authorization (if deemed appropriate).

This information will be used to support the Fisheries Act review and the EIR under Part 5 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA).
Proponent Dependent upon timing of the submission of the application for a subsection 35(2) and/or section 32 Fisheries Act authorization(s) by the proponent but, at the latest, it must be submitted during or prior to the completion of the EIR.

Preferably a Proponent would submit an application for a subsection 35(2) and/or section 32 Fisheries Act authorization(s) during the preliminary screening stage, along with other regulatory applications such as the water license or land use permit.
3. Review and response regarding impacts to fish and fish habitat, and adequacy of information DFO reviews the application package, along with the EIS, for adequacy and details related to proposed mitigation and draft FHCP. DFO will provide its comments to the Proponent and Gahcho Kué Panel through Information Requests on the EIS.

If the FHCP is provided separately from the EIS, DFO will ensure that the FHCP is provided to Transport Canada for review of potential impacts to areas in their jurisdiction (14-day comment period) and to the Gahcho Kué Panel for their information.

Should the information be incomplete, DFO will request the required information from the Proponent in order to be able to proceed with the review.
DFO As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact reviewFootnote 4
4. Receipt of additional information related to Fish, Fish Habitat and the FHCP DFO receives additional information from the proponent, likely through responses to Information Requests. Proponent Dependent upon timing of the submission of the additional information by the proponent.
5. Review, respond, and request additional information, if required DFO reviews the responses to information requests including any additional information related to fish, fish habitat and the FHCP.

DFO may request further information in order to proceed with the review of the application. The draft FHCP must be provided as it will form part of the mitigation plan for the EIR.
DFO As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact review
6. Determination of adequacy of information for EIR and Fisheries Act authorization requirements DFO informs proponent and Gahcho Kué Panel that the information is sufficient to support the determination relative to the significance of environmental effects for the EIR. DFO will also, as appropriate, undertake or participate in coordinated Aboriginal consultation and accommodation activities relative to fish and fish habitat issues.
OR

If insufficient information is provided by the Proponent to support a conclusion on significance of adverse effects on fish and fish habitat, DFO will request this information/clarification from the Proponent and the Gahcho Kué Panel. Sufficient information is required before a decision under subsection 135 (1) a) and b) for the EIR can be made.
DFO As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact review – (Determination will form part of DFO's final technical submission to the Gahcho Kué Panel)
7. Crown consultation and accommodation Coordinated by NPMO with other federal departments, DFO will follow the Crown consultation work plan (as outlined in Annex II) throughout the EIR and regulatory process, and, if necessary, will undertake additional Crown consultation and accommodation activities until the duty has been met to the satisfaction of the Minister. DFO As per Crown Consultation work plan.
8. Responsible ministers' decisions under ss.135(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Responsible minister(s) reach a decision under the MVRMA that will determine whether to allow the project to proceed

If the decision allows for proceeding with authorization(s), the subsequent activities and milestones will apply.
Federal Minister & responsible ministers As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact review
9. Receipt of detailed information for Fisheries Act authorization DFO receives detailed information necessary for the section 32 and subsection 35(2) Fisheries Act authorization including a detailed FHCP, financial security (if required) and final design plans.

Upon receipt, DFO will ensure that a copy of the detailed FHCP is provided to Transport Canada for a 14-day comment period.
Proponent Dependent on timing of the submission by the proponent
10. Review and response regarding detailed information for Fisheries Act DFO notifies the proponent and, where necessary, the Land and Water Board that the FHCP is acceptable or if additional information is required to allow for the regulatory decision to be made.

Sufficient information is required before authorization can be issued.
DFO

Within 30 days of receipt of the information

If multiple information requests are required, DFO will respond within 15 days of the proponent responding to the previous request.
11. Issuance of section 32 and/or subsection 35(2) Fisheries Act authorization If appropriate, DFO issues a Fisheries Act authorizationFootnote 5 to the Proponent for impacts to fish and fish habitat. DFO DFO issues the authorization within 60 days following the determination that the FHCP is acceptable (including financial security), the discharge of any Aboriginal consultation and accommodation responsibilities with respect to the Fisheries Act authorization and that applicable obligations under Part 2 and 3 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActFootnote 6 are respected.
Issuance of the authorization may also consider the Proponent's timing needs. Should an authorization not be required until much later than the timeline above, DFO will issue it when appropriate.

Natural Resources Canada

Step Milestone Activities / Description Lead Service Standard
1. Liaise with the Proponent regarding requirements for an Explosives Act Licence Liaise with the Proponent regarding proposed activities that could require a Licence. NRCan Ongoing
2. Crown consultation and accommodation Coordinated by NPMO with other federal departments, NRCan will follow the Crown consultation work plan (as outlined in Annex II) throughout the EIR and regulatory process, and, if necessary, will undertake additional Crown consultation and accommodation activities until the duty has been met to the satisfaction of the Minister. NRCan

As per Crown consultation work plan.

3. Responsible ministers' decisions under ss.135(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Responsible minister(s) reach a decision under the MVRMA that will determine whether to allow the project to proceed

If the decision allows for proceeding with authorization(s), the subsequent activities and milestones will apply.
Federal Minister and responsible ministers As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact review
4. Submission of an application for an Explosives Act Licence The Supplier compiles information and submits an application to NRCan for a Licence under the Explosives Act paragraph 7(1)(a) for an explosives factory and/or magazine. Explosives supplier selected by the Proponent Determined by the Proponent and its Explosives Supplier.
5. Review of the application NRCan reviews the Explosives Supplier's application to ensure that all of the required information is included. NRCan If the application is complete, require 30 days to review and process the application and issue the Explosives Act Licence.
6. If required, request for clarification or additional information

If there are aspects of the application that are unclear or additional information is required, NRCan will request clarification or additional information from the Explosives Supplier.

NRCan Within 15 days of receipt of the application.
7. If required, resubmission of a complete application for an Explosives Act Licence If required, explosives supplier resubmits a completed application for an Explosives Act Licence. Supplier Dependent on the explosives supplier.
8. If required, review Supplier's revised application

If required, NRCan continues its review of the application, which includes clarifications or additional information requested.

NRCan Within 30 days from receipt of revised application.
9. Make regulatory decision (Issuance of an Explosives Act Licence) NRCan makes decision to issue a licence under the Explosives Act for an explosives factory(ies) and/or magazine(s). NRCan Within 30 days from the receipt of all necessary information to form a complete application (as per User Fees Act performance standard commitments).

Transport Canada

TC requires that all of the information described in the Navigable Waters Protection Act(NWPA) application form for a review under the NWPA be submitted during the EIR to confirm whether there is a NWPA trigger. In order to meet the regulatory timelines set out in this Agreement for a review under the NWPA, the information described in the NWPA application form must be submitted to TC at the latest, concurrent with the submission of the EIS, and the Navigation Impact Assessment (NIA) has to be completed as a component of the EIR.

Step Milestone Activities / Description Lead Service Standard
1. Liaise with the Proponent regarding potential works in regards to impacts on navigability Inform proponent that any works within a navigable waterway may require an approval under the NWPA TC Ongoing
2. Submission of NWPA application(s), including information required to process applications under the NWPA, for each proposed work

Provide TC with a completed application for each proposed work, no later than the time of submission of the EIS.

Proponent The application should be submitted during the EIR process, ideally no later than the submission of the EIS.
3. Determination and comment on NWPA application(s) Review application package and information/plans for adequacy to support NWPA review.

Request further information if required to proceed with application.

Make information request to proponent within the EIR process if the information is insufficient for assessment purposes.
TC 8 weeks after application submission.
4. Review Fisheries Habitat Compensation Plan for potential impacts to navigation Review of Fisheries Habitat Compensation Plan for potential impacts to navigation and provide comments to DFO. TC/DFO Within 2 weeks of receiving the draft FHCP.
5. Navigation Impact Assessment (NIA) process - on-site inspection(s)

Complete on-site NIA of the Project, site and waterway(s), subject to weather and time of year.

TC

Within one complete navigation season following submission.

Note: site inspections can only be conducted during open water season.
6. Notice to the Proponent to advertise pursuant to the NWPA s. 9, if required

Provide the Proponent with advertisement package pursuant to NWPA s. 9.

TC

Within 3 weeks of completed initial on-site inspection and following the assessment of navigational issues arising from any changes to the Project due to EIR issues.

Should be 3 months prior to the proposed construction date as determined by the proponent and based on substantial or non substantial interference.
7. Deposit and advertise, if required

Deposit "Final Plans" and other relevant information with Land Title Office or the government agent and advertise in one or more local papers and/or the Canada Gazette as directed by TC.

Provide proof of deposit and advertising to TC.
Proponent Interested persons may provide written comments to the Minister within 30 days after the publication of the last notice referred to in s.9(3) or 9(4) of the NWPA.
8. Crown consultation and accommodation

Coordinated by NPMO with other federal departments, TC will follow the Crown consultation work plan (as outlined in Annex II) throughout the EIR and regulatory process, and, if necessary, will undertake additional Crown consultation and accommodation activities until the duty has been met to the satisfaction of the Minister.

TC As per Crown Consultation work plan.
9. Address public comments and issues raised by Aboriginal groups regarding the Project's potential impact on navigation

Through the EIR process and the additional NWPA proponent advertising requirements, should TC receive concerns from the public or Aboriginal groups regarding navigation, the Proponent and TC will work together to resolve concerns.
Additional requirements might be deemed necessary by TC in regard to potential impacts on navigation posed by proposed works.

TC will facilitate public comment process if required.
Proponent and TC

To be completed within two months of completion of advertisement process.

10. Resubmission of NWPA application(s), if required

Resubmission of NWPA application(s) where applicable and re-deposit and re-advertising of plans in one or more local papers and the Canada Gazette is required if substantial changes to proposed work(s) are required.

Proponent

Determined by the Proponent, if required.

11. Responsible ministers' decisions under ss.135(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Responsible minister(s) reach a decision under the MVRMA that will determine whether to allow the project to proceed

If the decision allows for proceeding with authorization(s), the subsequent activities and milestones will apply.
Federal Minister & responsible ministers

As per Annex II: Crown consultation approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex II: Key federal milestones and service standards for the environmental impact review

12. Final application review process

Consistent with the Minister's decision above, perform a final review of all information on file, including technical information and public comments.

TC 4 weeks – following the receipt of any required additional information (section 3) and any necessary site inspection, public consultation and advertising.
13. Make regulatory decision

Make regulatory decision under NWPA.

TC

Within 90 calendar days after the Minister's Decision if the NWPA application(s) submitted no later than the time of submission of the EIS. The regulatory decision will be contingent on

  1. The discharge of any legal Aboriginal consultation and accommodation obligations associated with the approval(s).
  2. Mitigation of public concerns to the satisfaction of the Minister of Transport.
Ongoing approvals may be issued as the development progresses, due to the restrictions with commencement and completion dates.
14. Decision to proceed with recommendation for an OIC (applicable to NWPA s. 23) TC develops triage and RIAS requirements TC Upon decision to proceed with OIC recommendation
15. Proceed with OIC exemption under s.23 NWPA*

Completion of Treasury Board (TB) Submission documents for pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I (i.e. Triage and RIAS)

TC Within 3 months following the Minister's decision
Approval by TC senior management and document submission to TC Minister and Privy Council Office (PCO) prior to TB meeting TC Within 1.5 months following the completion of draft TB Submission documents
Pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I and 30-day comment period TC Within 2 months following the submission of draft documents to PCO
Revision of TB Submission documents for final approval and for publication in Canada Gazette, Part II (i.e. RIAS) TC Within 1.5 months following Canada Gazette, Part I comment period
Approval by TC senior management and document submission to TC Minister and PCO prior to TB meeting TC Within 1.5 months following the completion of revised TB Submission documents
Final TB approval of proclamation and publication in Canada Gazette, Part II TC Within 2 months following the submission of documents to PCO
*Certain activities may coincide with the time periods for which Parliament is not in session. Should this be the case, the overall timeline for obtaining an exemption under section 23 of the NWPA may have to be extended to adequately address this. (return to the note)

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

AANDC has regulatory and statutory responsibilities under the Northwest Territories Waters Act and its regulations,the Territorial Lands Act and its regulations, and the Territorial Quarrying Regulations, and acts as a Federal Minister (FM), Responsible Minister (RM) and Regulatory Authority (RA) pursuant to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA). AANDC will be responsible for ministerial approval of the Type A Water License. Water Licenses and Land Use Permits are issued by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) and other land and water boards. Furthermore, AANDC is responsible for administering mineral tenure, surface leases and quarry permits that are on Crown land. Mineral tenure is administered by the Mining Recorder's Office, surface leases are administered by the Land Administration Office, and quarry permits are administered by the South Mackenzie District Office.

Step Milestone Activities / Description Lead Service Standard
1. Crown consultation and accommodation Coordinated by NPMO with other federal departments, AANDC will follow the Crown consultation work plan (as outlined in Annex II) throughout the environmental review and regulatory process, and, if necessary, will undertake additional Crown consultation and accommodation activities until the duty has been met to the satisfaction of the Minister. AANDC As per Crown consultation work plan.
2. Responsible ministers' decisions under ss.135(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Responsible minister(s) reach a decision under the MVRMA that will determine whether to allow the project to proceed

If the decision allows for proceeding with authorization(s), the subsequent activities and milestones will apply.
Federal Minister & Responsible Ministers As per Annex II: Crown consultation and accommodation: Approach and associated roles and responsibilities and Annex III: Key federal milestones and service standards in relation to the environmental impact review
3. Receipt and review of applications for a Type A Water Licence and Type A Land Use Permit.

AANDC is notified of the application by the MVLWB. AANDC provides comments and feedback on the application through the MVLWB process.

MVLWB

AANDC will participate in the MVLWB process as outlined in Annex 1, meeting the deadlines set by the MVLWB.

4. Final WL decision from AANDC Minister. MVLWB submits the final Water Licence to Minister of AANDC for approval. Review of security amounts in the water licence and land use permit conducted by AANDC. Following approval by the Minister, the MVLWB issues the water licence with appropriate securities. AANDC 30 days to approve the water licence and an additional 30 day extension if required.
5. Surface leases – Land application submitted to AANDC by proponent. AANDC checks for completeness of the application and appropriate fees. Notifies proponent if application is incomplete. AANDC Interim Measures Agreements require a 45 day review period and depending on comments received from the Land Advisory Committee (LAC) the issuance of a lease is dependent on the approval of the project as a whole by all regulatory bodies.
6. Surface Leases – Review Process by Land Advisory Committee

AANDC submits the completed application to the Land Advisory Committee  (includes other government departments, Aboriginal governments and groups) to review application and provide comments

AANDC Must be sent to LAC for review within 5 days from date of acceptance.

This is followed by a 45 day waiting period for comments. Any additional requests from LAC for information will be sent back to the proponent for answers.
7. Surface Leases – Approval of the land application  and issuance of the surface lease to proponent

AANDC issues the surface lease after the EIR process is completed and the Project is approved. The lease is signed by the Director of Operations, NWT Regional Office on behalf of the Minister.

AANDC

Once the consultation period outlined in step 6 is complete AANDC will review the information received and respond to any concerns that may have been brought forward during the process. The total application process and review could take approximately 2-3 months to finalize.
8. Quarry Permit- Permit application is submitted to the South Mackenzie District Office, AANDC

Proponents must submit a quarry permit application to AANDC, South Mackenzie District Office (SMD), if quarrying is listed as an activity under a land use operation.

AANDC According to the Administrative Understanding developed by AANDC and the Akaitcho First Nation, a 45 day review of quarry applications is required.

If a surface lease for Quarry/Rock Pile is issued by AANDC (Land Administration), then quarrying permits are not required.
9. Quarry Permit – Review process of the permit is conducted A Quarry Permit, once issued by the SMD, shall expire when the quantity of material or substance has been quarried or removed, or on the expiry of one year from the date of issue of the permit, whichever is the earlier. AANDC Prior to start-up of quarrying operations, proponent provides 48 hours notification to Inspector. During life of permit, inspections are conducted to ensure compliance. Within 60 days of expiry of permit, proponent is required to provide a completed final quarry pit return for verification by Inspector. Closure is granted.
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