The leadership of the BC Métis Federation is pleased to share the following letter from Natural Resources Canada and their Major Projects Management Office dated January 18th, 2016. The Consultation Office of the BC Métis Federation will be meeting in February as requested. In fact, the Consultation Office led by Environmental Consultant Kelly Davison has been activity engaged in January and February with Pembina, TransCanada, and various other partners such as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).
Dear Mr. Henry:
I am writing with regard to Crown consultation on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project), related Government of Canada commitments, and the Crown’s interest in arranging a meeting or call with the BC Métis Federation in the period following the close of the NEB hearing record.
The National Energy Board (NEB) review process for the Project is expected to conclude shortly, and a Government of Canada decision on whether or not the Project should proceed will subsequently be required.
Many potentially impacted Aboriginal groups, as well as other interested parties, have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Project review and Crown consultation processes have unfolded to-date. Key concerns that have been raised include:
- the impact of legislated time limits on the process;
- the limited scope of the NEB review process;
- inadequate participant funding for the NEB review process and Crown consultations; and,
- an overreliance on the NEB review process for meeting Crown consultation obligations.
The Government of Canada has responded to these concerns thus far by committing to review environmental assessment processes, modernize the NEB, and renew the Crown’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. These objectives were confirmed in the Prime Minister’s mandate letters to Ministers and the December 4, 2015 Speech from the Throne.
The Minister of Natural Resources has indicated that it will take time to engage Canadians, consult with Indigenous peoples and implement any changes to the system that may come as a result of the review. Both the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change have indicated that an interim strategy will be released shortly to deal with projects already undergoing environmental assessment, such as the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
I understand that the Crown Consultation Lead for the Project, Ross Neil (firstname.lastname@example.org), has provided procedural and consultation-related updates during the course of the NEB hearing process. Mr. Neil and his team will communicate with you again shortly to explore options for a meeting or call following the close of the NEB hearing record.
To facilitate a productive dialogue during the post-NEB hearing phase of consultation, Mr. Neil will also be providing you with an update on the Crown’s ongoing assessment of the depth of consultation owed to BC Métis Federation.
The focus of an initial meeting could be on the consultation approach and depth of consultation assessment for the BC Métis Federation, as well as any Project-related concerns you may wish to discuss. Additional consultation is expected to take place following the release of the NEB report.
I wish you all the best in 2016 and look forward to working in partnership with the BC Métis Federation.
Director General, Strategic Projects Secretariat
Major Projects Management Office
Natural Resources Canada
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Métis-Federation-Letter-from-MPMO-–-January-18-2016.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the letter in PDF format. [/ilink]