OTTAWA, Dec. 19, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the meaningful participation of Indigenous peoples and Northerners in impact assessment and regulatory decision-making processes for major projects.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, announced the creation of the Northern Participant Funding Program. This program will help Indigenous peoples and Northerners access the resources and expertise needed to participate effectively in impact assessments of major resource or infrastructure development projects in Canada's North.
The Government of Canada is investing $10.3 million over five years, beginning in 2018-2019, as a part of its ongoing commitment to renewing Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples. The investment also supports the implementation of the Government of Canada's proposed new impact assessment system that would recognize and respect the rights, culture and interests of Indigenous peoples.
"Indigenous peoples should have a real opportunity to have input into decisions about major infrastructure and resource projects that can affect their communities and way of life. More effective Indigenous engagement is an opportunity to advance reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples, while rebuilding public trust in Canada's impact assessment system, fostering economic opportunities and growth, and safeguarding the environment for future generations."
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade
- The Northern Participant Funding Program will help support project-specific technical reviews of information, research, data collection, preparation of submissions and presentations, preparation of witnesses, and retention of experts, including legal representation.
- The Northern Participant Funding Program will be accepting funding applications from those potentially affected by major project development in areas subject to modern land claim agreements in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
- In Nunavut, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) will be accepting funding applications on a project by project basis. While the application system for project reviews in the Yukon and for the Northwest Territories is still being finalized, interested parties can contact the Northern Participant Funding Program directly through a dedicated e-mail address.
- When an application deadline closes, a funding review committee composed of representatives of Indigenous, territorial and federal governments will examine all funding applications and will make a recommendation on funding allocations.
- The Government of Canada has put forward new legislation proposing better rules for a federal impact assessment system that includes elements to advance reconciliation; respect the rights, cultures and interests of Indigenous peoples; support early and inclusive engagement and ensure mandatory consideration of Indigenous knowledge.
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Vincent Hughes, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, [email protected], 613-943-7111; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]