Advice to Government and the CER

On December 10, 2019, the Indigenous Committee members of the Line 3 Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC), submitted advice to the Government of Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator. Click here to view the report.

In keeping with the Committee’s mandate “to enable Indigenous Nations to come together to identify common priorities related to L3RP activities…and to provide informed advice to the Government and NEB (now CER) on how to address [them]”, the Line 3 IAMC Summary Report: Issues and Recommendations was put forward, with the support of the majority of Committee members. An alternative opinion was also included for consideration, as per the Terms of Reference.

The Report summarizes the findings of the Indigenous Committee members from the first two-year term of the Line 3 IAMC, based on the Committee’s programs, the personal experiences and perspectives of the Indigenous Committee members, and the input and engagement of impacted Indigenous Nations. The report contains 55 recommendations.

Recommendations are far-reaching and comprehensive, and include: improving capacity support for Indigenous Nations to enable broader participation and more effective collaboration with government; increased Indigenous involvement in emergency management; improved protection of Indigenous heritage resources and sacred sites; improved access of Elders and Knowledge Keepers to the Right of Way; more effective communication between the CER and Indigenous Nations; and the inclusion of support for Indigenous interests in both federal and provincial project review legislation.

Upon receiving this report, both the Government of Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator will consider the advice, and as per section 15.2 of the Terms of Reference, respond by either:

a. agreeing with and adopting the advice; or,

b. after engaging with the Committee, adopt the advice with modifications, or reject it, providing written reasons, and whether or how the interests or concerns underlying the advice have been or will be addressed.

The Terms of Reference are clear that the Committee is not used by the government to undertake consultation. It states that the Committee will ‘not replace or diminish any right of individual Indigenous Nations to be consulted and accommodated in respect of L3RP’ nor would it ‘be used as a forum for the Government to replace or substitute any direct engagement or consultation owed to, or desired by, Indigenous Nations.

The Indigenous Committee members encourage Indigenous Nations to make use of relevant information from this report in their Nation-to-Nation discussions with the Government of Canada, and encourage the federal government to engage directly with Indigenous Nations on the recommendations and advice in this report, as part of their response. This report is intended to be a first step to form the basis for further discussions with impacted Indigenous Nations, the Government of Canada, and the CER.

The Committee looks forward to receiving responses from both the Government of Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator, and welcomes invitations to meet with any of the impacted Nations to discuss the Advice to Government report and future priorities for Committee work.