(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

Canada’s federal energy regulator names Indigenous advisory committee

The committee will not deal with specific projects or regulatory decision-making

Canada’s energy regulator has named a new advisory committee that aims to change how it interacts with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The Indigenous advisory committee, which includes eight First Nations and Metis individuals from across Canada, is part of legislation the Liberals brought in last year to impose new rules for environmental assessments.

The committee will not deal with specific projects or regulatory decision-making or provide advice on individual projects that go before the regulator for approval.

Instead it will provide more high-level insight on ways the agency can strengthen its relationships with Indigenous Peoples and better reflect Indigenous knowledge and culture in the way it regulates projects, said Cassie Doyle, chair of the Canada Energy Regulator’s board of directors.

“We see the advisory committee as being a core part of the governance structure of the Canada Energy Regulator and will provide strategic advice to the board with the primary goal of advancing reconciliation,” she said.

The role of the board of directors differs from that of commissioners, who are responsible for actual assessment and regulation of pipeline and transmission line projects in Canada. The board of directors, which this new committee will advise, provides more strategic policy

direction for the agency as a whole.

Processes are already in place for Indigenous input and consultation on specific projects that take into account local and regional concerns, Doyle said. Indigenous advisory and monitoring committees have been created, for example, for the TransMountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge Line 3 replacement projects.

Rather than duplicating this work, this new committee will have a more national focus, and will influence overall how the regulator works with Indigenous communities.

“This is to provide a more wholesale — how do we shift the whole institution and the way our relationships are playing out with Indigenous people at the national level?” Doyle said.

The committee could, for example, give recommendations on the management of work camps operated by energy companies, she explained.

There have been concerns in recent months about possible outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in camps located near First Nations communities.

“I can see the advisory committee providing advice across all (the ways) the energy regulator works with regulated companies around work camps, as opposed to getting into the details of any individual work camp in any individual province.”

Opposition to many major resource development projects by Indigenous groups and communities have proven major stumbling blocks for energy companies trying to get approval from regulators and courts for projects near or on traditional lands.

Melanie Debassige, who sits on the regulator’s board and has over 20 years of experience in Indigenous economic development, said the agency hopes this new advisory group can help integrate the interests and concerns of Indigenous Peoples into its core strategy.

She said that could create more awareness of potential opposition at the earliest stages of proposed projects.

“Before there was no processes in place to (ask) what does this Indigenous community look like? How do they want to be approached? What type of ceremonial approaches do we have to take if a project is to be approved, what would they like to see?” Debassige said.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Children and their families enjoy the light display at Centennial Park in 2019. (File photo)
Town anounces expanded light display and new Christmas Light Tour

The Town of Ponoka will flip the switch on an expanded Christmas… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

file photo
Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis RCMP search warrant seize drugs; numerous charges laid

39-year-old Wetaskiwin man, Wayne Wiebe charged with 21 criminal code offences.

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read