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Canadian Federal Government

Government of Canada introduces legislation for responsible co-management of Arctic resources

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: Phys.org
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Government of Canada is taking action to protect Canada’s rich natural environment, respect the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples, and support a resilient Canadian natural resource sector, in order to help ensurea healthy environment and prosperous future for Northern communities.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, introduced Bill C-88, An Act to Amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, in the House of Commons.

The proposed changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) respond to concerns raised by Indigenous governments and organizations in the Northwest Territories about parts of the 2014 Northwest Territories Devolution Act. This legislation seeks to repeal parts of the 2014 legislation that were challenged in court. By listening to Northerners, the Government is ensuring that policies better reflect their interests and their realities.

The proposed changes to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act support the Government’s commitment to a renewed framework for co-managing Arctic offshore resources by allowing the Governor in Council to issue orders, when in the national interest, to prohibit oil and gas activities and freeze the terms of existing licenses to prevent them from expiring while the prohibition is in place.

The changes would also allow the Government to establish a path forward for the strategic management of Arctic offshore oil and gas resources in collaboration with partners. Partners in the North have been clear that they want to be involved in the management of Arctic offshore oil and gas resources, and the Government has listened.

These amendments are part of the Government’s commitment to protect Canada’s rich natural environment, respect the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples, and support a resilient Canadian natural resources sector.

Quotes

“We have listened carefully to the feedback of Northerners, territorial and Indigenous organizations and governments. The bill introduced today demonstrates our commitment to resolving their concerns. The proposed amendments would help maintain the efficient, predictable, and coherent management and use of land, water, and natural resources in the North that would both foster economic opportunities and growth and protect the environment for future generations.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

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Backgrounder

Bill C-88 – Amendments to the
Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA)

In 2014, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) was amended as part of legislation surrounding the devolution of the Northwest Territories. The legislation included changes that sought to restructure the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.

At the time, a number of Indigenous governments and organizations in the Northwest Territoriesraised concerns about the planned restructuring. The Tłįchǫ Government and Sahtu Secretariat Inc. filed for an injunction with the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories to suspend the related provisions. They were granted the injunction in February 2015.

In the spirit of respect and cooperation, the Government of Canada launched a consultation process with all relevant parties, including Indigenous governments and organizations in the Northwest Territories, the territorial government, and other stakeholders to discuss a way forward for the MVRMA on September 23, 2016.

Following formal discussions with territorial Indigenous governments and organizations, and the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada introduced a bill in the House of Commons on November 8, 2018 that addresses concerns about the 2014 changes to the MVRMA.

Bill C-88 proposes to repeal the provisions of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act that would have restructured the four land and water boards in the Mackenzie Valley, and instead retain the current board structure consisting of:

  • Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board;
  • Gwich’in Land and Water Board;
  • Sahtu Land and Water Board; and
  • Wek’èezhìi (Tłįchǫ) Land and Water Board.

The Bill also re-introduces regulatory provisions that were included in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act but did not come into force following the court injunction. These provisions have been drafted to function under the current four-board structure and provide for the following:

  • An enforceable development certificate scheme following environmental assessments and environmental impact reviews.
  • Clarification on equal proportions of nominees from government and Indigenous governments and organizations.
  • The extension of a board member’s term during a proceeding to ensure board quorum is maintained until the conclusion of an application decision.
  • A 10-day pause period between a board’s preliminary screening decision and the issuance of an authorization to allow for other bodies under the Act to refer a project to an environmental assessment.
  • An Administrative Monetary Penalty scheme that will provide inspectors with additional tools to enforce compliance under the Act.
  • Regional studies that provide the Minister with the discretion to appoint committees or individuals to study the effects of existing and future development on a regional basis.
  • The authority to develop cost-recovery regulations that would provide the Government with the ability to recover costs associated with proceedings.
  • The development of regulations respecting consultation, which would help clarify the procedural roles and responsibilities respecting Indigenous consultation.

The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, provincial and territorial governments, and Canadians to ensure that legislation is clear, fair and appropriate to all Canadians. This bill supports the Government’s commitments to respect the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples and is an important step towards reconciliation.

Backgrounder

Proposed Amendments to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA)

In December 2016, as part of the Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement, the Prime Minister announced an indefinite moratorium on new oil and gas rights in the Arctic offshore, to be reviewed every five years with a science assessment. The Government of Canada subsequently launched a one-year consultation process with existing oil and gas rights holders and with territorial and Northern Indigenous governments on their interests in the Arctic offshore.

The proposed amendments to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA) give force to the December 2016 Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement and were informed by feedback from rights holders and territorial and Northern Indigenous governments during consultations. Specifically, the proposed amendments to the CPRA would authorize the Governor in Council to issue an order, when in the national interest, prohibiting existing Exploration Licence and Significant Discovery Licence holders from carrying out any oil and gas activities. The effect of such an order would be to freeze the terms of the existing licences in the Arctic offshore and prevent the licenses from expiring while the prohibition order remains in place.

The proposed amendments supplement existing authorities under section 12(1) of the CPRA that authorize the Governor in Council to issue an order to prohibit oil and gas activities under certain circumstances.

The Canada Petroleum Resources Act regulates the disposition of oil and gas rights on federal Crown lands in the North and in Canada’s offshore areas not under federal-provincial co-management administration.

Associated Links

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
Northwest Territories Devolution Act
Canada Petroleum Resources Act

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Editor - With a passion photo photography, webdesign and content, it made sense for me to also integrate news editing and press release publishing. I am also passionate about the car industry, so you will surely find some exciting news reporting from my side about the automotive industry.

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Canadian Federal Government

Canada and Quebec support the renovation and expansion of the Dollard-des-Ormeaux municipal library

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: huffingtonpost.ca
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The governments of Canada and Quebec recognize that cultural infrastructure plays a key role in developing dynamic prosperous communities.

Frank Baylis, Member of Parliament for Pierrefonds–Dollard, and Christopher Skeete, Member of the National Assembly for Sainte-Rose, today announced that the governments of Canada and Quebec will each invest nearly $1.3 million to renovate, upgrade and expand the Dollard-des-Ormeaux library.

This financial support comes from the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component—Small Communities Fund. The City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux will also invest close to $1.3 million, bringing the total government and municipal investment to over $3.8 million.

Built 25 years ago, the Dollard-des-Ormeaux library needs updating to provide adequate services that meet the current needs of users. As well as general renovations to modernize the building and make it more accessible, the project will expand the space by 150 square meters, allowing the library to provide more books, audiovisual materials, computer terminals, and seating. Special areas for youth will also be added as well as an outdoor garden.

Quotes

“Investing in cultural infrastructure helps build strong communities and support local economic growth. The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in this project, which will help the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux enhance its cultural offerings. The extra space and more modern facilities will allow the library to improve services for residents and fully meet it social and educational mandates.”

Frank Baylis, MP for Pierrefonds—Dollard, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“These upgrades will allow the library to host more cultural activities for all residents—activities we know will foster a sense of belonging and creativity while encouraging new users to frequent cultural institutions, and bringing people together from all walks of life. It will become a social hub that encourages cultural outreach and supports the development of innovative public projects. I’m grateful to the elected officials and partners who have spared no effort in making this major project a reality.”

Christopher Skeete, MNA for Sainte-Rose, on behalf of Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications, and Minister Responsible for the French Language

“The City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux is happy to be getting this federal and provincial financial contribution, which has allowed us to reach the funding target we needed to redevelop our library. Our goal is to meet the needs of our citizens and to make this “third place” a space where they can thrive and grow not just in the short term, but also over the next 20 to 30 years. We want to be as forward-thinking as possible about this project and thank the government for sharing this vision with us.”

Alex Bottausci, Mayor of Dollard-des-Ormeaux

Quick Facts

  • The Small Communities Fund is a federal-provincial program coordinated by Infrastructure Canada in partnership with the provinces and territories. In Quebec, the Fund is administered by the Quebec Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The goal of this program is to provide financial support to Canadian municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents to develop infrastructure that enhances their cultural, sports, recreational and tourism assets or safeguards public assets.
  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities. $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities.
  • Quebec’s 2018-2028 Infrastructure Plan calls for nearly $7.3 billion in investments in municipal infrastructure under the Quebec Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. When combined with contributions from the Government of Canada and municipalities, this means over $14.3 billion will be invested in municipal infrastructure in Quebec over this period.

Associated links

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/about-invest-apropos-eng.html

Investing in Canada Plan Project Map: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map

Federal investments in infrastructure projects in Quebec: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/index-eng.html

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Canadian Federal Government

Launch of National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence and Update on Terrorist Threat to Canada: Terrorism threat level unchanged

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: lusakastar.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The Government of Canada is constantly working to keep Canadian families and communities safe from terrorism and violent extremism. National security is critical to providing economic stability and safe and secure communities. Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced the release of the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada, and launched Canada’s National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence (National Strategy).

2018’s Public Report provides an up-to-date analysis of Canada’s terrorist threat environment, pulling together information from all Government agencies and departments that work on national security. Canada’s terrorism threat level is assessed regularly, and was last updated in November 2018, when it was confirmed at medium. This level remains unchanged since early October 2014. Canadian security, intelligence, and police agencies work in close collaboration with domestic and international partners, and continuously assess their operations in response to all threats to Canada.

The launch of the National Strategy marks an important milestone in Canada’s work to prevent wherever possible the kind of radicalization that leads to violence in the first place. The National Strategy outlines the Government of Canada’s approach to countering radicalization to violence by preventing and disengaging individuals from violent ideologies. Three priorities have been identified: building, sharing and using knowledge; addressing radicalization to violence in the on-line space; and supporting interventions.

The Government continues to take all possible actions to counter terrorist threats to Canada, its people, and our interests around the world, while always safeguarding our rights and freedoms.

Quotes

“Canada’s security and intelligence agencies constantly assess and reassess all data to be effective in keeping Canadians safe. Canada has a full range of counterterrorism tools, and we use all of them, including the Global Coalition against Daesh, intelligence-gathering, lawful sharing with our Five Eyes and G7 partners, criminal charges and prosecutions in every possible case, peace bonds, public listings, the no-fly list, passport revocations, and appropriate threat reduction measures. With our new National Strategy, Canada will also become a world leader in working to prevent the types of radicalization that lead to violence. ”

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick Facts

  • The National Strategy was developed by the Canada Centre on Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre). It was informed by what the Canada Centre heard from communities, experts, and other stakeholders, as well as key federal, provincial, and territorial partners through consultation and engagement.
  • The Canada Centre was launched in 2017 and is a centre of excellence which provides national leadership on Canada’s work to counter radicalization to violence, builds partnerships, and coordinates efforts among governments and community actors.
  • The Canada Centre provides funding to organizations that work to counter radicalization to violence in Canada. To date, it has funded twenty-four projects worth a total of over $16 million.
  • According to the 2018 Public Report, the main terrorist threat to Canada continues to come from violent extremists inspired by terrorist groups, such as Daesh and al-Qaida. Canada also remains concerned with the threats posed by those who harbour right-wing extremist views.
  • At the August 2018 Five Country Ministerial meeting, Canada agreed with its Five-Eyes partners to expand information sharing about known or suspected terrorists.
  • Canada has agreed with its G7 and Five-Eyes allies to counter the illicit use of online spaces by, among other things, working with digital industry on issues related to violent extremism and terrorist material. This includes engagement with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which is led by Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google), to remove and prevent the uploading of violent extremist and terrorist exploitation from online platforms.

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Associated Links

SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada

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Canadian Federal Government

Canada continues to play leadership role in Paris Agreement negotiations at COP24

Zoltán Tűndik

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Photo source: euractiv.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, began her first day at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.

Canada was instrumental in negotiating the Paris Agreement in 2015 and continues to promote global climate action at COP24.

COP24 is the result of three years of work toward finalizing the most important climate agreement the global community has ever reached—the Paris Agreement. Canada is working diligently at the negotiating table to finalize the set of rules that will put the Paris Agreement into action.

The Paris Agreement rulebook will outline how countries will commit to fighting climate change and how each country will report on its progress. The rules will enable countries to see progress on climate action and identify areas requiring increased ambition.

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that developed countries—including Canada—are on track to meeting climate finance commitments and that climate finance continues to increase. Canada is proud to be providing $2.65 billion over five years to advance international climate change objectives.

During the first week of COP24, Canada’s negotiating team played a leading role in identifying solutions and addressing obstacles in the final push toward consensus on the Paris Agreement rulebook.

Quotes

“Over the course of the next week, Canada will continue to lead in these critical negotiations. We all need to do our part to find solutions to fight climate change at home and abroad. By working together, we can do right by our planet, unlock the huge economic opportunity of clean growth, and ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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