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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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Advocacy Group Opinion

Minister Tassi meets with seniors in Edmonton to promote healthy aging and active participation in their communities

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: toronto.citynews.ca
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Seniors make significant and valuable contributions to their families, communities and work places. They helped build Canada and continue to contribute to its success. This is why the Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian seniors with greater security and a better quality of life.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, visited Edmonton, Alberta where she met with seniors and other partners to hear about issues important to older Canadians. During her discussions, the Minister encouraged seniors to stay active, engaged and informed, and highlighted a number of measures the Government of Canada has taken to improve their social and economic well-being.

While in Edmonton, Minister Tassi visited the Senior Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) and The Greater Edmonton Foundation Seniors Housing, whose projects form part of the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS) collective impact plan, funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) Pan-Canadian stream. The projects of seven organizations in total make up PEGASIS.

These organizations are working together to measurably reduce the social isolation of seniors in the Edmonton region by providing a variety of social supports, including friendly door-to-door visitor programs and telephone reassurance, information and connections to drop-in events and other community programs and services. Their projects directly support the Government of Canada’s overarching goals to enhance the quality of life and promote the full participation of individuals, including seniors, in all aspects of Canadian society.

Minister Tassi concluded her day meeting with seniors at Rosedale Developments Assisted Living, Millwoods Seniors Multicultural Centre and the South Edmonton Seniors Association, the latter of which is supported by the NHSP community-based project stream. The Association offers a variety of activities and services to the community including opportunities for seniors to become or remain physically active in a safe, supportive and clean environment.

Quote

“The Government of Canada deeply values the contributions seniors make to our country. We know that when seniors can fully participate in society, everybody benefits.That is why the New Horizons for Seniors Program plays an important role in communities across Canada. By supporting projects through this program, we are taking action to ensure that seniors have a strong and active presence, are encouraged to remain involved in their communities and receive the recognition, respect and support that they deserve.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors

Quick Facts

  • Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada. By 2030, the number of seniors will reach 9.6 million people, representing close to one quarter of Canada’s population.
  • The NHSP fosters social inclusion and the engagement of seniors by encouraging seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others through projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities. The NHSP has two funding streams: community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects.
  • Community-based projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding and, as of this year, up to $5,000in new small grants funding for organizations that have not received funding within the last five years.
  • Community-based project funding supports activities that engage seniors and address one or more of the program’s five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.
  • Pan-Canadian project funding supports multi-year projects using collaborative and innovative approaches to increase the social inclusion of seniors.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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Art

Celebrating the Grand Reopening of the Art Gallery of St. Albert

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: artgalleryofstalbert.ca
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Funding from the Government of Canada supported a full suite of renovation activities at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, allowing the space to become fully accessible

Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods), attended the grand reopening of the Art Gallery of St. Albert. Minister Sohi toured the renovated space and delivered remarks on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

The Department of Canadian Heritage invested $389,201 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund in support of this project. The project was also supported through the Enabling Accessibility Fund of Employment and Social Development Canada with funding of $34,000.

The renovations have improved building functionality and accessibility, while preserving the historic look and feel of the building. Modifications include a wheelchair ramp and new entrance, an elevator to access all three floors and a barrier-free washroom. In addition to making the space fully accessible, the Gallery has expanded, now totalling over 6,000 square feet.

Accessible and barrier-free cultural spaces enrich our communities by creating secure, inclusive environments where all Canadians, regardless of background, can access, discover and enjoy cultural programs and activities.

Quotes

“Building and improving cultural spaces helps make communities more vibrant, and helps our incredible artists showcase their work. It is also more important than ever that these spaces be fully accessible to Canadians to visit and use. I congratulate the Art Gallery of St. Albert on the reopening of their newly improved facility. These enhancements and upgrades will enable the Gallery to continue presenting new exhibitions, programs and events for many years to come.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“Since 2000, the Art Gallery of St. Albert has been providing exceptional visual arts experiences for people of all ages, offering innovative programming, and presenting local artists from Alberta and Canada and exhibitions year-round. I am delighted to celebrate the grand reopening of such an important community amenity, and I commend the Gallery on its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.”

—The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods)

“The barrier-free renovations to our building and the addition of a new exhibition gallery have transformed it into a fabulous contemporary art space that will serve the community for many years to come. Our thanks to the Government of Canada for its support of this important project.”

—Ann Ramsden, Executive Director, Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert

Quick Facts

St. Albert is a community located northwest of Edmonton and is the second largest city in Alberta’s Capital Region.

The Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert, established in 1998, promotes the visual arts and the natural and human heritage of the community and surrounding district. The Foundation delivers programs, exhibitions and research opportunities, and ensures the preservation of local historic buildings and artifacts.

The Foundation manages the Art Gallery of St. Albert, the Musée Héritage Museum and various heritage sites across the municipality. The Gallery provides enriching educational experiences that celebrate visual culture and artistic achievement through research, exhibition and interpretation.

The Art Gallery of St. Albert is a contemporary public art gallery that has been operating out of the historic Banque d’Hochelaga building since 2000. The building was constructed in 1921, with additions in 1955 and 1966. The building received municipal historic resource designation in 2009.

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The Fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund provides funding for eligible capital projects that increase accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces, creating more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in community activities, programs and services, or access employment opportunities. The Art Gallery of St. Albert received $34,000 through the Fund in support of its facility renovations.

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

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Amusement Parks and Tourist Attractions 

Minister Rodriguez Announces an Appointment to the Board of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: vancouver.redfm.ca
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The new Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees will help enhance public understanding of the experiences of immigrants to Canada

Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, announced the appointment of Bruce P. Manion as Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Bruce P. Manion is a retired public finance executive with over 30 years of experience in the federal public sector. He has been a leader of the federal financial community and has been responsible for driving successful change in a wide range of public organizations both large and small. He is a published author as well as a teacher of public administration. His specialties include financial and management accounting, business process improvement, performance management, audit, and organizational governance and learning. Mr. Manion, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa, is a member of the Society of Management Accountants and a fellow of the Society of Management Accountants.

Quotes

“Immigration has played a vital role in building our country. Thanks to his outstanding experience, the new Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 will help enhance public understanding of the experiences of immigrants to Canada.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Quick Facts

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 enhances public understanding of the experiences of immigrants to Canada, highlights the vital role immigration has played in the building of our country and the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy and way of life. It is Canada’s sixth national museum and the only one located in Atlantic Canada. National museums are independent organizations that are part of the Canadian Heritage portfolio.

National museums are governed by the Museums Act, which was passed into law in 1990. Pursuant to the Act, Vice-Chairpersons are appointed by the Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council.

This appointment was made under the Government of Canada’s new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada’s diversity, to support ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.

The new approach requires a selection process for both full-time and part-time positions.

As they become available, all appointment opportunities within the 17 organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio are posted on the Governor-in-Council Appointments website. Interested parties can apply online.

Associated Links

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

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