Regulatory and Policy Updates

IBAs - To Regulate or Not: What is the Rest of Canada Doing?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 09:40 to 09:59 Theatre 3


J. Abouchar (Presenting)
Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

The Government of the Northwest Territories is developing a new Mineral Resources Act (“MRA”), which will reflect the unique circumstances of its mineral sector. In 2017, the Government of the Northwest Territories sought input from northerners through a series of public engagement efforts, ranging from community “drop-in” events to submissions via social media and telephone.

Many participants, including members of Indigenous governments and organizations, as well as the public, gave feedback that the MRA should explicitly include Impact Benefit Agreements (“IBAs”), the royalties structure of the MRA should be a clear status quo until a broader review can be completed, and the MRA should increase transparency and accountability in IBAs.

This presentation discusses the plausibility for regulating and standardizing IBAs and the revenue-sharing component of IBAs in the Northwest Territories, and the potential impacts of this standardization. Specifically, this presentation draws on experiences in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Ontario to understand government approaches to IBAs, revenue sharing, and transparency. The hope is that this presentation may provide key considerations, and perhaps some guidance, on regulating IBAs and resource sharing.

Topics of discussion will include:

• Current approaches of governments to IBAs
• The Current Revenue Sharing Structure in the Northwest Territories
• The Yukon’s Land Claims Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges
• British Columbia’s Benefit Sharing Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges
• Ontario’s Resource Revenue Sharing Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges
• Potential Impacts of Standardizing IBAs and Other Key Considerations