Declaration Order: Algonquin Land Claim
The ministry’s declaration that certain projects and activities related to the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement are not subject to the Environmental Assessment Act.
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Having received a request from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (formerly the Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs) that a class of undertakings on the part of the following proponents:
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ontario Realty Corporation
- Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Projects and activities that are subject to the approved class environmental assessments and Declaration Order described in condition 4 that implement the settlement agreement which resolves the Algonquin Aboriginal rights and title claim against the Crown (hereafter referred to as theAlgonquin Land Claim Settlement Agreement) and includes any interim agreements between the Crown and the Algonquins which are intended to be incorporated into or superceded by the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement Agreement (hereafter referred to as Interim Agreements);
Be declared not subject to sections 5 and 13 of the Environmental Assessment Act pursuant to section 3.2(1)(a) of the Act;
Having been advised that if the class of undertakings is subject to the application of the Act, the following injury, damage or interference with the persons and property indicated may occur:
- Potential impairment of Ontario’s capacity to effectively manage its participation in tripartite negotiations with both the federal government and the Algonquin Nation in Ontario with respect to the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement that they possess unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title to lands within the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds located within Ontario.
- Creation of delays and possible frustration of attempts of the parties to negotiate a settlement agreement which will resolve the claim and provide certainty with respect to interests in land, hunting and fishing as well as other resource rights.
- Interference with, and possible damage to, public consultation and the ability of the various Ontario agencies involved in implementing the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement to avoid the potential duplication and inefficiencies of review requirements under existing class environmental assessments and a Declaration Order in the absence of a collective and consistent review process as set out in this Order. The process set out in this Declaration Order is a more effective method of addressing any environmental issues associated with the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement.
Having weighed such injury, damage, or interference against the betterment of the people of the whole or any part of Ontario by the protection, conservation and wise management in Ontario of the environment which would result from the class of undertakings being subject to the application of the Act;
The undersigned is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to declare and declares that the class of undertakings is not subject to the application of the Act for the following reasons:
- This Declaration Order will improve upon the review processes in the current Class Environmental Assessment approvals and a Declaration Order under the Environmental Assessment Act by providing for the use of one consistent review process for each ministry or agency to follow when assessing the potential environmental effects of the projects and activities that are being considered for inclusion in the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement Agreement.
- Notice of the proposal to issue this Declaration Order has been placed on the Environmental Bill of Rights Environmental Registry and no comments have been received.
- An efficient and effective approach has been developed, as outlined in Schedule A, to provide consistent processes for the assignment of an appropriate level of assessment for each project and activity and opportunities for public and agency consultation, input and review. There will be opportunities for the coordination of the environmental assessment process, both across government agencies and with the province’s conduct in the negotiations.
- Integral to the approach set out in this Declaration Order, the future conduct of public consultation activities will continue to be delivered in a seamless, publicly inclusive negotiation process, to help advance the achievement of a successful and enduring claim settlement and meet the spirit and intent of public consultation objectives set out in the Environmental Assessment Act.
- This Declaration Order will further facilitate informed and effective public and agency/ministry consultation by providing one consistent process for assessing and mitigating the potential environmental effects of the projects and activities involved in implementing an Algonquin Land Claim Settlement Agreement.
- This Order provides opportunities for public and agency/ministry consultation and also opportunities for coordination of public and agency/ministry consultation when the process can be applied to more than one proposed activity and project at the same time.
This Declaration Order is subject to the following conditions:
- For proposed activities and projects that are considered for inclusion in the Algonquin Land Claim Settlement Agreement, or any Interim Agreements, each proponent listed in this Declaration Order which is responsible for the project and activity, shall carry out a review of potential environmental effects in accordance with the process described as Schedule
Abelow. For greater certainty, the review process described in Schedule
Aapplies (i) solely to that period of time prior to the Crown and the Algonquins entering into a Settlement or Interim agreement, or (ii) if the Settlement or Interim Agreement expressly provides that it applies in implementing parts of the Settlement Agreement.
- This Declaration Order expires on December 31, 2027 unless the Minister of the Environment, taking into consideration the progress of the negotiated settlement process and upon written request of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, extends this expiry date by notice in the Ontario Gazette.
- Notwithstanding condition 2, projects and activities, if not fully implemented by the date of expiry, as it may be extended from time to time, may continue to proceed until completion in accordance with this Declaration Order.
- For greater certainty, this Declaration Order replaces the requirements of the following class environmental assessment approvals and a Declaration Order, including any future replacements or amendments made from time to time, as they pertain to the class of undertakings described in this Order:
- Ministry of Natural Resources. Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects;
- Ontario Realty Corporation. Class Environmental Assessment Process for Management Board Secretariat and Ontario Realty Corporation;
- Ministry of Transportation. Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities;
- Ministry of Natural Resources. Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves;
- Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Declaration Order MNDM-3, Disposition of Rights to Crown Resources.
Dated the 23rd day of July, 2007 at Toronto
Original signed by:
Minister of the Environment
Approved by O.C. number: 1900/2007
Date O.C. approved: August 22, 2007
Environmental assessment file number: EA-04-10
To obtain a copy of Schedule
A, please contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change using the Contact Us button at the bottom of this page.