Cooperation and Participation

Cooperation and participation can occur with jurisdictions, Indigenous peoples, and the public.

Select each heading for more information.

Cooperation with Jurisdictions

The Government of Canada is committed to meeting the objective of “one project, one assessment” in its review of designated projects. By working with other jurisdictions, duplication of effort is reduced while increasing efficiency and process certainty.

To meet the objectives for cooperation with jurisdictions:

  • the Agency must offer to consult and cooperate with jurisdictions, including Indigenous jurisdictions;
  • the Agency and the Minister have flexibility to adjust certain time limits to enable co-operation with jurisdictions;
  • tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness may be used such as delegation, substitution, and joint review panels; and
  • cooperation agreements with interested jurisdictions may be established to coordinate assessments.

The Agency will create a Cooperation Plan during the Planning phase for each designated project to outline the project-specific cooperative approach to the impact assessment process.

On the web: Impact Assessment Act

Indigenous Participation

The approach to Indigenous participation in impact assessments addresses the three following objectives:

  1. Fulfill the Crown’s constitutional obligations to consult and accommodate, where appropriate, Indigenous peoples whose Aboriginal and Treaty rights may be adversely impacted by a proposed project.
  2. Address statutory obligations under the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) to:
    • consult potentially impacted Indigenous groups;
    • consider potential effects on Indigenous peoples and any potential adverse impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples;
    • consider Indigenous knowledge provided;
    • consider Indigenous culture; and
    • advance cooperation with Indigenous jurisdictions.
  3. Advance reconciliation by increasing opportunities for collaborating or partnering with Indigenous peoples via a spectrum of engagement:
    • participation, which may include discussion with the Crown on potential impacts and comments on key documents (e.g., draft Crown record of consultation, draft Conditions);
    • collaboration, which may include establishing joint methodology for assessing impacts to rights and joint development of sections of reports; and
    • partnership, which may include formal co-operation agreements and conduct of aspects of the impact assessment.

The Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan will outline the Indigenous participation.

Examples of Indigenous engagement: Participation, Collaboration, and Partnership

Public Participation

Meaningful Public Participation

Meaningful public participation means members of the public who wish to participate in an impact assessment:

  • have an opportunity to do so;
  • are provided with the information and support that enables them to participate in an informed way;
  • inform and influence decision-making; and
  • see that their input was considered

According to the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), the Agency must ensure an opportunity for meaningful participation, in a manner it considers appropriate, within the period it specifies. To encourage meaningful participation, a variety of tools are used throughout the impact assessment process, including improved online and interactive tools and face-to-face activities.

The Public Participation Plan will outline the participation opportunities.

The Registry: The Canadian Impact Assessment Registry supports public participation through an emphasis on gathering and sharing information.

More information: Overarching Principles