Procedure under the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement
The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement (NILCA) was signed in 2006 by the governments of Canada and Nunavut and the Makivik Corporation. It came into effect in 2008. The NILCA concerns specifically lands and resources in the Nunavik Marine Region, including a part of James Bay, a part of Hudson Bay, a part of Hudson Strait, Ungava Bay and a part of northern Labrador.
Article 7 of the NILCA establishes the environmental assessment review procedures for development projects planned in this region. Two types of procedures are contemplated.
At the discretion of the federal or territorial minister having jurisdiction to authorize the implementation of the project, unless otherwise prescribed, a procedure may be conducted by the Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board pursuant to Part 7.5 or by a federal environmental assessment panel pursuant to Part 7.6. At different stages in the procedure, concerned communities or local organizations are invited to present their opinions on the project in question.
Under Part 7.5, the Review Board is responsible for reviewing the ecosystemic and socio-economic impacts of project proposals, determining if project proposals should proceed and, if so, under what terms and conditions, and then reporting its determination to the responsible minister. The Review Board is composed of five members: a chairperson, two members representing the Makivik Corporation, one representing the Government of Canada and one representing the Government of Nunavut. The Review Board may also appoint substitute members from the Cree Regional Authority for issues relating to areas of equal use and occupancy, i.e. islands and waters shared with the Cree.
Under Part 7.6, the assessment panel is responsible for reviewing environmental and socio-economic impacts, determining whether projects should proceed and, if so, under what terms and conditions, and transmitting its determination to the responsible minister. It is composed of members proposed by the Makivik Corporation and the Government of Nunavut.
Implementation of the NILCA environmental assessment procedure since 2008
For several years, the KEAC has been learning about this new procedure which is applicable in only a part of Nunavik. The members are particularly interested in the differences between this procedure and those established under Section 23 of the JBNQA. The KEAC is concerned about the multiplication of procedures that can be applicable in Nunavik to a single project (i.e. potentially four procedures).