Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters to
her cabinet ministers on September 25, 2014, outlining key
priorities for each ministry. Premier Wynne's marching orders
include many Aboriginal priorities.
Key Aboriginal priorities connected to environmental, energy
and natural resource issues relate to socio-economic opportunities,
sharing resource benefits, negotiations in the Ring of Fire, land
claims, treaty and consultation issues, drinking water quality and
dialogue with the federal government. Notable among the
Premier's Aboriginal priorities is the movement towards
developing a coherent policy for improving drinking water quality
and plans to develop mining interests in northern Ontario.
Energy Projects and Programs
Remote Transmission Projects – The
Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) will create an Aboriginal
Economic Development Fund for Aboriginal communities and businesses
to improve opportunities for employment and business development.
Specifically, MAA will partner with the Minister of Energy (ME) to
create the Remote Electrification Readiness Program. This will
position Aboriginal communities to benefit from remote transmission
Participation in Energy Projects – ME
will continue to consult with First Nations about energy projects
that could adversely affect their Aboriginal or treaty rights. ME
will continue to support First Nations participation in generation
and transmission projects through programs such as the Aboriginal
Energy Partnerships Program. ME will seek funding and cooperation
from the federal government and MAA to connect Aboriginal
communities to the electricity grid.
Community-Level Energy Planning – ME
will support First Nations community-level energy plans through the
Municipal Energy Plan Program and the Aboriginal Community Energy
Natural Resource Development
Sharing Resource Benefits – MAA will
work across government to ensure that Aboriginal communities are
engaged in resource-related economic development and will benefit
from the natural resource industry. MAA is tasked with advancing
the province's local and/or sectoral approach to sharing
Ring of Fire Negotiations – MAA and the
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) will continue to
negotiate with Aboriginal communities on the Ring of Fire Framework
Agreement. MNDM will establish a Ring of Fire development
corporation to bring together private and public partners –
including key mining companies and First Nations. The corporation
will be responsible for constructing, financing, operating and
maintaining infrastructure to support access to strategic resources
in the Ring of Fire. MNDM will continue to work with partners on
the Ring of Fire Regional Framework Agreement.
Aggregate and Forest Resources – The
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will engage with
First Nations to address the recommendations of the Standing
Committee on General Government's Report on the Review of the
Aggregate Resources Act. MNRF will continue to engage with
First Nations on forest resources.
Land Claims, Treaties and Consultation
Moving Forward on Land Claims and Treaties
– MAA will continue to negotiate land claims, including
moving forward from the Algonquin Agreement-in-Principle. MAA will
move forward with a new Treaty Strategy to build better
relationships with Aboriginal peoples.
Fulfilling the Duty to Consult – MAA
will continue to work with all ministries to fulfill Ontario's
duty to consult.
Northern Priorities and the Growth Plan for Ontario
– MNDM will continue to consult with First Nations
on the priorities for the North and the Growth Plan for
Drinking Water Quality
Improving Drinking Water for First Nations
– MAA will work with the Ministry of the Environment and
Climate Change (MOECC), the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
(MIGA) and the federal government to improve drinking water on
reserves, especially remote communities.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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