On June 9, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator
("AER") and the Aboriginal Consultation
Office ("ACO") released revised Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations
Consultation on Energy Resources Activities (the
Procedures"). Bulletin 2015-20, detailing the revisions, was
released by the AER on June 10, 2015. The Revised Operating
Procedures explain how the AER and ACO will administer and
coordinate their respective operations on matters relating to First
Nations consultation. The Revised Operating Procedures
replace the first version of the Joint Operating Procedures for
First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities
Procedures") dated December 10, 2014 and released on
February 4, 2015. A Lawson Lundell Project Law Blog on the
Original Operating Procedures can be found
The principal revision to the Original Operating Procedures is
the replacement of the requirement to submit a declaration.
Section 4 of the Original Operating Procedures required that a
"First Nations Consultation Declaration" be completed and
submitted and that proponents swear that the First Nations Impacts
and Mitigation table "...accurately documents the potential
adverse impacts on the existing rights of aboriginal peoples ... or
their traditional uses". This was controversial as the
declaration required companies to swear they had accurately
documented all impacts in respect of each Aboriginal group
regardless of whether consultation was required by the ACO.
The Revised Operating Procedures have eliminated the declaration
requirement and now require instead, the submission of an "application supplement" on First Nations
consultation. Section 4 of the Revised Operating Procedures
states that "for all applications under the specified
enactments submitted to the AER, except those applications for
activities listed in appendix C of the Consultation Guidelines, an
application supplement on First Nations consultation is
Section 2.3 of the Revised Operating Procedures "First
Nations Impacts and Mitigation Table" further provides that in
the application supplement, the applicant must identify whether
First Nations consultation was required. If First Nations
consultation was required, the applicant must (1) complete the
First Nations impacts and mitigation table contained in the
supplement; (2) provide the information in a separate document
attached to the supplement; or (3) attach the ACO Report containing
the ACO's findings on consultation adequacy and any advice to
the AER to the supplement.
The Revised Operating Procedures, including the new requirement
for an application supplement, come into effect on July 1,
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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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