This notice was initially posted on the old Environmental Registry (ebr.gov.on.ca). If you already submitted a comment there, we will consider it as part of this consultation. You don't need to submit it again here.
This consultation was open from:
February 13, 2018
to March 30, 2018
Land use planning is a joint process between First Nations and Ontario to decide how land and water can be used. We are working with Weenusk First Nation to develop a community based land use plan for an area in the Far North. It will identify which lands will be dedicated to protection and which will be open for potential economic development.
Description of policy
Weenusk First Nation is leading preparation of a Community Based Land Use Plan (CBLUP), working together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) within the context of the Far North Land Use Planning Initiative under the Far North Act, 2010.
The people of Weenusk have lived in the Hudson Bay – James Bay lowlands since time immemorial. The settlement area for Weenusk First Nation is also called Peawanuck. It is located along the Winisk River approximately 30 km from where the mouth of the river drains into Hudson Bay.
The community based land use plan will specify protected areas and other land use designations, and identify permitted land use activities within those areas. In preparing the land use plan, the objectives for planning in the Far North Act, 2010, will be taken into account. The land use plan will be developed respecting traditional uses and other existing uses including tourism and mineral sector activities. Plan development will consider the capability of lands and resources to support additional land uses such as tourism, recreation, renewable energy, forestry, and mining and mineral exploration. Consideration of existing and future infrastructure needs and opportunities for the community, including all-season roads, winter road upgrades, and transmission lines are also within the scope of planning. Indigenous traditional knowledge and science-based information will support decision-making during land use planning.
The planning process is expected to take approximately two years, and will provide opportunity for interested parties to participate. Details of public consultation opportunities are described below. As set out in the Far North Act, 2010, the final plan will require a joint approval by Weenusk First Nation and MNRF. The community based land use plan will become part of the land use policy direction for Ontario and be added to Crown Land Use Policy Atlas. Future land use or resource development proposals will need to be consistent with the land use designations and permitted uses specified in the plan.
A planning area of interest has been identified by Weenusk First Nation on the basis of traditional use. Throughout the planning process, dialogue will continue with adjacent First Nation communities in order to build a common understanding for how planning will occur in areas of shared interest. The outcome of this dialogue will support the designation of a final planning area for the CBLUP under the Far North Act, 2010.
Purpose of policy
To create a Community Based Land Use Plan that is jointly developed with Weenusk First Nation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for an area in the Far North.
The Far North Act, 2010, provides objectives for land use planning in the Far North. These objectives are to be taken into account in the preparation of the terms of reference for planning and the preparation of the plan:
- A significant role for First Nations in the planning.
- The protection of areas of cultural value in the Far North and the protection of ecological systems in the Far North by including at least 225,000 square kilometres of the Far North in an interconnected network of protected areas designated in community based land use plans.
- The maintenance of biological diversity, ecological processes and ecological functions, including the storage and sequestration of carbon in the Far North.
- Enabling sustainable economic development that benefits the First Nations.
MNRF is preparing a Far North Land Use Strategy to assist with the preparation of land use plans. The Far North Act, 2010, requires that when a plan is being prepared, the strategy (as it exists at the time the plan is prepared) be taken into account.
During the development of a land use plan the MNRF will consider its Statement of Environmental Values and its strategic plan, Horizons 2020.
The following web links provide supporting information:
- Information about Far North
- The Far North Act, 2010
- Terms of Reference for the Weenusk First Nation Community Based Land Use Plan
- Far North Land Use Strategy
- MNRF’s Horizons 2020
Other public consultation opportunities
Potentially interested persons or agencies will receive an invitation to participate in the planning process through direct written notice and/or newspaper notice. Persons who wish to be added to the mailing list can contact the contact person identified in this Environmental Registry notice. Information centres in the form of open houses will provide information at each phase of planning. Planning Team members will be present at open houses to provide information, collect comments, and answer questions. Open houses will be held in Peawanuck and Timmins. Formal opportunities for public involvement will include the following.
Phase 1 - Launch Terms of Reference and invitation for public to participate in the process. Open houses will be held in Peawanuck and Timmins in March or April, 2018. Details on information centre arrangements (location, times) will be available via direct mail out and newspaper notice, or by contacting the contact person identified in this notice. Comments and information received will assist in the development of the CBLUP.
Dates beyond Phase 1 are tentative and will be populated once known.
Phase 2 – Draft Community Based Land Use Plan and invitation for public to review and comment (mid-2019). Comments and information received will assist in the preparation of the final CBLUP.
Phase 3 – Public notice of Final Community Based Land Use Plan (2020).
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Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.
Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.
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