This notice was originally published on February 25, 2019 for a 46-day comment period ending April 11, 2019. The notice was updated on April 11, 2019 to advise the public that the comment period has been extended by 29 days. The extended comment period ends on May 10, 2019.
April 11, 2019
This consultation was open from:
February 25, 2019
to May 10, 2019
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is proposing to repeal the Far North Act. If a decision is made to repeal the Act, the Ministry proposes to retain completed land use plans through amendments to the Public Lands Act and to enable completion of plans at an advanced planning stage for a time-limited period.
In support of the province’s review of the Far North Act announced in the Fall Economic Statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been reviewing the Far North Act with a view to reducing red tape and restrictions on important economic development projects in the Far North including the Ring of Fire, all-season roads and electrical transmission projects for communities. As a result of the review, the Ministry is proposing to repeal the Far North Act.
If a decision is made to repeal the Far North Act, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is proposing to:
- Continue joint-planning with: Marten Falls, Webequie, Eabametoong, Mishkeegogamang, Constance Lake, Deer Lake and McDowell Lake First Nations.
- These communities have publicly shared information about proposed land uses. The Ministry has defined these as advanced stage plans.
- The Ministry is proposing a time-limited opportunity to complete the joint processes for planning and approving these plans. The proposed date is December 31, 2020.
- Amend the Public Lands Act to retain approved community based land use plans and provide them with substantially the same effect as under the Far North Act.
- This would include previously approved community based land use plans under the Far North Act, and any jointly approved advanced stage plans approved up to December 31, 2020.
- Wind down planning under the Far North Act in communities not at advanced stages of planning. Consistent with the approach south of the Far North, the Ministry is proposing that any future land use planning would be enabled under the Public Lands Act, based on First Nations’ interests and government resources and priorities.
Other relevant legal requirements (e.g. the Crown’s duty to consult obligations, statutory requirements in the Mining Act, Environmental Assessment Act) would continue where applicable.
Description of an Act
The Far North Act is the legislative framework for land use planning in the Far North. The Act provides for community based land use planning in the Far North and sets out a joint planning process between the First Nations and Ontario.
The Public Lands Act, which also provides a legislative framework for land use planning on Crown Land in Ontario, would continue to apply to the Far North if the Far North Act is repealed.
Land use planning is a process that can help determine the most appropriate use of land and water in the Far North.
The Far North Act includes provisions which restrict development where there are no community based land use plans in place.
The Ministry is looking forward to discussing this proposal with Far North First Nations, as well as other stakeholders and the public who may be interested in the proposal.
All comments received during the comment period are being considered by the Ministry as part of the decision making process.
Public consultation opportunities
Far North First Nation communities will receive invitations to attend engagement sessions in Timmins - March 7, 2019 or Thunder Bay - March 19, 2019 and March 20, 2019.
View materials in person
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.
- Far North Branch - Thunder Bay
421 James Street South
Thunder Bay, ON
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421 James Street South
Thunder Bay, ON
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