Proposal in support of the province’s review of the Far North Act

ERO number
013-4734
Notice type
Act
Act
Far North Act, 2010
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Transferred to
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
February 25, 2019 - May 10, 2019 (74 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
February 25, 2019
to May 10, 2019

Decision summary

Based on feedback received through engagement, we have decided to withdraw the proposal to repeal the Far North Act. We are now proposing to refocus the Act with proposed amendments to provisions that may hinder economic development and enhancing provisions that encourage collaboration with First Nations in the Far North regarding land use planning

Decision details

Background

As announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been reviewing the Far North Act, 2010 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. During the initial stages of the review, the Ministry was proposing to repeal the Act.

Decision details

A decision has been made to not continue with the proposal to repeal the Far North Act, 2010. The new proposal can be reviewed and commented on through the Environmental Registry notice #019-2684.

This updated direction to refocus the Far North Act, 2010 is being pursued in response to:

  • strong reactions to the proposal to repeal the Act from First Nations in the Far North
  • relationships that have been built with First Nations through the implementation of the Act have supported the advancement of development projects, such as the Wataynikanyep Power project
  • a need to support a more stable environment for investment, and to continue progress on development in the Far North, including all-season roads and the Ring of Fire

We want to continue to work with First Nations to promote economic growth in the Far North while protecting important cultural and ecological values and respecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

Comments received

Through the registry

33

By email

15

By mail

5
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

We engaged on a proposal to repeal the Far North Act, 2010 via an Environmental Registry Posting, in-person engagement sessions, and through bilateral meetings with First Nation communities and organizations:

  • environmental registry posting from February 25 to May 10, 2019
  • engagement sessions in Thunder Bay with 14 First Nations, three Tribal Councils, and one Provincial Territorial Organization; and
  • 12 separate bi-lateral meetings with over 70 participants

Through engagement and consultation, we found:

  • although there was some support for to repeal, there were significant concerns and opposition to the use of the Public Lands Act for undertaking land use planning in the Far North
  • there was a desire for more time to provide feedback, and for the opportunity for meaningful engagement
  • there was a desire to work collaboratively to develop a new land use planning framework
  • there was a desire to provide economic certainty in the Far North of Ontario

We have listened to the concerns expressed by First Nations, Indigenous organizations, stakeholders and the public and are now considering a path forward to:

  • continue to engage and collaborate with First Nations on proposed amendments and improvements to the Far North Act, 2010
  • refocus the Far North Act, 2010 by proposing amendments to or deletion of certain provisions within the Act that have been viewed as hindering economic development
  • continue joint community based land use planning with willing partners
  • propose amendments to the Act to facilitate the establishment of a joint body to make improvements to the land use planning framework in the Far North
  • propose enhancing provisions that encourage collaboration with First Nations on land use planning

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Far North Branch - Thunder Bay
Address

421 James Street South
1st Floor
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 2V6
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

Public Input Coordinator

Office
Far North Branch - Thunder Bay
Address

421 James Street South
1st Floor
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 2V6
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-4734
Notice type
Act
Act
Far North Act, 2010
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Proposal posted

Comment period

February 25, 2019 - May 10, 2019 (74 days)

Proposal details

Proposal Update

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.

Proposal details

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Far North Branch - Thunder Bay
Address

421 James Street South
1st Floor
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 2V6
Canada

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from February 25, 2019
to May 10, 2019

Connect with us

Contact

Eric Everett

Office
Far North Branch - Thunder Bay
Address

421 James Street South
1st Floor
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 2V6
Canada