In this section
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (ENR’s) legislative initiatives have been developed through a partnership approach with Technical Working Groups (TWG) of Indigenous governments and organizations (IGOs) and regulatory boards, and with additional input from Stakeholders Advisory Groups (SAG) consisting of non-government organizations, boards and industry representatives.
This partnership process was designed with input and agreement from the Intergovernmental Council of IGOs, and has been utilized to guide the development of all five of ENR’s legislative initiatives. Funding to support members’ ability to participate on the TWG and SAG has been provided by ENR on a case-by-case basis. Co-management partners were engaged through both the TWG and SAG processes.
Through the partnership approach, individual drafting frameworks for each bill were developed over two years of engagement. A total of eight TWG meetings were held on the Protected Areas Act, seven on the Forest Act and five on amendments to the Environmental Rights Act. A total of three SAG meetings were held on ENR’s legislative initiatives. There was also an external public review period, in which the general public was invited to provide feedback on summary documents through an online engagement process.
Once the drafting frameworks were completed, bills were drafted and shared through consultation with Indigenous governments and organizations to determine and address potential impacts the bills could have on Aboriginal or treaty rights.
The bills reflect ENR’s careful consideration of the feedback received through the TWG and SAG processes, public engagement and consultation.
ENR will continue to meet with the TWG and SAG to advance the development of the Waters Act and the Environmental Protection Act.
The partnership process was developed with input and agreement from the Intergovernmental Council of IGOs. Based on the approach used to develop the Wildlife Act, the process was designed to provide an efficient and collaborative way to allow IGOs and stakeholders to give input into the development of each bill, and to ensure coordination across resource management legislation to reduce the potential for conflict or duplication.
Not all bills are created or amended using this process. However, based on the high level of IGO and stakeholder interest expressed in relation to these particular environmental legislative initiatives, ENR felt it was necessary to ensure early engagement and active collaboration on the development of these bills.
The input of IGOs and stakeholders provided through the partnership process has allowed ENR to significantly improve and strengthen the proposed legislation.