Tim Hudak, Don Richardson, Bob Delaney to Speak at Ontario Power Conference

CI Energy Group’s Ontario Power Conference: on April 15-16, 2014 in Toronto will gather the power sector’s top professionals and showcase candid discussions, new ideas and the latest issues in Ontario’s ever evolving power sector.

 Including keynotes & special addresses from:

Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
Don Richardson, Managing Partner, Shared Value Solutions Ltd.
Bob Delaney, MPP, Mississauga—Streetsville, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy
Chief Government Whip, Ontario Liberal Party

Over 50 speakers will be in attendance including the Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Power Authority, Hydro One, Goldcorp, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Toronto Hydro, Hydro Ottawa, Noront Resources, Aecon Nuclear, Alberta Ministry of Energy, Ontario Power Generation, IESO, Ontario Energy Association, California Public Utilities Commission, and many more.

Conference:   Ontario Power Conference
Date: April 15 & 16, 2014
Location: Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Toronto
Website: www.OntarioPowerConference.com

 

Four Reasons Why GroundSwell is THE Event of the Spring

You might think at first that the guys pictured right can’t wait for the 2014 FIFA World Cup starting this June. A common mistake.

In fact, they are actually really excited that they just registered for “GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation” and they can’t wait to learn, collaborate, and identify new opportunities for groundwater innovation in Guelph this June! http://groundswellconference.com

Here are four great reasons why you need to attend:

1. You’ll get to know lots of other people who care about groundwater protection

Have real conversations and discover practical solutions with people from cross-cultural and cross-sector perspectives. Learn about groundwater from scientific perspectives, Traditional Ways of Knowing, decision-makers, water monitors, researchers, consultants, technicians and more.

2.  You’ll learn what they know and share what you know

The desire to collaborate is innately human. When people come together over difficult issues, amazing solutions can bubble up. At GroundSwell, we will create opportunities for facilitated, targeted dialogue, which will help feed into positive and meaningful post-conference actions.

 3.  You’ll find out about the latest technical innovations and different ways of thinking about groundwater issues

Hosted in a region internationally known for ingenuity in water research and preservation, GroundSwell will bring together innovations from technological, ecological, social, and governmental perspectives. Sponsorship for the event comes from innovators such as MANTECH and UNU-IWEH.

4.  You’ll come away knowing what you can do to make a difference

Through a better understanding of our watersheds, we can start to identify what the local issues are and what we can do about it. Our goal is for every single participant to have something they can do next.

Bonus reason to attend: Alexandra Cousteau!

Alexandra Cousteau, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, is our keynote speaker at an evening event open to the public on June 16, 2014. A passionate water advocate, Cousteau empowers and inspires people to explore their connection with their watersheds – preserving natural water systems, while taking into account the numerous demands, threats, and developments within a watershed.

 

So sign up today – and tell all your friends and colleagues (they’re probably already registered!)

GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation
June 16-18, 2014
Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Space is Limited – Register early and save up to 8%

 

Ontario, First Nations to Work Together on Ring of Fire

Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nation, shares his thoughts on the historic Regional Framework Agreement signed by Matawa-member First Nations and the Province of Ontario. On his left, Chief Allen Towegishig, Long Lake #58 First Nation. On his right, Chief Fred Sackaney, Constance Lake First Nation. Photos are links from the Matawa First Nations Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MatawaFirstNations

On March 26th, 2014 the Province of Ontario and Matawa-member First Nations took a first step in an historic, community-based negotiation process – signing a framework agreement to advance Ring of Fire mining resource opportunities, including regional long-term environmental monitoring and enhanced participation in environmental assessment processes, resource revenue sharing, economic supports, regional and community infrastructure for a potential $60 billion in resource wealth. We’re proud of our role in this historic process and proud to have been able to attend the signing of the agreement. A link to the full media release is here: http://www.matawa.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Media-Release-March-26-2014.pdf

We’ve previously shared some of the work we’ve been doing for Matawa-member First Nations, including:

Some quotes on this historic signing moment for Ontario and Matawa-member First Nations from the Chiefs of some of our client communities and their neighbours:

“This framework demonstrates that our First Nations are open for development that is sustainable and respects our lands.”
— Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nation

“I want to thank all my First Nation members. We have worked really hard at the community level to get where we are today. I look forward to working with our chiefs and with Ontario as we move forward.”
— Chief Celia Echum, Ginoogaming First Nation

Chief Celia Echum, Ginoogaming First Nation, signs the Framework Agreement with Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines (left) looking on

“I am so proud to stand with our nine chiefs and sign this regional framework today. My community members back home have been waiting a long time to have meaningful negotiations with Ontario. This is just the beginning.”
— Chief Fred Sackaney, Constance Lake First Nation

“I’m signing on behalf of Neskantaga First Nation and Chief Peter Moonias, who has worked very hard to move the regional framework forward. We are all very excited about the progress and are looking forward to working together for our children’s future.”
— Acting Chief Roy Moonias, Neskantaga First Nation

“The regional framework is not about selling our land, but sharing our land as our Elders envisioned for the benefit of all. Nibinamik First Nation understands the importance of balance between economic development that is required to ensure community growth and productivity and the need to sustain cultural values and beliefs particularly as related to the land.”
— Chief Johnny Yellowhead, Nibinamik First Nation

“This is a special and significant event and we are looking forward to an official celebration. The negotiations under this framework will complement the essential direct negotiations Webequie is having with the Province of Ontario on a range of issues related to the Ring of Fire. Success in both of these negotiations will chart a course for a different future for all of us. It is now time for the real work to begin and we look forward to working with Ontario and our fellow First Nations.
— Chief Cornelius Wabasse, Webequie First Nation

“Our community members, both on and off reserve, will be very engaged in this process. Our neighbours in Greenstone and the entire northern Ontario region should be pleased that we now have a process. This is a milestone for everyone in Ontario.”
— Chief Allen Towegishig, Long Lake #58 First Nation

During the signing process, a young child is comforted in a beautiful tikanagan

“Eabametoong is a large First Nation and we have worked very hard to get here. Our community is hopeful about the future now that we can move forward on resource development discussions with the province.”
— Chief Elizabeth Atlookan, Eabametoong First Nation

“I’ve seen many framework type processes come and go, and MOUs, and some have had beneficial results but many have not gone anywhere. I am optimistic that this regional framework allows us to be more involved in development and the decision-making that is going to happen. I am assured the regional framework will enhance and not supersede our community-based MOU signed in September 2012. We are working to set the course to move our First Nations away from dependence so that we can capture the maximum benefits and move towards community wellness and increase ambition for our people.”
— Chief Elijah K. Moonias, Marten Falls First Nation

 

About Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 

At Shared Value Solutions Ltd. we bring the best environmental peer review, strategic advice, community engagement and traditional knowledge, land use, and socio-economic research expertise to address your challenges and opportunities.

TransCanada’s Energy East Project Proposal: Navigating the Regulatory Process

By: Emily Ferguson, Consultant, Environmental Review & Regulatory Affairs; Don Richardson, Managing Partner – Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 [Note: this is the second of three information posts we'll be providing on this project in March, 2014.  The first post, on "Mapping Aboriginal Interests" is here.  The third post on "Powering the Pumps" is forthcoming.]

It’s challenging to make sense of the regulatory processes and decisions that affect a project of the magnitude of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline proposal.  We are paying close attention to these matters on behalf of several clients and will continue to provide information like this to assist – watch this space in the coming weeks for more.

TransCanada is expected to file their official project application seeking Crown approval from the National Energy Board (NEB) in summer 2014. The NEB will then determine other timelines and schedule a hearing on the proposal. Given the nature of the project, Energy East will be a Section 52 application and will automatically trigger a hearing and federal environmental assessment (EA). The EA will have to meet regulatory requirements of both the NEB Act and CEAA 2012. Environmental Impact Statement guidelines will be posted on the NEB website once the Energy East application is filed. Over the next 2-3 months, a hearing order will be released, which will include a draft list of issues, explanation of the EA process, and instructions on how to participate.

Why is Ontario Consulting on a Project Under the Jurisdiction of the NEB?

In November, 2013, the Ontario Minister of Energy asked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to report on the proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline. In preparation for that report, the Minister asked the OEB to undertake a consultation process. The views expressed during this consultation process will be integrated into the OEB report to the Minister. Thus far, Ontario has not indicated an interest in having the proposal be subject to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act.

A provincial consultation process of this nature has never been seen before. First Nations, Métis, and other communities can provide input through three channels:

  1. Participate as an Intervenor in the NEB hearing process
  2. Provide input for consideration in the OEB report
  3. Communicate directly with TransCanada

Roles of NEB and OEB

National Energy Board

  • The NEB will analyze the Energy East application and provide a written report to the federal government that sets out recommendations and conditions regarding the proposed project.
  • The federal government will make the final decision about whether the Energy East Pipeline can proceed.
  • Energy East will be filed as a Section 52 application under the NEB Act.
  • The project will automatically trigger a hearing and federal environmental assessment under CEAA 2012.
  • NEB Participant Funding will be made available to help cover some of the costs associated with participating in the hearing. The total amount available is to be determined.

Ontario Energy Board

  • The OEB has no direct jurisdiction over the proposed Energy East Pipeline, but, as discussed below, the OEB may be in a position to provide review and approvals for several of the electrical transmission lines required to provide electricity to power the pumps required to move the oil.
  • OEB has been asked by the Ontario Minister of Energy to consult with Ontario residents, stakeholders, and First Nation and Métis communities and hire technical advisors to report on the proposed pipeline from an Ontario perspective.
  • Participation in the OEB process does not constitute participation in the NEB process.
  • Ontario’s Minister of Energy will use the OEB’s report to help formulate the Ontario Government’s position.

The government of Ontario plans to intervene in the National Energy Board (NEB) process on Energy East, and the OEB’s report will help to formulate the government’s position.

The OEB Report will address four main topic areas:

  1. The impacts on Ontario natural gas consumers in terms of prices, reliability and access to supply, especially for those consumers living in eastern and northern Ontario
  2. The impacts on pipeline safety and the natural environment in Ontario
  3. The impacts on Aboriginal communities in Ontario, in particular how treaty and Aboriginal rights may be affected
  4. The short and long term economic impacts of the project in Ontario

In order to better understand the four topic areas listed above, the OEB has hired technical experts to provide input on the potential risks and benefits of the project. These technical reports will be publicly available and highlight three areas:

  • Pipeline engineering and safety
  • Environmental and socio-economic considerations
  • Natural gas pricing and supply

 The OEB Energy East Consultation will take place in two parts:

 Part One – Impacts Important to Ontarians

  • Seek the views of Ontarians on the types of impacts (both positive and negative) that are important to them.
  • Share a high-level view of the key considerations and the potential impacts of TransCanada’s Energy East proposal in Ontario, drawing on existing documentation related to other pipeline projects and the professional expertise of a small team of technical advisors.

Part Two – OEB’s Understanding of the Impacts

  • Share its preliminary understanding of the impacts, informed both by participants’ Part One feedback and by a technical assessment of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline based on information that will be filed with the NEB.
  • Seek participants’ input on this preliminary understanding.

What’s Our Role?

It’s challenging to make sense of all the regulatory processes and decisions that affect a project of this magnitude.  At Shared Value Solutions Ltd., we are paying close attention to these matters on behalf of several clients and will continue to provide information like this to assist.

For more information, please contact Emily Ferguson – Consultant, Environmental Review and Regulatory Affairs – emily.ferguson@sharedvaluesolutions.com.

 

About Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 

At Shared Value Solutions Ltd. we bring the best environmental peer review, strategic advice, community engagement and traditional knowledge, land use, and socio-economic research expertise to address your challenges and opportunities.

 

TransCanada’s Energy East Project: Mapping Aboriginal Interests in Ontario

By: Emily Ferguson, Consultant, Environmental Review & Regulatory Affairs; Don Richardson, Managing Partner – Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 [Note: this is the first of three information posts we'll be providing on this project in March, 2014.  The second post, on "Navigating the Regulatory Process" is here.  The third post on "Powering the Pumps" is forthcoming.]

According to TransCanada, if approved, the Energy East Pipeline, would be a 4,600-kilometre pipeline carrying 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to points in Eastern Canada.  TransCanada’s website says that currently, the project has the following major components:

  • Converting an existing natural gas pipeline to an oil transportation pipeline
  • Constructing new pipelines in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick to link up with the converted pipe
  • Constructing the associated facilities, pump stations and tank terminals required to move crude oil from Alberta to Québec and New Brunswick, including marine facilities that enable access to other markets by ship

Ontario – never considered a major oil and gas province – is now emerging as a key space in Canada’s pipeline networks, due to major changes in how companies are accessing unconventional oil and gas in the west in Alberta and North Dakota, and in the northeastern United States [See our recent blog post on Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Unconventional Oil and Gas for some context]

As well, Aboriginal communities in Ontario are paying close attention to pipeline matters.  With this attention and Ontario responses, Ontario now has the making of a pipeline policy addressing Aboriginal Rights and Interests.

What Is TransCanada Saying About Aboriginal Consultation To-date?

In its Project Description, TransCanada says that it has initiated preliminary discussions with some Aboriginal communities.  TransCanada project staff have identified areas of interest and concern that include the following:

  • Aboriginal agreements and protocols
  • Aboriginal interests and treaty rights
  • Aboriginal trapping, hunting and fishing
  • business opportunities and employment
  • construction methods and timing
  • cumulative effects of mining, pipelines and other energy developments
  • economic benefits or participation
  • emergency response management plans
  • facilities and pipeline routing
  • pipeline incidents
  • pipeline integrity, particularly the conversion section
  • proposed protected areas
  • safety
  • training and employment opportunities
  • vegetation and wetlands
  • watercourse crossings and water quality
  • wildlife and wildlife habitat

Some Aboriginal communities have expressed interest in obtaining equity positions to own a portion of the pipeline, or to obtain revenue sharing agreements.  At this early stage of the proposal, TransCanada has said that it will not entertain these discussions.  A Globe and Mail article stated, “the dozens of First Nations along the route of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline should not expect offers for equity stakes in the $12-billion project as the company seeks approval, although a host of other economic benefits would accrue to the communities, TransCanada’s chief executive officer said.”

Other areas of interest may include response to spills, accidents and malfunctions, existing emergency response capabilities, upgrading telecommunication services to enable emergency response, cultural heritage and archaeological interests.  Communities may also see impacts on current and future business interests such as power generation and transmission business pursuits.  Some communities may have grievances with respect to the historic siting of the TransCanada Mainline pipeline system and related impacts such as access to traditional territories, harvesting impacts and so forth.

The TransCanada Project Description also says that the company “continues to discuss opportunities for infrastructure development regarding electrical power to pump stations in northern Ontario with local and government agencies, power providers and First Nation communities.”

Aboriginal communities whose traditional territories include new transmission lines to facilitate the Energy East project may wish to explore specific consultation with the OEB on transmission line approval applications.

Capacity Funding

We understand that many Aboriginal communities are interested in obtaining capacity funding from TransCanada to conduct their own community consultation processes, evaluate the proposal on their terms and provide comments on the project TransCanada and Crown agencies.

Considering the Energy East project will affect over 155 Aboriginal communities and organizations, Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) and Traditional Land Use (TLU) information will play a large role in understanding both the risks and the benefits of the project.  TransCanada has announced they will provide “capacity funding and resources to support participation in the engagement process”.  First Nations and Métis communities may be interested in conducting TK/TLU studies, in conjunction with technical and environmental project reviews to come to their own conclusions about the proposed project and to provide feedback to TransCanada in project planning and to the NEB in making their decision.

NEB Participant Funding will be made available to help cover some of the costs associated with participating in the hearing. The total amount of NEB funding available is expected to be released along with the hearing order some time in the next 2-3 months.

First Nations, Métis and Community Meetings

To better understand the potential impact on treaty and Aboriginal rights, the OEB will hold meetings specific to First Nation and Métis concerns. While these meetings may cover extensive discussions on treaty and Aboriginal rights, there will also be an opportunity to discuss economic impacts on communities that may result from the pipeline project.  This OEB process does not substitute for the Duty to Consult and Accommodate by the federal Crown.

OEB discussions with First Nations and Métis representatives are rapidly approaching! Meetings will take place between March 25th and April 8th, 2014. All discussions will run from 6:30 to 9pm. Aboriginal groups are encouraged to make presentations during these meetings. To express interest in presenting, the OEB can be contacted at: energyeast@ontarioenergyboard.ca or 416-544-5171.

OEB discussions with First Nations and Métis representatives will take place in:

Kenora – March 25th

Thunder Bay – March 26th

Nipigon – March 28th

Timmins – April 1st

North Bay – April 2nd

Kanata – April 7th

Akwesasne – April 8th

What’s Our Role?

It’s challenging to make sense of all the regulatory processes and decisions that affect a project of this magnitude.  At Shared Value Solutions Ltd., we are paying close attention to these matters on behalf of several clients and will continue to provide information like this to assist.

For more information, please contact Emily Ferguson – Consultant, Environmental Review and Regulatory Affairs – emily.ferguson@sharedvaluesolutions.com.

 

About Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

At Shared Value Solutions Ltd. we bring the best environmental peer review, strategic advice, community engagement and traditional knowledge, land use, and socio-economic research expertise to address your challenges and opportunities.

 

 

 

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