An updated guide – The Government of Alberta’s Proponent Guide to First Nations and Metis Settlement Consultation Procedures – outlines a more cost-effective and efficient application process for industry to follow when there is a legal duty to consult.

A duty to consult is triggered when a development project may adversely affect treaty or Aboriginal rights, or cultural or harvesting practices.

“We heard from industry that they wanted to take steps to improve the consultation process. This new guide not only responds to what industry told us, it benefits First Nations and Metis Settlements. The updated guide will help industry come to the table better prepared to address Indigenous people’s concerns. This will make the overall consultation process more effective, informed and respectful.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) will provide training for industry on the changes in process outlined in the guide.

Reducing red tape will improve the consultation process by:

  • Providing a clearer application process to improve overall consultation and give industry and Indigenous communities more certainty when moving development projects forward.
  • Reducing delays and costs to industry proponents by ensuring their applications have little chance of having to be returned due to lack of information or errors.  
  • Ensuring the ACO can better respond to industry needs while increasing the number of applications processed.
  • Moving more quickly to the development stage of proposed projects.

“These changes should help make consultation more efficient. We believe it will also help us be better prepared when working with Indigenous Peoples on important matters such as treaty or Aboriginal rights and harvesting and cultural practices. We want a process that benefits everyone.”

Al Reid, executive vice-president, Stakeholder Engagement, Safety, Legal & General Counsel, Cenovus Energy Inc.

Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week

Alberta has declared Jan. 20-24 Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week. This coincides with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s own Red Tape Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the costs of regulatory burdens to businesses across Canada. This year, the CFIB gave Alberta B-minus for its efforts to cut red tape, the highest grade the province has ever achieved.

Quick facts

  • In 2018-19 the ACO processed 7,400 applications.
  • The guide will provide proponents with consultation information and advice specific to Alberta Energy Regulator-administered activities under the Public Lands Act, Water Act and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, which are processed through the Electronic Disposition Act.
  • To date, has received more than 4,500 submissions.
  • Ministries are currently taking inventory and analyzing the regulatory burden imposed on Albertans and businesses, modernizing regulation requirements, processes, forms and policies, and eliminating those that are unnecessary.
  • The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that in 2017, the cost for businesses in Alberta to comply with regulations was about $4.4 billion.