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Alberta has a duty to consult Indigenous communities when natural development projects could adversely affect their use of Crown lands. The Alberta government, through the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO), is allowing participating Indigenous communities to add days to the consultation process, if needed, during the pandemic response – up to 10 days for Levels 1 and 2 consultations, and up to 15 for Level 3.
This way, development projects on Crown lands that have met adequate consultation requirements for regulatory approval can move ahead and keep Albertans working while limiting harm to essential workers and the capacity strain in Indigenous communities.
“With fewer resources available to manage consultations on natural resource development projects while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous communities should not have to choose between safety and prosperity. Timeline extensions can slow the pace enough to allow for good consultation practices.”
Consultation pauses will still be available as a last option for Indigenous communities that need them.
Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.