Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in CER Compliance and Oversight for NGTL 2021

Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in CER Compliance and Oversight for NGTL 2021 [PDF 664 KB]

February 10, 2021

The CER is deeply committed to Reconciliation and the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. When Indigenous peoples are meaningfully involved in our work, we can bring together our collective perspectives – Indigenous knowledge and world views and Western knowledge and approaches – to ensure Canada’s federally-regulated pipelines are safe, the environment is protected, and Indigenous rights are recognized and respected.

The CER’s recent and upcoming initiatives on the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. 2021 System Expansion Project (NGTL 2021) are another step on this shared path towards Reconciliation. We are embarking on an initiative on NGTL 2021 that will set a framework for ongoing dialogue between the CER and Indigenous peoples on matters that are relevant and important to them.

As part of this ongoing engagement, we have a contracting process underway to partner our Inspection Officers with Indigenous Monitors when conducting inspections in the field for compliance verification activities. This “boots on the ground” presence on NGTL 2021 will allow the CER to better integrate Indigenous perspectives in our compliance and oversight activities. Our aim is to have Indigenous knowledge, world views, and insights of Elders and Knowledge-keepers respectfully integrated into all stages of a project’s design, construction, and operation.

CER commitments to enhance Indigenous peoples’ involvement in compliance and oversight on NGTL 2021

  • Partnering Indigenous Monitors with CER Inspection Officers on Compliance Verification Activities (notably Environment Inspections);
  • Providing timely updates on the project;
  • Discussing monitoring, compliance planning and matters of importance to Indigenous peoples;
  • Sharing information on CER’s oversight role, incidents and activities; and
  • Ongoing dialogue on matters that are relevant and important to Indigenous peoples.

These same commitments exist for the proposed NGTL North Corridor Expansion Project and NGTL Edson Mainline Expansion Pipeline Projects, if the projects are approved by GIC.

mountain and river valley

The CER understands that, in communities and on the land, Indigenous peoples do not experience potential impacts on a project-by-project basis. This highlights the need to expand the initiatives on NGTL 2021 to other projects, such as the proposed NGTL North Corridor Expansion Project and the NGTL Edson Mainline Expansion Project if they are approved by the Governor in Council (GIC), and to existing pipeline systems more broadly. As the CER explores how it can achieve this, we look at areas that may require co-developed solutions, such as:

  • Capacity for Indigenous peoples to participate meaningfully in compliance and oversight activities;
  • Protection of the environment, traditional activities, and heritage resources;
  • Emergency Management planning and response;
  • Use and protection of Indigenous knowledge; and
  • An Indigenous monitoring program that can be used across Canada and CER-regulated pipelines.

Future efforts to co-develop a broader, systemic model for Indigenous peoples’ involvement in compliance and oversight of new major CER-regulated projects and existing infrastructure will incorporate learnings from NGTL 2021, from the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees for the Trans Mountain Existing Pipeline and Expansion and the Line 3 Replacement Program, and seek opportunities with other federal departments and agencies. This work will also benefit from the advice of the CER’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, which plays a key advisory role to the Board of Directors on how best to enhance the involvement of Indigenous peoples and organizations in respect of CER-regulated infrastructure and other matters.

For more information, please contact Marc Pauze at marc.pauze@cer-rec.gc.ca.

You can find this statement online.

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