Consultation and Accommodation
The Government of Canada consults with Canadians on matters of interest and concern to them. Consulting is an important part of good governance, sound policy development and decision-making. In addition to good governance objectives, Canada has common law obligations to consult with Aboriginal groups.
The Crown has a legal duty to consult and, if appropriate, accommodate Aboriginal groups when it contemplates conduct that might adversely impact potential or established section 35 or Treaty rights of Aboriginal groups, as stated by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Haida and Taku River decisions. The legal duty to consult has since been reaffirmed and continues to be expanded upon by the Supreme Court of Canada through decisions such as Little Salmon/Carmacks and Rio Tinto.
The duty to consult has become an important part of the government's daily activities, including regulatory project approvals, licensing and authorization of permits, operational decisions, policy development, negotiations, legislative processes, and more.
What information is available?
On April 17, 2012, the Government of Canada announced its plan for Responsible Resource Development, which streamlines the review process for major economic projects while enhancing consultations with Aboriginal groups. Increased resource development activities can offer new opportunities to Aboriginal businesses and can generate well-paying jobs for Aboriginal people near their communities. The Government's plan for Responsible Resource Development will further integrate Aboriginal consultations into project reviews; ensuring consultations are consistent, accountable, meaningful and timely.
In 2007, the Government launched the Action Plan on Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation to build greater consistency and coordination when fulfilling the legal duty to consult.
Find out more about consultation and accommodation at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), the Government of Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development and the outcomes of the Government's Action Plan on Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation.
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