Performance Measurement Strategy - 4.3.2 Contaminated Sites

Strategic Outcome: The North


Date : Approved September, 2014
Sector: Northern Affairs Organization

PDF Version (105 Kb, 19 Pages)

Performance Measurement (PM) Strategies are required by Treasury Board Secretariat's (TBS) Policy on Transfer Payments (updated 2012) and Policy on Evaluation (updated 2012).

PM Strategies support program planning, monitoring and reporting through the identification and collection of key performance indicators that provide information for ongoing program management and decision making and that can inform evaluation activities over time.


Table of contents


1.0 Introduction

In line with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC's) Performance Measurement Strategy Action Plan, the Performance Measurement (PM) Strategy for the Contaminated Sites (4.3.2) sub-program has been revised. This strategy is effective as of April 1, 2015. It is an "evergreen" document that will be revisited and, if required, updated annually.


2.0 Profile

The 2014/15 Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) identifies the following expected result for the Contaminated Sites sub-program:

"Contaminated sites are managed to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment while bringing economic benefit to the North."

This sub-program is one of threeFootnote 1 that support the Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management (4.3)Program with the following expected result:

"Effective regulatory regimes are established in each of the three territories, which provide certainty to project proponents, Aboriginal organizations and Northerners."

This program, in turn, supports The North Strategic Outcome:

"Self-reliance, prosperity and well-being for the people and communities in the North."

2.1 Program Description

The Contaminated Sites sub-program ensures that contaminated sites are managed to ensure the protection of human health, safety, and the environment for all Northerners by assessing and remediating contaminated sites and supporting the employment and training of Northerners, particularly Aboriginal peoples.

2.2 Target Populations

The target populations for the Contaminated Sites sub-program are Northerners, including Aboriginal communities, the environmental services industry and all Canadians.

Individuals living in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon benefit from the prevention of further damage to the fragile ecosystem, and a reduction in risks to the environment and human health posed by northern contaminated sites. These same individuals, their communities, and business in general, benefit from the creation of training, capacity building, and economic opportunities.

Action on contaminated sites demonstrates to all Canadians that Canada is working collaboratively with Aboriginal and other Northerners toward protecting human health and the environment, and reducing federal liabilities in the process.

2.3 Context/Background

Northern contaminated sites originated primarily from mining, petroleum, and government military activity dating back over half a century, long before the environmental impacts of these activities were adequately understood. Some sites pose risks to human health and the fragile northern environment, and represent a significant financial liability to the Crown.

AANDC's Northern Contaminated Sites Program (NCSP) is currently responsible for the management of 142 northern sites and, to date, has remediated an additional 39 sites. AANDC holds the largest liability of all federal departments and includes some of the largest and most complex contaminated sites in Canada. For example, the Giant mine within Yellowknife City limits in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and the Faro mine in the Yukon, together represent over 70% of the NCSP's total environmental liability.

The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) was established in 2005 and is administered jointly by Environment Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Funding of $3.5 billion was committed over 15 years. AANDC has been deeply involved in the establishment and ongoing implementation of FCSAP and makes a major contribution to Canada's overall goals with respect to contaminated sites.

In addition to FCSAP, the NCSP's work is informed by, and provides support to, a variety of broader government policies and objectives. These include:

  • The Northern Strategy, which focuses on four priority areas: exercising Arctic sovereignty; promoting social and economic development; protecting the North's environmental heritage; and improving and devolving northern governance.
  • Economic Development initiatives, including both the Economic Action Plan and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) launched in 2009, which aims to consolidate federal government activities specifically related to economic development in the North.
  • Land Claims, both in terms of implementing existing Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements (CLCAs) and settling new ones. The NCSP respects obligations set out in CLCAs when executing contaminated sites projects, and advises negotiators of emerging CLCAs on the implications of contaminated sites management.
  • Devolution of land and resources. In 2003, Canada transferred management of the larger, more complex sites to the Government of Yukon but retained the financial liabilities. By contrast, Canada retained control of contaminated sites and the financial liabilities when NWT devolution took place in 2014. Devolution discussions are underway for Nunavut and the NCSP is working toward remediating all Nunavut sites prior to any future effective date.

The following summarizes the inventory of sites for which NCSP is responsible and the progress made on those sites up to April 1, 2015.  This table will be used as a baseline against which progress will be measured.

Category Number of Sites
Remediated – no monitoring required 25
Remediated – monitoring required 14
Priority sites undergoing remediation (NCS Class 1 and 2) 13
Anticipated priority sites awaiting remediation under FCSAP 58
Other sites which will not be remediated under FCSAPFootnote 2 71
Total 181

2.4 Design and Delivery

The NCSP follows the ten-step Federal Approach to Contaminated Sites to manage its inventory of contaminated sites. Sites are first assessed to determine the risks to human health and the environment. Remediation or risk management actions are then planned and implemented to mitigate unacceptable risks. Long-term monitoring, maintenance, and management may continue after remediation, depending on the remediation measures used.

Furthermore, the NCSP designs and delivers its projects in accordance with departmental and Government of Canada policies and objectives. These include: the department's Contaminated Sites Management Policy; Treasury Board policies on the management of real property, projects, and contracting; and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) standards and guides on classifying, assessing and remediating sites. These requirements, as well as  applicable industry best practices, are documented in the NCSP Corporate Procedures Manual and other standards and guides.

In the NWT and Nunavut, the NCSP is directly responsible for care and maintenance, assessment, and remediation of sites. However, in the Yukon Territory, the federal government is responsible for funding while the Government of Yukon implements ongoing care and maintenance, assessment and remediation activities for most Type II mine sitesFootnote 3.

AANDC works very closely with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in the area of project management and contracting. PWGSC awards all contracts greater than $2 million in value because of limitations on AANDC contracting authorities. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) between PWGSC and AANDC was signed in 2011. The SLA provides the principles, terms and conditions upon which PWGSC provides services to the NCSP and defines the roles, responsibilities and authorities of AANDC and PWGSC Project Managers.

2.5 Financial Resources

FCSAP provides resources to the NCSP annually to assist in the delivery of the Contaminated Sites sub-program. Remediation costs for most sites are cost-shared by FCSAP. Contributions are made from the department's resource base to satisfy the shared funding requirements associated with the FCSAP program (85% FCSAP and 15% AANDC) and to address departmental obligations for sites not currently funded under the FCSAP initiative. However, FCSAP covers 100% of the costs associated with the largest sites (such as Giant, Faro, Colomac, and United Keno Hills Mines (UKHM)).

This PM Strategy assumes that FCSAP - Phase III will receive funding approval for the period from 2016/17 to 2019/20. For the major projects (e.g. Giant and Faro), it is also assumed that funding will be secured for any remediation work and long term monitoring requirements associated with these sites that extend beyond the third and final phase of FCSAP

The forecasted spending for fiscal year 2014/15 is presented as follows:

Forecast Spending for 2014-15
Vote 1: Salary and
Operations and Maintenance
Vote 10: Grants
and Contributions
Vote 5:
Statutory Total Forecasted
$144,185,700 $59,695,263 $250,000 $1,080,418 $205,211,381
One half of an FTEFootnote 4 will be required for implementing and monitoring this performance management strategy.


  • Source: AANDC, Chief Financial Officer Sector.
  • Source of funds: AANDC: $11,647,575; FCSAP: $193,563,807.
  • During each annual review of this Strategy, the above table will be updated to reflect the forecast spending for the upcoming year.

AANDC also provides funding to the Government of Yukon for management of devolved federal contaminated sites, and to Aboriginal communities to support their participation in engagement and consultation activities related to individual sites under the following Transfer Payment Program authorities:

Authority 324: Transfer Payments to the Government of Yukon for the care and maintenance, remediation, and management of the closure of contaminated sites in Yukon.

Authority 327: Transfer Payments to the Government of Yukon for the remediation of the Marwell Tar Pit Site to support the Northern Contaminated Sites Program

Authority 344: Contribution for promoting the safe use, development, conservation and protection of the North's natural resources.

In addition to the general terms and conditions that apply to transfer payment agreements under these authorities (e.g. funding level and payment schedule; eligible activities and expenses; reporting and audit requirements; conflict of interest provisions), contaminated sites-specific clauses are added. For example, for the Faro Mine Remediation Project, an agreement with the Government of Yukon specifies governance structures within which the two governments, and First Nations will operate, including the use of an Independent Engineer or other experts to provide an independent assessment of plans and works completed by the Government of Yukon. As well, the agreements include provisions that provide Canada with the ability to conduct evaluations to determine the extent to which milestones and targets are achieved (e.g. engineering and construction activities, Aboriginal participation, liability reduction). Evaluation provisions, as well as dispute resolution, insurance and other requirements are also included in agreements with First Nations.


3.0 Governance, Stakeholders, and Partners

The Deputy Minister of AANDC has overall responsibility for the Contaminated Sites sub-program. In turn, the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Northern Affairs Organization (NAO) is responsible for the implementation of the Contaminated Sites Management Policy in the North. The ADM maintains ultimate accountability for funds directed to the NCSP from either FCSAP or the department's internal budget.

The Executive Director of the NCSP is responsible for establishing and managing the Contaminated Sites sub-program as a whole, and is the project sponsor for major projects. The Executive Director meets with northern Regional Directors General on an as-needed basis to direct the development of horizontal policy initiatives, ensure the sub-program is well integrated with other NAO initiatives, and resolve major issues within the sub-program or between the sub-program and other AANDC programs and activities.

The Regional Directors General (RDGs) are responsible for implementing the Contaminated Sites sub-program regionally and ensuring it is supported by and well integrated with other regional programs. The RDGs are ultimately accountable for the FCSAP and departmental resources that reach the region in support of the sub-program.

The Directors, NCSP are responsible for four separate areas - managing major projects (Giant and Faro), the Major Projects Office and the Program Management directorate, which includes the portfolio of all other remediation projects. These Directorates oversee and/or participate in major projects, support the development of NCSP policies and plans, and provide horizontal support to the regions for all projects.

Regional Directors, supported by project managers, are responsible for implementing the specific requirements of the Contaminated Sites sub-program and for all actions related to the operational management of contaminated sites in their respective regions. Projects are implemented by Project Managers whose specific roles and responsibilities are defined in the Regions by the Regional Directors.

Key NCSP-related decisions are supported through the following committee process:


4.0 Logic Model

Logic Model

4.1 Logic Model Narrative

This logic model has been developed for the Contaminated Sites sub-program (4.3.2) of the Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management (4.3) program.


Program Activities

There are four activities for the Contaminated Sites sub-program.

Activity #1 Conduct care & maintenance and monitoring activities:
Care & maintenance is carried out to prevent immediate contamination of the environment and activities can include water treatment, site access management, maintenance of infrastructure, site inspections, and environmental monitoring. Monitoring activities are required post-remediation to ensure the closure objectives continue to be met and the remediation remains stable.

Care & maintenance and monitoring activities contribute to effectively containing immediate risks (Immediate Outcome # 1) and ensuring that remediation measures remain effective (Immediate Outcome #2). These in turn contribute to the sub-program's ability to manage contaminated sites to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment (Sub-program Expected Result #1) and reduce liabilities (Sub-program Expected Result #2).

Activity #2 Investigate and assess suspected sites:
Environmental site assessments are carried out in three phases: Phase I – historic review; Phase II – preliminary site investigation to determine if contamination is present; and Phase III – detailed site investigation to characterize the nature and extent of the contamination. Phase I may include efforts to determine whether any third parties have liabilities relative to the site in question (which may set the stage for pursuing funding from those third parties).

Investigation and assessment activities enable the Contaminated Sites sub-program to identify and develop remedial action plans for priority sites (Immediate Outcome # 2). This in turn contributes to the sub-program's ability to manage contaminated sites to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment (Sub-program Expected Result #1) and reduce liabilities (Sub-program Expected Result #2).

Activity #3 Plan and carry out remediation activities:
Planning and design activities inform the development of site remediation and/or risk management plans, and implementation of such plans results in remediation of priority sites and, where necessary, development of long term monitoring plans (Immediate Outcome #3). This in turn contributes to the sub-program's ability to manage contaminated sites to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment (Sub-program Expected Result #1) and reduce financial liabilities (Sub-program Expected Outcome #2).

Remediation plans and associated cost estimates are developed and form the basis for regulatory (e.g. Environmental Assessment, water license, land use permit) and funding applications. Extensive engagement with Aboriginal, territorial, and federal officials is involved. Once approvals are secured, remediation plans are finalized and implemented. This involves procuring the contractors required to perform site work (e.g. civil works, construction of new facilities and infrastructure, soil remediation, engineering designs, quality assurance). Implementation of the remediation works then proceeds, often over several years. Project evaluations (e.g. health and safety audits) are performed throughout implementation. Closure reports, which may include long term monitoring, maintenance and management requirements, are produced at the end.

Activity #4 Engage communities:
Local Aboriginal and other Northern communities are engaged in the work of the sub-program, primarily at the site level. These efforts aim to obtain and, to the extent possible, accommodate input into the assessment, development and implementation of remediation/ risk management plans, thereby generating sound and supported project plans (Immediate Outcome #3).

Engagement activities also refer to training, capacity building and employment programs, which help ensure that Aboriginal and other Northerners have opportunity to benefit from the assessment and remediation/risk management efforts (Immediate Outcome # 3). Ultimately, the creation of these opportunities will help ensure that economic benefits accrue for Aboriginal and other Northerners (Sub-program Expected Outcome # 1).

Sub-program results

All activities undertaken by the Contaminated Sites sub-program are aimed at one expected result: 1) contaminated sites are managed to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment while bringing economic benefit to the North.

Program results

The Contaminated Sites sub-program contributes to the following expected result of the Northern Land, Resource and Environmental Management Program: Effective regulatory regimes are established in each of the three territories, which provide certainty to project proponents, Aboriginal organizations and Northerners.

Departmental Strategic Outcome
This program, alongside various other interconnected programs, supports the departmental strategic outcome of supporting Self-reliance, prosperity and well being for the people and communities of the North.


5.0 Risk Assessment

The Contaminated Sites sub-program faces a number of risks that must be managed in order to achieve the sub-program's expected outcomes. Some of these are specific to individual sites, while others apply more broadly to the sub-program. The NCSP has extensive risk management approaches in place at both the project and sub-program level. For example, project-level risks are identified through a project risk management procedure that has been in place since 2004/05. This procedure, which is based on both international standards and industry best practice, requires each project manager to address identified risks in their project work plans.

In addition, a Corporate Risk Profile (CRP) was developed for the NCSP in 2007 and updated in 2009 and 2014. The CRP identifies the high level risks that could limit the achievement of the Contaminated Sites sub-program's key objectives as well as the levels of these risks and the activities and outcomes that are potentially affected.

Using the CRP as its base, the NCSP has established an annual risk assessment process to identify and assess both sub-program risks and associated mitigation strategies. As part of this process, integrated risk management workshops are conducted biannually. These workshops update information on risk drivers, current mitigation activities, and potential consequences.

Risk Statement Risk Rating Mitigation Strategy
There is a risk that the NCSP will be unable to secure sufficient FCSAP funding, resulting in an inability to deliver on sub-program objectives. Very High
  • Support initiatives to secure funding for Phase III of FCSAP (i.e. funding until 2019/20). Future funding options for Faro and Giant are also being explored and a contingency plan for a low-funding future scenario is being developed.
There is a risk that the NCSP will be required to return to and clean-up sites they have already remediated, resulting in an inability to deliver on sub-program objectives. Very High
  • The NCSP plans to introduce a requirement that long-term monitoring plans be included in site Remediation Action Plans, using guidance provided by FCSAP, and that the merits of ‘walk-away solutions' be evaluated when the remediation plans are finalized. The NCSP will also perform cost-benefit analyses to determine whether or not to undertake additional remediation at sites already remediated.
There is a risk that the NCSP will not be able to fill vacant positions, resulting in an inability to deliver on sub-program objectives. Very High
  • To mitigate this risk, the NCSP will continue to use processes to run staffing competitions and creating staffing pools across the sub-program, including the regions.
There is a risk that the existing procurement process may not be adequate to meet major project requirements, resulting in an inability to deliver on sub-program objectives. High
  • Obtain guidance from Treasury Board on the use of Aboriginal Opportunity Considerations and Pre-Qualified consultants; modify the NCSP Procurement Policy Procedure as appropriate; and strengthen the working relationship with Acquisition Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada to streamline procurement for remediation projects. Improve the development and execution of strategic procurement plans at the project and sub-program levels.

6.0 Performance Measurement – Data Collection

6.1 Performance Measurement Matrix

Remediation / Risk Management Plans Number of new Remediation  / Risk Management Plans produced 1 in 2015/16 Remediation / Risk Management Plan reports Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Evaluation reports Number of EH&S Audits performed 2 / year EHS Audit reports Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Program Manager
Closure reports Closure reports finalized within 9 months of remediation completion 100% Project closure reports Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Consultation reports Number of consultations/ engagement activities 30 / year Project quarterly reports
Project consultation / engagement  logs
Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Immediate Outcomes:
Immediate risks are contained Achievement of significant milestones in the Giant Site Stabilization Plan

Achievement of significant milestones in the Faro Interim Works Plan

Number of non-compliant releases from Giant, Faro and other sites
Complete underground stabilization by March 31, 2016

Complete interim works at Cross Valley Dam by March 31, 2016

Project work plans

Project quarterly reports

Project incident reports
Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Giant & Faro Project Directors

Regional Directors / Senior Manager
Remediated sites are monitored to ensure remediation measures remain effective Number of sites in long-term monitoring (FCSAP Step 10)

Percentage of sites under long-term monitoring for which further remediation action is required
14 in 2015/16

Monitoring program work plans

Monitoring program quarterly reports
Annual reporting through NCSP

Performance Reports
Regional Directors / Senior Manager
Remediation/risk management plans for priority sites are developed and implemented safely and cost effectively EA, regulatory and Treasury Board approvals (if applicable) for Giant & Faro secured

Number of sites under active remediation/ risk management (FCSAP Step 8)

Percentage of active sites with Site Specific Health and Safety Plans in place

Reduction of liability associated with all non-major project sites (i.e. excluding Giant and Faro)
Giant WL by March 31, 2022

Faro EA by March 31, 2019

10 in 2015/16

100 %

Reduce by $270M by 2020
EA, WL, TB decision documents

Project work plans

Quarterly reports

H&S Plan reviews

Annual liability forecasting and reporting
Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Giant & Faro Project Directors

Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Employment, training and business opportunities are created for Aboriginal and other Northerners Percentage of women employed on NCSP projects

Percentage of person-hours of training provided to Aboriginal and other Northerners

Percentage of person-hours of training provided to women

Percentage of contract value awarded to Aboriginal and/or Northern companies
5 %

60 %

5 %

60 %
Project quarterly reports Annual reporting through NCSP Performance Reports Giant & Faro Project Directors

Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Intermediate Outcomes:
Contaminated sites are managed to ensure the protection of human health and the safety of the environment while bringing economic benefit to the North. Number of sites in Step 8 (implementation) through Step 10 (long-term monitoring) of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan 10-step process

Percentage of Northerners and Aboriginal peoples employed within Contaminated Sites projects

Project work plans

Project monitoring reports

Project quarterly reports

Annual reporting through DPRs and NCSP Performance Reports Giant & Faro Project Directors

Regional Directors/ Senior Manager
Ultimate Outcomes:
4.3. Northern Land, Resources and Environmental Management Program result(s): Effective regulatory regimes are established in each of the three territories, which provide certainty to project proponents, Aboriginal organizations and Northerners. Nunavut's ratings for three factors (1: administration, interpretation, enforcement of regulations; 2: environmental regulations; 3: regulatory duplication and inconsistencies) reported in the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies)

Percentage of Nunavut projects and national interest or trans-boundary NWT projects approved within regulated time lines in process, including decisions on environmental assessments
The percentage of industry encouraged to invest, or not deterred by, the three factors shall each increase by 10 percentage points (by March 31, 2016)

100% (by March 31, 2016)
Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies Annual reporting through the Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs)  

Note 1

DWP = Detailed Work Plan
EA = Environmental Assessment
EH&S = Environment, Health and Safety
FCSI = Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory
IEMS = Integrated Environmental Management System
RAP = Remedial Action Plan
TB = Treasury Board
WL = Water Licence

Note 2:

The departmental Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) does not reflect that the Northern Contaminated Sites Program became a branch on April 1, 2014. The PMF will be updated next fiscal year to reflect this change.

6.2 Methodology Note

In order to identify performance indicators that would be most relevant and meaningful for the Contaminated Sites sub-program, the NCSP conducted a review of existing program indicators (as well as indicators used by other relevant players, such as FCSAPFootnote 5). A facilitated session with NCSP headquarters staff was held and the strategy was discussed at a meeting of the Directors Committee. The resulting package of indicators reflects a mix of quantitative and qualitative indicators. It is noted that the validity and measurability of these indicators is based on the assumption that the NCSP will continue to receive the funding required to perform the activities outlined in this strategy.

The suite of indicators proposed also includes some sub-indicators pertaining only to the Faro and Giant mine sites because these sites are more complex and have significantly larger budgets and longer timelines than the other sites managed by the NCSP. As a result, indicators related to mitigating risks and seeking project, expenditure and regulatory approvals have been developed specifically for these sites. 

6.3 Implementation Notes

The NCSP is an established program with a robust information collection and reporting framework. As such, implementation of this PM Strategy will maximize use of existing data collection and reporting mechanisms to the extent possible. This will help ensure effective integration of performance information into ongoing program management and will also help reduce the incremental reporting burden associated with any new indicators selected.

The primary sources to be used to collect data related to this PM Strategy include:

  • Data Collection Instrument #41840: Northern Affairs Organization – Report Cover Sheet, which tracks funds transferred to the Government of Yukon for Type II mine sites;
  • Work planning documents, which are Detailed Work Plans (DWPs) for the majority of NCSP projects or Project Execution Plans and Phase Work Plans for the major projects – Giant and Faro;
  • Quarterly Reports, which track employment statistics and environment, health and safety data; and,
  • The Integrated Environmental Management System (IEMS), which serves as the central repository for information related to contaminated sites and provides a common platform to facilitate analysis and reporting of site details and financial data for the sites for which the NCSP is responsible.

This PM Strategy will be an "evergreen" document, with performance targets set annually to reflect funding levels and business plans.

The NCSP will also consult with the FCSAP Secretariat to discuss their progress, and any challenges the FCSAP may have, with the measurement of their performance against their PM Strategy. Through these discussions, the NCSP will identify lessons learned that can be applied to the NCSP PM Strategy.


7.0 Evaluation Strategy

The NCSP has undergone a series of audits and evaluations since its inception, including:

The Contaminated Sites sub-program will continue to be subject to internal and external audits and evaluations. Specifically, a Departmental Summative Evaluation of the NCSP is scheduled for 2018/19. This PM Strategy will help support and inform this evaluation.


8.0 Contacts

Position e-mail
Executive Director, NCSP Branch
Program Director N/A
Senior Advisor

9.0 References

Performance Measurement Strategy – Northern Affairs Organization Contaminated Sites Program, 2010/11 to 2014/15

2014-2015 Program Alignment Architecture

2014-2015 Performance Measurement Framework

Transfer Payment Program Authorities – Terms and Conditions

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