Is Your Community Engaged?
In September we published a popular post: "Is Your Community Ready?" TransCanada Pipelines & Aboriginal Interests". On October 30th, 2014, TransCanada formally applied for federal government approval for this $12 billion project that will take crude oil from Alberta across six provinces to processing on the East Coast. See the Backgrounder below.
In this post, we revisit some of the considerations about Aboriginal community wellbeing and this major project. If you are checking out out the proposal and asking questions, this post might help.
Is YOUR community ready to make sense of local impacts from the largest set of energy infrastructure projects in Canadian history?
Communities Getting Prepared - Aboriginal Interests
Many First Nation and Métis communities are preparing to participate in the regulatory process and develop community-based understandings of the potential impacts.
We believe that if the projects are approved, it will be because Aboriginal communities have participated in making sure the projects address their needs and interests.
We are aware of several Aboriginal communities undertaking traditional knowledge studies and environmental and socio-economic impact reviews. See below for a list of potential impacts during pipeline construction and operation.
In these major Canadian project approval processes, Traditional Knowledge Matters. For interested communities, it is critically important to develop an understanding of existing local environmental and socio-economic conditions so that the potential project impacts, both positive and negative can be better understood to protection and enhance Aboriginal community wellbeing.
Here are eight things to watch for:
- archaeological and cultural heritage resources / aboriginal culture and local knowledge - how can traditional land use mapping help inform knowledge of key environmental and cultural heritage features around the pipelines?
- historic, current and future Aboriginal land uses – how will hunting, fishing, harvesting, recreation, education, spiritual, and sacred sites influence the project?
- economic activities – what current and future activities will be impacted? What economic opportunities do the pipeline projects present?
- how can Aboriginal environmental monitors / BEAHR Training be applied?
- how can traditional land use and occupancy mapping be applied?
- how can combining scientific and traditional knowledge improve project assessment and mitigation?
- how can you apply Aboriginal traditional ecological knowledge and envrionmental change / climate change knowledge together?
- how will the projects dovetail with First Nation source water protection efforts?
Interested in this topic? Then
see our related posts here: Energy East
Shared Value Solutions Team Members Jeremy Shute M.A. RPP (Managing Partner, Professional Planner and Cartographer) training First Nations community land use planners, Magnetawan First Nation
Energy East and the Eastern Mainline Project:
TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline Project is the largest proposed energy infrastructure project to happen in Canada since the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway system.
At the same time as TransCanada moves forward with regulatory approval processes for Energy East, the company is proposing the Eastern Mainline Project – a brand new natural gas pipeline in Ontario.
TransCanada says that the Eastern Mainline Project “is needed to enable TransCanada to continue to meet its commercial obligations following the proposed transfer of certain Canadian Mainline facilities to Energy East Pipeline Ltd. (Energy East) and the subsequent conversion of those facilities to crude oil from natural gas service."
These two multi-billion dollar new pipeline projects, on top of a range of other new oil and gas pipeline projects in Ontario, present significant project review, consultation and accommodation challenges for First Nation and Métis communities.