Resources & Infrastructure

Image
Winding River

Resources & Infrastructure

Mandate

The first point of contact for infrastructure and resource development in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory. Resources and Infrastructure works with knowledge holders, experts and technical staff to develop a consultation plan for each project.

Projects incorporate Western and Indigenous knowledge systems for a more robust process that minimizes the impact to natural and cultural resources. The resources and infrastructure team works to ensure consultation is occurring at the earliest stages of development and that, where impacts cannot be avoided, appropriate accommodations are in place.


Purpose
To protect our rights and way of life. 

Stylized image of a bear

 

Tipi
Sunset Deer in Snow

 

Role of the staff

  • Parks Canada
  • Landfills
  • Linear developments - natural gas, hydro corridors
  • Water treatment plant upgrades
  • Road infrastructure
  • Municipal works
  • Housing development
  • Dams
  • Public education on rights in the SON Territory
  • Divestiture
  • Land use plan reviews
  • Hunting and gathering in the SON Territory
  • Natural heritage reviews
  • Archaeology
  • Pits and quarries
  • Water works
  • Forestry
  • Permits to take water

Responsibilities

  • Coordinating SON reviews of environmental assessments for projects that require consultation as the main point of contact.
  • Liaising with proponents, Crown agencies, Conservation Authorities, etc. to ensure fulfillment of duty to consult on proposed development projects.
  • Managing finances, budgets, and legal agreements for consultation files.
  • Providing technical expertise and concise file updates to SON Joint Council.
  • Developing and implementing consultation protocols under the direction of SON Joint Council.
  • Analyzing new requests for consultation on potential impacts to the SON Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and environmental features in the Territory.
  • Scoping duty to consult and potential impacts on SON Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and the environment.
  • Scheduling and overseeing SON archaeological and environmental monitors as necessary.
  • Acting as the main point of contact for infrastructure developments and forestry activities in the Territory.
  • Main point of contact for various other files, ex. Parks Canada, Provincial Parks.
  • Attending workshops, conferences, and professional development sessions to build on ecological, legislative, and technical knowledge.
  • Assessing proposed changes to legislation (ex. species at risk, conservation/environmental policies, Aggregate Resources Act, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Natural Resources Canada) and providing comments as necessary.
  • Coordinating SON’s reviews of Aggregate Resources Act applications as the main point of contact.
  • Liaising with proponents, Crown agencies, Conservation Authorities, etc. to ensure fulfillment of duty to consult on proposed resource development projects.
  • Managing financials, budgets, and legal agreements for aggregate resources files.
  • Providing technical expertise and concise file updates to Quarry Team and Joint Council.
  • Developing and implementing consultation protocols under the direction of Joint Council.
  • Analyzing permits to take water applications for potential impact to SON Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and on the environment for in-water works.
  • Scoping duty to consult and potential impacts to SON Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and on the environment for in-water works.
  • Scheduling and overseeing SON archaeological and environmental monitors as necessary.
  • Providing technical support for various other files, ex. Parks Canada, Bruce Power – TEBOW.
  • Assessing proposed changes to legislation (ex. species at risk, conservation/environmental policies) and providing comments as necessary.

Major Highlights

TP Hayes Decision 
NEYAASHIINIGMIING - A new Ontario Court decision delivers a stinging rebuke of the conduct of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and a quarry operator on the Bruce Peninsula (T and P Hayes) for failure to properly consult the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. As a result of this failure, the Court has quashed approvals for the T and P Hayes quarry project. 

In the case of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry) and T & P Hayes Ltd.*, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice overturned the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) approval of T and P Hayes’ quarry licence, finding that the MNRF breached its duty to consult and accommodate the Saugeen Ojibway Nation’s Aboriginal and Treaty rights. The Court found these breaches “serious”, for the Crown had not: 
- properly assessed what their duty to consult required them to do 
- given early enough notice of the application to SON 
- provided SON with funding to hire experts to evaluate the project 
- followed a clear, agreed-to consultation process. 

The SON Joint Chiefs and Councils are celebrating this monumental decision, “This comes after years of efforts to defend our constitutionally-protected rights in the face of hundreds of active quarries in our Territory. In this case, our efforts to defend our rights were met with years of stalling, denial of our rights, and a refusal to provide us with relevant information,” says Chief Lester Anoquot of Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. “The Court has recognized that these tactics are not acceptable, and do not uphold the honour of the Crown or advance reconciliation. We hope this decision will serve as a road map for how to do better on the many other quarry applications currently in process.” 

A key issue in the case was who should pay for SON’s technical experts to review the quarry project, in order to identify and address impacts to SON’s rights. The Court agreed with SON that the Crown should fund such technical reviews. 

“These are not our projects and they don’t benefit our Communities. Our Communities should not have to take from already-scarce community funds needed for housing, education and other essential services to enable someone else’s project. We are asking to participate in consultation on a level playing field that doesn’t disadvantage us,” said Chief Greg Nadjiwon of Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. 

The decision has led to a major change in aggregate development in the Saukiing Anishnaabekiing. It can be found at Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation v Ontario (MNRF), 2017 ONSC 3456