Updates

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A JBACE subcommittee examined how strategic environment assessment (SEA) could be integrated into the initiative to modernize the Environment Quality Act. In September 2015, the JBACE submitted a brief on the Green Paper relating to this issue. Then, in November 2016, the JBACE tabled another brief on Bill 102 modernizing the Environment Quality Act.

The JBACE has been interested in SEA since the launching of the Plan Nord. In 2010, the Committee recommended that the Québec government conduct a strategic environmental assessment in order to more effectively gauge the environmental and social capacity of northern regions to support large-scale development projects. The Committee reiterated this proposal, in June 2016, in relation to the government’s Strategic Vision for Mining Development in Québec.

Consideration of cumulative effects

The JBACE would like to improve its understanding of how cumulative effects are taken into account on the Territory of Section 22. In May 2016, the Committee tabled a study on the assessment of cumulative effects in the directives, impact statements, reviews and authorizations of seven projects submitted to the Section 22 procedure. During a workshop held in September 2016, the JBACE and assessment and review committees of Section 22 discussed the findings and recommendations of the study with a view to improving the procedure.

Review of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEA Act)

The JBACE tabled a brief intended for the Expert Panel on the review of federal environmental assessment processes. The brief addresses, among other things, the linkage between the CEA Act procedure and the Section 22 assessment and review procedure.

 

Review of the Fisheries Act 2012

During the current review of the Fisheries Act 2012, the JBACE tabled comments to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans of the House of Commons in November 2016.

Since 2014, the JBACE is working with Fisheries and Oceans' Regional Office to ensure that due consideration is given to the fishing rights guaranteed to the Crees under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. In March 2017, the Committee proposed a Guide  intended for proponents regarding the self-assessment they conduct for their projects near water in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory.

Public participation process

The JBACE submitted a report of recommendations to the signatory parties concerned by Section 22 of the JBNQA in May 2015. The report focuses on public participation activities conducted during JBNQA Section 22 assessments and reviews. The recommendations pertain mainly to public access to information and transparency of the process.

By way of follow-up, the JBACE prepared a table showing the extent to which recent initiatives have enabled implementation of each of the recommendations.

The JBACE is currently working on a guide for project proponents regarding the Section 22 procedure and public participation.

Review of forest management plans

In accordance with its mandate, the JBACE reviews forest management plans before their approval by the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks of Québec. In view of the tabling of draft tactical integrated forest management plans (‘PAFIT’, in French) applicable to the Section 22 Territory for the 2018-2023 period, the JBACE identified its review parameters in February 2017.