Many industry practitioners are familiar with the principles of the Duty to Consult, an obligation of the Crown established in the 2004 Haida Nation v. British Columbia decision by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) with further guidance provided in subsequent case law. It is generally understood that the Crown is ultimately responsible for consulting with Aboriginal communities, although certain procedural aspects can be delegated to proponents.
Despite efforts by provincial and territorial governments to delineate consultation processes and, in some cases, provide guidance for proponents on their role in consultation and engagement, challenges exist in practice. This can result in delayed projects, increased costs, investor uncertainty and negative impacts to company and community relationships.
PDAC is working in partnership with regional associations across Canada to identify ways to improve the consultation framework in each region. To date, this collaborative partnership has helped identify seven challenge areas that are common across Canada. The next step of the project will involve identifying and promoting promising practices that have been put in place to respond to these challenges, in the hopes of improving government practices in each province and territory.