Federal Assessment Processes
Principles to Protect Municipal Interests in Federal Assessment Processes
Municipalities regularly participate in federal, provincial or territorial assessment and review processes for larger projects, where the outcomes have local impact on areas of municipal responsibility.
Major new projects subject to these review processes, especially resource development projects, are essential to the economic prosperity and quality of life of local communities, particularly for rural, remote and northern communities.
The following three principles, adopted by the FCM Board of Directors, speak to those areas where local governments have a legitimate interest to ensure their rights and responsibilities are protected :
1. Protect and strengthen local economies, quality of life and the health and integrity of the local environment as top priorities in federal assessment and review processes:
- A project's contribution towards local economies must be a priority in federal review and assessment processes, and must also be balanced with the environmental and social priorities of local communities.
- Municipal interests must be respected and reflected in federal assessment and review process.
- Federal review and assessment processes must be efficient and ensure effective "smart government" coordination between government and departments.
2. Equip and support municipal first responders to respond to emergencies related to proposed projects:
- Municipalities need to know what dangerous goods are being transported through, stored or used in their communities so local services can plan and respond effectively to emergencies.
- Private sector project operators and federal, provincial and territorial oversight agencies cannot plan for emergencies alone. Local governments and authorities must be involved as partners in emergency planning.
3. Prevent downloading of project-related safety, emergency response and other costs to municipal taxpayers:
- Third-party liability insurance systems must be sufficient to prevent the downloading of liability costs on municipal taxpayers, even in the event of the bankruptcy of the original insurance holder.
- Municipal first responders must be equipped and supported to effectively respond to an emergency arising from a new federally-regulated project.
- Up front costs associated with participation in a federal review process and back end costs resulting from any unrecoverable burden placed on municipal services and infrastructure by a federally-regulated project must not be unfairly imposed on local governments.