Terms and definitions

The following are definitions of the terminology used for resource management in the Northwest Territories, under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Clarification - The process by which a board seeks an explanation of any document or information on the public record without seeking new evidence or information in a proceeding.

Community hearing - An informal oral hearing held in a community.

Designated regulatory authority - An agency referred to in a land claim agreement as an independent regulatory agency. The National Energy Board is currently the only designated regulatory authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

Developer - The person or organization responsible for a development proposal that is subject to a preliminary screening, environmental assessment or environmental impact review.

Developer's assessment report - The developer's report on the project, which describes the development and the environmental setting, predicts impacts and proposes mitigations, submitted to the Review Board for the purpose of an environmental assessment.

Development - Undertaking or part of an undertaking that is carried out on land or water. A development may be subject to a preliminary screening, and may include activities carried out by private agencies, local, territorial or federal government, or extensions.

Direction on procedure - A direction issued by a board at any time in a proceeding, and may include work plans or terms of reference for an environmental assessment or environmental impact review proceeding.

Document - Papers, reports, documents, maps and photographs and any other records filed in a proceeding, including audio or videotapes or any type of electronic records.

Environment - The components of the earth including (a) land, water and air, including all layers of the atmosphere; (b) all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms; and (c) the interacting natural systems that include components referred to in (a) and (b).

Environmental assessment - After preliminary screening, environmental assessment is the second stage of consideration for a proposed development and is required for a small number of projects. This stage examines a proposed development to decide if it is likely to cause significant adverse impacts on the environment or if it is likely to cause significant public concern. If so, it will a) be required to implement measures recommended as a result of the environmental assessment to avoid or reduce the impacts b) be referred to environmental impact review or c) be rejected. If no impacts or public concern is likely, then the development proceeds directly to the regulatory phase.

Environmental impact assessment - The process of systematically considering the effects of development in decision-making prior to licensing and permitting. The three stages of environmental impact assessment include preliminary screening, environmental assessment and environmental impact review.

Environmental impact review - The third stage of an environmental impact assessment, required for very few proposed developments. The environmental impact review is carried out by an independent panel and takes a very focused look at the potential environmental impacts and public concern of a proposed development. The review will determine if a development should proceed to the regulatory phase, and if so, under what conditions.

Environmental impact statement - The developer's project report which describes the development, the environmental setting, predicts impacts and proposes mitigations, submitted for the purpose of an environmental impact review.

Federal minister - The Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

First Nation - The Gwich’in First Nation, the Sahtu First Nation or bodies representing other Dene or Métis of the North Slave, South Slave or Dehcho regions of the Mackenzie Valley. This term does not include the Tlicho First Nation or the Tlicho Government.

First Nation lands - Settlement lands of the First Nation; or lands situated within boundaries of a local government and referred to in a First Nation’s land claim agreement as municipal lands.

Follow-up program - A program for evaluating the soundness of an environmental assessment or environmental impact review of a proposal for development; or, the mitigative measures imposed as conditions of approval of the proposal.

Formal hearing - An oral hearing.

Government - Refers to the federal government and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Gwich’in First Nation - The Gwich’in as represented by the Gwich’in Tribal Council.

Harvesting - In relation to wildlife, means hunting, trapping or fishing activities carried on in conformity with a land claim agreement or, in respect of persons and places not subject to a land claim agreement, carried on pursuant to aboriginal or treaty rights.

Board hearing - A written hearing, a formal hearing and a community hearing forming part of an environmental assessment or environmental impact review proceeding where a board receives information or evidence either orally or in writing from the parties and members of the public.

Heritage resources - Means archaeological or historic sites, burial sites, artifacts and other objects of historical, cultural or religious significance, and historical or cultural records.

Impact on the environment - Any effect on land, water, air, or any other component of the environment, as well as on wildlife harvesting, and includes any effect on the social and cultural environment or heritage resources.

Information request - Written questions exchanged in the course of an environmental assessment or environmental impact review.

Land - Surface of the land.

Land claim agreement - Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement or Sahtu Dene Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement.

Land use plan - A land use plan is a public document that sets aside different areas for different uses, and describes what activities are permitted or not permitted in specific areas. The land use plan applies to both Crown and settlement lands. It does not apply to lands within municipal boundaries or lands within national parks or historic sites.

Licence - For the use of waters or the deposit of waste, or both, issued by a board.

Local government - Any local government established under the laws of the Northwest Territories, including a city, town, village, hamlet, charter community or settlement, whether incorporated or not, and includes the territorial government acting in the place of a local government pursuant to those laws.

Member of the public - A person other than a party, who is allowed to participate in an environmental assessment or environmental impact review proceeding.

Mitigative or remedial measure - Measure for the control, reduction or elimination of an adverse impact of a development on the environment, including a restorative measure.

Party - An individual or an organization which is granted standing in an environmental assessment or an environmental impact review proceeding and may include but is not limited to a developer, a first nation affected by a proposed development, the federal or any responsible minister, a designated regulatory agency or the owner or occupier of any land affected by the development.

Permit - For the use of land issued by a board.

Preliminary screener - Any body or agency responsible for completing a preliminary screening.

Preliminary screening - The first stage of environmental impact assessment required for most proposed developments. This stages examines a proposed development to decide if it might cause significant adverse impacts on the environment or if it might cause significant public concern. If so, it will be referred to environmental assessment. If not, the development proceeds directly to the regulatory phase.

Public notice - An announcement made through newspaper, radio, community poster or other public means.

Public record - Includes information or documents relevant to a proceeding filed with a board.

Regulatory authority - A body or person responsible for issuing a licence, permit or other authorization required for the proposed development under any federal or territorial law, but does not include a designated regulatory agency or local government.

Responsible minister - Any minister of the Crown or of the territorial government having jurisdiction in relation to the development under federal or territorial law.

Ruling - A decision or order made by a board in response to a Request for Ruling or in an oral hearing.

Sahtu First Nation - The Dene and Métis of the Sahtu region, as represented by the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated.

Scoping (of issues) - The identification and prioritization of relevant issues to be focused on during an assessment of a development; the decision regarding what will be included or excluded as a part of the development proposal being assessed.

Settlement lands - Lands referred to as settlement lands in a land claim agreement.

Settlement area - A portion of the Northwest Territories to which a land claims agreement applies.

Specialist - An expert engaged by a board to assist with a Review Board proceeding by providing expert opinion, evidence or analysis.

Territorial government - The Government of the Northwest Territories.

Territorial minister - The minister of the territorial government designated by the Executive Council of the Northwest Territories for the purposes of that provision.

Tlicho Government - The government of the Tlicho First Nation established in accordance with chapter 7 of the Tlicho Agreement.

Water authority - A board or other authority having jurisdiction in relation to the use of waters or the deposit of waste in any portion of the Northwest Territories.

Waters - Any inland waters, in a liquid or frozen state, on or below the surface of the land.