Worth a Second Look: Indigenous Implications of Bills C-69 and C-68

  • October 28, 2019
  • Stephanie Axmann, counsel, McCarthy Tetrault, Bryn E. Gray, partner, McCarthy Tetrault

On August 28, 2019, Canada’s new federal environmental legislation under Bill C-69 (including the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CERA), and Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA)) and Bill C-68 (amendments to the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence) came into force. These new statutes and legislative amendments introduce enhanced Indigenous consultation requirements for mining, pipeline, and other projects that require federal impact assessments and certain federal regulatory approvals and permits.

Bill C-69 Amendments

The federal government introduced Bill C-69 on February 8, 2018. Our initial overview of the Indigenous-related aspects and implications of the then-proposed IAA is available here. The House of Commons’ proposed amendments to Bill C-69 were subsequently reviewed by the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. Of the Senate’s 188 proposed amendments, the House of Commons accepted 62 amendments fully and 37 with modifications. Bill C-69, as amended, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.