A Memorandum of Understanding to Harmonize the Designation of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Listing of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act

This Memorandum of Understanding comes into effect on this 28th day of May, 2008.

Between: HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA as represented by the Minister of the Environment responsible for the Department of the Environment (DOE) and for the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) and by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans responsible for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

and

The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (hereinafter the NWMB)

Hereinafter the Parties.

Whereas DOE, PCA and DFO are committed to ensuring that the listing process for wildlife species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) fully complies with the terms of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA);

Whereas the Parties wish to harmonize the designation of rare, threatened and endangered species under the NLCA and the listing of wildlife species at risk under SARA;

Whereas this Memorandum of Understanding reflects that Crown consultation will occur with Inuit; it is not intended to set out the details of that process;

And Whereas the timelines in this Memorandum of Understanding, and any consideration of extensions or abridgements, are subject to any such requirements of procedural fairness as are applicable in the circumstances.

NOW THEREFORE, THE PARTIES TO THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

1.0 PURPOSE OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

1.1 The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to set out actions and timelines for fair and efficient listing decisions for wildlife species that meet the requirements of the NLCA and SARA and is not intended to be legally binding. For greater certainty, this Memorandum of Understanding does not create or limit any legal rights, duties or obligations, including with respect to fairness, and is not a contract.

2.0 LISTING PROCESSES

2.1 Subject to clauses 2.2 to 2.4, the Parties will follow the harmonized standard listing process set out in Part 3.0.

2.2 Where the NWMB determines that an abridged listing process would be fair and efficient and would meet the requirements of the NLCA and SARA, the Parties will develop an abridged listing process and comply with it, including any consequent timeline changes. If the Parties cannot agree on a fair and efficient abridged listing process, then the harmonized standard listing process set out in Part 3.0 will be followed.

2.3 Where a Party is of the view – after providing reasonable notice and substantive reasons to the other Party – that the listing process as set out in Part 3 should be extended, the Parties will develop a fair and efficient extended listing process and comply with it, including any consequent timeline changes. If the Parties cannot agree on a fair and efficient extended listing process, then the harmonized standard listing process set out in Part 3.0 will be followed but with an additional three months incorporated into the times set out in clauses 3.7 to 3.17.

2.4 The Minister, on the Minister’s own initiative, may refer a management matter related to an emergency listing (SARA 29) to the NWMB. Where a matter is referred, the NWMB will deal expeditiously with it. The NWMB will respond to Ministerial initiatives with decisions in time to permit the Minister to meet his/her national and international obligations (NLCA 5.3.25).

3.0 HARMONIZED STANDARD LISTING PROCESS

Year 1

April - May

3.1 The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) holds its species assessment meeting and makes its assessments.

3.2 If DOE/PCA/DFO considers that an abridged listing process may be advisable, it provides information and seeks the views of the relevant communities and Inuit organizations with respect to the species and the advisability of such an abridged listing process.

June

3.3 DOE/PCA/DFO informs the NWMBin writing of assessment results at the NWMB’s June meeting. The NWMB will promptly forward the results to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) and to the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat (NIWS).

August

3.4 COSEWIC provides the Minister and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council with its species assessments and reasons for designation. A copy of the assessments and reasons is included in the Public Registry (SARA 25(1)).

September

3.5 At the September quarterly meeting of the NWMB, DOE/PCA/DFO provides another update in writing to the NWMB on the COSEWIC assessment(s) and reasons for designation for Nunavut species and the best available community and other relevant information including views collected as per clause 3.2 . The NWMB will promptly forward the update and information to NTI and to the NIWS. Subject to clauses 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4, the Parties continue thereafter to follow the harmonized standard listing process set out in clauses 3.6 to 3.17.

November

3.6 Within 90 days of receiving a copy of the COSEWIC species assessments and reasons for designation (see clause 3.4), the Minister includes Response Statements in the Public Registry indicating how he or she intends to respond to each species assessment and, to the extent possible, provides timelines for action (SARA 25(3)).

November to mid February (Year 1/Year 2)

3.7 DOE/PCA/DFO conducts relevant public consultations in Nunavut including with relevant Inuit organizations.

Mid-April

3.8 DOE/PCA/DFO provides in writing to the NWMB the consultation report(s) for Nunavut species, including any Departmental response(s), as well as available summary(ies) of consultations in other jurisdictions, all in English and Inuktitut. The NWMBwill promptly forward the report(s), response(s) and summary(ies) to NTI and to the NIWS.

NWMB public consideration process

May - September

3.9 By May 31, DOE provides the NWMBwith what the Minister is considering with respect to SARA listing, and requests in writing an approval decision or decisions by October 15. DOE also provides the NWMBin writing with the best available information in English and Inuktitut. The NWMB will promptly forward the DOE request and best available information to NTI and to the NIWS.

3.10 Shortly thereafter, the NWMB provides public notice that it will conduct a public consideration of what the Minister is considering with respect to SARA listing at its September quarterly meeting. This public consideration is necessary in order to meet fairness requirements. The NWMB places the best available information related to the proposed listing on its Meeting Registry no later than 11 weeks prior to the September quarterly meeting, and issues an invitation for written response submissions (NWMB Meeting Procedures).

3.11 For the purposes of clauses 3.9 and 3.10, best available information includes:

  • 3.11.1 Species assessments and reasons as per clause 3.4;
  • 3.11.2 Response statements posted on the SARA Public Registry as per clause 3.6;
  • 3.11.3 Consultation reports for Nunavut species, any Departmental response(s) and available summary(ies) of consultations in other jurisdictions, provided by DOE/PCA/DFO as per clause 3.8;
  • 3.11.4 Available relevant public documentation that DOE/PCA/DFO used in arriving at what the Minister is considering with respect to SARA listing; and
  • 3.11.5 Any additional relevant information that the NWMBconsiders to also constitute best available information.

3.12 Response submissions in English and Inuktitut are filed with the NWMB no later than four weeks prior to the September quarterly meeting (NWMBMeeting Procedures).

3.13 At its September quarterly meeting, the NWMB conducts a public consideration of what the Minister is considering with respect to SARA listing. At the meeting, DOE/PCA/DFO will present what the Minister is considering with respect to SARA listing and the best available information.

NLCA decision-making process

 

September - October 3.14

The NWMB commences the NLCA decision-making process by making a confidential decision with respect to each proposed listing (NLCA 5.2.34(f)), and forwarding it to the Minister – and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in the case of an aquatic species – (NLCA 5.3.17) by no later than October 15th.

November

3.15 The Minister considers the NWMB’s decision, and either accepts or rejects that decision in writing. If the Minister rejects the NWMB’s initial decision, he or she provides written reasons (NLCA 5.3.18) a minimum of three weeks prior to the NWMB’s December quarterly meeting.

December

3.16 If the Minister rejects the NWMB’s initial decision, the NWMB reconsiders the decision, on a confidential basis, at its December quarterly meeting, and makes a final decision. The NWMB forwards that decision to the Minister – and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in the case of an aquatic species – and may make that final decision public (NLCA 5.3.21). The decision is forwarded within ten days of the conclusion of the meeting.

January

3.17 The Minister accepts, rejects or varies the NWMB’s final decision (NLCA 5.3.22). If the Minister accepts or varies the NWMBdecision, he or she proceeds forthwith to do all things necessary to implement the final decision or the final decision as varied (NLCA 5.3.23).

4.0 CONSULTATION WITH THE NWMB

4.1 DOE/PCA/DFO will consult in a timely manner with the NWMB regarding policies, operational guidelines or other such matters under development that could directly or indirectly affect the species at risk listing or delisting process in Nunavut.

5.0 AMENDMENT, REVIEW AND TERMINATION

5.1 This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended and annexes may be added or deleted with the mutual written consent of the Parties and consultation with NTI as appropriate.

5.2 Unless the Parties decide to renew it, this Memorandum of Understanding will terminate 10 years after the date of its execution. The Parties will review the effectiveness of this Memorandum of Understanding five years from the date of its execution.

5.3 Any Party may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding 90 days after consulting with and providing written notice to the other Party. The NWMB Chairperson will provide written notice to the Minister and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, if it is the intention of the NWMB to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA as represented by the Minister and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will provide written notice to the NWMB Chairperson if it is the intention of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA as represented by the Minister and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to terminate this Memorandum of Understanding.

6.0 SIGNATURES

IN WITNESS OF WHICH the Parties hereto have executed this Memorandum of Understanding through their authorized representatives

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA as represented by the Minister of the Environment responsible for the Department of the Environment and for the Parks Canada Agency and by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans responsible for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister of the Environment Date Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

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NUNAVUT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT BOARD as represented by the Chairperson

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