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Public Notice

Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador Follow-up Program — Public Comment Invited

What is happening?

October 28, 2020 — The Government of Canada is proceeding with the development and implementation of a follow-up program for the Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador, which will track and report on the progress of the commitments outlined in the Ministerial Response to the Regional Assessment Committee's Report.

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) invites the public and Indigenous groups to comment on the draft Terms of Reference for the Regional Assessment (RA) Follow-up Program.

The RA Follow-up Program will track and report on the implementation and effectiveness of the commitments outlined in the Ministerial Response. Through the RA Follow-up Program, new and updated information will be identified and examined on an annual basis to determine its applicability to offshore exploratory drilling and to ensure that the Regional Assessment remains current and valid into the future.

The Terms of Reference for the RA Follow-up Program, once finalized, will detail the program's objectives, governance structures, legislated authorities, and funding as well as the roles and responsibilities of participants, including the RA Follow-up Steering Committee and the RA Follow-up Program Advisory Committee.

The Agency recognizes that it is more challenging to undertake meaningful public engagement and Indigenous consultation in light of the circumstances arising from COVID-19. The Agency continues to assess the situation with key stakeholders, make adjustments to consultation activities, and is providing flexibility as needed in order to prioritize the health and safety of all Canadians, while maintaining its duty to conduct meaningful engagement with interested groups.

How can I participate?

Comments can be submitted online by visiting the project home page on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (reference number 80156). All comments received will be published online as part of the project file.

Written comments in either official language will be accepted until December 12, 2020.

To access the draft Terms of Reference for the RA Follow-up Program, visit the Agency's website at canada.ca/iaac. More information on the project, the review process and other means of submitting comments are also provided on the Agency's website.

Will there be more opportunities to participate?

The Agency will be seeking applications for the RA Follow-up Program Advisory Committee responsible for providing advice to the RA Follow-up Steering Committee on the development and implementation of the RA Follow-up Program.

Stay updated by following the Agency on Twitter: @IAAC_AEIC #NLOffshoreAssessment

What is the Regional Assessment?

The Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador was completed in February 2020. The assessment sought to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the assessment process for offshore exploratory drilling projects in the study area while at the same time ensuring that the highest standards of environmental protection continued to be applied and maintained. In response to the recommendations in the Regional Assessment Final Report, the Government of Canada is proceeding with the development and implementation of a RA Follow-up Program, which will track and report on the effectiveness of the government's commitments.

For more information on the Agency's privacy policies, consult the Privacy Notice on its website at canada.ca/iaac.

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