Participant Funding Program – Public Participation
Funding Review Committee's Report

Allocation of Federal Funds for the Environmental Assessment of the BURNCO Aggregate Mine Project

The Participant Funding Program (PFP) is established pursuant to subsection 58(1.1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act), which states: For the purposes of this Act, the Minister shall establish a participant funding program to facilitate the participation of the public in comprehensive studies, mediations and assessments by review panels.

A Funding Review Committee (FRC) independent of the environmental assessment (EA) was established for the BURNCO Aggregate Mine Project (the Project). The EA of the Project is being conducted by means of a comprehensive study (CS). The FRC's purpose was to assess funding applications received by the PFP for the proposed project, and to provide recommendations to the President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) on whether funding should be provided, and if so, in what amount.

For this project, funding was made available to support public participation in the EA, linked to the:

  • review of and comment on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Guidelines;
  • review of and comment on the EIS; and
  • review of and comment on the Comprehensive Study Report (CSR).

Initially, a total of $30,000 was made available for participation in the EA. However, by February 3, 2012, the application deadline, the Agency received a total of 10 applications. Consequently, the Agency agreed to raise the envelope to the maximum amount of $45,000. Of the 10 applications, three requested funding for public participation and seven for Aboriginal participation. Of the $45,000, a total of $10,000 was available to support public participation activities and a total of $35,000 to support Aboriginal participation. [Note from the FRC Chairperson: Of the $45,000 offered to the public and the Aboriginal groups that were not eligible for PFP-AFE funding, the FRC recommended that a total of $10,000 be made available to support public participation activities and a total of $35,000 be made available to support the participation of these non AFE-eligible Aboriginal groups.]

The three applications requested a total of $28,890.

On February 14, 2012, the FRC met to review the applications. The FRC members were: Mr. Bruce Young, retired Director of Panel Management with the Agency, acting as Committee Chairperson; Mr. Jeff Gilmour, Environmental Assessment Consultant; and Mr. Patrick Duxbury, Environmental Assessment Consultant.


BURNCO Rock Products Ltd. proposes to develop the BURNCO Aggregate Mine Project, formerly the McNab Valley Aggregate Project, a sand and gravel mine located on the northwest shore of Howe Sound, approximately 22 kilometres southwest of Squamish, British Columbia. The proposed Project has an expected mine life of 20-30 years with a production capacity of approximately 1-1.6 million tonnes per year.

An EA is required in relation to the project because Fisheries and Oceans Canada may take action in relation to subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act.

This project is also subject to the EA requirements of the Government of British Columbia.


Under the PFP, funding may be provided to support applicants' input to an EA with the federal government. These activities must be linked to the EA of a proposed project through a CS, mediation or review panel.

Eligible recipients must be able to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • have a direct, local interest in the Project, such as living or owning property in the project area;
  • have community knowledge or Aboriginal traditional knowledge relevant to the EA; or
  • have expert information relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the Project.

All of the applicants were deemed to have met the eligibility criteria.

Under the PFP, applicants can request funding for costs related to:

  • professional fees;
  • staff salaries and benefits;
  • travel expenses;
  • honoraria for Elders and Chiefs to attend meetings and functions;
  • ceremonial offerings related to receiving traditional knowledge in relation to the EA;
  • administrative and reporting costs;
  • local collection and/or distribution of information;
  • office supplies and telephone charges;
  • rental of office space and meeting rooms;
  • legal fees;
  • general media advertising and/or promotion;
  • purchase of information material, with supporting documentation; and
  • other detailed expenses.

Rationale for Allocation

In reviewing the three applications and in reaching its conclusions and recommendations, the FRC took into consideration a number of factors including the following:

  • the ability of applicants to demonstrate that they had met one or more of the eligibility criteria listed above;
  • the quality, clarity and content of the application and the applicant's proposed EA participation work plan;
  • the limited funding available in comparison with the requested funding amounts and the maximum amounts available for each participation opportunity; and
  • the eligible activities under the PFP for the Project, which include reviewing and commenting on the EIS Guidelines, the EIS and the CSR.


The FRC recommends allocating $10,000 of the available PFP funding to support two applicants as follows:

  • $5,000 to Future of Howe Sound Society; and
  • $5,000 to Sunshine Coast Conservation Association.

The FRC further recommends that any funding allocation be conditional on a provision of written comments, by the applicants, to the Agency on the EIS and CSR.

Funding Review Committee
BURNCO Aggregate Mine Project
Participant Funding Program – Public Participation

Bruce Young, retired Director of Panel Management with the Agency, FRC Committee Chairperson

Jeff Gilmour, Environmental Assessment Consultant

Patrick Duxbury, Environmental Assessment Consultant

Recommended Participant Funding Allocations
BURNCO Aggregate Mine Project
Participant Funding Program – Public Participation

Applicant Total Allocation Amount Recommended
Future of Howe Sound Society $5,000
Sunshine Coast Conservation Association $5,000
Squamish River Watershed Society $0
Total $10,000

Document Reference Number: 7

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