Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) have become institutionalized in northern Canada in the sense that it is infeasible for a firm to develop a mine today without securing the support of regional Aboriginal communities in contractual form. Notwithstanding their growing use, coupled with some innovation in IBA form, there is a growing sense among analysts and communities that IBAs are failing to meet expectations. Of particular concern is: the uncertain position of IBAs in mine permitting, especially relative to regulatory processes like Environmental Assessment (EA) and the execution of the Crown’s consultation obligations; the limited use of adaptive management to address social impacts as they emerge within IBA-signatory communities; and the fear that Aboriginal community well-being is declining rather than increasing through IBA-enabled mine developments. These and other issues could effectively be addressed in a panel session.
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- Ben Bradshaw