Section 23 of the JBNQA and Chapter II of the EQA provide the KEQC the opportunity to adopt guidelines to govern public participation in the environmental and social impact assessment and review procedure for projects occurring within its jurisdiction.
Based on the experience of recent years, these rules are designed and adapted to the types of projects and specific needs of Northerners.
Nature of the procedure
Public participation consists of information sessions and public consultation sessions. Information sessions, conducted by the proponent and encouraged by the KEQC, provide the proponent the opportunity to explain his project, answer questions from the public and gather the concerns. They are held under his responsibility and at the time he sees fit the most. However, the proponent is encouraged to hold them early in the project analysis process by the KEQC, in order be able to use the collected information to maximize the project, identify the social acceptability, better assess its impacts and better target mitigations measures.
Public consultations, chaired by the KEQC, are intended to gather the views of individuals, groups and communities with respect to the proposed project submitted to the KEQC. Projects that require the public consultation procedure will be decided by the KEQC based on their importance and potential social and environmental impacts.
KEQC will determine the scope of the consultation and those individuals or groups that will be invited to participate. Any and all interested individuals, groups or communities may, on their own initiative, make written representations to the KEQC with respect to the submitted project.
Information sessions and public consultations shall be held in places accessible to the concerned population. Participants shall assume costs associated with attendance.
Information sessions and public consultations are held either Inuktitut or Naskapi, either French or English. For the public consultations, the KEQC will provide, if necessary, a simultaneous translation service.
Course of the procedure
The KEQC advises the Administrator of its intention to initiate a process of information and public consultation, indicating the work schedule and time required to complete the process. The Administrator will then notify the proponent.
The KEQC shall announce its intention to hold information sessions and public consultations, using the appropriate media. The KEQC will circulate this notice in the municipalities affected or elsewhere in Quebec if required and transmit it to the Kativik Regional Government.
The secretariat of the KEQC answers to requests for information concerning the information sessions and the public consultations, and forward to the proponent requests for information concerning the proposed project.
The project file submitted by the proponent must include the documents forming the environmental and social impact studies and any other document that the KEQC shall deem useful. A summary in English and Inuktitut or Naskapi of the project description and the environmental impact studies shall be made available by the proponent before the beginning of public consultations.
Upon request, the secretary of the KEQC can meet with interested individuals, groups or communities to advise them on the technical aspects of their participation.
The KEQC decides where the public consultations are held. Priority will be given to the individuals, groups and communities most directly affected by the project.
The proponent shall attend the public consultations and provide additional information requested by the KEQC.
The KEQC may hear any person, including the proponent, in order to clarify information or facts raised during the public consultations.
Following the hearings, the KEQC will prepare a report on the public consultations that will be available on its website. The KEQC will consider the information gathered during these consultations in the elaboration of its decision that will be transmitted to the Administrator once its analysis of the project is completed. Comments and opinions heard during the public consultations will therefore be transmitted to the Administrator through the decision of the KEQC, as well as within the minutes of the hearings.
Individuals, groups or communities interested in filing a memoir must send three (3) copies to the secretariat of the KEQC at least seven (7) day before the beginning of the public consultations.
If accepted by the KEQC, position papers of oral representations made by individuals during the public consultations may be sent to the Secretariat no more that ten (10) days after the end of the consultations. All memoir will be published on KEQC website.