What is an SEA?

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Blog Entries

November 26, 2021

Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Caroline Wawzonek tabled the 2020 Socio-Economic Agreement (SEA) Report in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Socio-Economic Agreement Report

So, what is an SEA?

We know that major resource developments in the Northwest Territories (NWT) will have impacts on lands, resources, and people. When a proposed project goes through the necessary regulatory reviews and approvals process, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) can require an agreement be negotiated to help mitigate or compensate for these impacts.

They are called Socio-economic Agreements (or SEAs) and they set out commitments made by a company and GNWT during its regulatory review. They are formally requested and implemented by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

SEAs provide NWT residents with a picture of the commitments made and the benefits promised to them, their community or region, and to the NWT overall. They typically include employment and business opportunities; monitoring cultural well-being and traditional economy; community, family, and individual wellbeing; net effects on government; and sustainable development.

SEAs have demonstrated their value and importance in the years since their inception. They were first negotiated for the Ekati Diamond Mine in 1996. The latest SEA was negotiated for the NICO Project in 2019.

The 2020 Socio-Economic Agreement Report – By the Numbers 

The Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) leads the GNWT’s implementation and monitoring of SEAs in partnership with Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and Health and Social Services (HSS).

Monitoring data is presented in four groupings: the NWT overall, Yellowknife, Small Local Communities identified due to their geographic proximity to the operating mines; and Remaining NWT Communities.