The Government of the Northwest Territories cannot set terms for resource development on Federal Crown land. However, when an environmental assessment takes place for a major resource development, the GNWT asks for follow-up programs to be put in place in the form of socio-economic agreements.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is responsible for negotiating these agreements on behalf of the Government of the Northwest Territories. They reflect the commitments and predictions made by the company during its environmental assessment including:
- Employment and business opportunities
- Cultural well-being and traditional economy
- Community, family, and individual well-being
- Net effects on government
- Sustainable development
The Department also oversees the implementation of these agreements and coordinates Government efforts under each agreement while monitoring how well each company carries out its respective responsibilities.
The GNWT currently has six SEAs in place:
- Dominion Diamond Corporation (DDC), Ekati Diamond Mine (Ekati), signed October 1996
- Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. (Diavik), signed October 1999, amended January 2015
- De Beers Canada Incorporated (De Beers), Snap Lake Mine (Snap Lake), signed May 2004
- Mackenzie Gas Project, signed January 2007
- Canadian Zinc Corporation (CZN), Prairie Creek Mine, signed August 2011
- De Beers, Gahcho Kué Project, signed June 2013
What is a Socio-Economic Agreement (SEA)?
A socio-economic agreement is an environmental assessment follow-up program. It is the only way the GNWT can carry out its promise and responsibility to ensure the wise use of our natural resources.