Black Lake First Nation Water Power Regulations (Proposed), pursuant to the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act

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Title or working title of the regulatory initiative

Black Lake First Nation Water Power Regulations

Enabling act(s)

First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act


Proposed regulations are being developed under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act to govern a water-diversion hydroelectric project on-reserve in the Province of Saskatchewan.

The First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act, which came into force on April 1, 2006, addresses regulatory gaps between on-reserve and off-reserve jurisdictions. The Act allows for the incorporation by reference of provincial regulations into federal regulations for the development and management of large-scale commercial and industrial projects on-reserve. Where regulations under the Act will be administered and enforced by provincial officials, a tripartite agreement between Canada, the province, and the First Nation involved is necessary for a project to proceed.

The Government of Canada does not have a regulatory regime that speaks specifically to regulating a diversion type hydroelectric facility on-reserve where there are issues of both regulatory gap and regulatory overlap. Although other hydroelectric projects have taken place on-reserve, none of those examples can be compared to this project in regards to land and water ownership.

The proposed Regulations would provide a comprehensive federal rule-set applicable to the project, and would ensure that environmental, health and safety, and other related impacts common to hydroelectric projects are effectively managed. The Regulations would apply to the Black Lake First Nation project lands on reserve and would not apply to other First Nations, other reserve lands or other federal lands.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

The associated Tripartite Agreement under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act signed between Canada, Saskatchewan and the Black Lake First Nation creates an ongoing positive and collaborative intergovernmental regulatory partnership. The regulatory initiative is not under a specific formal regulatory cooperation work plan.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There are no expected business impacts. However, the new facility is likely to generate auxiliary benefits to the surrounding communities, such as greater mobility created by new infrastructure (a bridge and improved roads), increased business and job opportunities, and a supply of clean and reliable energy that remote communities, businesses and households can access. Significant impacts on international trade or investment are not foreseen.


The parties primarily affected by the proposed Regulations are the Black Lake First Nation and its community members, the Province of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada.

In addition to consultation under the Environmental Assessment process, discussions with stakeholders took place.

Further information:

The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement and the proposed Regulations are available in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and in the First Nations Gazette, Part I, published on December 1, 2018 for a 30-day comment period. No comments were received. In addition, the Environmental Assessment Report issued by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency provides further information regarding the steps undertaken.

Departmental contact information

Marc Boivin
Research, Policy and Legislative Initiatives
Economic Policy Development Branch
Lands and Economic Development Sector
Tel.: 819-994-6735

Public Enquiries Toll-free: 1-800-567-9604

The date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

April 2016

Find out more

Consult CIRNAC's Laws and Regulations web page for:

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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