The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs has appointed Bryony McIntyre to the Executive Committee of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.
Bryony McIntyre just completed her term as a member of the Board and has now been appointed to the Executive Committee. She is an experienced land and resource management professional who endorses sustainable and integrated development that respects the interests of the public and key participants in the process. She has spent the past 27 years working with all levels of governments (Federal, YG, First Nations and municipal).
July 1, 2020 – Managing the challenges of participation in assessments during COVID-19
Affording opportunities for interested and potentially affected parties to participate in the assessment process is a central tenet of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). YESAB recognizes the challenges facing many individuals and organizations, in particular First Nations, to participate effectively in assessments during the pandemic. YESAB also strives to ensure a timely and efficient assessment process and acknowledges the importance of “restarting” the economy once restrictions associated with the pandemic are relaxed.
In April of this year, YESAB adopted a corporate approach to managing the challenges of participating in assessments during the pandemic. Assessments under YESAA are the first step in the review of development proposals in Yukon. As a result, YESAB needed to act quickly to address concerns arising from the pandemic by extending the periods for seeking views on all designated office evaluations to the maximum allowable under applicable rules. Under this approach, assessors could also further extend periods for seeking views, pause assessments or advance assessments absent the views of affected parties based on established criteria.
Where a potentially affected First Nation indicates that it intends to submit comments, but requires more time than the Rules permit, YESAB will extend the period for seeking views a reasonable amount of time to accommodate the First Nation.
YESAB committed to reviewing this approach and to providing further direction at the end of June if restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic remained in place. After communicating with industry and governments, including First Nations, YESAB recognizes that, while the ongoing pandemic may continue to challenge the ability of individuals and organizations to participate in the assessment process, Yukon will be moving into Phase 2 of the Government of Yukon’s Plan for Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions beginning in July. This will effectively relax some of the measures that may have limited timely participation in assessments. YESAB also recognizes that continued application of the corporate approach adopted in April may have negative economic implications. Consequently, YESAB wishes to advise you of the following changes to its approach effective July 1, 2020:
A flexible project-by-project approach consistent with YESAA and applicable Rules will be followed.
Circumstances related to the pandemic and other factors will be taken fully into account in setting the period for seeking views and information and in evaluating requests for extensions on a case-by-case basis.
Where already established, the maximum 35-day period for seeking views and information for a project subject to a designated office evaluation will be respected.
Assessments previously paused during the pandemic will now be subject to a minimum 14-day period for seeking views and information.
Yukon Envionmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board
Quill Creek Timber Harvest Plan – Online Public Comment Meeting Jul 2, 2020 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Meeting ID: 403 090 5088
Project Information: The Government of Yukon’s Quill Creek Timber Harvest Plan Project proposes timber harvesting of approximately 164 000 m3 over a period of up to 15 years. The Project would require use and upgrading of up to 30 km of existing roads, and the construction of up to an additional 54 km of access roads.
For more information or to submit your comments, join the Executive Committee’s online public meeting.
The novel Corona virus, COVID-19, poses a serious public health risk and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. YESAB’s first priority is to protect the health and safety of its employees, Board members and those with whom we engage in the assessment process.
YESAB is closely monitoring and following the directions of public health officials both in Yukon and nationally. YESAB is also taking measures to ensure that operations can continue during this pandemic. YESAB has asked that employees who are able to work from home do so. Public engagements and business meetings will be either postponed or conducted by teleconference or videoconference. YESAB is well-equipped and serviced to support teleworking and remote meetings.
In these circumstances, while we will make every effort to ensure business continuity, some delays will be inevitable. Rules for the conduct of assessment include timelines for each step in the assessment process. The Rules include provisions to extend timelines for specified periods of time. YESAB may need to extend timelines accordingly and we ask for the patience and cooperation of all participants in the assessment process. YESAB relies on contractors and partners in the Government of Yukon to support its business operations. YESAB will be communicating regularly with these partners to ensure a collaborative approach to maintaining business continuity.
In compliance with the recommendation of the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health, YESAB employees will be working from home to the extent that they are able. Consequently, YESAB will not be able to provide assurances that its offices will remain open to the public during the pandemic. Unless absolutely necessary, participants in the assessment process and the general public are discouraged from visiting YESAB offices at this time.
Please call ahead before visiting our offices, follow the Contact link provided below for office information. We will provide updates as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold and as information becomes available. Participants in the assessment process will be notified via the YESAB Online Registry of extensions to project assessment timelines. Contact
Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board
The situation globally regarding the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold rapidly and new information emerges on a daily basis. As of March 12, 2020 the risk to Yukoners remains low and all YESAB offices will remain open. Our staff will be happy to assist participants during this time.
Laura Cabott has been appointed Chair of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. Laura has lived in Whitehorse for the past 26 years, has a bachelor degree in both Physical Education and Law and currently sits on Whitehorse City Council.
On December 19, 2018, the
Honourable Dominic Leblanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs
and Internal Trade announced the creation of the Northern Participant Funding
Program to assist Indigenous people and Northerners to participate in
environmental and socio-economic assessments of major resource and infrastructure
development projects in northern Canada. More information on the Northern
Participant Funding Program is available at https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1545150205116/1545150241463.
The Mayo Designated Office of YESAB is hosting three public engagement events to inform the assessment and identify any potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of this proposal. Comments from these meetings will be considered during the evaluation.
Whitehorse, Westmark Hotel, Conference Room #2 Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Open House 5:30 pm Presentations and Information Gathering: 6:00 pm to 8 pm.
Mayo, Community Hall Thursday, March 14, 2019 1 – Open House 2:30 pm; Presentations and Information Gathering: 3:00 pm to 5 pm 2 – Open House 5:30 pm; Presentations and Information Gathering: 6:00 pm to 8 pm.
Keno, Community Library Friday, March 15, 2019 Open House 9:30 am Presentations and Information Gathering: 10:00 am to 1 pm.
For more information, please call the Mayo Designated Office (867) 996-4040
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) has developed a new Pre-submission Engagement (PSE) process for Executive Committee screenings. PSE is a proactive, front-end process that occurs before a project proposal is submitted for screening by the Executive Committee (EC). The purpose of pre-submission engagement is to bring interested and affected parties together to review project requirements well in advance of a detailed proposal being submitted for assessment. This helps identify gaps and issues of concern, to define values and baseline information requirements and ensure a timely and certain screening process. For more information visit the PSE -web page.