FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Energy Regulator (BCER) and Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) have co-developed a new consultation process for oil and gas development.
In January, after over a year of private negotiations, BRFN and the provincial government reached an agreement regarding the band’s treaty rights, with components of the agreement including limits on new petroleum and natural gas developments and a planning regime for future oil and gas projects.
The new consultation process reportedly ensures it meets the requirements of the Blueberry River First Nations Implementation Agreement and respects Treaty Rights.
According to the BCER, the new process guides applicants on pre-application engagement with BRFN that must occur before applications are submitted.
According to the energy regulator, pre-application engagement is needed for information on the proposed development, including identifying good locations for oil and gas activities.
Applicants are asked to use the province’s map of First Nation Consultation Areas to identify if the application area overlaps with BRFN’s consultation boundary.
If there is an overlap, a BRFN Implementation Agreement Form will need to be completed for each application after the pre-application with the Nation is completed. However, it can be used as a guide for what information should be made available to BRFN during engagement discussions.
The form was created to capture the required information and rules in the Implementation Agreement and support the joint review of applications.
The BCER also encourages applicants to schedule meetings with the BRFN Lands Department before preparing applications, focusing on long-term development plans over individual applications.
The following material has been prepared to guide this consultative process further:
- BRFN BCER Implementation Agreement Form
- BRFN BCER Guidance Document
- Technical Instructions for Map of First Nation Consultation Areas
- BRFN Pre-Application Engagement webpage
- Email to arrange pre-application engagement meetings: email@example.com
Further questions can be directed to Michael Shepard, operational transition lead for BCER, by email at Michael.Shepard@bc-er.ca or by calling 250-661-4820.