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Participant Funding Review Committee's Report
Allocation of Federal Funds for the Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal Project
Phase I

The federal Participant Funding Program (PFP) is designed to facilitate public participation in environmental assessments by review panels. The legislative provision for a PFP is contained in section 58(1.1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act) which states: "For the purposes of this Act, the Minister shall establish a participant funding program to facilitate the participation of the public in mediations and assessments by review panels."

On December 14, 2004, a Participant Funding Review Committee (FRC), which is independent of the Joint Review Panel, met to review funding applications received by the PFP for the public to participate in the review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Guidelines. The FRC members were Mrs. Colleen Mercer Clarke; Mr. Alan McIver; and Ms. Jean Blane, Senior Program Officer, Atlantic Region, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency).

This report provides applicants, as well as the Canadian public, with the rationale behind the FRC's recommended allocation of federal funds. The FRC reviewed seven applications requesting a total of $28,433.

Background

On November 5, 2004, the Honourable Stéphane Dion, federal Minister of the Environment, and the Honourable Kerry Morash, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour, jointly established a three-member panel to review a proposal from Bilcon of Nova Scotia Corporation for a basalt quarry and a marine terminal at Whites Point, Digby County.

On November 9, 2004, the Agency announced the establishment of a $100,000 PFP to assist the public to partake in the joint panel review of the Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal project in Digby County. From this amount, up to $25,000 was made available immediately to enable the public to participate in the review of the EIS Guidelines. The EIS Guidelines serve as a guide for the proponent in preparing a statement of the projected effects of the project.

On December 2, 2004, the Joint Review Panel studying the Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal project in Digby County invited the public to attend public meetings where their views were sought on the draft EIS Guidelines. Once finalized, the EIS Guidelines will identify the issues that will be included in the environmental report which the proponent, Bilcon of Nova Scotia Corporation, will be asked to prepare and submit to the panel for public review.

Principles

To allocate the available funds in a fair, consistent and transparent manner, the Committee agreed to the following:

  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in the project's environmental effects;
  • Applicants must show that a representation of their interest will contribute to the investigation of potential environmental effects of the proposed project; and
  • The available funds must be allocated to ensure, to the extent possible, that those affected by the project are fairly represented.

Recommendations

The FRC recommends awarding a total amount of $24,583 to seven applicants for the proposed Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal Project (see attached list).

The FRC based its recommendations on the following:

  1. The eligibility criteria were applied consistently across all applications.
  2. Applications were evaluated by applying sequentially, the following considerations:
    • eligibility of the applicant to receive funding;
    • the contribution that the applicant makes to the review of the EIS Guidelines; and
    • specific funding requests contained in each proposal.
  3. Funding was provided for incremental costs incurred by the applicant to allow for effective participation.
  4. Requests for professional fees were considered based upon the need for expert advice.

General comments

The FRC appreciated the collaborative effort made by the applicants in their proposed activities to avoid overlap in their review of the EIS Guidelines. Additionally, it was pleased to note that each application provided unique perspective on specific issues.

The FRC recognizes the importance of two-way communications, and recommends applicants to continue their cooperative approach to minimize overlap in their communication efforts.

The FRC made its determinations based on the information provided in the applications.

To share your comments or to obtain any additional information, please contact:

Peter Bedrossian
Manager, Participant Funding Program
Canadian Environment Assessment Agency
160 Elgin, 22nd Floor, Place Bell
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3
Telephone: (613) 957-0254
E-mail: peter.bedrossian@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Dated: December 14, 2004

Funding Review Committee:

  • Ms. Jean Blane
  • Mrs. Colleen Mercer Clarke
  • Mr. Alan McIver

The Participant Funding Review Committee
Whites Point Quarry and Marine Terminal Project
Phase I

___________________________________
Ms. Jean Blane
Senior Program Officer
Atlantic Region
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

___________________________________
Mr. Alan McIver

___________________________________
Mrs. Colleen Mercer Clarke

ApplicantTotal amount approved
Community Liaison Committee for Whites Point Quarry$5,900
Enviro-Clare$3,368
Sierra Club of Canada$3,364
Clean Annapolis River Project$1,800
Ecology Action Centre$1,576
Partnership for Sustainable Development of Digby Neck and Islands Society$7,575
Digby Neck Community Development Association$1,000