• Karlene Betteridge

The First C - Consultation

Consultation, consultation, consultation. It’s all we’ve been hearing in the news. “This company didn’t consult with us!” or “We don’t want this project here! Why aren’t they listening?” The fact is that today’s outrage culture is shaping public opinion, which is bringing more projects to regulatory hearings and delaying fundamental operational progress we used to bask in during the late 90s. It’s a new world for sharing information, influencing policy makers, shaping investment decisions and driving projects across the globe. So, what’s being done about adapting to the new reality?

Regulators in Canada began shifting their expectations in the early 2010’s by asking for proponents to provide evidence of consultation. We saw that it was no longer enough to say, “here is a summary of the consultation completed with this stakeholder group” because regulators started to say, “prove it”. Where did that leave us? It left us in Excel, creating consultation logs and saving the paper trail on some hard drive of all the communications to prove consultation happened.

Flash forward to 2019 – we’ve seen our free market adapt to these changes. There are stakeholder engagement and consultation databases designed to capture consultation in a centralized and easily accessible location. In Canada, we have Bill C-69 looming on the horizon. And the reality is – it takes a long time to track consultation. In fact, it can take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes to record a single communication, enter the information somewhere, edit and audit the content, and spit it out into a report or log. It’s exhausting work! And in an economic time, such as this, there is the pressure of reduced engagement and land teams. Companies are also thinking, “how are we going to tackle the impact Bill C-69 will have on consultation requirements?”

At BRITT Land & Engagement, C3 Management™ is designed to streamline the content process of consultation tracking and anticipate regulatory changes. We know what to track, how to track it, and when it is important to implement strategies for concerns and commitments tracking. We see the value of C3 Management™ at the beginning phase of the project – in preliminary project planning, and at land access and acquisition. We are enabled to see C3 Management™ through the life of a project. We know concerns tracking, mitigation tables, project team tracking for action items and most importantly, commitments. It is what regulators are looking for, and we have seen the need for project teams to operate efficiently and with integrity through their journey of obtaining consultation adequacy. We are here to help guide you through the process.

Interested in hearing more about consultation tracking? Have some consultation tracking pain points you would love to share with us and seek advice to resolve? Contact us at info@brittland.com for more information!

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