Multi stakeholder working groups roll-up report - planning decision-making - 2007-11
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Multi stakeholder working groups roll-up report - planning decision-making - 2007-11 Document Transcript

  • 1. Appendix Planning and Decision-Making Working Group Final Report November 2007
  • 2. Table of ContentsPlanning and Decision-Making Working Group Final ReportExecutive Summary.................................................................................................................................................93Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................93Defining a Systems Approach ..................................................................................................................................94System Principles ....................................................................................................................................................94Strengthening the Provincial Role............................................................................................................................95Creating a Regional Planning Capacity ....................................................................................................................97 Setting regional boundaries ........................................................................................................................98 Populating Regional Planning Councils ......................................................................................................99Compliance and Dispute Resolution .....................................................................................................................100Implementation Times...........................................................................................................................................101Conclusions ..........................................................................................................................................................101Appendix A: The Planning and Decision-Making Working Group Team and Process............................................105Appendix B: Glossary of Key Terms ......................................................................................................................106Appendix C: Treaty 8 Figure for the and Management System ..............................................................................109Appendix D: Legend: Working Group Member and Reviewer Stakeholder Designations .....................................110Appendix E: Working Group Member Comments................................................................................................110Appendix F: Reviewer Working Group Comments ..............................................................................................113List of Figures:Figure 1 Management Systems Aproach to Land Use .................................................................................102Figure 2 Land-use Framework - Organization and Function......................................................................10492 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 3. Executive SummaryAlberta has many strong land-use planning structures Commission outside the Executive Council Office, and aand processes in place. However, the LUF initiative is more fluid approach to regional planning.driven by the perceived need for a systems approach toland management that takes into account the cumulative The PDMWG recognizes that its report does not captureeffect of land-use decisions on the Alberta land base, the full range of opinions expressed by groupincluding the wildlife and human populations that live participants. Fortunately, the overall consultationupon it, the ecosystems it supports, the air and water process, including the opportunity for individualsystems that flow across it, and the resources that lie commentary, the review process, and the creation ofupon and beneath it. The notion of a land management Aboriginal working groups, does allow for that fullsystem implies in turn that individual land-use decisions range of opinions to be heard.and decision-makers are constrained, that not all Perhaps above all else, the PDMWG wishes topossible outcomes are equally desirable or achievable. underscore the importance of speedy action by theMore specifically, the Planning and Decision-Making Government of Alberta to address structural problems inWorking Group (PDMWG) concludes that individual the management of the Alberta land base.land-use decisions should be made in the context of andconsistent with:• the principles and priorities articulated in the Land- Use Framework; Introduction At its core, the proposed Land-Use Framework (LUF) is• provincial government policies, objectives, targets about making better decisions on and for the Alberta and priorities relating to Alberta’s land base; and land base. This in turn requires better land-use planning• regional planning processes that take into account to inform such decisions. While other working groups the cumulative impact of land-use decisions on the tackled the values, objectives and priorities that should Alberta landscape. guide land-use decisions, the linkages between land-use planning and growth management, and the ways inAs a consequence, the PDMWG developed three basic which the impact of decisions should be monitored overstrategic responses for: (1) identifying principles that time, the Planning and Decision-Making Working Groupshould govern land-use planning and decision-making; (PDMWG) tackled the planning and governance(2) strengthening the articulation of provincial land-use backbone of the LUF The group’s focus was on how .objectives and priorities; and (3) creating a regional decisions should be made rather than on what decisionsplanning capacity. The overall system objective is to should be made.ensure that land-use planning takes place at theappropriate scale, and that land-use decisions are made Fundamental to the PDMWG’s perspective andwithin the context of regional planning and a clearly proposed approach is that “the Alberta land base”articulated provincial land-use framework. should be interpreted to include the wildlife and human populations that live upon it, the ecosystems itA strong majority of the PDMWG supports legislative supports, the water and air systems that flow across it,expression for the LUF through a new Act, enhanced and the resources that lie upon and beneath it. This inbureaucratic support though a Land-Use Secretariat turn leads to the need for a land-use planning systemwithin the Executive Council Office, and a regional that can bring all these factors into play, address bothplanning process encapsulated in Regional Planning the spatial and temporal dimensions of land-useCouncils to interpret and apply provincial policies on a planning, and provide a planning context within whichregional scale. A minority opinion favours discrete land-use decisions can be made.implementation of the LUF through amendments toexisting legislation, the creation of a Land-Use Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 93
  • 4. Defining a Systems Approach differences in circumstance. However, this subsystem autonomy and flexibility must still be guided by andLiterally thousands of land-use decisions are routinely consistent with the principles, policies, goals andmade on a daily basis by municipal and provincial priorities of the Province. The land management systemauthorities, and by industrial and individual users of the guides rather than rigidly determines land-use decisions.Alberta land base. Scores of provincial policies andprograms touch in one way or another on land The PDMWG concludes that existing land managementmanagement. We have also seen the emergence of practices in Alberta lack three important characteristics:voluntary regional planning mechanisms across guiding principles, a clearly articulated expression ofmunicipalities (e.g., the Calgary Regional Partnership) provincial government land-use objectives andand industry-led initiatives (e.g., Forest Management priorities; and a regional planning capacity to deal withPlans and Integrated Land Management processes). In the cumulative impact of land-use decisions on theshort, a wide range of public authorities, land owners landscape. Our advice, therefore, addresses theseand land users are brought into play in the development missing characteristics and some of the issues they raise.of land management policies and their implementationon the provincial land base. More specifically, the PDMWG developed three basic strategic responses: (1) the identification of principlesThis complexity raises concerns about the lack of that should govern land-use planning and decision-integration across all of these activities, about the lack of making; (2) strengthening the articulation of provinciala systems approach to land-use planning and decision- land-use objectives and priorities; and (3) the creationmaking. Indeed, we would argue that the LUF initiative of a regional planning capacity. The overall systemhas been driven by the perceived need for greater objective is to ensure that land-use planning takes placeplanning integration, and by the opportunities that at the appropriate scale, and that land-use decisions aremight come from a more systemic approach to land made within the context of regional planning and amanagement. In simple terms, planning allows clearly articulated provincial land-use framework.Albertans to figure out where they want to go and howbest to get there.The notion of a land management system implies that System Principlesindividual land-use decisions and decision-makers are Much of the work to date on the LUF has been devotedconstrained, that not all possible outcomes are equally to identifying the values and principles that shoulddesirable or achievable. More specifically, the PDMWG govern land-use planning and decision-making inconcludes that individual land-use decisions should be Alberta. The PDMWG contributes to this work bymade in the context of and consistent with: proposing that the LUF should:• the principles and priorities articulated in the Land- • provide an explicit statement of provincial land-use Use Framework; objectives and priorities;• more clearly articulated provincial government • build upon values held by all Albertans, while policies, objectives and priorities relating to Alberta’s recognizing that such values may change over time; land base; and • embrace a long-term planning horizon, clear policy• regional planning processes that take into account objectives, and measurable outcomes; the cumulative impact of land-use decisions on the Alberta landscape. • solicit and incorporate traditional knowledge and values where it is appropriate to do so;Note we have not adopted terms such as “dictated by”or “determined by.” An effective land management • facilitate commercial/industrial access to land insystem for such a complex province must maintain a keeping with the Province’s sustainable developmentreasonable degree of sub-system autonomy, a reasonable goals; andmeasure of flexibility in order to reflect regional94 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 5. • be guided by an over-arching commitment to and that planning and decision-making will always sustainability. involve trade-offs among competing values. We also recognize that values are not static, and are subject toWe also assume that land use planning and decision- change as circumstances chance. Nonetheless, anmaking processes must respect the broader environment explicit set of principles serves as a useful point ofwithin which Alberta’s residents and governments departure, and provides a standard against whichoperate. More specifically, such processes must respect performance can be assessed.Alberta’s regional, national and international obligations,property rights and existing resource agreements, and its At the same time, the identification of principles toobligations to First Nations, Métis, and Aboriginal guide land-use planning does not take us very far unlessPeoples as expressed through treaties, the Natural those principles are given effective voice. This takes usResources Transfer Act (1930), provincial legislation, court to the critically important role of the Government ofdecisions, international conventions, and existing Alberta in an effective land-use planning and decision-consultation agreements. making system.More specifically yet, we conclude that the planning anddecision-making processes for the LUF should: Strengthening the Provincial Role• have the capacity to manage the impact of cumulative effects; A persistent theme in the PDMWG conversation was the need to strengthen provincial leadership in the land• recognize the need for equitable public and management system. The issue we kept coming back to stakeholder participation and input; was not the weaknesses of existing decision-making• be applicable across provincial, regional and local processes at the local level, but rather that these scales; processes are not sufficiently guided by explicit provincial priorities and objectives. In short, there is a• rest upon a high quality and publicly accessible land need for a provincial land-use framework that is and resource information base; implemented rather than ignored, monitored, publicly• provide for vertical and horizontal policy integration reported upon, reviewed, and adjusted. Its strategic within and across governments; direction would be applicable not only to municipal governments but also to land users and government• connect land, water and air policy and planning, departments engaged in such activities as the disposition and more generally, take into account the variety of of timber or mineral rights, or the approval and ways in which Alberta communities connect (e.g., regulation of individual projects and activities. Policy recreation corridors, transportation systems, utility integration within and across governments will follow corridors, provision of government services); from the explicit identification of provincial objectives• enhance efficiency and timeliness for those and priorities. industries and individuals operating on the This is not to suggest, however, that the provincial provincial land base; government should be micro-managing land-use• integrate surface land-use planning and subsurface decisions in the province. Rather, the province should resource development; be addressing those issues that need to be addressed at the provincial scale. These might include, for example,• create clear lines of accountability; and long distance linear land uses such as transportation,• recognize that land-use planning is an ongoing, utility and recreation corridors; the protection of iterative process that must be adaptable to changing biodiversity; and development priorities at the landscape circumstances and values. level (e.g., the Eastern Slopes and oil sands region).In advancing this set or principles, the PDMWG stresses All of this boils down to the need for more clearlythat we do not want to unduly privilege the status quo, articulated provincial goals and priorities in the land Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 95
  • 6. management system. There is a need to synthesize one Closely linked was a discussion on how the LUF shouldclear, comprehensive set of provincial goals, objectives be embedded within the policy or legal architecture ofand targets to manage the cumulative impact of human the Alberta government. Here the PDMWG identifiedactivities on Alberta’s landscape, and there is a need to three options for moving forward:provide an institutional home for the LUF Here the .PDMWG considered two options: • The first option would be to have the LUF remain at a policy level, without legislative enactment through• The first option would entail greater public service either new legislation or amendments to existing support for the Executive Council Office with legislation. respect to land-use planning and decision-making. • The second option would be to operationalize the A Land-Use Secretariat could provide a central LUF through amendments to existing legislation agency support function that could extend to (e.g., the Municipal Government and Public Lands mandate letters for regional planning councils Acts). (discussed below), nominations for such councils, and planning support. The Secretariat would • The third option would be to enact a new piece of facilitate the synthesis of over-arching provincial legislation to embody the LUF This new Act would . goals, objectives, targets and measurable outcomes. enable and give statutory authority to the land-use It would be internal to the GOA, with limited public planning and decision-making innovations profile, much like SREM today. The Secretariat discussed in this report. It would also require would not be under the mandate of a single amendments to existing pieces of legislation. department, and would therefore have the There was a virtual consensus within the PDMWG independence to articulate government-wide supporting the third option, which would highlight and perspectives. give public visibility to the importance of land-use• The second option would entail a more formal and planning for Alberta. Stand-alone legislation could be robust Provincial Land Use Commission that could used to give voice to the principles and values that the supply not only the support noted above but also LUF has identified. New legislation would also identify land use policy advice to the provincial government. clear lines of political accountability for the LUF and , It would be a champion for the LUF and for the would give greater permanence to the government’s central role of land use planning within the broader commitment to land management. framework of government decision-making. Such a Commission could provide formal seats at the table Although the PDMWG supports the creation of new for such groups as municipal government legislation, it is also adamant that the need for such associations and treaty associations. It would give legislation should not be used as an excuse to delay higher public profile to the importance of land-use government action. A great deal can be done now management in the province, and could provide a through existing legislation (e.g., the creation of repository for both expertise and experiential Regional Planning Councils), and therefore the learning. provincial government can more forward while legislative reforms are planned and debated.A strong majority of the PDMWG opts for the firstoption, believing that there is no need for “another level The above points touch on where best to lodgeof government” to confuse lines of political responsibility and accountability for the LUF Given the .accountability. A Provincial Land Use Commission could reach of land-use issues, and their inevitableappear to make the land-use planning system more entanglement with so many policy fields, the PDMWGcumbersome, and to elevate unelected Commissioners is reluctant to suggest that responsibility be lodgedabove elected representatives. In either case, the within a single department. Some broader, cross-PDMWG emphatically supported the need for a more ministry engagement is essential, and hence theclearly articulated provincial voice to animate the proposal for a Land-Use Secretariat embedded withinplanning process. the Office of the Executive Council.96 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 7. If the LUF is to lead to an effective land manage system Creating a Regional Planningin Alberta, it is essential that it be integrated with other Capacityclosely related policy initiatives. Here the PDMWGwrestled with two approaches to integration. The first The PDMWG concluded, as did the consultationswould see the LUF as the land counterpart to the Water culminating in the 2006 Red Deer Forum, that thefor Life Strategy and other somewhat autonomous existing land management system is weakened by theelements of a complex system (e.g., Alberta’s lack of planning processes at the regional level.Biodiversity and Wetlands Strategies). The second Although Alberta’s land base is profoundly affected byapproach would see the LUF itself as the over-arching the allocation of land and resources to various uses andvehicle for integration; land, air and water management users, the approval and regulation of specific projectswould be pulled together through the LUF and the and activities, and the implementation of managementplanning mechanisms discussed below. decisions at the operational level, there is no capacity to assess and plan for the cumulative effects of these on aGiven the PDMWG’s assertion that the Alberta land base regional scale. The PDMWG therefore concludedshould be interpreted to include the wildlife and human emphatically that the effective implementation of thepopulations that live upon it, the ecosystems it LUF will require the creation of some significantsupports, the air and water systems that flow across it, regional planning capacity. However, there was lessand the resources that lie beneath, we lean towards the agreement on what form this capacity should assume.second, more expansive approach. The LUF provides anopportunity to create a more holistic approach to The majority of working group members opted for theplanning, and to recognize the inescapable linkages creation of Regional Planning Councils (RPCs). In aamong land, air and water planning. However, this more nutshell, the RPCs would develop regional plans andexpansive approach should best be seen as an submit such plans for approval by the Executiveevolutionary rather than immediate goal. A good deal of Council, thereby ensuring regional alignment withpolicy and planning work has already been done on the provincial land-use policies, objectives and priorities. Inair and water sides, and to lose this traction would be a effect, the RPCs would interpret and apply provincialmistake. policies on a regional scale. Provincial sign-off would ensure that each planning document meets the basicIn summary, we began with the need for a clearer terms of reference and is in a form that is suitable forarticulation of provincial goals and priorities with engaging higher level (e.g., cabinet) deliberation, just asrespect to land management, and went on to suggest municipal government approval of the regional planthat this might best be achieved through additional would provide the foundation for compliance. Thesepublic service capacity and a new legislative framework. plans should be evergreen, subject to a mandatedThe overall need, we should stress, is for the provincial periodic review. In this context, the PDMWG recognizesgovernment to be more explicitly engaged in land that a comprehensive provincial data base is not yetmanagement, not to the point of micromanagement of available and will take time to populate, thereforespecific land-use decisions but in terms of identifying necessitating an iterative rather than linear planningthe provincial context within which those decisions process.should be made. At the same time, the working groupconcluded that greater provincial government leadership The new RPCs would translate provincial land-useis not sufficient if land-use challenges are to be policies and priorities into regional plans, therebyaddressed. There is also a need to plan at the regional establishing a regional planning context within whichlevel, and it is to this matter that we now turn. local land-use decision-making can occur, and within which users of the land can operate. A secondary task, but one that will become increasingly important over time, will be to convey regional interests and values upwards to the provincial government. In other words, the RPCs should serve as a two-way transmission belt, conveying provincial land-use priorities and objectives Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 97
  • 8. downward to local communities and land users, and jurisdiction; from time to time the plans may embraceconveying local preferences and practical approaches elements that will bring other governmentsupward to the provincial government. In essence, the (Government of Canada, municipal governments, Firstregional plans would represent the intersection of Nations) into play.regional perspectives and values, on the one hand, andprovincial interests shared by all Albertans, on the other. In bringing this conceptual discussion of RPCs to a close, it should be noted that some members of theRPCs should be created, mandated and fully supported working group who supported the need for a regionalby the GOA. Support should include not only the planning capacity were less enthusiastic about thenecessary financial wherewithal but also access to formalization of that capacity within Regional Planningplanning, data, and modeling expertise. The RPCs Councils. They felt that regional planning might takeshould cover the entire provincial land base with the many different forms across different regions and issues.exception of national parks, Government of Canada As a consequence, they preferred a more fluid, lesslands, First Nations, and Metis settlements, although in institutional approach to regional planning. Again, thereall such cases, engagement in the regional planning was a much stronger consensus on the need for aprocess must be encouraged because cumulative effects regional planning capacity than there was on how suchdo not stop at administrative boundaries. It is essential a capacity might be realized.that the regional planning process be supported by themonitoring and evaluation mechanisms developed aspart of the LUF for an adaptive management system ,requires continuous feedback. Setting regional boundaries If RPCs are to be established, they will need to beThe introduction of RPCs would not be a marked bounded in some form. Here we recognize thatdeparture for Alberta; in effect, we would be taking the determining the number of RPCs and their spatialmunicipal planning experience and moving it up to the boundaries will be a difficult task, and to this end weregional scale so as to better handle cumulative effects can only offer some design principles for considerationand address limits on the amount or intensity of land by the GOA:activities. In so doing we would not be replacing otherforms of planning at the sub-regional or local scale (e.g., • the planning regions should be sufficiently large toWatershed Planning and Advisory Councils, airshed work at the landscape level, and to avoid beingplans) but instead would be providing a forum in which embroiled in local land-use decisions, butthese could be brought together. sufficiently small to be meaningful. To be avoided are regions that are so large as to be meaningless inIn this context it is important to emphasize what the a planning sense (e.g., “southern Alberta”).RPCs should not do. The Regional Planning Councilsshould not be charged with ensuring compliance with • regional boundaries could be congruent with (1)regional plans. They should not have subdivision and natural landscapes such as watersheds or riverdevelopment approval authority, nor should they have basins; (2) commonly understood ecological zoneszoning authority. They should not be an appeals body such as the Eastern Slopes; (3) the natural regionsfor local decision-making. They should neither create and sub-regions of Alberta (e.g., the Centralnor approve operational plans for forest companies, and Parkland, Dry Mixed Grass, the Lower Foothills, thethey should not duplicate the functions of the EUB, ILM Central Mixed Wood, the Sub-alpine and Peace-agreements, or Municipal Development Plans as Athabasca Delta); Treaty areas (e.g., Treaty 8); orinstruments for policy implementation. (However, the municipal boundaries.mandates of regulatory bodies like the EUB and NRCB • some members of the PDMWG argued withshould be expanded to include consideration of regional particular vigor for the use of watersheds to defineplans, and the cumulative effects of development within the boundaries of RPCs. Here it was noted thata region.) Finally, Cabinet signoff for the regional plans watersheds are used to operationalize the Water forapplies only to those aspects falling within provincial Life Strategy, and are referred to within the Public Lands Act.98 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 9. • congruency with existing political and participation is not clear. The challenge comes from administrative boundaries such as existing the multitude of provincial departments with a municipal and Forest Management Agreement direct involvement in land-use issues (e.g., boundaries would be an asset. To be avoided are Agriculture and Food; Energy; Environment; boundaries that would split existing municipalities. Municipal Affairs and Housing; Infrastructure and Transportation; Sustainable Resource Development;• RPCs for metro-Calgary and metro-Edmonton are Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture). Selection unavoidable. of GOA representation on specific RPCs could beIn any event, regional boundaries should make some determined by the Land-Use Secretariat andintuitive sense, reflecting common interests and being Cabinet.more than simply administrative lines on maps. • Given the emphasis on planning and planningWhen proposing these principles, we recognize both the expertise, and given the sensitivities of municipalnecessity of establishing regional boundaries for councils, the RPCs should not be elected. However,planning and the inevitability of “spill-over” effects and the intricacies of appointment (by the GOA, byland-use issues for which the appropriate scale of municipalities, stakeholders, etc.) remain to bedecision-making will not align perfectly with these determined.boundaries. There is no simple solution to this problem, • It is not clear to what extent the RPCs should bebut neither should it deter us from setting boundaries intergovernmental in character. While an exclusivelyand then developing processes for managing issues that intergovernmental approach would facilitate thedo not fit neatly within these lines on map. (Municipal engagement of municipal governments and Firstgovernments confront such issues on an ongoing basis.) Nations, it might curtail the engagement of industryAs noted above, a key role for provincial policy setting is groups, the environmental community, andto guide regional planning processes on issues where Aboriginal peoples without governmentalthere is a broader provincial (or national) interest to be organizations. There needs to be flexibility on thisconsidered, or where decisions in one region may affect point. In some regions, just provincial and localland-use values in another. Horizontal collaboration government representation may be appropriate. Inamong regional planning bodies on trans-boundary others, such as the oil sands or the green area, itissues could also be facilitated. Regional planning would be dysfunctional to exclude the mostboundaries define the physical space for collective significant players (e.g., Forestry, energy) or on thedeliberation on land-use priorities and trade-offs, within landscape.a broader policy and institutional framework thatrecognizes the need to address some important issues at • Authority members charged with representing thedifferent spatial scales. public interest may be desirable. • The composition of the Councils may provide an opportunity to strengthen interaction with Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils.Populating the Regional Planning CouncilsRPCs will be brought to life by the people who end up • The composition of the RPCs may vary from regionsitting around the working tables, and here the to region, thereby accommodating unique patternsGovernment of Alberta faces some difficult design of land use, while still retaining some commonchoices. While the PDMWG was asked for advice on elements.who might populate these tables, the group did not • Some members of the PDMWG proposed thediscuss this in a conclusive way, and therefore can only creation of Regional Advisory Commissions tooffer the following thoughts for consideration in supplement the Regional Planning Councils. Suchdeveloping the RPCs: Commissions could be composed of the RPC and additional invited stakeholders such as ENGOs,• Some participation by the GOA on the RPCs is industry and/or recreational associations, and public essential, although the appropriate form of interest groups who would establish the values and Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 99
  • 10. objectives for the regional plans while incorporating Regional plans are plans rather than sets of land-use provincial values and objectives. decisions; they will be established to provide guidance for the land-use decisions made by others. Thus the• No matter how large the RPCs might be, it will not regional plans themselves are not subject to appeal; be possible to get all interests “into the tent.” there is no need for a dispute resolution process. Trade- Therefore the RPCs will have to be supplemented off decisions that cannot be resolved would be referred with robust public and stakeholder consultations, to the Cabinet. In most respects, the same conclusion framed by provincial policies. applies to provincial land-use goals and priorities; to theIn closing this discussion it is useful to restate the basic extent that these are subject to appeal, it would only befunction of the proposed RPCs, which is to develop through their enabling legislation.regional plans and submit such plans for approval to theGovernment of Alberta, thereby ensuring regional Alberta currently has extensive processes in place foralignment with provincial land-use policies, objectives inter-municipal dispute resolution, and these processesand priorities. However, it should also be stressed that should go a long way in handling conflict resolutionan enhanced regional planning capacity is good on its issues that might emerge from the introduction ofown terms. This is why voluntary regional planning regional land-use plans. The existing planning system ininitiatives have been so common. We simply argue that Alberta does not have a policeman who ensuresthis enhanced capacity can play an additional and vitally compliance. It is essentially complaint driven at the localimportant role in the provincial land management level. If a municipality feels a plan or approval bysystem. another municipality negatively impacts their interests, then the MGA allows an appeal and provides the requirement to mediate.Compliance and Dispute Resolution The creation of regional plans opens up the possibility of a lack of alignment between such plans and decisionsThe imposition of over-arching provincial objectives on taken by municipal governments or land users, orregional land-use planning and decision-making raises between such plans and actions taken by the Albertathe inevitable concern that some individuals and/or government, its departments and agencies. Here,organizations will feel that such impositions unfairly however, solutions are at hand. Regional plans could beimpinge on their interests and aspirations, or on the related to municipal and other authorities (includingvalue of the property they might hold. It is essential, provincial departments) through a context statementtherefore, to consider the need for an appeals process. prepared by those authorities and explicitly stating howIt is important, however, not to exaggerate the extent of that agencys authority will be used to achieve thethe problem. The vast majority of land-use decisions regional plan. This should include a statement of howwill still be made by municipal governments and plans, policies and processes will be adopted and/orregulatory authorities, as they are made today, and amended and applied against individual decisions.where dispute settlement mechanisms are in place. Line Context statements as a means of relating local authorityagencies will continue to approve and regulate to regional outcomes are used in the Regional Growthindividual projects, ensuring that projects are consistent Strategies provisions of British Columbia’s Localwith and honour regional plans. It is not clear, therefore, Government Act and in Ontarios Oak Ridges Morainewhether the creation of the LUF or RPCs would, in Regional Plan.these instances, lead to any necessary augmentation of Each and every decision should not be evaluated againstexisting dispute settlement mechanisms. In addition, the the plan. The plan should express desired results (thePDMWG does not recommend that the RPCs be charged what) but leave the how (the combination of decisionswith monitoring or ensuring compliance with regional and trade-offs that achieve the what) to municipal andplans; to do so would distract from their planning other authorities. Individual decisions need not befunction. consistent with the plan but collectively the decisions must not exceed the outcomes set out in the plan. This100 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 11. will mean that the context statements will need to be The need for speed is particularly acute in those regionsreviewed to ensure that the agencies collectively as well of the province where growth pressures are greatest –as individually contribute to regional plan outcomes. the oil sands, the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, and theThe context statements should be reviewed by the eastern slopes of the Rockies.province as part of its endorsement of the plan.A corollary of this approach is that the regional planswould not be subject to appeal or require amendment as Conclusionsa result of individual projects and decisions. Preparation The thinking of the PDMWG led consistently towards aand adoption of the context statement is that agencys more systematic approach to land-use planning andcommitment to achieve the plan. As part of a plan decision-making in Alberta. This approach is reflected inreview there should be an audit (not unlike audits of Figure 1, which captures a continuous improvementdelegated authorities responsible for administering the system approach to land management.Safety Codes Act) that compares decisions against thecontext statement, and against the targets and outcomesdefined in the plan. This comparison will contribute toan assessment of whether the context statement anddecisions flowing from the context statement are"measuring up" against regional plan’s objectives.The above discussion highlights the need for the LUFand its enabling legislation to clearly delineate whattypes of decisions are to be made by whom. Clarity inthis respect will go a long way in addressing complianceissues.Implementation TimelinesThe implementation of the Land-Use Secretariat and theRegional Planning Councils could be done today withinexisting legislation. Given the present circumstances ofthe province, the Government should move forward toidentify its regions of highest priority for developingregional plans and begin the selection process for RPCsas soon as possible. However, the creation of RPCs willnot be easy as a host of difficult design issues will haveto be worked out. Then, once the RPCs are in place itwill take some time, perhaps 2 to 3 years, to developregional plans. Concurrently, however, the GOA canmove forward with establishing the process to developover-arching provincial goals and priorities, as well asundertaking a thorough review of the legislativeproposals recommended herein. The GOA shouldprovide itself with a year from the time it adopts theserecommendations to have legislative changes made anda first set of provincial goals and priorities established. Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 101
  • 12. Figure 1:Management Systems Approach to Land UseTo this end, the PDMWG concluded that the land-use Figure 2 illustrates these changes, but also underscoresdecision-making in Alberta needs to be better guided by an important point: the changes under discussion wouldthe values Albertans attach to the land, by a provincial not constitute radical departures from the currentpolicy framework (objectives, goals, priorities), and by system of land management. They strengthen ratherregional planning that takes into account cumulative than reject the planning and decision-making processeseffects on the landscape. Thus the PDMWG suggests already in place.three significant changes to the land management statusquo: The PDMWG laments the amount of time that was available for its work, and recognizes that many design• the identification and policy expression of those elements have not been fully addressed. However, the values and principles that Albertans attach to land group also recognizes that its primary responsibility was and land management; to provide the broad strokes for a new and systematic approach to land management in Alberta; the detailed• the clear articulation of provincial government work will quite appropriately be done by others. policies, goals and priorities relating to the land base; and Finally, the PDMWG recognizes that its report cannot• the creation of a regional planning capacity to capture the full range of minority viewpoints expressed address the cumulative impact of land use decisions throughout its work. However, it would like to on the Alberta landscape. acknowledge (although neither endorse nor reject) the input received from Treaty 8, which called for:102 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 13. • the recognition of the sui generis nature of Treaty 8 First Nation rights and interests in provincial lands and resources;• the need for a “quadruple bottom line” in land-use planning that would go beyond social, economic and environmental needs to bring the interests of First Nations more directly into play;• the establishment of a provincial Land Use Council with broad-based representation including First Nation representatives appointed by provincial Treaty organizations;• First Nation representation on regional planning groups, and on sub-regional and local planning authorities;• the requirement that First Nation governments sign- off on regional plans having the potential to infringe upon First Nation rights and interests; and• a clear and transparent appeal process for land-use decisions, not consistent with approved land-use plans.More broadly, the Treaty 8 approach reinforces many ofthe conclusions noted above (e.g., the creation of aLUFG by legislation) while elaborating on thoseconclusions with respect to Treaty 8 participation in theland management system (see Appendix C).The PDMWG welcomes the decision by the GOA tocreate additional LUF channels that could bring theseconcerns more directly into play. Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 103
  • 14. Figure 2:Land-use Framework - Organization and Function104 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 15. Appendix A: The Planning and The following individuals participated in the PDMWG:Decision-Making Working Group Brenda Allbright Alberta EnergyTeam and Process Bob Anderson Agriculture and Food CouncilThe work of the Planning and Decision-Making Kirk Andries Integrated Resource PlanningWorking Group (PDMWG) was guided by the following and Managementquestions posed by the Government of Alberta: Dave Belyea Alberta Environment• What would an ideal planning and decision-making Veronica Bliska MD of Peace system for land-use look like to achieve the Stan Boutin University of Alberta outcomes of the Land-Use Framework? (ILM Chair) Tim Creelman City of Calgary• Do existing decision-making and appeal mechanisms adequately deal with land-use conflicts? Gerald Cunningham MSGC Bob Demulder Alberta Chamber of Resources• Should the role of the provincial government be Susan Feddema-Leonard Wilmore Wilderness more directive in dealing with local government, Foundation other authorities and stakeholders to achieve province-wide objectives and the proposed Hudson Foley Altalink outcomes of the Land-Use Framework? Dan Fouts Stony Valley Contracting Susan Friesen Recorder• Should there be shared decision-making amongst different levels of government and with landowners Roger Gibbins Facilitator for planning and other decisions that involve land Brian Irmen Clearwater County – planning use? Steve Kennett AEN Peter Kinnear CNRL• Should there be regional entities with specific roles and, possibly, authority? Dave Kmet AFPA Peter Koning Conoco Phillips• In planning and other decision-making processes, Kim McCaig CEP how should “regions” be defined? Jim McCammon Alberta Newsprint• What level of authority should the Land-Use Diana McQueen Mayor, Drayton Valley Framework itself have (e.g., legislation, policy)? Doug Parrish Leduc• Who should be responsible for delivering the Shirley Pickering Watershed planning and proposed outcomes of the Land-Use Framework? stewardship Who should be accountable? Gerald Rhodes Executive Director, AAMD&C• How should the Land-Use Framework link to other Rick Schneider AEN key policies and legislation? Glenn Selland Alberta Sustainable Resource DevelopmentThe working group bundled these questions into threebasic sets of issues: the ideal attributes of a planning and Judy Stewart Chair, Bow River Basindecision-making system for the LUF the potential role , Legislation & Policyand form of regional entities, and the positioning of the CommitteeLUF within the policy and administrative architecture of Linda Strong-Watson Alberta TrailNetthe provincial government. These issues were then Murray Summers West Fraseraddressed over five full-day sessions held from late June Bill Symonds Alberta Municipal Affairsto early September, three in Edmonton and two in and HousingCalgary. Bryan Walton CEO, Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association Jim Webb Treaty 8 First Nations Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 105
  • 16. Schedule of PDMWG meetings June 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Edmonton July 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Calgary August 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Calgary August 30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Edmonton September 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EdmontonAppendix B: Glossary of Key Terms Consensus Decision-making Is a decision-making process that not only seeks theAccountability agreement of most participants, but also to resolve orAccountability involves either the expectation or mitigate the objections of the minority to achieve theassumption of account-giving behavior. In a leadership most agreeable decision. A healthy consensus decision-role accountability is the acknowledgement and making process usually encourages and addressesassumption of responsibility for actions, products, dissent early, maximizing the chance of accommodatingdecisions, and policies including the administration, the views of all minorities. Since unanimity may begovernance and implementation within the scope of the difficult to achieve, especially in large groups, consensusrole or position, and encompassing the obligation to decision-making bodies may use an alternativereport, explain and be answerable for resulting benchmark of consensus that includesconsequences. As an aspect of governance, it is central acknowledgement of dissenting views. (Source: C.T.to discussions related to problems in both the public Lawrence Butler; Amy Rothstein (2007). On Conflictand private sectors where governance is the and Consensus (HTML) Food Not Bombs Publishing.accountability for consistent, cohesive policies, processes Rachel Williams; Andrew McLeod (2006). Introductionand decision rights. In general governmental institutions to Consensus Decision Making (PDF). Cooperativeas well as the private sector and civil society Starter Series. Northwest Cooperative Developmentorganizations are accountable to those who will be Center. The Common Place (2005). Consensus Decisionaffected by their decisions or actions. (Source: Report of Making. Seeds for Change, Richard Bruneau (2003). IfAuditor General of Canada, November 2003, Chapter 2. Agreement Cannot Be Reached (DOC). ParticipatorySustainable Resource and Environmental Management Decision-Making in a Cross-Cultural Context 37.Glossary & Alberta Environment Governing and Canada World Youth.)Governance Glossary) Cumulative EffectsAuthority Cumulative effects are changes to the environment thatHaving power or control in a particular, especially are caused by an action in combination with other past,political or administrative, sphere. (Source: Oxford present and future human actions. This also includesEnglish Dictionary) any effect of change on health and socioeconomic conditions, on physical and cultural heritage, on theCollaborative current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by aboriginal persons, or on any structure, siteCollaborative is to co-labour, to co-operate to achieve or thing that is of historical, archaeological,common goals working across boundaries through paleontological or architectural significance. Cumulativemulti-sector, multi-jurisdictional allies. (Alliance for effects occur as interactions between actions, betweenRegional Stewardship, 2006) actions and the environment, and between components of the environment. These pathways between a cause (or source) and an effect are often the focus of an106 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 17. assessment of cumulative effects. The magnitude of the formalized. Communication is frequent, the leadershipcombined effects along a pathway can be equal to the is autonomous and the focus is on specific issues.sum of the individual effects (additive effect) or can be (Source: Sustainable Resource and Environmentalan increased effect (synergistic effect). Ideally, Management Glossary)cumulative effects should be assessed relative to a goalin which the effects are managed on a regional basis. Planning(Source: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency- Planning is the act of developing a plan that provides aCanadian Environmental Assessment Act) formulated and especially detailed method by which a thing is to be done. (Oxford English Dictionary)EnforcementEnforcement is those activities that compel and/or force Programsadherence to legal requirements. (Source: Alberta Programs provide either services or products to theEnvironment Governing and Governance Glossary) public, or support Ministry or government operations. Programs are used to achieve core businesses. (OxfordGoal English Dictionary)Goal is an outcome statement that defines what anorganization is trying to accomplish. Goals are usually Policycollections of related programs and/or reflections of A governing set of principles given force and effect bymajor actions that satisfy needs. (Source: International elected officials in order to meet recognized publicStrategic Planning - Committee Publications) needs. Policy is made in the name of "the public" and is interpreted and implemented by both public and privateGovernance actors. The authority to set policy is what distinguishesGovernance” is not synonymous with “government.” It government from the private sector and it isis about how governments and other organizations fundamental to the work of government. In general,interact, how they relate to citizens, and how decisions policies are broad, conceptual documents that outlineare made in a complex environment. The governance the approach and/or considerations to be taken intosystem or process rests on the agreements, procedures, account by decision-makers. Policy is used to cause,conventions or policies that define in whom authority facilitate and/or promote desired outcomes and preventrests, how decisions are made, how accountability is adverse events from happening. Policy also can refer to aassigned, and how citizens or other stakeholders have consistent course of action that may be based ontheir say. (Source: Governing and Governance Glossary) constitutional authority, legislation/regulation, budgets, procedures or "habits." In the latter case, the consistentObjective course of action is "unwritten" but is still policy. (Source: Sustainable Resource and EnvironmentalObjective is a precise, time-based and measurable action Management Glossary)that supports the completion of a goal. (Source:International Strategic Planning - CommitteePublications) Recreational Corridor Recreation corridor is a continuous length of trail forPartnerships recreation use. (Source: Alberta TrailNet)Partnership is a relationship in which individuals ororganizations share resources and responsibility to Responsibilityachieve a common objective, as well as any resulting Responsibility is a duty, obligation or liability for whichrewards or recognition. It often includes a formal an entity, whether it is government, a corporation,contract, new resources and shared risks and rewards. organization or individual, is responsible to carryThe structure includes a central body of decision- forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion.makers whose roles are defined. The links are Responsibility can be, and often is, shared. With Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 107
  • 18. responsibility goes authority to direct and take the Strategynecessary action to ensure success. (Source: Report of The action path an organization or government hasAuditor General of Canada, November 2003; & chosen to realize goals. Strategies establish broad themesSustainable Resource and Environmental Management for future actions and should reflect reasoned choicesGlossary) among alternative paths. (Source: International Strategic Planning - Committee Publications)RoleThe part played or assumed by an individual or Sustainabilityorganization in society, influenced by his or her There may be as many definitions of sustainability andconception of what is appropriate. (Source: Oxford sustainable development as there are groups trying toEnglish Dictionary) define it. All the definitions have to do with:Shared Governance • Living within the limitsShared Governance refers to a governance structure • Understanding the interconnections amongwhere both government and external parties share economy, society, and environmentresponsibility for policy development and delivery of • Equitable distribution of resources andplanning, programs or services, but where government opportunitiesretains accountability. Shared governance is acollaborative goal setting and problem-solving process Sustainability typically relates to the continuity ofbuilt on trust and communication. The extent of economic, social, institutional and environmentalgovernment involvement varies with the level of control aspects of human society, as well as the non-humanthat is desired and/or the capacity of the external parties environment. (Source: Sustainability Measures)to carry out the functions. Shared governance requires aclear accountability framework with clear roles, Traditional Knowledgeresponsibilities and relationships. (Source: Sustainable Traditional knowledge is information held by AlbertansResource and Environmental Management Glossary) who have an intimate knowledge of a specific region. Examples of Albertans who may possess suchStakeholder knowledge are the aboriginal community, ranchers,A stakeholder is an individual, organization or farmers, outfitters, trappers, and other citizens whogovernment with an interest in or engaged in resource utilize Alberta’s landscape. (Source: Wilmore Wildernessand environmental management in Alberta. Involvement Foundation)can be targeted to specific stakeholders or segments ofthe public or can be more general. (Source: Sustainable WatershedResource and Environmental Management Glossary) An area of land that catches precipitation and drains it to a common point such as a marsh, lake, stream orStewardship river and recharges groundwater. A watershed can beStewardship is defined as the wise management and use made up of several sub-watersheds that contribute toof personal resources (natural resources and financial the overall drainage of the watershed. (Source:resources) for the benefit of all. Stewardship can be a Provincial Wetland Restoration/ Compensation Guide).mandate to be a caretaker of the world. That meanstaking responsibility for the economic, environmentaland social consequences of our actions. And it meansemploying sustainable practices in individual,organizational and governmental operations. (Source:National & Philanthropy Curriculum Standards; DavidEvans & Associates - Environmental Management)108 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 19. Appendix C: Treaty 8 Proposals for the Land Management System Land-use Framework Conceptual Model for First Nations Government-to-Government Interface at the Various Planning Scales Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 109
  • 20. Appendix D: Legend: Working Group Member and Reviewer StakeholderSector Designations Sector Abbreviation Aboriginal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ABO Academic, Consultant, Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ACP Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AGR Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CON Energy, Industry, Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .EID Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ENV Forestry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .FOR Government of Alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .GOA Municipal – Rural . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MUN-R Municipal – Urban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MUN-U Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .REC Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .WATAppendix E: find a lack of clarity as to what is being referred to, or described as a systems approach. Definitions I amWorking Group Member Comments personally familiar with describe a systems approach as a problem-solving method wherein one: defines the problem as clearly as possible > analyse theMUN problem and identify alternative solutions > selectFrom a quick glance again I am disappointed that you from the alternatives and develop the most viablecontinue to ignore the comments I have made at two solution mix > implement and test the solution >meetings with regards to elected officials being on this. and evaluate the effectiveness and worth of theThe peoples voice is through their elected officials if solution. This definition appears to be consistentthey dont like what we do they can do something about with Figure 1, but the text of the Executiveit - replace us. Each time I have mentioned it - you have Summary and System Principles do not seem to tiechosen not to include in the document. I therefore can to Figure 1.not support these recommendations. • The Working Group set out to develop a planning and governance backbone, but the draft makes repeated reference to land management and at timesGOA seems to intermix the terms planning and management. The Executive Summary is a good• The document describes the need for a systems example of this intermix in that the three described approach to land management and seeks to describe strategic responses are framed around land-use system principles. In re-reading the Executive planning and decision making, but the section Summary and introductory pages of the final draft, I concludes with reference to addressing "structural110 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 21. problems in the management of the Alberta land draft proposes a consolidation of dispute resolution base". To me planning is arranging the various parts to Executive Council which is a significant towards an objective(s) or outcome(s), while departure from the current municipal dispute management is a suite of activities that help realize resolution processes. the objective(s) or outcomes(s). The language of the • The proposed model whereby a Planning Council is final draft needs to articulate that we were focusing under the direct control of Executive Council on an architecture for planning and decision making (Cabinet) is a significant departure from current that would assist in addressing the myriad of land Alberta approaches, and I believe is unprecedented management issues, but were not seeking to resolve within Canada (to my knowledge all jurisdictions in land management issues per se. Canada enable Crown land planning/decision• We spent a considerable amount of time at the making and municipal planning/decision making initial meeting describing attributes of an Alberta under provincial statutes vested within individual planning and governance backbone, but the draft government departments. Reporting authority is to does not appear to capture essential attributes. I the responsible Minister). Appreciating the intent of suggest that a description of the major attributes utilizing a centralized planning body to maintain a that the group felt were important would help frame degree of independent decision making, it is this discussion paper and provide a context to important to consider that we are suggesting this evaluate the recommended approach. For example, Planning Council seek validation for its decisions if timeliness and transparency of planning and and direction setting from a suite of elected officials decision making were key attributes, one could then who are not necessarily experienced planners - and describe how the planning and governance model who change roles and responsibilities on a periodic being proposed will incorporate and/or realize those basis. In addition, the proposed model sees Cabinet attributes. being responsible for "trade-off decisions". At this time, the discussions and decisions of Cabinet are• In bringing forward a planning and governance not public, and the proposed model suggests that model predicated on a centralized model, the draft any dispute (trade-off) resolution around land-use does not describe the likely implications of moving issues would fall within that domain of non- to this model from the current status quo. There disclosure. Is this an unintended consequence of was certainly a lot of discussion within the working placing the Planning Council directly under group regarding implications, but I dont see this Cabinet? captured. The draft would benefit from some description as to how consequential and doable the • The description of Regional Planning Councils proposed model is, using working group discussion includes statements as to what they will NOT do, points to substantiate the description. It would also including ensuring compliance with regional plans. be beneficial to describe the alternatives that were If the body that creates regional plans has no ability considered to monitor and ensure compliance, then who does? In the model being proposed, it appears that this• Reference is made to the possible need to amend responsibility may rest with Executive Council existing statutes including the Public Lands Act and (Cabinet) as they are the body who would formally and Municipal Government Act. With regard to the approve the plan. I am unsure of the practicality of latter, municipalities currently operate within a Cabinet members being directly engaged in statutory planning and decision making model. In resolution of the numerous trade-off discussions and bringing forward a revised planning and governance decision that occur in Alberta. If there isnt some backbone, the draft does not discuss potential practical method of ensuring compliance, then the implications to the MGA and current municipal regional plan is merely advice which seems governance model. The draft should be clear as to inconsistent with the intent that LUF have a whether, as one of the implications, we are statutory enabling mechanism. suggesting a revision to municipal planning and decision making authority - particularly given the Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 111
  • 22. • The draft speaks to the need for integration between WATER LUF and Water for Life, but does not indicate 1. I agree with the message in the report that indicates expected linkages between the planning and a lack of clearly articulated and integrated provincial governance model being proposed and on-going and regional policy as being key problems with land work surrounding Water for Life being directed by and water planning and decision making that needs the Alberta Water Council and associated WPACs. to be addressed. While the group recognized there Since the inception of discussions on LUF there are many good Land Use Policies serving as have been questions about the linkages, and the guidelines, I still have a concern that our limited discussion of potential linkages between the governance proposal lacks the mechanism to assure proposed planning and governance backbone and consistency in quality of policy implementation Water for Life is certain to be noticed. Indeed, a which currently driving much of the conflict in the number of the WPACs are hoping to see that community. connectivity arising from the October 9th presentations of LUF working group reports. 2. As a rural landowner and member of a watershed stewardship group I am not convinced that the• While there was some discussion about the need to assumption that the problems and conflict will be better link sub-surface allocation with surface solved by at regional level, because we do not have planning and decision making, the final draft coherent and integrated planning at the local level doesnt seem the address this issue. Indeed, in in the white area. While municipalities have some proposing the revised planning and governance structure for local land use planning, provincial model there is no statement as to implications for agencies making land use decisions on the same the allocation of sub-surface tenure. On the public landscape do not have similar planning structures. land base energy development is a major influence - Of particular concern is subsurface land use if not driver - of land-use patterns and not decisions that do not take into consideration surface discussing how the proposed planning and effects. Others in the group have expressed concerns goverance model will tie to, and possibly direct, about this same lack of integrated of local level sub-surface tenure really leaves the proverbial planning in the green zone which has also resulted elephant on the table. in conflicting use of the same landscape and often to the detriment of valuable upper watershed function. I believe if the group had been given more time theAG need for local level land use planning under theAs noted previously Roger, I do not think it is umbrella of regional planning would have beenappropriate to include the minority position regarding more clearly expressed.the creation of a Land Use Commission within the 3. As a member of the Alberta Water Councils SharedExecutive Summary. This is the only minority position Governance and Watershed Planning Frameworkconveyed within the Executive Summary and all other Project Team I remain concerned about theminority views have been ignored. You are cherry difference in governance system proposed for thepicking one minority point of view - why? LUF and that proposed through the Water for Life Strategy, which recognizes that effective watershedPage 9 2nd paragraph. There is reference to provincial management requires integrated land use and watersign-off. Is this synonymous with Cabinet sign-off? It is management planning. How this will happennot clear if this is reference to Cabinet or some other between these two systems remains a big questionlevel of sign-off. The latter was discussed and not and we did not take the time the time to providesupported as I recall. advise on this matter because we did not have theThat is it. Overall an excellent piece of work given the time to appropriately investigation this topic or totimelines we were under. You earned your pay on this seek advice from Water for Life strategists.project!!112 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 23. AG Appendix F: Reviewer Comments toI agree, that given the scope and time frame, I believe the Final Summary Reportthe group has done well with the final product. I onlyoffer a couple of observations not to change thedocument but possibly for all of us to continue to ACPconsider as this process moves forward. 1. Alberta exists primarily as a rather arbitrary set of1. Under the section of Strengthening The Provincial lines on a map defining a land area. Land use would Role, we talk about decision making and some of then seem to be a fundamental role of government – the concerns between elected versus unelected not an optional extra that can be addressed by yet people making decisions. In my view, if we are another committee or secretariat. Land use, which talking about conflicts of needs between the must include the air, water, land, sub soils, and province need versus the regional need versus the resources must be managed in a comprehensive municipal need; then I support the provincial public manner that provides stewardship for the land area good need over-riding the individual need. called Alberta. Fundamental principles have been ignored or overridden in the past to get us to the2. Under the Compliance and Dispute Resolution state we are in today. Therefore fundamental change section, I am not sure how enabling legislation is required to move us onto a new path. Propping which delineates what types of decisions are to be up old traditions will not give Albertans a better made by whom will help resolve compliance issues. future. It may be that we expect more teeth to enforce noncompliance by empowering the various decision 2. Issues that are missing include reclamation, making bodies with more abilities to penalize remediation and property rights, and the whole however that will not happen until these groups energy industry is understated or not referenced. define those. 3. Albertans’ values are referred to but never defined.3. My last comment is directed at Appendix B: In fact the word, “values,” is not even referenced in Glossary of Key Terms; Sustainability. I agree there the Glossary. This is the essence of the present have been many definitions of sustainable activity but is dealt with very casually. development however I believe that UN 4. Figure 2 on page 16 is very telling in putting Commission which issued a report called “Our Albertans at the bottom of the stack: aren’t the Common Future” defined it this way:…. citizens (and their values) supposed to be driving development that meets the needs of the present the process? without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development is about meeting needs across generations, but in practice clarifying needs and EID expectations has been difficult and value-laden. Comments on Planning and Decision Making Final Balancing not only between generations, but Report: between economic, social and environmental needs remains a daunting challenge. • This is a much more balanced and less constraining document that the September 7 draft;In closing I apologize for not being to make it to the lasttwo meetings, I did pay close attention to what the • Page 7, options for an institutional home for LUF,outcomes of the group discussion were and believe the we prefer the first option;final product to be a good outcome for the Government • Page 9 second paragraph, agree municipal bodiesto consider as they move forward on the overall Land need to be at the planning table, but do not agreeUse Framework initiative. with sign off, as this could effectively halt the process, disagreement with the majority should be recorded and provincial approval would take into consideration; Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 113
  • 24. • Page 10, third paragraph, to much flexibility will program (you must do this or face legal consequences) result in confusion and disparate process and not a mere policy exercise (you should do this but if not opportunity; there is no legal remedy), but seemed to have lost their nerve as they considered the implications of that.• Page 10, setting regional boundaries, should be Ultimately it means a loss of local autonomy. based on an existing government administration boundary or ecological boundaries not political I think they should take it to its logical conclusion. If a boundaries; local government has made any land use decision• Where a planning area, such as the Caribou Land (enacting or amending a statutory plan, or a land use Management Area, government administrative bylaw or granting any development or subdivision decision making boundaries, one decision maker approval) that decision must comply with the regional should be appointed to the decision making role. plan. If not any aggrieved party (broadly defined) BC MOFR, where a forest operational plan is within should have recourse to an expert appeal tribunal with two forest districts delegates one decision maker. the authority to uphold overturn or vary the decision in question.• Compliance and enforcement to the approved plan should be through provincial regulatory agencies. Under this proposal, it would appear that they do not want that to happen. At page 13 they write "Individual decisions need not be consistent with the plan but collectively the decisions must not exceed the outcomesMUN - U of the plan." I take this to mean that if a municipality isIn general, there is support for the intentions outlined in on track to flouting a regional plan there is no recoursethis report. However, as a large urban municipality, I unless and until it has happened. If RPCs are not to befind the lack of explicit recognition of the urbanized ensuring compliance with regional plans, then who will?areas of the province (and the fact that the majority of For example, if the plan says "do not fragment farmlandAlbertans live and work in urban environments) in the future urban growth area" and a municipalitysomewhat limits the scope of discussion. For example, enacts an ASP saying one or two hectare parcels are OK,the only reference to Edmonton and Calgary is on page and then zones all of the land to grant land owners that11 where it is stated that “RPCs for metro Calgary and right and the subdivision authority approves 50 suchmetro Edmonton are unavoidable”. subdivisions (one at a time) none of those individual decisions is subject to legal challenge. But after its all I am in favour of the larger principles identified in this fragmented, we can now all look back and statepaper. There must be regional planning. The province conclusively that future urban development of thesemust lead it. It is indispensable in the Edmonton area. lands is now impossible and we can shake our fingersThe regional plan must have the force of law and and tut tut. What good does that do? It is too late totherefore local authorities must accept some loss of undo these decision and grossly unfair to the acreageautonomy. owners who are, by this time, living on the fragmented I am in favour of certain of the implementation agricultural lands.strategies. I agree that these changes have to be Every one of these decisions must be appealable. In fact,embodied in statutory amendments. These regional if the regional plan has the force of law, there isplans must have the force of law. If they are merely probably no practical way to deny an aggrieved party asuggestive, we are wasting our time. It is endorsed at the remedy for these individual decisions. If the legislaturepolitical level (likely cabinet) and it would be almost has not set up a specialized tribunal, the aggrieved partyunprecedented to have a cabinet decision subject to will go to the courts. If the court sees that there is thisbeing overturned by a tribunal or a court. kind of legal, remedial vacuum they tend to step in toAt page 13 under the heading "Compliance and fill it. Legislatures try to warn them off with languageDispute Resolution") the paper becomes very mushy. protecting the finality of local governments decisionsThey have endorsed the idea that this is a legislative but they have limited success at it. The courts step in114 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 25. and adjudicate these disputes and they do so with little RPCs should be using pre-established politicalor no expertise in the area of land-use planning. boundaries such as the municipal boundaries.Government loses control over the interpretation of itspolicies. Better to accept that these decisions will be The section on Populating Regional Planning Councilschallenged and put in place a body with the processes leaves a lot of questions as to whom in the end willand expertise needed to adjudicate them quickly and make up the RPCs as the WG does not makeaccurately. Please note that I advocate a body to recommendations but offers “thoughts foradjudicate disputes as to how the plan is interpreted consideration”. One possibility is that through theand applied, not a body to hear complaints about the inclusion of municipally elected councillors in the RPCs,content of the plan. there may less need for robust public consultations. In fact, with robust plans, there should be little need forTo what degree will the GoA be involved in ensuring public consultation at all by the RPC as that would be athere is a level of congruency as regional plans are policy making function.drafted? If they are involved in the establishment of theregions and the drafting of the enabling regulations, I envision a piece of legislation - an Act - that clearlythere should be no need for context statements. This is articulates the Provinces policy direction, principles andtoo similar to the "mandate letters" used by the current other criteria for land use. This Act should likely also bePremier to guide the priorities of his ministers. The use somewhat specific with respect to sensitive areas, naturalof Councillors on the RPCs eliminates the need for areas, watersheds, or any other such important areas.context statements as they already have a mandate. The LUF Organization & Framework proposed by theMunicipalities do not have context statements issued to WG on page 16 - is about as bureaucratic as they come.them. One objective of having a provincial land-useThe paper states that the enabling legislation needs to framework should be to provide greater clarity andclearly delineate what types of decisions are to be made guidelines on how to manage Alberta lands in a wayby whom. This reflects our desire to see robust plans that balances growth and economic development withwith implementation bodies. minimizing our ecological footprint - now and in the future.The Land Use Secretariat will need to be rethought. Itsrole is alright, but its location in the GoA organization I strongly recommend that they have this paperstructure wont work. If it is located within Executive reviewed by a lawyer with acknowledged expertise inCouncil, it would have to be staffed up, pulling staff administrative law. What they are suggesting is legallyfrom a variety of line departments. As a result, there will unsound and they need to be set back on track.be a modest bureaucracy established within theExecutive Council offices, for which the Premier is theMinister and therefore accountable. The Secretariat MUN - Uwould be the logical location for appeals on whether ornot the plan was followed according to its legislation. The decision making structure proposed as two optionsAgain, this is not something which the Premier would is actually outlined in a more robust manner in thewant/need to be responsible. Growth and Resource Management document, with Provincial leadership, regional representation, an appealI would like it if the paper was clearer about exactly body and an auditor. I think the GRM proposal is awhat kind of supports the RPCs could expect from the more substantive proposal than the either / or offeringGoA - does this mean funding and secretariat/planning made here.support. Would they be fully funded? The first option of a Secretariat is not preferred. AWho will establish regional boundaries? They should be singular central agency is too distant to be an effectiveestablished by the GoA and embedded in the regulations representative tool, and woudl be subject to Provincialaccompanying the legislation. If the RPCs are not to be lobbying efforts that could affect its operation.elected, then for the purposes of accountability, the Implementation of the LUF should reside at a lower Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 115
  • 26. level where there is less opportunity for central control Figure 1 of the GRM document, there is something newand diversion..... and enduring proposed.I agree wholeheartedly with the need for new andsingular legislation, that is "cross-ministry" inapplication. All existing legislation would need to defer EIDto this new legislative tool. No ministry (i.e. energy) Comments on Planning and Decision Making Finalshould be able to override this legislation, except where Report:the Province claims an express Provincial interest, as Imsure it would do with strategies for the industrial • This is a much more balanced and less constrainingheartland and the oilsands. document that the September 7 draft;Regional Planning Councils: • Page 7, options for an institutional home for LUF,Should be inter-governmental and is regulatory in the first option is preferable;nature. As such, industry representation is • Page 9 second paragraph, agree municipal bodiesinappropriate. Industries should be represented through need to be at the planning table, but do not agreethe relevant ministry, and should not be at this table. with sign off, as this could effectively halt theAllowing one industry in opens up the table to any process, disagreement with the majority should beindustry, making the process unworkable. recorded and provincial approval would take into consideration;I agree also that RPCs should have members appointedon a cross ministry basis and not be elected. There is a • Page 10, third paragraph, to much flexibility willcomplexity of issues that requires understanding and result in confusion and in disparate process andcooperation, not political representation. (Which is why opportunity;the concept of an auditor outlined under the GRM • Page 10, setting regional boundaries, should bestructure is appealing.) Members should be explicitly based on an existing government administrationtasked with representing the public interest. boundary, i.e. forest areas, or ecological boundariesPage 13. The comment that there are extensive but not political boundaries;processes available for inter-municipal dispute • Where a planning area, such as the Caribou Landresolution, and these could go a long way in resolving Management Area, crosses governmentLUF disputes misses the fact that there are lots of administrative decision making boundaries, onecurrent, unresolved inter-municipal disputes. The decision maker should be appointed to the decisioncurrent conflict resolution process is not functional and making role. I.e., BC Ministry of Forests and Range,relying on it is naive, to say the least. Half the reason where a forest operational plan is within two forestthat the LUF is moving forward is due to a desire to districts, delegates one decision maker.resolve these disputes. A new mechanism is needed.This is where the appeal body in the GRM document is • Compliance and enforcement to the approved planappealing. should be through provincial regulatory agencies.RPCs also shoudl have the ability to comment on localplans and decisions. There needs to be some oversight WATof implementation before decisions are implemented onthe ground. Better to render an opinion on a decision Once again, I commend the group on the excellentearlier than let the project get half built before someone thought put into these recommendations.determines that it was not consistent with the LUF I absolutely agree that land, water and air policy andprinciples. planning needs to be integrated.Figure 1 is an excellent synopsis of how the LUF couldwork. I think combined with the structure proposed in116 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 27. I strongly support the recommendation that the Land arching policy, I am not sure. Either way, these twoUse Framework be housed under a Land Use Secretariat provincial initiatives need to be very clear in what iswithin the Executive Council. I have long promoted the expected as to the scope and outcomes.fact that to be successful, a provincial policy of this type(including the Water For Life Strategy) must not be I also strongly support planning done at a regional level.housed in a line department. The mandate and I would not, however, view WPAC’s as being at a “sub-legislation of being housed under an individual regional” scale. Very clearly in the government’sdepartment, by its very nature, sets up barriers for documentation, WPAC’s are at a regional scale. Forintegration. I have often thought that the Department of example the Red Deer River watershed (WPAC)International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal encompasses 13 rural municipalities (MDs andRelations would be a reasonable location for Counties) and 52 urban municipalities (cities, towns,interdepartmental initiatives such as the LUF and the villages, summer villages). You would not want a regionWFL strategy, however, the Executive Council is much larger than this, for as you state “to be avoided areprobably more appropriate. regions that are so large as to be meaningless in a planning sense”.I also support the need for the LUF to have its ownlegislation under a new Act. I truly believe that ecological boundaries such as watershed boundaries or natural regions make the mostI also agree that there is a need for an over-arching sense when planning for land use.vehicle for integration. I am not sure whether thisshould be the LUF or the WFL strategy. Without water I do not agree with having the regional boundaries:there is no life, no land use, no economics, nothing. • Congruent with existing political and administrativePossibly the WFL should establish a provincial boundaries – this defeats the whole ecologicalframework and the LUF should fit within this initiative. approach. Political boundaries change. MotherNever-the-less, I question whether “Land Use nature stays the same: a watershed is a watershed noFramework” is the appropriate name. Land is land: by matter which political party is in power. Usingits name it does not imply inclusion of all the natural political and administrative boundaries sets theresources – minerals, oil and gas, land, water, fisheries, stage for power struggles. It will not work.wildlife, forest, etc. (Land management and planning is • I also do not think that metro-Calgary and metro-already housed within ASRD. Cumulative Effects is Edmonton need their own RPCs. Here is politicsbeing done by AENV.) I suggest we need a new name coming into play when it is the very thing that willthat does not imply ownership by one department. For destroy a common sense, ecological approach.example, call it the Provincial Natural Resource Policy Political power trumping proper ecological planningor something that it is in its own right. (i.e. I am not is not what we want. By you very own admission,sure whether calling it the Land “Use” Framework municipalities would continue with their landdifferentiates it enough for the bureaucrats and the development authority (under the LUF policy) sopublic to differentiate it from land management in why give Edmonton and Calgary specialASRD.) rights/exemptions?Presently there are too many overlaps between theexpectations and outcomes of the LUF and the WFL.Under the WFL strategy, it is the understanding of the ACPAlberta Water Council and the 8+ Watershed Planning Introductionand Advisory Councils that they are doing land andwater planning and it is in place and is being done as Congratulations to the members of the PDMWG forwe speak. There is not enough of a difference between their hard work in preparing this report. The timeline inthe two outcomes to have two separate policies. They which this project was undertaken was very short andneed to be either integrated or modified. As mentioned there was a great deal of ground to cover. There is anearlier, whether it is the WFL or the LUF as the over- Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 117
  • 28. urgent need to develop and implement an effective Executive Council for key elements of the LUF shouldstrategy to deal with the cumulative effects of land use not jeopardize that transparency. It is not necessary todecisions. That said, going forward, the development accumulate the most technical of this informationand refining of the details respecting the subject matter related to biodiversity of wildlife, air quality etc. in aof the PDMWG’s report must be based on thorough central location as there are ample experts throughoutanalysis and continued appropriate stakeholder input. the province, however, it is critical that the provincial objectives used to inform the LUF be founded in thisWhile recognizing that the report is intended to provide technical expertise.broad strokes for a new and systemic approach to landmanagement and, as such does not discuss the issues in It must also be made clear that local decision-makers, bedetail, and there are some issues that need to be they municipalities, regulatory boards or governmentaddressed more fully. The importance of the integration departments cannot have the ability to frustrate theof land use planning with Water for Life cannot be development of effective regional plans. Theoverstated, yet even the broad brush strokes relating to requirement for municipal approval of a regional plan ishow these two regimes would be linked is absent from not appropriate if it could amount to a veto bythis discussion. It must be made explicit that an effective municipalities or could delay the development andLUF with the potential to address cumulative effects will implementation of regional plans. Drafters of thecontain mandatory limits and thresholds applicable to legislation supporting the LUF may avoid this byall land use decision makers, including the government requiring all significant land use decisions to be indepartment responsible for issuing mineral dispositions. accordance with a regional plan (or a statutorilyIt must also be made clear that such limits and mandated context statement, as described in thethresholds are to be made binding and enforceable and PDMWG’s report) and that no significant land usethat there must be an office to ensure compliance and decision may be made in the absence of a regional planan ability for broad public access to that office. and context statement, if such is used, both being in place. This might provide an incentive to municipalitiesSign-Off of Regional Plans to find a way to accept and work within a regional plan. The LUF cannot be structured such that land useThe report recommends the approval of the regional decisions can continue to be made in the absence of aplans by the Executive Council. This group is not provincially approved regional plan.selected for its land use planning expertise. Further,Cabinet members change frequently and so one cannot The LUF must recognize that there may be many waysexpect members of Cabinet to develop the requisite to design a regional plan that accords with statutorilyexpertise. For this reason, it is important that the mandated provincial objectives. Municipalities shouldExecutive Council must, therefore, be provided with the have a place at the RPC table and should have theappropriate technical information required in order to opportunity to put municipal concerns forward whencreate provincial objectives, thresholds and limits and the RPC designs a regional plan for development thatunderstand the regional plans and the manner in which accords with statutorily mandated objectives and limits.each of them contribute to achieving statutorily Where a proposed regional plan is not supported by alldescribed provincial objectives. The report recommends municipalities or interests at the RPC table, the planthe use of the Land Use Secretariat to provide a clear should be put forward to the Executive Council alongarticulation of provincial goals and objectives to regional with dissenting views. Dissenting land-users, includingplanning groups. The Land Use Secretariat must, clearly, municipalities, should not be able, however, to pleadalso provide the Executive Council with the technical their case to the Executive Council behind closed doors.expertise needed to properly review and approve the If the final decision on a regional plan is to be left up toregional plans. It is also important that the information the Executive Council by default of the RPC to come upupon which provincial objectives, thresholds and limits with a plan, then the information flow and deliberationsare set be available to a wide range of stakeholders for should be public and transparent. There is a tensioncomment and correction. The development of a LUF here, though, due to the current ability of the Executiveshould be a transparent process and the use of the Counsel to deliberate out of the public eye. In order to118 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 29. avoid allowing land-users, such as municipalities, from dispute would still be a fairly high level and could bedoing an end-run around the RPC, transparency must addressed by the Executive Council, however, thebe injected into this particular function. In any case, the second form of dispute, and the one that becomes moreExecutive Council, when approving a regional plan, of a compliance issue, is the dispute where a proposedregardless of whether there is dissent from local land local land decision is not in compliance with theusers, must themselves adhere to the statutorily regional plan, or the context letter, as described in themandated objectives. PDMWG report. These disputes could involve the more technical and detailed aspects of a project’s impacts. ItNew Act seems an awful lot to put on the Executive Council, elected but potentially lacking in planning expertise.The legislative expression of the Land Use Framework Even with the aid of the Executive Council Office, thisshould be through the creation of a new Act. Legislation may be too much, especially if the number of disputes ifis difficult to change, compared to regulations. While significant.regulations can be changed in relative secrecy byCabinet, amendment of an Act requires adherence to A compliance and enforcement plant that does notparliamentary procedure, including public readings and review individual decisions against a regional plan mustscrutiny of the proposed amendment. If the key to ensure that by some means that land use decisionsaddressing cumulative effects is the recognition that we conform with context statements. There must be ancan’t do everything, everywhere, all the time, then there office that can ensure this compliance, a place whereis a need to impose meaningful limits. Firm limits interested persons can drag land-use decision makersenshrined in an Act would provide meaningful guidance that have not adhered to the regional plan. Where theand direction for land use planners. The Act would, range of potential land users is as varied as in this casehowever, have to allow for the LUF to be adjusted, and include municipalities, line-agencies andthrough a transparent process, as it is a system that will administrative tribunals design and implementation ofbe constantly improved based upon the performance the activities of this office may be difficult. Regularindicators chosen to evaluate its success. audits of local land use decision makers would help to ensure that their decisions are in accord with regionalCompliance and enforcement plans but only if there is a consequence for not being inThe report of the PDMWG does not recommend that compliance.the Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) be charged with The report refers to existing mechanism under themonitoring or ensuring compliance with regional plans Municipal Government Act (MGA) that allows a(p.12). municipality to appeal and force mediation where theHowever, there must be somebody watching the shop. plans or approval of another municipality negativelyAt some point, there has to be somebody to say that a impacts their interests. Does the PDMWG contemplateproject cannot proceed because it is not in accordance the province expanding this dispute resolution functionwith the regional plan. If the RPC is not to ensure so that it may be used for this purpose? Does thecompliance, then who is? Failure to ensure compliance PDMWG also contemplate that a broad range ofwill result in provincial policy goals and landscape scale stakeholders, not just municipalities, would have accessobjectives not being achieved. to this dispute resolution body in order to challenge municipal or other projects that may not comply withThe PDMWG mentions that regional plans are not the regional plan? It is important, when designing asubject to appeal and that trade-off decisions that dispute resolution office for the LUF that one considerscannot be resolved would be referred to the Executive how each different interested persons may be engaged.Council. It is important to distinguish, I think, betweentwo types of potential disputes that could wind up The PDMWG report also mentions the local line-before Cabinet. The first, as discussed above in relation agencies as compliance enforcers, “ensuring that projectsto provincial and municipal sign-off is the dispute that are consistent with and honour regional plans. (p.12) Ifarises when a regional plan is being developed. This this is to be the method of ensuring compliance it is Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 119
  • 30. critical that these line agencies take into all appropriate 3. The broader audit process referred to must allow forinformation, from a wide range of interested parties, the appropriate level of public participation andprior to making such an assessment. This, in many meaningful consequences for local land use decisioncases, would require an expanded set of public makers that found not to be in compliance withparticipation rights. For example, the EUB’s directly and regional plans or context statements.adversely affected test would be clearly inappropriate Absence of discussion of LUF’s impact on mineralwhere one of the criteria to be determined before an tenure dispositionsapproval could be issued is whether the project iscompliant with a regional plan. The impact of a wrong In order for the land use framework to be effective indecision impacts the whole region. addressing the problem of cumulative effects of incremental land use decision-making, there must be aRecognizing that the regional plans are not to address clear recognition of the huge impact that energythe “how”, there must be a point where one can look at development has on the Alberta landscape. In order toa project and identify the impact of a project in terms of appropriately address the cumulative effects problem,the “what” dealt with by the regional plan, presumably there must be an explicit recognition that energythe objectives and limits for the region. development cannot hold the trump card over all otherThe use of context statement, as described in the land uses. The report notes that the strategic direction ofPDMWG report (p.13) may be effective but there must the Province’s explicit priorities and objectives would bebe: applicable to government departments engaged in mineral rights disposition; however, it is not made clear1. Recognition by each decision-making agency that that regional plans will limit, in some cases, the ability meaningful and binding limits apply to the region of Alberta Energy to issue subsurface dispositions. and must be built in to the context statement. These limits would relate to those imposed on the region by the Province through legislation, and as implemented through the creation of the regional ACP plan. p. 5 “this subsystem autonomy and flexibility must still be guided by and consistent with the principles,2. A clear process to evaluate decisions by that agency policies, goals and priorities of the Province.” against the context statement to determine whether the limits identified in the context statement are Comment: The phrase “must still be guided by and adhered to. If individual line agency decisions are consistent with” should be changed to “must comply not to be evaluated against the regional plan itself, it with.” Autonomy and flexibility without a requirement becomes all the more critical that the evaluation of for compliance (e.g., the current Land Use Policies) is a the land use decision against the context statement key weakness in the system now. Provincial direction is rigorous and has the appropriate public input. must have teeth for the system to improve. This review process must allow for a broad range of stakeholder input. Because failure to adhere to p. 6 context statements could lead to the regional plan not being adhered to, there are broader - “unduly privilege the status quo” consequences for a project and a broader range of Comment: Delete “unduly.” Future generations will people interested that would be reflected in a thank you. narrow test for standing such as that currently applied by the Energy and Utilities Board. Such - “planning and decision-making will always involve broad stakeholder input need not be in relation to trade-offs” all aspects of an applied for land use; rather, this Comment: Change “always” to “often.” participation would be related only to the manner in with the land use accords with the context statement.120 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report
  • 31. - “values are not static” p. 10 Comment: Change this to “some values are not - “mandates of regulatory bodies like the EUB and static.” There are universal values that must remain NRCB should be expanded to include consideration unchanged (e.g., thou shall not lie or steal to get a of regional plans.” lease). Comment: Change “regulatory bodies” to “provincial- “circumstances chance” departments and regulatory agencies.” Change Comment: Spelling: should be “change.” “consideration” to “the requirement to comply with.”p. 7 p. 19- “to elevate unelected Commissioners above elected representatives” - Definition of enforcement Comment: Delete this - it actually weakens your Comment: Change to “Enforcement is an activity position. A Land Use Commission would sit in that through visibility, detection, encouragement, judgment of land use decisions. This statement is persuasion, and/or compulsion ensures legal effectively questioning the legitimacy of the courts requirements are met.” Ask a police officer. The and quasi-judicial bodies - a view I doubt a majority definition that you have minimizes and denigrates of the groups members would support. the necessary and valuable role of enforcement.p. 8 p. 20- “more expansive approach … as an evolutionary - Definition of recreational corridor rather than an immediate goal.” Comment: Replace or supplement with “An area Comment: I am unable to think of an “evolutionary” with substantial resource use or pressure associated approach to this kind of change happening within with meeting the demand for leisure activities.” The the provincial government. There may be examples Banff-Canmore corridor is a classic example. Trails but they would be the exception to the rule. The are only a small part of a key cumulative-effects LUF as the “overarching vehicle for integration” problem. (under a different name like “Resource Use p. 21 Framework”) must be an immediate goal. The WPACs have already “evolved” to that way of - Definition of sustainability thinking and CASA seems to be working along Comment: How could the Working Group come up those lines. Dont lose that “traction.” with a realistic proposal without a workablep. 9 definition of sustainability? Not all definitions of- “linear planning process” sustainability include the three components identified. Many definitions either omit those Comment: A straw man; delete. It should read concepts or merely pay lip service to them. “…an iterative planning process.” I didnt review the other definitions.- “provincial interests shared by all Albertans” Comment: Delete “shared by all Albertans” - it is redundant. If you lead based on what everyone already shares, you manage only to the lowest common denominator. Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report 121
  • 32. General commentsOn this draft I have limited myself primarily to editingcomments. Most of my previous concerns have not beendealt with in a convincing matter. The document is areflection of the status quo and is based primarily onperceptions people brought to the table rather than thesystems analysis that was needed.These deficiencies are due to the lack of time andanalytical support provided by the provincialgovernment. The Working Group should, at aminimum, be given the chance to revisit its report inNovember after it has received comments from the otherworking groups and decision makers within theprovincial government. Based on the meeting summariesand the comments from Working Group members, thereis much more that the Working Group needs to discussbefore it can consider its work completed.122 Land-use Framework Multi-Stakeholder Working Groups Roll-up Report