Vol. 145, No. 5 — March 2, 2011
SI/2011-18 March 2, 2011
FIRST NATIONS CERTAINTY OF LAND TITLE ACT
ARCHIVED — Order Fixing March 1, 2011 as the Day on which that Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2011-246 February 17, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to section 10 of the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act, chapter 6 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, hereby fixes March 1, 2011 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The purpose of this submission is to establish March 1, 2011, as the day on which the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act will come into force.
The coming into force of the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act will allow interested First Nations to explore new economic development opportunities on reserve land. To date, commercial real estate projects have been hindered by lower values for on-reserve properties due to differences in the property rights regime on and off reserve land.
The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act, which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2010, amends the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), which addresses regulatory gaps between on-reserve and off-reserve lands. Projects developed under FNCIDA will operate on a level playing field with off-reserve large-scale developments.
FNCIDA provides a mechanism to enable the federal government to replicate the provincial rules and regulations that govern large-scale commercial and industrial projects off-reserve in order to regulate First Nations projects on reserve lands.
Federal regulations are made under FNCIDA only at the request of participating First Nations, and regulations developed under the Act apply only to specific parcels of reserve land identified in the regulations. Where regulations under FNCIDA will be administered and enforced by provincial officials, a tripartite agreement between Canada, the province, and the First Nation involved is necessary for a project to proceed.
The new amendments will allow First Nations to request that their on-reserve commercial real estate projects benefit from a property rights regime identical to the provincial regime off the reserve. The certainty of land title granted by such a regime would increase investor confidence, making the value of the property comparable with similar developments off the reserve.
The Government of Canada is committed to closing the gap in socio-economic conditions between First Nations and other Canadians. The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act is in line with the Government’s agenda, as outlined in the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, to increase Aboriginal participation in the Canadian economy through partnership-based and opportunity-driven economic opportunities. The Act will accomplish this by enabling the development of a modern land registry regime for reserve lands, thereby enhancing the value of Aboriginal assets.
The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act was supported by the Squamish Nation, one of the five partnering First Nations that actively engaged and promoted the development of the original FNCIDA legislation. First Nations are closely monitoring the Squamish Nation project, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario have responded favourably to participating in FNCIDA projects and it is expected that other provinces will develop greater interest in the impact of the amendments to the Act as First Nations and industry partners begin to advance similar projects in their jurisdictions.
For more information, please contact Kris Johnson, Associate Director General, Lands Management Services, Lands and Economic Development, Indian Affairs and Northern Development, at 819-994-7311, or by email at Kris.Johnson@ainc-inac.gc.ca.