Socio-Economic Agreement (Canada)


Socio-economic agreements are typically negotiated in the context of resource development in Canada and may be a precondition to the granting of regulatory licenses. The central purpose of the socio-economic agreement is to establish a framework that promotes the efficient use of resources by Canada, the relevant territory or province, the company, and the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents. An agreement may be negotiated between the relevant mining company, various levels of government and the local community.

Extended Definition

Socio-economic agreements recognise the potential impact of mining or exploration, and seek to promote the economic development and well-being of the neighbouring communities. They may provide opportunities to local businesses, offer employment and training to local residents, and provide business development and contracting services. Such agreements may also seek to facilitate development of the local community through education programs, counseling services and community support programs, and encourage the maintenance of traditional lifestyles and cultures. Environmental protection measures and monitoring programs may also form part of such agreements. Companies must ensure adherence to federal and provincial or territorial environmental requirements. Management committees may be established in collaboration with provincial or territorial governments to monitor program implementation and adherence to agreement policies. Agreements may be periodically evaluated by representatives of the parties to determine effectiveness and adherence to the agreement. Similarly, representatives to the parties may seek independent review of the performance of policies and programs of the agreement. Amendments to the agreement may only be made with the consent of all the parties to the agreement. The duration of the agreement is set out in the agreement. The company provides the majority of funding for the provisions of the agreement, although limited financial assistance may be negotiated with federal and provincial or territorial agencies. The company may ensure that nothing in the agreement will affect existing rights, privileges and freedoms of Aboriginal persons irrespective of whether they are recognised, established and defined prior to, or after the execution of the agreement.