Impact and Benefits Agreement (IBA) (Canada)


Impact and Benefits Agreements (IBAs) are negotiated in the context of resource development in Canada.

Extended Definition

IBAs may be developed between a company, the provincial or territorial government and affected Aboriginal organisations. They may be a precondition to federal approval for resource development operations. The agreements establish the terms under which affected Aboriginal people will benefit from development projects.

IBAs are different from other aspects of the regulatory and benefits package (set out in socio-economic and environmental agreements) in that they are private contracts between non-governmental parties and are subject to confidentiality provisions. In the context of unsettled land claims, IBAs permit benefits to flow to Aboriginal groups whose traditional lands include the area where mining or development is located. IBAs are sometimes known as participation agreements.

IBAs deal with a range of issues including employment and training of Aboriginal people, profit-sharing, compensation and environmental regulation. Specific provisions requiring the negotiation of IBAs are found in certain land claims agreements, and some legislation regulating gas and oil development. They have also been used in the context of diamond mining operations where no legislative or claims-based requirements exist. The use of IBAs reflects the principle that Aboriginal people should share the benefits of resource development, and permits the shaping of those benefits to the requirements of individual communities and Aboriginal groups.