Consultation: Meaningful Engagement

Reasonable and meaningful consultation requires strong coordination between all parties: Aboriginal communities, industry proponent and all levels of government.  One of the major causes of over-consultation with communities is duplication of community contact by each government agency and industry representatives.  Government and industry responsibilities and services are necessarily delineated to provide professional efficient service of delivery.  However these distinct responsibilities, within these two parties, lead to each service acting as separate silos, limiting communication internally as well as externally to the communities.  For example more than one person from different silos of a resource development company will talk to an Aboriginal Community about the same project, this wastes valuable company resources and is not effective use of the community’s time.  By developing a strategy and providing simple tools much of this duplication of effort and community frustration could be avoided.  When communication runs smoothly more effort can be put into meeting the community, environmental and regulatory needs of a resource project, and less time towards issue management and mediation.

Good Synergies works closely with Aboriginal communities, industry proponents and all levels of government, to facilitate a coordinated consultation process. Linkages and cooperation within and between all parties needs to be well managed and documented, to ensure that community contact is efficient and makes the best use of everyone’s time.  Our approach includes the development of a communication strategy, a process of communicating, tracking and reporting efforts, which satisfies the interests of all parties involved with the project.

The communication strategy outlines the synergies in the existing regulatory process and the industry proponent and Aboriginal community needs. These identified synergies are then used to streamline the communications. Streamlining communications results in effective and meaningful consultation which then results in a streamlined regulatory process. Thus a more meaningful process where all parties feel included, which means less likelihood of litigation and more likely to get approval for responsible sustainable resource development project.

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