Letter of Understanding between NWMO and OCIP
Letter of Understanding between the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (OCIP)
In September 2015, the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (now known as the Ontario Coalition of Indigenous Peoples) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization entered into a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to clarify the obligations of NWMO in relation to their responsibilities for the long-term management of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste and to set out a process to build the capacity of OCIP to participate in the Learn More initiative, as well as participate in the process for site selection via NWMO’s adaptive phase management approach. This LoU makes clear that nothing in the agreement will be interpreted as consultation for the purpose of justifying an infringement of Aboriginal, Treaty or Title rights, or satisfying the duty to consult and accommodate OCIP unless expressly provided for in writing and sanctioned by the OCIP Executive and Annual General Assembly.
In the LoU, both NWMO and OCIP acknowledged that the Crown bears responsibility for the discharge of any duty to consult that could arise in relation to this project. In addition, it was acknowledged that NWMO bears the responsibility to meet its obligations under section 7 of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act:
The waste management organization shall consult the general public, and in particular Aboriginal peoples, on each of the proposed approaches. The study must include a summary of the comments received by the waste management organization as a result of those consultations.