Additions to Reserve Policy Update

The UBCM First Nations Relations Committee has received a status update on the federal Additions to Reserve (ATR) policy. Federal representatives reported on concerns heard from local governments during the public comment period, which largely mirrored the concerns raised in UBCM's submission on proposed revisions to the ATR policy. These include bylaw harmonization, net tax loss, servicing implications, local government consultation, contiguity and selection criteria, and federal government facilitation.
 
Federal staff is currently analyzing the feedback received, and has indicated that they are carefully considering the issues and suggested revisions raised by local governments and in UBCM's submission. A series of recommendations will be made to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for further policy amendments. It is unclear whether there will be an additional opportunity for comment on further revisions, but federal staff has indicated that they will ensure that the Minister is aware of UBCM's interest in reviewing the next iteration of the policy.
 
The UBCM First Nations Relations Committee has been monitoring the ATR policy review since December 2010, corresponding a number of times with federal government officials and bodies. One of the Committee's current priorities is to continue to monitor and respond to ATR policy changes, and track action taken in response to UBCM's consolidated submission on the proposed revisions to the ATR policy. In December 2013, UBCM reiterated local government concerns on ATR by testifying before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development regarding the revised ATR policy, on behalf of FCM. Metro Vancouver also testified to the Standing Committee, outlining similar concerns with the revised policy.

UBCM will continue to monitor and respond to this issue during policy finalization. For more information on UBCM's work on the federal Additions to Reserve policy, please contact Angela Turner.

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