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The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) and Aboriginal Communities
The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) has now entered into force with little fanfare. But a greater obstacle is quickly approaching: Payments to Aboriginal governments will be subject to disclosure requirements from June 2017 onwards.
This has the potential to jeopardize some important new partnerships between natural resource companies and Aboriginal communities. Impact and benefit agreements, which confer a range of benefits for Aboriginal communities in exchange for certainty on particular projects, have helped bring tangible benefits to hundreds of communities across the country.
Greater transparency creates several problems for negotiating deals, such as impact and benefit agreements, between Aboriginal communities and natural resource companies.