Minister of Lands approves Environmental Assessment of Jay Pipe expansion

YELLOWKNIFE (May 20, 2016) – Minister of Lands Robert C. McLeod announced today that, he with the concurrence of the other four responsible Territorial and Federal ministers, has accepted the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board's Report of Environmental Assessment for the Jay Pipe expansion. Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation can now proceed to the regulatory permitting phase with the Project.

The environmental assessment and the responsible ministers’ decision took into consideration the concerns of residents and the need to protect the land, wildlife and water for future generations while ensuring economic prosperity.

The responsible ministers concluded that all points raised relating to potential adverse impacts from the proposed Jay Project on asserted or established Aboriginal and/or treaty rights have been fully consulted on and will be accommodated, as appropriate, through:

  •                      Implementing and reporting on the Review Board’s 23 recommended measures
  •                      The developer implementing its 117 commitments listed in the Review Board’s report
  •                      The processes established following the original Ekati environmental assessments in 1996 and 2001
  •                      The terms and conditions set during the regulatory process


“This is the first joint territorial – federal environmental assessment decision since devolution. After a robust review of the Review Board’s Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision, we achieved consensus between all five responsible ministers in three months.  This demonstrates our continued commitment to improve coordination and effectiveness in resource management systems, while recognizing traditional knowledge, land claims agreements, and devolution.”
- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Lands

Quick Facts

  • The responsible ministers for the Jay Project environmental assessment were the Minister of Lands, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, and Minister of Health and Social Services for the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for the Government of Canada.
  • The project must now go through the regulatory processes run by the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board and other regulatory authorities.  The Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada will continue to participate in these processes.
  • The 1996 environmental assessment for Ekati resulted in an Environmental Agreement and the creation of the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency, a Socio-Economic Agreement, and various management plans and follow-up programs. These processes and agreements were recognized during the 2001 environmental assessment of a previous expansion to Ekati and also apply to the Jay Project.
  • The regulatory and other processes associated with the Project will allow for Aboriginal governments and organizations to offer input to help ensure that potential adverse impacts to Aboriginal and/or treaty rights from the Project are continuing to be addressed.
  • The land use permit, water licence amendment and surface lease will include requirements for Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation to post security deposits.

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Media Inquiries

Andrew Livingstone
Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of the Executive                                                                                         
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9                                                                                             
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11091
Cell: (867) 447-0443
Fax: (867) 873-0169