Information Letter - Representation to Minister
This Information Letter describes the process whereby a recipient of a Notice of Violation (Notice) has the right under the Indian Oil and Gas Act (Act) Section 23 (2) to make representations to the Minister disputing the issuance of the Notice. This process also includes the recipient's right of further appeal to the Federal Court, under Section 24 (1), if they are in disagreement with the Ministerial decision.
Background and process
Section 22 of the Act provides that Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC) may issue a Notice. Under Section 21 (4), the decision to proceed by Notice is made at the IOGC Enforcement Operations Committee only after all information submitted by the IOGC Business Units is presented, examined, and discussed. The Chair of the IOGC Enforcement Operations Committee is the Manager, Compliance and Enforcement.
Section 24 (2) of the Interpretation Act enables a Minister to delegate their authority to "a person appointed to serve, in the department or ministry of state over which the minister presides…" The Minister of Indigenous Services Canada has therefore delegated their authority to review IOGC Enforcement Operation Committee decisions to the IOGC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The IOGC Executive Director and CEO is not a member of, and does not attend, the IOGC Enforcement Operations Committee.
Contract holder roles and responsibilities
Every contract holder is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Indian Oil and Gas Regulations (SOR/2019-196) (Regulations). A Notice is issued when the IOGC Enforcement Operations Committee decides that a contract holder has failed to comply with a designated provision of the Act or Regulations. The penalty for each violation is described in Schedule 6 of the Regulations.
Within 30 days after the day on which the Notice is served, a contract holder may accept that the violation has occurred and pay the penalty or make a Representation to the Minister disputing the Notice, under Section 22 (2) (b) of the Act.
To make a Representation to the Minister, the contract holder is provided an opportunity to present their position, in writing, to IOGC's Executive Director and CEO, as per Section 23 (2) of the Act.
Interest will be assessed as per the Financial Administration Act for any unpaid penalties.
IOGC Executive Director and CEO roles and responsibilities
Executive Director and CEO will review:
- the IOGC's Enforcement Operations Committee decision;
- documentation, meeting minutes, and Business Unit submissions relevant to the decision of IOGC's Enforcement Operations Committee; and,
- any relevant information the contract holder has provided.
The IOGC Executive Director and CEO will then make a decision based on a balance of probabilities, per Section 23 (3) of the Act, as to whether or not a violation has taken place.
The IOGC Executive Director and CEO can either uphold or overturn the IOGC Enforcement Operations Committee decision:
- If the decision is overturned, then IOGC's Compliance and Enforcement Unit will rescind the Notice and any moneys received for the penalty will be returned; or,
- If the decision is upheld, the contract holder can pay the penalty or appeal the Minister's decision to the Federal Court, as per Section 24 (1) of the Act, within 30 days after the day on which the Minister's decision is served.
The Federal Court can either uphold or overturn an IOGC decision:
- If the decision is overturned, then the IOGC Compliance and Enforcement Unit will rescind the Notice and any moneys received for the penalty will be returned; or,
- If the decision is upheld and the penalty has not been paid, IOGC will register the debt as a certificate of default under Section 25 (3) of the Act. IOGC will then take all necessary actions to recover the debt.
IOGC will notify the respective First Nation when there is a Notice issued on First Nation lands.
Compliance and Enforcement at IOGC
Online forms are currently unavailable. Email the Compliance and Enforcement Unit to obtain the required form(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the Representation to Minister process, please contact:
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
c/o Compliance and Enforcement Unit
100 – 9911 Chiila Blvd.
Tsuut'ina AB T3T 0E1
Phone: (403) 292-5625
Fax (403) 292-5618
Email: email@example.com (subject line: Representation to Minister)