Specific vs General Designation
There are two types of designations for setting lands aside and each contains different problems and risks. The two types are a “specific” or a “general” designation.
A “specific” designation requires a detailed plan for one project at a time. A vote is then held to seek approval to set aside land for this one project. When only one project is considered the Band Member's consent is clear as the benefits and risks for one project are easier to assess. A “Yes” vote would support this one project and a “No” vote would cancel it.
A “general” designation defines the outside boundaries of a tract of land with specific activities to be determined later.
As we are conducting a “general” designation it is important that voters understand that some current planned activities may not occur. Other projects that are not currently known could be launched at some future date but would require another referendum. Permitted uses are shown next on page 6. Schedule “D” in the Commercial Lease attached contains this list.
Special Note: Please be advised that including a project on this list does not constitute “final approval”. Each project is subject to an environmental assessment (that is discussed further below) once final locations are determined.
The main benefit to a general designation is that a community vote is held once instead of holding a referendum vote for each project. The risk to a general designation is that Band Members may not have sufficient information about future activities to give their consent to develop the property. Any future land use must comply with an environmental assessment, which can include public consultation, prior to a project being approved.
Until the Band develops their own land use codes they must comply with Government environmental assessment laws to ensure that environmental concerns are respected. In this case the Crown, as represented by INAC, would consent to projects only after an Environmental Assessment is conducted.
If impacts were uncertain, a more detailed study could be ordered to determine impacts before a future project could continue.