Monitoring by the Commission
The Commission has a continuing responsibility to monitor negotiations during Stage 4. As with Stage 3, monitoring enables the Commission to encourage timely negotiations, maintain a public record of the status of negotiations, and report to the Principals on the progress of negotiations. In particular, the Commission needs the information that will enable it to assess the pace and progress of Stage 4 negotiations.
1. Documents to be provided to the Commission
Any records provided to the Commission that are confidential to a party or to the table will be received by the Commission in confidence. Such documents must be appropriately marked as "Confidential".
The onus is on the parties to report to the commission on any special problems that may affect negotiations. In addition, the parties are expected to provide the Commission with the following documents on a routine basis:
- tripartite workplan for Stage 4 activities as amended from time to time (see 3 below);
- copies of main table meeting agendas and tripartite records of decision;
- copies of documents which the parties have agreed will be available to the public;
- copies of sub-agreements that are substantially complete;
- copy of the signed Agreement in Principle.
- a tripartite progress report as requested by the Commission, where additional information is considered necessary for effective monitoring;
- copies of side table and working group documents such as meeting agendas, reports and recommendations to main tables and tripartite records of decision where these are produced;
- copies of draft discussion papers, sub-agreements and agreements under discussion;
- individual reports from the parties as needed.
2. Attendance at negotiation meetings and chairing by the Commission
In addition to reviewing documents and reports, a Commissioner or staff member may attend a negotiation meeting as an observer, after giving notice to all parties.
As in Stage 3, Commissioners or staff will attend meetings for (1) routine, periodic monitoring, (2) where the Commission determines a particular meeting to be critical, or (3) as chair, where requested by the parties.
During Stage 4, Commissioners or staff are available on a more limited basis than in Stage 3, and may agree to chair negotiation sessions according to the same guidelines outlined in Stage 3:
- one or more of the parties requests in advance of the meeting that the Commission act as chair,
- all three parties agree,
- there is a demonstrated need in the Commission's view for it to chair the session, and
- the parties provide the Commission with copies of the meeting Agenda and any relevant documents within a reasonable time in advance of the meeting.
Where the parties have a continuing requirement for a neutral chair, they should obtain the services of an outside person to act as chair.
The Commission will review the progress of negotiations based on its review of these documents, reports and observations. If problems arise which may impact on progress, the Commission may investigate and make a report to the parties, or to the Principals where appropriate, identifying the issues and recommending ways to resolve the problem. Where requested by the parties, the Commission will provide facilitation services and will assist the parties to obtain further dispute resolution services.
3. Tripartite workplan
The tripartite workplan is a critical document for the parties and for the Commission. It provides the Commission with an outline against which to monitor the progress of the negotiations. Workplans must be reviewed by the parties periodically and amended as necessary. This review must include meeting schedules and target time frames for completing Stage 4. The Commission will assist the parties to develop, review and amend workplans as required. It is recognized that the workplan is a working document that will need to be regularly revised as negotiations proceed.
The parties must file with the Commission copies of their tripartite workplans, as amended from time to time.
4. Resolving overlaps
Overlap disputes should be resolved before the conclusion of Stage 4.
Transitional: Those First Nations currently in Stage 4 that completed Stages 2 and 3 in accordance with the Commission's previous Policies and Procedures (March 28, 1996), must comply as soon as possible with Stage 2 criterion 7 set out in this document. Commission staff will be monitoring these requirements throughout Stage 4.
When an overlap dispute is resolved, the First Nation must provide the Commission with a copy of its agreement once it has been approved and signed. The Commission will inform Canada and British Columbia when this occurs.
During Stage 4, the First Nation must report at least quarterly to the Commission about the progress of its negotiations with the other party(ies) to the dispute and provide an update on the written report it made in Stage 3.
Where all parties to the overlap agree, the Commission may facilitate or assist the parties to obtain dispute resolution services as required (see Dispute Resolution below).
Where an overlap dispute is not resolved near the end of Stage 4 negotiations, the Commission will assess the nature of the dispute, and whether best efforts have been made by all parties to resolve it through a process, such as the First Nations Summit's Recognition Protocol, agreed to in earlier stages. The Commission will provide a report on its assessment to the First Nation parties, as well as to Canada and British Columbia.
5. Consultation mechanisms
All advisory processes and mechanisms must be fully operational. It is expected that a significant amount of time will be devoted to consultation.
On a regular basis, Canada and B.C. must provide the Commission with the agendas for meetings of the Treaty Negotiation Advisory Committee and of each regional and treaty advisory committee. At least semi-annually, Canada and B.C. must report to the Commission, by letter, further advising of current and planned activities of the Treaty Negotiation Advisory Committee and each regional and treaty advisory committee, and any changes to the consultation mechanisms.
6. Local and regional Public Information Program
On a semi-annual basis, the parties must must report to the Commission, by letter, on the activities of their public information program.