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Bulk Transmission Canada Cultural Resources Assessment Overview (11)

Information current as of 2019
In Canada, a bulk transmission developer must comply with federal, provincial, territorial, and local laws and regulations that protect cultural resources. Direct impacts to cultural resources could occur from construction activities, and indirect impacts might be caused by soil erosion and increased accessibility to possible site locations. Potential impacts include:
  • Complete destruction of the resource if present in areas undergoing surface disturbance or excavation;
  • Degradation or destruction of near-surface cultural resources on- and off-site resulting from topographic or hydrological pattern changes, or from soil movement (removal, erosion, sedimentation);
  • Unauthorized removal of artifacts or vandalism to the site as a result of increases in human access to previously inaccessible area, if significant cultural resources are present; and
  • Visual impacts resulting from vegetation clearing, increases in dust, and the presence of large-scale equipment, machinery, and vehicles (if the affected cultural resources have an associated landscape or other visual component that contributes to their significance, such as scared landscape or historic trail).


Any project that includes a form of surface disturbance has the potential to damage items of historic or cultural value. In order to avoid any inadvertent disturbances of cultural materials, the developer should consult with, at minimum, the following parties:

  1. Parks Canada;
  2. Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada;
  3. The local Indigenous Peoples designated representative;
  4. Any Indigenous Peoples attaching religious and cultural significance to a property that may be affected by the proposed transmission line;
  5. Indigenous Services Canada; and
  6. Local governments.



Canada Cultural Resources Assessment Overview Process


11.1 to 11.2 – Initiate Federal Cultural Resource Process

A developer should consider federal laws and regulations if a projection has the potential to impact federal cultural or historical artifacts. The federal cultural review process is integrated within the federal environmental review process which is currently being revised, therefore, the RAPID Toolkit does not have specific content regarding Canada’s federal cultural resource process. For more information contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and review the Regulatory Side-by-Side – Governing Permitting of Cross-Border Electricity Transmission Between the United States and Canada Guidance.

11.3 to 11.4 – Initiate Provincial and/or Territorial Cultural Considerations

The developer should consider provincial and/or territorial laws and regulations when a project could impact state cultural or historical artifacts. The developer should contact the provincial and/or territorial cultural resources government entity with jurisdiction for more information. Currently, the RAPID Toolkit does not have provincial or territorial specific content regarding cultural considerations for transmission development.

11.5 to 11.6 – Initiate Indigenous Peoples and First Nations Consultation Process

A developer should consult with First Nations and Indigenous Peoples who may be affected by the proposed development. The First Nation and Indigenous Peoples consultation process is integrated within the federal environmental review process which is currently being revised. Therefore, at this time the RAPID Toolkit does not have specific content regarding Canada’s First Nation/Indigenous Peoples consultation process. For more information contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Indigenous Services Canada and/or Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and review the Regulatory Side-by-Side – Governing Permitting of Cross-Border Electricity Transmission Between the United States and Canada Guidance.