The Bell & Bernard Limited Advantage
Canada’s Duty to Consult and Accommodate Law has created new leverage for First Nations to benefit from resource development but the law is not clearly defined in practice and is continually evolving since its implementation about 2006.
The legal approach to consultation of measuring environmental impacts on traditional lands and providing commensurate compensation is not always what takes place in practice in 2014. New trends are replacing old paradigms.
Bell & Bernard Limited has been working on the ground floor by participating in many successful consultations and negotiations between developers and First Nations and witnessing approaches that work and fail.
Some developers enjoy positive relationships with aboriginal communities while some are unable to establish a positive working relationship. This can result in delays, increased costs, and sometimes opposition to projects including litigation.
Having the experience of working on multiple renewable energy projects including wind, solar and hydroelectric as well as mining all across Canada, Bell & Bernard Limited possesses an intimate understanding of the types of agreements that are currently being concluded between developers and First Nations from Québec to northern Ontario to British Columbia.
Bell & Bernard Limited understands why some projects fail and some succeed.
For First Nations
Having led many negotiations between First Nations and Métis communities and energy and mining developers, Bell & Bernard Limited offers objective insight to First Nations and Métis communities regarding what constitutes a fair and good deal. Some aboriginal communities prefer equity participation while others prefer revenue sharing. Each year, new precedents take place and evolve the type of benefit agreements being enjoyed by First Nations. Mr. Bell’s negotiations are part of the evolution in consultation and benefits packages for aboriginal communities.
Mr. Bell has gained insight to environmental issues and can put environmental impacts into a context for aboriginal communities and translate these impacts into commensurate accommodation and compensation. Mr. Bell has a good understanding of environmental issues related to radiation, mercury, and by products of mining such as arsenic, radon, and other types of impacts.
His approach in working with First Nations is practical, friendly and efficient. Mr. Bell pushes the envelope to accrue economic benefits, community contributions, and procurement and employment opportunities for First Nations and Métis while operating within the economic parameters of each project.
His extensive network in corporate Canada, all levels of government and First Nations communities is unsurpassed. He sources capital for First Nations projects and is well known for connecting projects to money.
Mr. Bell is also well known for mitigating grievances brought forward by First Nations. He can solve issues in a reasonable and respectful manner and is well known for getting the job done and resolving disputes.
For resource developers, aboriginal consultation ranks high on the risk profile list for resource development. Mr. Bell has developed an unprecedented network in First Nations communities all across Canada, a result of his ground breaking work with the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (now Indspire). His reputation as a visionary is underscored and reflected in his many positive and enduring relationships in First Nation communities across Canada.
Many aboriginal leaders today were financially supported by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation in the past 30 years. Mr. Bell is welcomed and honoured in many communities across Canada and remains committed to the community through his many activities and board memberships. He is regularly consulted by First Nations as a trusted and experienced advisor.
Mr. Bell can navigate the way forward for developers to develop positive win-win commercial relationships and to avoid potential conflicts. He serves as a referee and honest broker engaging in a transparent discussion and negotiation between the parties.