Weighing Benefits and Risks

Content Provisions

The Issue

The scope of topics that could be included in a BA and what provisions First Nations typically seek in the context of the LNG sector is not well-covered in existing guidance and literature. This is an area that could benefit from further research.

Keenan and Sosa (2001) found that the lack of formal regulatory guidelines for the negotiation of BAs in Canada and differences in the relative bargaining power of particular communities can lead to a wide variation in terms that are included in a given BA.

Bruckner (2016, 426) also points out an important evolution in the comprehensiveness of the content of BAs. Whereas traditionally these agreements primarily focused on the sharing of financial benefits, modern agreements also tend to cover a much broader range of topics such as:

  • capacity building
  • community participation in decision-making processes
  • information sharing requirements and procedures
  • local community development objectives and related programs to deliver those objectives
  • local business development plans
  • employment and training
  • management and monitoring of community development programs and related funds
  • dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms
  • addressing social, environmental and economic conditions and impacts throughout the project life-cycle and beyond.


The key point to note is that content provisions in BAs continue to evolve as awareness about the value of flexibility in these arrangements increases. The growing availability of expertise and precedents (notwithstanding confidentiality issues) on BA negotiations better enables the blending of individual First Nation needs and circumstances with the core concepts of BAs.


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