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Sustainable Development

Lands Branch

Summary of The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act

The purpose of the East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act is to enable First Nations and aboriginal communities to engage in land and resource planning in designated areas of Crown land that they have traditionally used.  Under the Act, areas of provincial Crown land may be designated as a “planning area” or “special protected area”. 

Requests for designation
Sustainable Development is responsible for administration of the Act and receives requests from First Nations and aboriginal communities to designate planning areas by regulation under the Act.  Special protected areas may be designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council by regulation under the Act.

Development of a plan
Once a request is received, or regulation is made designating a planning area, a planning council may be established to develop a plan for the management, use and sustainable development of provincial Crown land and resources in that planning area.  A plan may identify zones and describe uses of Crown land and resources that would be permitted, restricted or prohibited in each zone.  A plan may also make recommendations about how the plan would be implemented.

Effect of regulation
A planning area regulation describes an administrative boundary within which planning by a First Nation or aboriginal community will take place.  This type of regulation will neither result in a specific development project nor effect any change in land use.

However, once an approved management plan is in place, all decisions being contemplated by the provincial government respecting the allocation, disposition or use of Crown land and Crown resources in a planning area must be generally consistent with the approved plan for that area.

Opportunities to provide input
Before an area is designated as a planning area or special protected area by regulation, and before an order is made approving a proposed management plan, an opportunity for First Nations, aboriginal communities and other users of the area to consider and comment on the proposed planning area, special protected area or management plan will be provided.  Notice will be provided at least 90 days before land is designated as a planning area, special protected area or before a management plan is approved.

Written submissions respecting a proposed planning area, special protected area or a management plan may be made to the Minister of Conservation within 60 days after notice is given.  At the close of the 60 days, Sustainable Development will review the comments submitted, prepare an analysis of the submissions and make a decision regarding the proposal.  Sustainable Development will also report back to those who participated in the review process about the decision and how any concerns have been addressed.

More information
Regulation proposals under the Act for designation of a planning area or special protected area; for placement of restrictions, prohibitions or conditions on the use of Crown land or resources in a planning area; and for implementation of a management plan will be available for review on the public registry at  For more information please see branch contacts in sidebar link.

To view the Act in its entirety please choose your language preference [ English; Oji-Cree (pdf); Cree (pdf); Ojibway (pdf) ]