Reporting of Payments to Aboriginal Governments Now Required Under the Canadian Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act – by John W. Boscariol, Bianca Déprés and Claire Seaborn (McCarthy Tétrault LLP – July 4, 2018)

After a two-year deferral period, eligible companies are now required to report payments to Aboriginal or Indigenous governments under the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (“ESTMA”).[1] Companies must publish its report of these payments online and provide a link to the report to Natural Resources Canada by no later than 150 days following the end of the company’s financial year.

ESTMA came into force on June 1, 2015 to enhance accountability and transparency in the extractive sector by requiring companies in the mining, oil and gas industries to publicly report, on an annual basis, payments made all levels of government in Canada and abroad. The legislation was enacted with a two-year deferral period, which ended on June 1, 2017, for the reporting of payments to Aboriginal governments.

As a result, eligible companies, referred to as “Reporting Entities”, that made “Reportable Payments” to Aboriginal governments on or after June 1, 2017 and have a financial year ending on December 31, 2017, were required to report those payments by May 30, 2018.

Reporting entities that make Reportable Payments to Aboriginal governments in 2018 and have a financial year ending on December 31, 2018 will be required to report those payments by May 30, 2019.

Natural Resources Canada’s powers to enforce these reporting obligations are severe and could result in aggressive penalties. Companies that are engaged, directly or indirectly, in the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals in Canada or elsewhere should be aware of ESTMA’s requirements and carefully track these payments, and ensure they comply with their reporting obligations.

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