Impact Review Board2019-02-13T18:01:19+00:00

Impact Review Board

The Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board (EMRIRB) is an Institution of Public Government (IPG) established under the Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (EMRLCA); an agreement between the James Bay Cree of Québec, Canadian Government, and Government of Nunavut, for the islands and resources within eastern James Bay and portions of southeastern Hudson Bay, a region known as the Eeyou Marine Region (EMR). The southeastern portion of Hudson Bay is an overlapping area of interest where the Cree share joint-use with the Inuit of Nunavik.

Board Mandate

Screen project proposals, and when required, review them to determine their potential eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts in the EMR.

Board Role and Responsibility

  • Screen project proposals to determine whether or not a review is required
  • Gauge and define the extent of the regional impacts of a proposed project
  • Review the eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts of proposed projects
  • Provide recommendations to the Minister
  • Determine on the bases of review, whether a project proposal should proceed, and if so, under what terms
  • Monitor projects

Impact Assessment in the Eeyou Marine Region

All project proposals in the EMR are assessed by the EMR Planning Commission to determine if they conform to the parameters of the EMR land use plan.  If the Commission determines that a project conforms, they will, subject to 18.3.2, 18.3.3 and 18.4.3 of chapter 18 of the EMRLCA, forward their determination and recommendations to the Impact Review Board for a screening. In the absence of a land use plan, a project proposal is received directly by the Impact Review Board for screening.

If a project proposal does not conform to the land use plan, they are not screened by the Impact Review Board.

There are types of project proposals exempt from screenings, these are listed under schedule 18-1 in the EMRLCA.


A screening determines if a proposed project has the potential to adversely impact the EMR, and is guided by the following principles under section 18.4.2 of the EMRLCA:

  • The project may have significant adverse effects on the ecosystem, wildlife habitat or Cree harvesting activities
  • The project may have significant adverse socio-economic effects
  • The project will cause significant public concern
  • The project involves technological innovations for which the effects are unknown

If it is determined that a proposed project has the potential to adversely impact the EMR, the project is recommended for a review.


When it is determined that a proposed project requires a review, the Impact Review Board issues guidelines to the project proponent for the preparation of an impact statement, this statement provides information for the bases of the review. The impact statement usually contains information such as the purpose and need for the project, the anticipated eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts, anticipated effect of the project on the environment, measures to mitigate adverse impacts, benefits of the project, monitoring, effects on wildlife and use of wildlife by the Cree, and any other matters that the EMRIRB considers relevant. Section 18.5.2 of the agreement provides a list of the general content of an impact statement.

When reviewing any project proposal, the EMRIRB takes into account all matters that are relevant to its mandate:

  • Whether the project would enhance and protect the existing and future well-being of residents of the EMR, individuals using the EMR, and the coastal Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee and of their members taking into account the interests of all Canadians
  • Whether the project would excessively impact the eco-systemic integrity of the EMR
  • Whether a proposed project reflects the priorities and values of residence in or using the EMR and of the coastal Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee
  • Steps that the proponent proposes to take to avoid and mitigate adverse impacts
  • Steps the proponent proposes to take, or that should be taken, to compensate interests adversely affected by the project
  • The monitoring program that the proponent proposes to establish, or that should be established, for eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts
  • Steps that the proponent proposes to take, or that should be taken, to restore eco-systemic integrity following project abandonment including a procedure of community input for developing and implementing close out plans


After reviewing a project proposal, the EMRIRB makes public and issues a report to the Minister and the proponent. This report contains the Board’s assessment of the project, including its determination as to whether or not the project should proceed and the terms and conditions if the project were to proceed. The Minister reviews the IRB’s determination and either accepts the terms and conditions or rejects or varies the terms and conditions in whole or part, providing written reasons for the decision and making them public. If the Minister accepts the report, and the determination is to proceed with the project, the Impact Review Board issues a project certificate including any terms and conditions which have been accepted or varied by the Minister.

For more detailed information regarding the impact assessment process, please see chapter 18 of the EMRLCA.

Board Members

Name Position
Isaac Masty Chairperson
Brian Craik Vice-Chairperson – Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government
Brendan O’Donnell Member – Government of Canada
Lucassie Arragutainak Member – Government of Nunavut
Fred Tomatuk Member – Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government


Name Position
Vacant Director
Pailin Chua-oon Rinfret Environmental Program Officer
Vacant Accounting Administrator
Priscillia Wesley Administrative Assistant