Currently, resource road tenure and management is administrated by a complex
array of legislation administered by separate government organizations including
the Ministry of Forests and Range, Ministry of Transportation and
Infrastructure, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Oil & Gas
Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. Each organization applies
different tenures, levels of enforcement, approval processes and standards for
construction, maintenance and deactivation.
As resource development activity and road construction costs have increased
so have the challenges associated with the current regulatory framework.
Multi-industry resource development is expected to intensify and move into more
populated and sensitive areas of the province.
Typical problems associated with the current regulatory framework include:
- Different road use rules and road safety enforcement levels between
road-tenuring agencies create challenges for road safety;
- Disincentives to sharing existing roads create the potential for
construction of duplicate road systems which may increase environmental
- Differences in the fees paid for use of road aggregate between
- Due to the high number of untenured roads, liabilities associated with
deactivating roads are known to be increasing but have not been quantified;
- As standards and enforcement varies across government, companies may
have several different administrative and maintenance responsibilities over
different sections of the same road;
- Due to differing tenure approaches, forest companies may initiate a
process to deactivate a road (as required by legislation) – even though it
is still in use or could be used by companies from another industry;
- Oil and gas companies may be unable to obtain secure tenure over a road
into which they have invested millions of dollars. Without secure tenure, an
oil and gas company may discover the road tenure can be granted to another
resource company that requires lower road standards and therefore has no
incentive to maintain the road at the higher standards required for use by
the oil and gas company;
- Due to differences in the way resource industries recover capital
investments in roads, there are disincentives to transfer the road tenure
between industry users, and;
- In cases where industrial users cannot agree on issues such as user
fees, maintenance levels and design standards there is no efficient and
effective dispute settlement mechanism that helps industry resolve issues
Considering a Revised Legislative Framework
The purpose of a resource road legislative consolidation initiative would be
to establish a single legislative framework for the administration,
construction, maintenance, deactivation and use of resource roads currently
contained under several Acts and regulations.
A consolidated legislative approach for resource roads would allow a more
predictable, fair and cost-effective regulatory and management framework. This
would also improve safety for all resource road users and bring efficiencies and
consistency to the management of resource roads by consolidating the seven
existing Acts that apply to industrial users in sectors including forestry, oil
and gas, and mining.
Any new resource road legislation should:
- maintain the existing levels of free public access to resource roads on
- maintain the current access provisions for users such as free miners and
for non-industrial commercial recreation users and tourism operators;
- establish consistent compliance and enforcement programs across
- establish a level playing field between industrial users in terms of
- enable improved communication and safety for all resource road users,
- ensure there is no impact on existing access management or land-use
planning and approval processes.
Resource Road Act
The Resource Road Act (RRA) was government’s most recent effort in resource
road legislative consolidation. The RRA was introduced to the Legislative
Assembly in April 2008 as Bill 30, but was not debated in the house and
therefore will not proceed.
How to Learn More and Provide Input
Government continues to invite input on the overall aims and objectives of
resource road legislation and you are invited to provide your comments by email
through the webpage’s comments feature. To learn more, please review the links
of this website.
If you have a question or comment about the consolidation of legislation or resource
roads, please contact us.