Executive Council Office

Major Projects Yukon

What we do—Major Projects Yukon

We are the main point of contact on matters relating to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) for the Government of Yukon. YESAA is federal legislation. It provides the framework for environmental and socio-economic assessments in Yukon.

We ensure that impact assessment in Yukon guides decision-making that meets present and future needs. Our vision is a sustainable Yukon built on strong partnerships, solid relationships and open communication.

We help Goverment of Yukon departments fulfill their responsibilities under YESAA and represent the government as the decision body on major projects. If you are interested in development assessment and have any questions—let us know.


The assessment process

How does the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) work? 
YESAA set up an independent assessment body—the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).

The Board conducts neutral, independent assessments of proposed development projects. Input from technical experts and the public is gathered and the board makes recommendations to government. The government (federal, territorial or First Nation) with decision-making power for the project, accepts, rejects or varies the board's recommendations. Once a decision document has been issued, the proponent can proceed.

Find out more about this process on the YESAB website >>


Making decisions about an assessment

Who makes the decision about an assessment?
The decision is made by the government responsible for the project either as a regulator, land authority, funding agent or a proponent. A decision body can be the Government of Yukon, a federal government agency or First Nation government. The government is called a decision body and must respond to the assessor's recommendation by publishing a decision document that accepts, rejects or varies the recommendations. There can be more than one decision body for a project. It depends on the project location and authorizations required.

Who decides in the Government of Yukon? 
The Government of Yukon acts as a single decision body under YESAA through an internal, coordinated process involving all government departments. The decision body responsibility is delegated to specific government departments and branches according to the type of project to be assessed. For example, agriculture projects are delegated to the Agriculture branch of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and forestry projects to the department's Forest Resources branch.

What happens after the decision is made?
The government's decision document on a project is public and posted on YESAB's website.

When the decision document is issued, it means the project can proceed and moves into the regulatory process. Any authorizations, permits or licenses that are required for the project can proceed or be issued.

These processes are managed by specific government department with responsibility for the projects. For instance, the Yukon Water Board would be responsible for a project needing a water license or the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources would be responsible for a project needing mining permits.

4 main phases of Yukon's development assessment process:

4 phases of development assessment infographic—project discussions, assessment, decison and regulation 
  1. Project discussions
    1. Proponent meets with Regulator
    2. Determine authorizations required and project location
    3. Proponent works with Assessor to finalize proposal
  2. Assessment phase
    1. Proponent submits project to YESAB
    2. Proponent responds to requests from Assessor
    3. Public, NGOs and governments provide expert knowledge for Assessor
    4. Assessor produces Evaluation Report including recommendation
  3. Decision phase
    1. Decision Bodies such as Yukon government give full and fair consideration to recommendation
    2. If project is in non-settled First Nation Territory, Decision Body consults
    3. Develops and issues Decision Document
  4. Regulatory phase
    1. Regulators issue authorizations where applicable
    2. Authorizations conform to the wording of the Decision Document

Contact Major Projects Yukon 

Phone: 867-393-6431
Toll-free in Yukon, NWT and Nunavut: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 3818
Fax: 867-667-3216