Contract Services

The Institute conducts legal and policy research for federal, provincial and territorial departments and agencies within Canada and for other domestic and international organizations. This contract research spans a broad range of resource sectors and reflects the Institute's ability to apply its expertise in law, regulatory process, public policy and institutional design to current issues in natural resources and environmental management.

Contract research undertaken by the Institute over the past several years has included projects relating to:

  • resource management and regulatory processes in Canada's northern territories;
  • domestic and continental aspects of electricity deregulation;
  • cumulative effects assessment and management;
  • interjurisdictional water resource management;
  • compensation issues relating to resource development;
  • implementation of Aboriginal land claims agreements;
  • impact and benefits agreements for mining projects;
  • wildlife law and management, including work on species at risk legislation and on the effects of northern land claims on wildlife legislation;
  • a history of forest legislation in Canada;
  • environmental protection and the Canadian Forest sector;
  • assistance to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy with the identification of key recommendations and the drafting of the final report for the Aboriginal Communities and Non-Renewable Resource Development Program;
  • a discussion paper reviewing issues and options for a policy on impact and benefits in the northern territories;
  • a paper on Canada's domestic framework for transboundary water management;
  • preparation of monographs on the legal regime for local benefits from resource development in the NWT and the issues addressed by impact and benefits agreements;
  • development of a legal, economic and water resource framework for the management of water on Aboriginal lands;
  • development of a framework for adjudicating compensation claims under water legislation and the Umbrella Final Agreement for the Yukon Territory Water Board;
  • survey of provincial legislation for the control of alien invasive species for the Canadian Wildlife Service;
  • preparation and publication of a monograph examining the new Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act in the NWT;
  • preparation and publication of a monograph analysing the effects of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement on mining activity in the Nunavut Territory; and
  • review of the management of pipeline rights of way in Canada.  

The Institute's extensive record of high quality applied research constitutes one of its major contributions to the development of natural resources law, policy and institutions in Canada.

Recent Projects

Contracts that the Institute has recently completed include:

  • research on legal issues related to carbon capture and storage;
  • undertake research on issues relating to new provincial approaches to natural resources management and their implications for the federal role and interests;
  • assist in a systematic review of federal legislation regarding major resource projects;
  • research on the NWT Environmental Audit;
  • research on Aboriginal trapping rights under Treaty 8;
  • provide an extensive and specialized review of appropriate legislation and policies relating to legal water protection in the NWT;
  • provide assistance on international electricity policy;
  • provide a review and analysis of security deposit issues arising from water licensing on private lands;
  • an examination of the overall framework for environmental and resource management in the NWT and the issues relating to implementation of Part 6 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act;
  • an issues and options paper examining the role of the Mackenzie River Basin Board; and
  • a series of discussion papers examining reliability issues in the context of electricity deregulation.


Clients for whom the Institute has conducted contract work include:

  • Alberta Energy
  • Alberta Environmental Protection
  • Alberta Law Foundation
  • BIOCAP Canada Foundation
  • Canadian Arctic Resources Committee
  • Canadian Forest Service
  • Canadian International Development Agency
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
  • Government of the NWT
  • Environment Canada
  • Forum of the Federations
  • Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Circumpolar Liaison Directorate
  • Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy
  • International Joint Commission
  • IUCN Academy of Environmental Law
  • Loon River Cree First Nation
  • Mackenzie River Basin Board
  • Max Bell Foundation
  • National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Network of Centres of Excellence - Sustainable Forest Management Network
  • Natural Resources Conservation Board of Alberta
  • North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
  • Northern River Basins Study
  • Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
  • Office of the Auditor General of Canada
  • Saskatchewan Intergovernmental Affairs
  • SENES Consultants Ltd.
  • The Yukon Territory Water Board
  • Water and Duncan Gordon Foundation