Operators may negotiate and enter into a contractual Benefits Agreement with the federal or provincial governments in respect of a particular project or activity. Typically, such agreements will contractually commit the Operator to meet specific benefits outcomes or targets, or to specify where particular work scopes will be performed.
A Benefits Agreement does not replace the requirement for a Benefits Plan and provisions within a Benefits Agreement must not conflict with the statutory requirements for a Benefits Plan or other benefits-related Guidance issued by the C-NLOPB. For example, an Operator cannot avoid the Benefits Plan requirement to establish an office in the province by committing in a Benefits Agreement to conduct specific work in the province.
The C-NLOPB may, if requested by the respective government, monitor the Operator’s achievements against a Benefits Agreement to determine if the terms of the Agreement are being complied with. The C-NLOPB’s only role would be to monitor and report on compliance with the Agreement. While the C-NLOPB is responsible for enforcing non-compliance with a Benefits Plan, the C-NLOPB is not responsible for enforcing non-compliance with a Benefits Agreement. The parties to the Benefits Agreement must resolve any issue of non-compliance between themselves in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.