In June 2013, Prime Minister Harper announced that within two years the federal government would establish mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies to enhance transparency on the payments they make to governments. This Update outlines the current status of Canadian resource revenue reporting.

In May 2014, Natural Resources Canada released a Consultation Paper confirming the mandatory reporting regime is being designed to capture payments to Aboriginal entities.However, “social payments” (e.g., for community centres, schools, hockey teams, arenas, capacity development, training) would be excluded. The listed payment categories also did not include payments to Aboriginal groups for the purposes of funding participation in consultation or regulatory proceedings. Therefore, not all types of payments made under an Impact Benefits Agreement or other similar agreements are intended to be subject to reporting requirements.

In August 2014, the provincial and territorial governments confirmed that they are in favour of Ottawa taking the lead on implementing the mandatory reporting regime. Feedback from consultation indicated that several stakeholders have concerns regarding the reporting of payments to Aboriginal entities. For that reason, this component will be delayed for two years while Ottawa consults further with Aboriginal leaders.

The federal government is committed to have the mandatory reporting regime in place by June 2015; however, no legislation has been introduced into the House of Commons at this time.  Companies subject to these proposed reporting standards should keep a close watch on the development of this legislation to ensure that they aware of what payments need to be reported once the reporting requirements are in effect.