Vol. 150, No. 16 — April 16, 2016

Regulations Amending the Canada Lands Surveyors Regulations

Statutory authority

Canada Lands Surveyors Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Natural Resources

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Canada Land Surveyors (CLS) can only transact in hard-copy format for official survey documents. This regulatory amendment will allow the licensed members of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS) to use a secure electronic signature to certify the documents and drawings that are to be submitted to the Surveyor General Branch (SGB).

Background

The SGB is responsible for regulating survey work and preserving all official/authoritative copies of survey records (survey plans, journals, field notes, and other papers) relating to the Canada Lands Survey System (CLSS). These activities are mandated by the Canada Lands Surveys Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-6), section 3.

The Canada Lands Surveyors Regulations establish procedures for the admission and qualifications of candidates to obtain a commission to practice cadastral surveying on Canada lands. They also establish procedures that regulate the conduct of the members of the ACLS, and the certification of documents and drawings. Currently, documents and drawings are submitted to the SGB in hard-copy format and are distributed for signature, agency by agency. Once all of the requisite signatures have been obtained, the hard-copy survey plan is recorded in the Canada Lands Survey Records.

The SGB has been investigating a transformation of the Canada Lands Survey Records into a numeric environment. The “e-recording” project is one component of this proposed transformation. E-recording would add to the current model of hard-copy survey plans and allow consideration of digital records.

Objectives

The objective is to transition to this process to enable transactions in a secure electronic environment. The Regulations would be amended to permit the certification of documents and drawings that are in electronic format by means of a secure electronic signature.

Description

Adding another option to the current physical certification of survey plans with the secure electronic signature

Originally, surveyors would submit an original survey plan completed by hand with pigment ink and the actual associated survey documents. Over time and with the prevalence of technology, instead of hand-drawn survey plans, they are now prepared using computer-assisted drawing software.

Surveyors then print the drawings on Mylar, sign (wet ink) and seal them. Once submitted, the original plan and other survey documents are processed through a standardized workflow to ensure they meet the standards or general instructions imposed under the CLSS. In addition, copies of the original plan and other survey documents are sent to agencies for approval when pre-existing agreements are in place. The plan is approved once it conforms to the standards. This document is therefore considered an official/authoritative survey record.

The amendment will allow the licensed members of the Association to use a “secure electronic signature” to certify the survey plans and the “electronic” documentation of the surveys that are to be submitted to the SGB. The amendment will streamline the processing of survey documents for recording in the Canada Lands Survey Records system, maintained and managed by the SGB. Features of a “secure signature” will provide Canada Lands Surveyors with more confidence that their documents will not be altered after they have been submitted and that if they are altered in some way, the alteration can easily be detected.

Survey records are used by land administrators (Natural Resources Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Parks Canada, and land titles offices for the three territories) to grant property rights as the land tenure requires.

“One-for-One” Rule

The proposed regulatory amendment is considered an “OUT” under the “One-for-One” Rule.

Administrative cost decrease

Annualized administrative costs (constant $2012)

-$12,335.00

Annualized administrative costs per business (constant $2012)

-$72.00

Assumptions associated with administrative cost decrease
 

Voluntary use of tool:

1 hour Web/tool workshop (industry already using computer design rather than paper)

"IN"

Time = 10 minutes (writing of a text, attachments, etc.)

Frequency = number of submissions / number of CLS (number of submissions takes into account about 10% for errors and resubmission: 1 325 plans submitted + 10% = x)

"OUT"

Time = 45 minutes (processing, printing, postage/sending, etc.)

Frequency = number of submissions / number of CLS (number of submissions takes into account about 10% for errors and resubmission: 1 325 plans submitted + 10% = x)

Consultation

Annual general meeting (AGM)

Existing committees of the ACLS have developed the proposed process in consultation with their members and Natural Resources Canada. Furthermore, the membership of the ACLS will be invited to discuss the proposed amendment at their annual general meeting on May 5, 2016, and the Association’s Council will adopt the Regulations only if endorsed by its members through a membership vote.

Canada Gazette

The proposed amendment is published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, to obtain comments from the general public.

Rationale

Permitting the certification of documents and drawings that are in electronic format is expected to have an economic benefit by not delaying major commercial or industrial projects or other initiatives. Additionally, a paperless system is a good way to reduce waste and is consistent with federal sustainable development goals. This system will have positive impacts on the environment and will be beneficial to society.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

On prepublication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the SGB plans to send a memorandum to the Deputy Minister and Minister, for review and approval of the proposed amendment of the Regulations.

Meanwhile, the proposed amendment will be presented at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Association on May 5, 2016.

Three weeks following the AGM, the Association’s membership will vote on the regulatory proposal. The ACLS Council will endorse the regulatory proposal if membership votes in favour (2/3 majority).

If endorsed, the package will be submitted to the Minister for approval and publication in the Canada Gazette, Part  II.

Contacts

Jean Gagnon
Regional Director
Earth Sciences Sector
Natural Resources Canada
Telephone: 343-292-6642
Cell: 613-299-9890
Email: jean.gagnon@canada.ca

José M’Bala, PhD
Geomatics Policy and Planning Advisor
Surveyor General Branch
Natural Resources Canada
Cell: 613-219-2636
Email: jose.mbala@canada.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Council of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors, pursuant to section 62 of the Canada Lands Surveyors Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Canada Lands Surveyors Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Jean-Claude Tétreault, Executive Director, Association of Canada Lands Surveyors, 900 Dynes Road, Suite 100E, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3L6 (tel.: 613-723-9200; fax: 613-723-5558).

Ottawa, April 4, 2016

J. Anne Cole
President of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors

Regulations Amending the Canada Lands Surveyors Regulations

Amendments

1 The heading “Seals” before section 36 and sections 36 and 37 of the Canada Lands Surveyors Regulations (see footnote 1) are replaced by the following:

Seal

36 A member of the Association who holds a licence may obtain a seal from the Registrar.

Certification

37 (1) A member of the Association who holds a licence shall certify a document or drawing by

(2) The Council shall not approve a technology or process for the purpose of certifying documents and drawings that are in electronic format unless the technology or process generates an electronic signature that

2 (1) The portion of subsection 38(1) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

38 (1) A statement of responsibility shall be in the form “certified correct”, if the survey and all associated work, documents and drawings to which the statement applies

(2) Subsection 38(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) A statement of responsibility that is not in the form “certified correct” shall specifically identify those responsibilities referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (d) that are accepted by the member of the Association.

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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