News > LANDS News

ACLS Cost Drivers Study – Draft Toolkit

August 30, 2018

To the Various Land Managers across Canada:

In 2015, the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS), in partnership with the Surveyor General Branch (SGB) of Natural Resources Canada and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) conducted a “Survey Cost Study” to consider the assertion made by ISC that “the costs of surveys on Canada Lands is 2 to 3 times more expensive then on non-Canada Lands”.

The “Survey Cost Study Working Group” was formed, comprising of members/personnel from the above-mentioned organizations/departments. The Working Group contracted out the research and preparation of a Report to a third party, to investigate the validity of the assertion related to costs of surveys.

It had to be an “Apples to Apples” comparative study of the survey projects between those surveys on First Nations lands, and those done under the Provincial system. For example, a subdivision survey done on First Nation Reserve lands, compared to a subdivision survey done on neighbouring Provincial lands.

It would not be practical, nor be a meaningful collection and analyzation of the data, to compare two surveys prepared for different purposes on the different lands.

There were 3 parts to the Data Collection:
A. Interviews with First Nations
B. Surveys Research and Land Surveyor Interviews
C. Comparison of Surveys

The Cost Study Report has been prepared, reviewed and finalized. As you can imagine, the volume of data collected from 76 First Nation responses, 73 sample survey projects and a few dozen follow up interviews, was immense and highly technical. In reviewing the Report, it contained a wealth of data, but being at a decidedly technical level, the ACLS felt that it could be a challenge and a time-consuming effort for those trying to extract useful information from, when wanting to obtain a survey on First Nation Reserve lands.

Therefore, the ACLS created a sub-committee of their Members and have prepared this DRAFT version of a Toolkit, that pulls out the applicable information that Land Managers may find useful when looking to have a survey conducted on their Reserve lands.

Please note the following terms referenced, may be interchanged in the Cost Study Report and the following pages:
• Survey(s), land survey(s) – are both intended to have the same meaning;
• Surveyor, land surveyor, Canada Lands Surveyor (CLS) – they are intended to have the same meaning, unless otherwise specifically referencing surveys conducted on Provincial lands;
• Surveyor General Branch (SGB), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)- they are intended to reference the same Federal Government Department;
• Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) – they are intended to reference the same Federal Government Department
In reading through the Report, the cost drivers relating to surveys seemed to relate to 1 of 4 categories:
1. Project Initiation and Preliminary Planning and Research
2. Fieldwork
3. Plan Preparation and Office Work
4. Approvals and Registration of Survey Plans

We encourage you to read through the following documents as they relate to these 4 sections. The intent of these documents is to provide clarity and information on the cost drivers and potential ways to mitigate the cost drivers, while referring to the data collected and analyzed in the Report.

As these are only in a DRAFT format, we encourage any feedback you may have on these documents. Please contact Jean-Claude Tétreault (contact information is on the attached business card) with your questions or comments by November 30, 2018.

The intent is to have this document evolve and provide further information on surveys on Canada Lands. The Indigenous Relations Steering Committee od ACLS is already working on additional documents to add to the Toolkit. With your feedback, we are confident that we can create a useful resource tool for surveys.

Thank you for your time taken to review the documents,

Tania Bigstone, CLS, PEILS(np)
Chair, Survey Cost Working Group

Combined Tool Kit (FINAL Draft)