Canada North Environmental Services Limited Partnership (CanNorth) has been providing environmental services to K+S Potash Canada GP (KSPC) at the Bethune mine (formerly the Legacy Potash Project) since 2012. The scope of services provided by CanNorth has included environmental monitoring, wildlife inventories and assessments, development of site-specific mitigation measures and guidance for wildlife and species at risk, and technical advice regarding environmental legislation, management, and best practices. Mitigation strategies have been developed and implemented by CanNorth, under the guidance of federal and provincial regulators, to avoid nesting breeding birds and other sensitive wildlife species encountered in the project area during the breeding and/or nesting periods. CanNorth has helped KSPC to ensure that work at the Bethune mine is conducted in compliance with applicable environmental permits, regulations, conditions, and commitments to regulatory agencies and stakeholders.

One of the highlights of CanNorth’s involvement with KSPC has been collaborating on a project-specific compensation plan to offset impacts to wetland and grassland habitats resulting from construction of the mine. For the compensation plan, KSPC voluntarily opted to use a formula-based approach developed by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to estimate functional loss and offset requirements using a system of “debits and credits”. CanNorth’s contribution to this multi-component endeavour was to characterize the functional loss of habitat, or “debits”. KSPC’s commitment to this conservation initiative is the most significant investment in a grassland habitat offset in Saskatchewan’s history. This cooperative project is just one example of CanNorth’s ongoing work with KSPC.

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Incorporated in 1997, CanNorth provides high-quality environmental and heritage services to a diversity of clients for a wide range of project types. CanNorth is 100 per cent owned by Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership, the business arm of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. Notably, CanNorth is the only First Nation-owned consulting company in North America to obtain ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental stewardship), and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety) international standard certifications. CanNorth is also a Certificate of Recognition (COR) program-certified company and is registered with ISNetworld. The company believes they are the only First Nation-owned company in the world with these credentials.

CanNorth has completed nearly 3,000 projects and has truly become an example of Canadian environmental stewardship. With the company’s rich, 20-plus year history in mining and other sectors, there are many reasons why potash companies are turning to CanNorth for their high-quality, professionally-delivered, and cost-effective services. CanNorth has a strong background in acting as a liaison and skillfully managing communications between multiple parties, as well as a commitment to a collaborative and positive relationship with regulators and proponents.