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Chapter C1 ver. 1


Table of Contents

Effective Date

This Chapter is effective January 1, 1997. It was originally published as Chapter C1 of the Third Edition of the Manual of Instructions for the Survey of Canada Lands.

Chapter Sections

Management of Surveys

  1. The Surveyor General of Canada Lands, subject to the direction of the federal Minister of Natural Resources, has the management of all surveys made under the authority of the Canada Lands Surveys Act.
  2. The Surveyor General also has the management of surveys made under the authority of other legislation and agreements. Parts A and B of this manual contain excerpts of such legislation and agreements.
  3. The Surveyor General manages legal surveys by:
    1. issuing instructions, examining and recording plans of surveys of Canada Lands;
    2. initiating surveys of Canada Lands to maintain boundaries and survey frameworks; and
    3. carrying out, by staff or through contracting, surveys and mapping of Canada Lands, or lands to become Canada Lands, at the request of other federal government departments.
  4. The Surveyor General also provides advice on matters related to surveys of Canada Lands; writes and/ or reviews legal land descriptions of Canada Lands; and manages surveying and mapping programs for other federal government departments responsible for administering Canada Lands.
  5. The office of the Surveyor General of Canada Lands is the Surveyor General Branch of Geomatics Canada of the federal Department of Natural Resources.
  6. The headquarters office of the Surveyor General Branch is located in Ottawa. The Branch also operates from three Regional Operations Centres (ROC), and eight Client Liaison Units (CLU) located as follows:
Eastern ROC
Atlantic CLU
Québec CLU
Ontario CLU
Western ROC
Manitoba CLU
Saskatchewan CLU
Alberta CLU
British Columbia CLU
Northern ROC
Northwest Territories CLU
Yukon CLU
Ottawa, Ont.
Amherst, N.S.
Québec, Que.
Toronto, Ont.
Edmonton, Alta.
Winnipeg, Man.
Regina, Sask.
Edmonton, Alta.
Vancouver, B.C.
Yellowknife, NWT
Yellowknife, NWT
Whiterhorse, YT
  1. Each Regional Operations Centre is managed by a Deputy Surveyor General. The Deputy Surveyor General is the representative of the Surveyor General for the management of surveys of Canada Lands within a region.
  2. Client Liaison Units are managed by a Head, Client Liaison Unit who reports to the appropriate Regional Operations Centre. Client Liaison Units provide Canada Lands Surveys Records information to clients and the public, and provide advice and consultation to clients.

Canada Lands Surveys Records

  1. The Surveyor General has the custody of all the original plans, journals, field notes and other papers connected with surveys under the Canada Lands Surveys Act. These documents are recorded in the Canada Lands Surveys Records in Ottawa.
  2. Subject to paragraphs 11 and 12, a person wishing to obtain Canada Lands Surveys Records information should contact the appropriate Client Liaison Unit. Each Unit has copies of Canada Lands Surveys Records documents and other survey related documents pertaining to Canada Lands in its region.
  3. Requests for certified true copies should be addressed to the Canada Lands Surveys Records in Ottawa.
  4. Oil and gas survey information in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and the offshore is available only from the Canada Lands Surveys Records in Ottawa.

Survey Instructions

  1. Any surveyor engaged to undertake a legal survey or prepare a plan of Canada Lands must carry out the work in accordance with the instructions of the Surveyor General of Canada Lands.
  2. For legal surveys carried out under the following legislation, general instructions are contained in Part D of this manual and no further instructions are required:
    1. Canada Mining Regulations;
    2. Canada Oil and Gas Land Regulations;
    3. Condominium Act (N. W. T.);
    4. Condominium Act (Yukon);
    5. Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, 1995;
    6. Land Titles Act (N. W. T.);
    7. Land Titles Act (Yukon);
    8. Yukon Placer Mining Act (except for
      surveys of baselines); and
    9. Yukon Quartz Mining Act.
  3. For legal surveys, other than those made under the legislation identified in paragraph 14, specific survey instructions are required and may be obtained from the appropriate Client Liaison Unit.
  4. It is the responsibility of the land surveyor to review the status of rights in the land which will be surveyed before requesting specific survey instructions. Copies of documents dealing with land rights can be obtained from the federal or territorial government department which administers the lands.
  5. A surveyor requesting specific survey instructions shall supply the Surveyor General Branch with the following information :
    1. authorization to carry out the survey from the department, person or other body which has the responsibility for approval of surveys;
    2. the above authorization shall include a diagram depicting:
      1. the dimensions and/ or extent of the lands to be surveyed and, in the case of a subdivision, the layout of the lots; and
      2. the location of the lands to be surveyed relative to an existing survey framework, or if none exists, relative to control surveys or topographic features;
    3. the nature and term of the legal transaction for which the survey is intended;
    4. the nature of all interests affecting the land to be surveyed with the name of the persons holding the interests;
    5. the name and qualifications of the land surveyor who will be carrying out the survey;
    6. the anticipated date of commencement of the survey;
    7. a request for any documents from the Canada Lands Surveys Records required for the survey; and
    8. any other documentation required in Chapters C2 to C6 for the issue of specific survey instructions.
  6. If a surveyor cannot comply with any general or specific survey instruction, then the surveyor must inform the Surveyor General Branch and obtain, in writing, authorization to proceed in another manner. If the intention or applicability of any survey instruction is in doubt, the matter should be referred to the Surveyor General Branch for clarification.
  7. Specific survey instructions lapse if the returns of survey are not received within one year of their date of issue. The Surveyor General Branch, with due cause, may at any time extend the term of, amend, or cancel specific survey instructions.
  8. The issuing of specific survey instructions does not constitute a financial undertaking by the Surveyor General Branch to pay any costs related to the survey. The surveyor will be charged for any documents provided with the specific survey instructions.
Control Surveys and Coordinated Survey Areas
  1. Specific survey instructions are required for control surveys carried out to support legal surveys, including control surveys carried out to support surveys of oil and gas rights under the Canada Oil and Gas Land Regulations (See Chapter D12).
  2. Coordinated Survey Areas, established pursuant to section 28 of the Canada Lands Surveys Act, are under the management of the Surveyor General of Canada Lands. Coordinated Survey Areas have been established in parts of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, and some of the National Parks. Chapter A3 of this Manual contains a complete list of existing Coordinated Surveys Areas.
  3. Specific survey instructions are required for any survey which will establish, densify, extend or maintain the network of coordinated control monuments in a Coordinated Survey Area.
  4. Legal surveys in a Coordinated Survey Area must be integrated into the network in accordance with the provisions concerning surveys in Coordinated Survey Areas in Chapter D1.

25. Specific survey instructions are required for mapping carried out to support legal surveys on Canada Lands (See Chapter D13).

Survey Monuments

  1. For surveys of Canada Lands situated in a province, surveyors may use the same type of monuments used for provincial surveys if authorized by the Surveyor General Branch and provided that the monuments meet the minimum requirements described in Chapter D1.
  2. Monuments and ancillary monumentation for use on Canada Lands in the territories are available to Canada Lands Surveyors from private suppliers. Information on suppliers is available from the Surveyor General Branch offices in Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

Returns of Surveys

  1. Returns of survey consist of plans, field notes, reports, and any other documents prescribed in Part D, or in specific survey instructions.
  2. The surveyor shall carefully check the returns of a survey before submitting it to the Surveyor General Branch. The survey instructions will indicate the number of paper prints of the survey returns which are to be submitted. The original plan and field notes of survey shall be retained by the surveyor until the returns have been reviewed and found satisfactory by the Surveyor General Branch.
  3. The Surveyor General Branch will review the returns of a survey to determine whether the surveyor has complied with the survey instructions, administrative requirements, and legislation. If it is apparent early in an examination that the returns have not been carefully prepared and checked, then the examination will be discontinued and the returns sent back to the surveyor for completion.
  4. The Surveyor General Branch will also obtain comments from the person or body delegated the responsibility for approval of surveys on behalf of the administering department to determine whether the plan of survey is satisfactory to that department.
  5. The Surveyor General Branch will identify corrections required to the original plan and field notes. If the surveyor is unable to comply with any correction requested, the matter shall be discussed with the contact person from the Branch identified in the instructions.
  6. The surveyor shall clearly indicate if additional amendments have been made or if plans or other returns have been re-drafted or re-plotted.
  7. When notified that the returns of the survey are satisfactory, the surveyor shall send the original plan, field notes, and other returns to the Surveyor General Branch for final ratification.

Inspection of Surveys

  1. The Surveyor General Branch may conduct inspection surveys of completed surveys at any time, to ensure instructions were followed and the plan and field notes correctly represent the survey.
  2. The surveyor is responsible for correcting any errors or omissions in a survey discovered as a result of an inspection survey.