By March 31st, 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is scheduled to present the findings of a formal review of the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA, 2012). Last summer, public input was invited in preparation of this review, and an expert panel was assembled to begin scrutinizing the effectiveness of the assessment processes within CEAA (2012).
The CEAA (2012) process and outcomes were controversial in recent years to say the least (take the federal approval of the Site C Dam project as an example). Project proponents reported finding it difficult to navigate while environmentalists said its assessment processes were full of contradictions and a lack of transparency.
Anna Johnston, a Staff Counsel for West Coast Environmental Law applauds the new federal Liberal government’s mandate to reform this broken legislation:
Rather than tweak at the edges of a fundamentally broken and outdated system, Canada needs a next-generation environmental assessment law that works for nature and communities, and upholds Canada’s international commitments, including the Paris Agreement and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.