Efficient environmental assessment (EA) processes of major projects help protect Canadians and our environment without compromising economic competitiveness.
Unfortunately, Canada’s EA processes are increasingly contentious and are becoming a barrier to investment in Canada’s natural resources and infrastructure. Earlier this month, a government-convened expert panel released a series of recommendations on how to change the federal EA system. New legislation is expected in 2018.
The expert panel’s proposed approach would increase the complexity of the federal environmental regulatory system, moving Canada even farther away from an efficient but rigorous assessment process that could balance environmental protection with economic growth. More specifically, the expert panel’s recommendations would:
- Greatly expand the list of projects subject to a federal assessment process in addition to provincial or territorial processes, leading to increased costs and duplicated efforts without improving environmental outcomes.
- Overstep the constitutional division of responsibilities between the federal government and the provinces and territories, setting the stage for jurisdictional conflict and confusion.
- Invite participation in the assessment process by parties with no interest in the project, allowing individuals and groups who oppose development generally, or competitors seeking economic advantage through regulatory obstruction, to delay the proceedings.
The voice of business matters. The expert panel’s consultation process was dominated by individuals and organizations that have no concern for the competitive success of Canadian business, and it shows in these recommendations.
We need your help to ensure governments understand environmental protection need not come at the expense of investment in Canada’s economy.
We’re asking you to spend 30 minutes to submit a comment to the online portal www.letstalkea.ca before May 5, 2017. We recommend letting the Expert Panel know how you would be impacted by an expanded, complex and inefficient federal environmental assessment process in the “Additional Comments” section.