Our Thoughts on the Environmental Laws Introduced to Parliament

Stephen Hazell, Director of Conservation and General Counsel

The proposed Canadian Impact Assessment Act, or Bill C-69, was introduced to Parliament this week, and the Director of Conservation and General Counsel at Nature Canada, Stephen Hazell, has shared the organization’s thoughts. In the video below Stephen shares thoughts on the reform, and touches on whether or not these environmental laws will actually help Canada to reverse its losses in biodiversity and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, the proposed Canadian Impact Assessment Act is taking steps forward on the Harper government’s 2012 law, and, as Stephen mentions below, it is “on balance, a pretty good effort at improving environmental assessment.”

The good news is that the law presents a defined process for engaging communities – meaning that we will now have environmental assessment professionals consulting with Indigenous and local communities. Moving forward, the government will make decisions on whether or not projects go through based on the input from the environmental assessment agency, and is required to publicly justify the reasoning behind their decision making.

The bad news is that, simply put, the budget and other policy statements are not included. The budget is, as Stephen mentions below, “the most important set of decisions that any government makes in any given year,” and Nature Canada believes that there should be an environmental analysis of the budget and other proposed policies to ensure the key issues are addressed and that Canada is positioned for a sustainable future.

For more detail on Nature Canada’s thoughts on this proposed bill, and to find out how this bill will impact Canadians, watch the video below.

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