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Environmental impact reviews should take a more regional perspective – IRPP

June 25, 2024

This article was authored and co-signed by Martin Olszynski, Sara Cannon, Alex Davis, Zoie Diana, Yvonne Dzal, Jayme Lewthwaite, Mark Louie Lopez, Melanie Massey, Allyson Menzies, Sarah Otto, Wendy Palen, Mary Ann Perron, Morgan Piczak, Courtney Robichaud, Karen Vanderwolf. They are members of the Liber Ero fellows program.

Buried deep in the 2024 budget lie important amendments to Canada’s Impact Assessment Act (IAA). This law was enacted in 2019 and sets out how the federal government reviews environmental and other impacts of major industrial projects before they are approved. The amendments are Ottawa’s response to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last fall that declared most of the law unconstitutional because it strayed beyond areas of federal jurisdiction.

As a group of conservation scientists committed to the effective protection of species and ecosystems, we were concerned about various aspects of the Supreme Court’s decision, including certain passages that could be misconstrued as limiting the federal government to considering only the most serious impacts of major resource projects.

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