Canadian government reviewing environmental, regulatory processes for major projects, including hydro

The Government of Canada has launched a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes for major projects, including hydropower, intended to ensure a clean environment and a strong economy are going hand-in-hand in the country.

This is the next step in a process that began in January 2016 with the launch of an interim approach and principles for projects undergoing an environmental assessment.

The goal is to “introduce new environmental assessment processes as part of our efforts to restore public trust. Public input will be sought and considered. Decisions will be informed by scientific evidence. Indigenous peoples will be more fully engaged in reviewing and monitoring major resource development projects. The process will have greater transparency.”

The comprehensive review is being coordinated across government department will focus on:

Rebuilding trust in environmental assessment processes

Modernizing the National Energy Board

Restoring lost protections and introducing modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act

“Today we are demonstrating action to restore credibility to environmental and regulatory processes and ensure that decisions are based on science, facts, evidence and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, said the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources. “Through the modernization of the National Energy Board we will strengthen Canadians’ trust in the regulatory process.”

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, is establishing an expert panel to conduct the review of the environmental assessment process.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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