April 5: Panel Releases Report on Environmental Assessment Processes

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An expert panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change released its report, Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The report includes various recommendations, including these on the purpose of impact assessments (IA):

  • Federal interest should be central in determining whether an IA should be required for a given project, region, plan or policy
  • Federal IA should begin with a legislated Planning Phase that occurs early in project development before design elements are finalized
  • Sustainability should be central to IA
  • Federal IA should decide whether a project should proceed based on its contribution to sustainability
  • IA laws should require the use of strategic and regional IAs to guide project IA.