Blog Entry

Environmental Impact Assessments

In Canada major projects that take place on public lands or receive funding from governments are required to undergo an environmental assessment. The corporation that is proposing the project must prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment to detail potential ecological and social impacts. These studies, along with input from affected groups, may be assessed by an independent panel in order to determine if, and under what conditions, a project may proceed.

The environmental assessment process has been reinforced by the Supreme Court's Delgamuukw decision, which determined that two conditions must be met before resource extraction can take place on aboriginal, ceded, or Crown land. Affected aboriginal parties must be supplied with sufficient information to assess the project and the government must address the concerns of affected aboriginal parties. Nevertheless, EIAs are often poorly executed and fail to take affected communities into consideration.