Making the (Mid-term) Grade: A Report Card on Canada's New Impact Assessment Act

On February 8, 2018, the federal government tabled Bill C-69, which introduces a proposed new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) to replace the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Bill C-69 follows more than 18 months of consultation and discussion of Canada’s environmental assessment (EA) processes, and is claimed to fulfill the government’s commitment to introduce new, fair processes to ensure decisions are based on science and Indigenous knowledge, and win back public trust.

How does the proposed new IAA measure up? This report card, co-authored by a coalition of Canadian environmental groups, grades the Act against the “essential elements of next generation EA” described in our Guide for Reviewing the Environmental Assessment Bill. The essential elements of next-generation EA are based on the leading-edge thinking of experts across the country, the collective recommendations of the authors, and the conclusions of the expert panel appointed to review Canada’s EA processes.

The report card was co-authored by: West Coast Environmental Law Association, Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, MiningWatch Canada, Nature Canada, WCS Canada, and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.