Liberals Propose Reform Of Canada's Environmental Laws

By: Sam Garnett

July 03, 2017

The Canadian government has released a proposal to reform Canada’s environmental laws, seeking to legislate involvement of Indigenous people in federal reviews, the formation of a single federal agency to oversee environmental projects, and a look at how to better include the peer review process in project approvals. Many of the proposed changes are reversals of the Harper government’s 2012 legislation which has been heavily criticized by environmental scientists and many others.

From the National Observer:

“The new document is the result of more than a year of Liberal government consultations with industry, environmental groups and Indigenous people regarding hundreds of pages of Canadian laws that were changed in a 2012 omnibus bill without any major public consultations or review by Parliament.

The Liberal government formally launched its review of former prime minister Stephen Harper's changes last June. Since then, government-appointed panels and parliamentary committees have received thousands of comments and recommendations about how to fix environmental laws.

The government says the public will now have until Aug. 24 to submit feedback on its proposals.

"It wasn’t simple but it’s also not over," said a senior government official who provided a briefing to National Observer about the recommendations. "This is a discussion paper. We've still got a lot of work to do…on legislation. There’s still going to be a lot of work to do on the regulatory tools and also on the public policy and the programming on it."”