WCS Canada

Environmental Assessment

01 June 2018
WCS Canada submission to the Government of Canada regarding the Projects List under the new Impact Assessment Act - June 2018

We provide comments on the Consultation Paper on Approach to Revising the Project List under the proposed Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69), which seeks feedback on the criteria and process for reviewing and updating the Projects List, or what type of projects would be subject to impact assessment under the proposed Impact Assessment Act.
06 April 2018
WCS Canada comments on draft federal Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69)

Bill 6-C9 was introduced into Parliament in Feb 2018. It would repeal the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 2012,) enact the new Impact Assessment Act, repeal the National Energy Board Act, enact the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, amend the Navigation Protection Act, and revise a number of other federal statutes. This submission contains the recommendations of WCS Canada staff on Bill C‐69, specifically the sections in the new Impact Assessment Act (Act) on regional and strategic impact assessment. To support our recommendations, we provide detailed information on the Ring of Fire in the Far North of Ontario. The Ring of Fire is an important case study for regional impact assessment that should inform project‐level impact assessment of individual mining and infrastructure proposals in remote region that is globally significant from ecological, social and economic perspectives where the risks of cumulative effects from multiple projects and climate change are significant. To date, the lack of legal pathway at either the federal or provincial level has provided no impetus for regional assessment in the region. We include 9 essential amendments for improving the regional and strategic impact assessment elements of the Act.
18 December 2017
WCS Canada Comments on Wataynikaneyap Power L.P. Draft Environmental Assessment Report, Phase 1 New Transmission Line to Pickle Lake – December 2017

Ontario has identified transmission reinforcement to Pickle Lake and the connection of remote communities as a priority project in its Long Term Energy Plan. Wataynikaneyap Power is addressing First Nations needs by combining two phases – Phase 1, the grid reinforcement to Pickle Lake, and Phase 2 being the extension north to connect 17 remote off-grid communities. Wataynikaneyap Power has submitted its Final Environmental Assessment Report for the Phase 1 New Transmission Line to Pickle Lake Project to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for review and approval. While Phase 1 of the project is largely focused outside of our landscape, we provide a number of recommendations on wolverine and caribou best management practices and encourage a regional approach to environmental assessment to address cumulative effects and climate change.
31 August 2017
Joint Comment - Reforming Federal Environmental Assessment Legislation - August 2017

Letter from WCS Canada and four organisations that have been deeply engaged in reform of federal impact assessment law and policy and have participated in numerous environmental assessments across Canada, summarizing nine key features we will be looking for in legislation that is expected to be introduced in early 2018.
28 August 2017
WCS Canada comments on Environmental Assessment discussion paper- Justina Ray, Cheryl Chetkiewicz, Don Reid and Monica Granados- June 2017

In June, 2016 the Government of Canada announced the launch of a comprehensive review of federal environmental assessment processes associated with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Following the work of an expert panel, Canada released a “discussion paper” (https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/conservation/assessments/environmental-reviews/share-your-views/proposed-approach.html) outlining “a proposed new approach to environmental assessments and regulatory reviews with a potential path for good projects to proceed in partnership with Indigenous peoples and effective, science-based, enforceable conditions, with clear timelines.” In WCS Canada’s submission, we remarked that although we were encouraged by some signs of good intent (notably the emphases on transparency, attention to cumulative effects, attention to science/evidence, and co-decision-making with Indigenous governments), we expressed significant concerns that the final legislation will fall short – perhaps significantly -- of the intentions set forth in June 2016 by the Government of Canada for this critical law reform. Our comments place particular focus two of the seven themes described in the Discussion Paper: 1) Addressing Cumulative Effects; and 2) Science, Evidence and Indigenous Knowledge. We then consider the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act.
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