Environmental law experts were in Ottawa today calling for a next-generation law to assess the sustainability of proposed pipelines, hydroelectric projects and industrial facilities. An independent panel appointed by the federal government is reporting to Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on March 31st, on its proposals for an environmental assessment law after spending several months hearing from people across the country.
The environmental law experts (including Jamie Kneen from MiningWatch Canada) are saying that a next-generation assessment law must:
- Account for the economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainability;
- Respect Indigenous authority and governance;
- Connect assessment, decision-making, and action by different levels of government;
- Provide for full public participation, transparency, accountability, and rights to challenge decisions in court;
- Address the causes and effects of climate change;
- Include strategic and regional assessment as fundamental components;
- Require appropriate assessment of the thousands of smaller projects currently not being studied; and
- Promote evidence-based decision-making.
Watch the video of the media briefing above, and see the groups' full news release here.