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Environmental Assessment Law Reform Objectives

West Coast Environmental Law regards environmental assessment as a fundamental legal tool for ensuring environmental impacts are considered in the planning and decision-making process. We actively engage in law and policy reform discussions at both the federal and provincial levels, and suport reforms that advance the following principles:

  • Inclusive, accessible and adequately funded public participation.
  • Transparent and legally accountable scoping, EA process and decision-making.
  • Early and thorough assessments of effects, including meaningful cumulative effects assessment that recognizes ecological needs.
  • Tools to make the decisions and conditions/limits on development that flow out of an assessment binding and enforceable.
  • Better coordination between federal and provincial agencies – not substitution of one for the other.
  • Scoping of projects so that all related project components are considered together and in the context of their complete environmental impact.
  • Appropriate linkage of the EA process to government’s constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal Title and Rights, including Treaty Rights.
  • Processes and decision-making that uphold Canada and BC’s national and international commitments (Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, etc.)
  • Monitoring, enforcement and follow-up/incorporation of learning into future decision-making.