Making the Grade: A Report Card on Canada's New Impact Assessment Act

Environmental Assessment, Impact Assessment Act
Multiple authors

On August 28, 2019, the federal government brought Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) into force, replacing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). The IAA follows more than three years of consultation and discussion of Canada’s environmental assessment (EA) regime, and is claimed to fulfill the government’s stated commitment to introduce new, fair processes to ensure decisions are based on science and Indigenous knowledge, and win back public trust.

How does the new IAA measure up? This report card grades the Act against 13 essential criteria required for leading-edge environmental assessment – including an objective to ensure long-term sustainability, a climate test, meaningful public participation, and respect for the rights and authority of Indigenous peoples.

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 and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

To view an earlier "mid-term" version of this report card, based on the proposed Impact Assessment Act under Bill C-69, click here.

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