Does the federal omnibus budget bill make the grade on environmental assessment?
The paper Environmental Assessment Law for a Healthy, Secure and Sustainable Canada: A Checklist for Strong Environmental Laws (February 2012) set out ten foundational criteria required for an effective and principled approach to environmental assessment of resource projects. The ten principles were endorsed by over 55 Canadian organisations representing scientists, physicians, lawyers, advocates for democracy and citizen groups.
On June 18, 2012 the omnibus “Budget” Bill C-38, which repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and replaced it with an entirely new law was passed by Canada’s House of Commons. It is now possible to take stock of how the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 measures up to the Checklist for Strong Environmental Laws principles. The result: failing or incomplete grades on all accounts, and a blow to the future health, security and sustainability of our nation.