Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Criteria for Substitution. We have had an opportunity to review the draft Criteria for Substitution set out in your memo of July 30, 1997, and have the following comments.
We understand that the proposed guidelines have been prepared with the intention of making clear the minimum conditions upon which the Minister would be willing to consider the exercise of her discretion under Section 43 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Those decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis, and the guidelines have not been developed in contemplation of being applied to more than one, or a class of, projects.
In principle we have no objection to providing greater certainty with respect to the factors that will guide the Minister in the exercise of her discretion. However, in our view it should be made explicit that the draft guidelines only establish the threshold requirements for consideration by the Minister of a request for approval under Section 43, and are not intended to represent an exhaustive list of those matters that it may be appropriate for the Minister to consider in any given instance.