Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/sv4d2x

A new era of environmental governance in Canada




In response, the platforms of both major opposition parties in the 2015 Canadian federal election highlighted the need to reform federal environmental assessment processes.3 Mandate letters, to the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and a number of her colleagues, emphasized the new government’s commitment to reform.4 The theme of reform was also highlighted in the Trudeau governme [...] THE DECLINE OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION In Canada in the mid-to-late 1990s, we saw the coming into force of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,20 Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), creation of the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) petition process, and the inclusion of public participation provisions of the Canadian Environme [...] These processes have been driven in part by the dominance of neo-liberal ideas around limiting the role of the state in the functioning of markets, and also by the dynamics of trade liberalization and globalization. [...] Limiting rights of participation in hearings reflected the participa- tion standards adopted in Alberta energy and environmental regulation in the 1990s.27 Finally, the amendments to CEAA and the NEB Act established the cabinet as the decision-making body for CEAA and NEB reviews, rather than the relevant “responsible authority” or the board. [...] The process, which began to be implemented in the fall of 2011, eliminated the rights of members of the public, established through the Environmental Bill of Rights, to comment on proposed approvals before they were granted.



environmental policy