Canadian Environmental Assessment Reform: A Glimpse at Regressive Reforms in Canadian Environmental Law

(2015) 6 IUCNAEL EJournal 115

8 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2015

Date Written: December 20, 2014

Abstract

Through the budget bill of 2012, the Canadian federal government replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 1995) with the CEAA 2012 with little transparency. This “reform” of Canadian environmental assessments is clearly regressive from an environmental point of view. The CEAA went from a broad and holistic regime designed as an integral part of federal decision-making, to an environmental assessment regime in name only. This report first briefly summarizes the previous regime of federal environmental assessments. It then points out key differences between the old and the new regime, while highlighting how these changes will affect comprehensive environmental assessments in Canada, a country who relies heavily on the exploitation of natural resources. It concludes that in such circumstances we must concentrate on finding alternative means to achieve environmental protection goals and be more vigilant with environmental “aquis” in the face of economic “austerity.”

Keywords: environmental law, Canada, environmental assessment, sustainable development, environmental policy

JEL Classification: K32, K20

Suggested Citation

Cloutier de Repentigny, Pierre, Canadian Environmental Assessment Reform: A Glimpse at Regressive Reforms in Canadian Environmental Law (December 20, 2014). (2015) 6 IUCNAEL EJournal 115, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2614204

Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

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