Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Harper government shortens and streamlines environmental review process
The Harper government has reduced the number of departments dealing with environmental reviews from 40 to 3. Joe Oliver the Natural Resources Minister claims this will speed up approval of projects that will boost the economy.
In the budget passed on March 29th plans were announced to speed up a "duplicative, cumbersome and uncertain" process projects faced. The government will now move to what it calls a one project one review system. If a provincial review meets the requirement of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act then this review would suffice.
Companies will be pleased as they have been complaining for years about the review process. Some projects take many years for approval.
Opposition MPs and environmental groups said that what Harper called streamlining was in effect gutting the review process. However Oliver said the streamlined process is critical to creating jobs and economic growth. While these are laudable aims it should not be at the expense of the environment and of future generations who must live with the consequences. For much more see this CBC article,.