Better rules need better science: Submission to federal government regarding the role of science in impact assessment
(April 6, 2018) — After several years of consultations regarding environmental assessment in Canada, the federal government has begun the process to enact new legislation.
Bill C-69 (An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts) will soon be undergoing second reading the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
Parties were invited to submit comments for the committee recommending amendments to the Bill. Y2Y’s Drs. Aerin Jacob and Alana Westwood submitted a brief, below, which focused on weakness in science in the proposed Act.
Experts grade science in proposed Impact Assessment Act, give it a “D”
(February 9, 2018) — Leading scientific and legal experts graded the federal government’s proposed impact assessment legislation (Bill C-69), and found a lot to be desired. These experts say the legislation runs counter to repeated claims by the government to make decisions based on facts, evidence, and in the public interest.
Strong foundations report: Recap and recommendations from scientists regarding the federal environmental and regulatory reviews
(September 2017) — Canada’s environmental assessment system has been criticized by thousands of scientists in the past for ignoring science and basing decisions on politics, not evidence, including Y2Y, and more than 1,800 young researchers.
The Government of Canada is now the process of modernizing this broken system, and has requested public input on their Environmental and Regulatory Reviews Discussion Paper.
We brought together a cross-sector collaboration of 25 scholars and practitioners of environmental science, law, and policy from Canadian academic, government, non-government, and private sectors.
Our report, Strong Foundations: Recap and Recommendations from Scientists Regarding the Federal Environmental and Regulatory Reviews identifies nine priorities and seven gaps that the government must address to ensure that environmental assessment has a solid foundation of science. We also offer a companion paper of recommendations specific to the Fisheries Act.
By strengthening the evidence collected in environmental assessment, how it is used and shared, and how decisions are made, the government can begin to regain public trust and support a process that protects our communities, health, and environment.