Government of Canada

 

The Need for Health Impact Assessments to be Integrated into all Federal Environmental Assessment Processes

Submitted By: Ian Culbert December 23, 2016
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As a collaboration of health organizations and health professionals, we call for the integration of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in all Federal Environmental Assessment (EA) Processes.

We welcome the Expert Panel Review of Environmental Assessment (EA) Processes established by the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Key issues identified for consideration include what federal EA should achieve and how it can function better. Key factors identified for consideration include the environment, social factors and the economy.

The Minister’s Mandate Letter recognizes the importance of decisions that serve the public’s interest, enable meaningful participation, and regain the public trust within federal Environmental Assessment processes. Clearly, at the heart of this matter are people and communities.

We agree that the current federal EA processes inadequately reflect the health and well-being of people and communities, and that existing EA processes do not provide a vehicle or framework for broad policy matters to be discussed within the context of environmental assessments.

We propose that comprehensive HIAs integrated within the mandate of EA processes could provide this crucial framework and better reflect the health and well-being of people and communities. Presently, EAs focus on project impacts on plant and animal species. We are requesting that human health impacts be included as well.


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