My View on EA Received Dec. 26, 2016Submitted By: Ross Grandel January 04, 2017
Dear Review Team,
My views on this subject very closely align with the David Suzuki Foundation’s form letter. Especially the parts about the duty to consult; but not just for Aboriginal communities alone. I think Aboriginal communities should be consulted separately. But also, all communities affected by a development should be consulted including at a provincial and municipal level. Active consulting should be undertaken. Just asking for feedback in the local newspaper is not enough.
Otherwise, the Suzuki Foundation has summarized my suggested changes very succinctly. I trust them as experts on the requirements of an environmental assessment.
Environmental assessment should do five things for people in Canada:
1. Allow everyone, including Indigenous peoples, to say “no” to environmentally damaging projects in their communities.
2. Ensure that the environmental safety net, which includes other laws and regulations, is intact and working to keep air, water and soil healthy.
3. Guarantee public participation and the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples.
4. Consider the “big picture” and include cumulative effects from multiple projects on interconnected ecosystems in ways a case-by-case approach cannot.
5. Include scientific and traditional Indigenous ecological expertise on all environmental assessment panels.
If revisions to the CEAA can’t achieve these outcomes, please develop new regulations to replace it.
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