On 21 June, Bill C-69, legislation that proposed sweeping reforms to federal regulatory regimes concerning the environment assessment of major projects in Canada, received Royal Assent and became law.
Among other things, Bill C-69 has replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, with an Impact Assessment Act, replaced the National Energy Board Act with a Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and made changes to the Navigation Protection Act. In passing Bill C-69, the Federal Government accepted 62 amendments proposed by the senate and further amended or rejected the balance of the senate's proposed amendments.
Senate amendments that were accepted by the federal government include
Bill C-69 represents a major shift in how federal decisions are made about major resource development projects in Canada. While Bill C-69 increases environmental and stakeholder engagement requirements, there are concerns from industry that Bill C-69 could also increase regulatory uncertainty, despite amendments. This cannot be fully assessed unless and until major projects go through the new Impact Assessment Act process. In the meantime, the Impact Assessment Agency will be charged with developing processes to efficiently satisfy Bill C-69.
Read the full story here.
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