Canadian Federal Environmental and Regulatory Reviews

In 2016-2017, TGG participated in the most significant reform of the Canadian environmental assessment process in a generation. Following the election of the Liberals in 2015, the Canadian government initiated major environmental and regulatory process reviews. The purpose of the reviews was to establish improved rules to better protect the environment, fish and waterways and rebuild public trust. Indigenous engagement and reconciliation were seen as key aspects of the process.

The Federal Environmental Assessment Review led to major changes to Canadian environmental laws and energy regulation. Following the Review, the Impact Assessment Act came into force in August 2019. The Act, which replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, outlines a process for assessing the impacts of major projects. The Act has a much broader mandate (including consideration of environmental, health, social and economic impacts of proposed projects) than its predecessor the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) is responsible for conducting impact assessments under the Act. Other significant consequences of the reviews included the dismantling of the National Energy Board and the creation of the Canadian Energy Regulator, as well as important changes to federal acts governing fisheries and waterways.

During this critical review process, TGG advised the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), an Inuit government in Labrador. Drawing on our extensive expertise in the evaluation of environmental and economic development impacts, TGG’s Brigid Rowan (with in-depth participation of Ian Goodman) supported NCC leadership in the Canadian federal environmental and regulatory reviews (2016-2017) as follows:

  • Prepared the December 15, 2016 presentation for NCC President, Todd Russell to the Canadian Federal Environmental Assessment Review Expert Panel, and provided assistance to Mr. Russell for his oral presentation.
  • Authored the Written Submission to Federal Environmental Assessment Review Panel on behalf of NCC (based on the December 15, 2016 presentation), filed on December 23, 2016. The purpose of the December presentation and the written submission was to present NCC’s recommendations to the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Panel in the context of the Trudeau government’s commitment to improve the federal environmental assessment process and Indigenous consultations.
  • Co-authored, coordinated and edited NCC’s Submissions to the Government of Canada Regarding Environmental and Regulatory Reviews – Discussion Paper, filed on September 15, 2017. This document presented NCC’s comments on the update of the federal review of environmental and regulatory processes (pertaining to the Fisheries Act, the Navigation Protection Act, Environmental Assessment Processes and the Modernization of the National Energy Board).

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Inukshuk, Courtesy of NunatuKavut Community Council, NunatuKavut, Labrador