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 Acts1 will change the assessment of project impacts in Canada.
A significant change is that Indigenous knowledge, culture, socio-economic and traditional land use considerations will be integral to the impact assessment process under the proposed Impact Assessment Act (IAA). If passed, decision making under the IAA will include a consideration of Indigenous knowledge provided during the impact assessment of a project.
We previously wrote about Bill C-69 and its proposed changes here.
Now, Bill C-69 has passed second reading in the Senate and has been referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for review. Consultations around regulations and policy to support the Act are underway.
The Government of Canada has published a discussion paper2 and invites Indigenous Peoples, provinces and territories, members of the public, and stakeholders to provide input that will assist the development of an Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for proposed project reviews and regulatory decisions. The Government of Canada intends for the Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework to guide the application of Indigenous knowledge provisions in the proposed amendments of the Fisheries Act (Bill C-68) and the IAA.
Input can be given online, by participating in the discussion forum, or by sending a submission responding to the several questions listed in the discussion paper. These engagements are open until June 14, 2019, 11:59 PM.
1 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, 1st Sess, 42nd Parl, 2018 (Impact Assessment Act, Preamble).
2 Government of Canada, "Discussion Paper: Indigenous Knowledge Policy Framework for Proposed Project Reviews and Regulatory Decisions" (16 May 2019), online: Let's talk Indigenous Knowledge www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/conservation/assessments/environmental-reviews/environmental-assessment-processes/discussion-paper-development-indigenous-knowledge-policy-framework.html.
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