Webinar: Environmental Assessment is Not Red Tape

The Ontario government has recently made sweeping changes to environmental assessment (EA) law in Ontario, ending long-standing public safeguards designed to protect the environment and our health. These changes have serious and alarming impacts for Ontarians: not only do they restrict the applicability of EA processes to new projects and developments, but they also increase uncertainty about how new projects will be reviewed.

In response, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) will be hosting a free one-hour primer on October 22, 2020, from 1-2 p.m., that will provide an overview of the key changes, discuss the proposed EA project list regulation currently posted on the EBR Registry for public comment, and let you know what you and your organization can do to push back against these reforms.

More information can be found on the Canadian Environmental Law Association website, and please note that registration is required.

Bill 197 Update: Narrowing the Application of the Environmental Assessment Act

October 15, 2020

Blog post by Richard Lindgren (CELA)

In late July 2020, the Ontario government enacted omnibus Bill 197, which contains a number of controversial amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA).

The province’s sudden passage of the Bill 197 changes to the EAA without any public notice and comment opportunities was strongly criticized by opposition MPPs and the Auditor General of Ontario on the grounds that this fast-track approach contravened mandatory consultation requirements under Part II of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR).

In addition, individuals, environmental groups (including CELA) and First Nations have commenced legal challenges against Bill 197 in Ontario’s Divisional Court. It is anticipated that these matters will be heard by the Court in the spring of 2021…

Read more at Bill 197 Update: Narrowing the Application of the Environmental Assessment Act on the CELA website.

Preliminary Review of Ontario’s Proposed Project List under the Environmental Assessment Act

October 15, 2020 (CELA)

The Province of Ontario has released a proposed list of projects that will be subject to comprehensive environmental assessment under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EAA).

CELA staff counsel Rick Lindgren has completed a preliminary review of the proposed project list (PDF).

The public is invited to submit comments on the proposal via the Environmental Registry (ERO# 019-2377)  until November 10, 2020.