Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

Collection of materials about CEAA and CEAA reform

In 1992, the Government of Canada enacted the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), which established environmental assessment (EA) processes intended to identify, evaluate and mitigate adverse environmental effects that may be caused by projects under federal jurisdiction.

However, after 20 years of existence, this legislation was repealed and replaced by CEAA 2012. This new law, which is still in force, applies to a much smaller set of projects, greatly expands Ministerial discretion, and considerably narrows the nature and scope of federal EA requirements.

In response to ongoing public concerns about CEAA 2012, the Government of Canada established an advisory Expert Panel in 2016 to consult Canadians on how to make federal EA processes more robust, evidence-based, participatory, and credible. The Panel's report was filed in early 2017, and the federal government published a Discussion Paper in June 2017 to outline possible legislative reforms.

In February 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-69, which, if enacted, would repeal CEAA 2012 and replace it with the proposed Impact Assessment Act. This Bill has received Second Reading, and was the subject of recent public hearings held by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Bill has now been reported back to the House of Commons and is awaiting Third Reading debate, and then it goes to the Senate for consideration.

As the Bill continues through the Parliamentary process, the federal government is also consulting on proposed regulations to implement the new legislation, which is expected to be proclaimed in force in 2019.

This collection contains CELA’s various briefs, articles and media releases on CEAA reform since 2010. Pre-2010 materials about the CEAA may be found in CELA’s publications list or via a site search.

Media Releases and Blogs

Pipelines, Environmental Assessment and the Rule of Law
Canada’s Impact Assessment Act: Myth vs. Fact
Assessing Canada’s Impact Assessment Act: Boon or Boondoggle?
CELA applauds federal government’s Budget 2018
Greening Federal Environmental Law: An Overview
The Federal Government’s Proposed Impact Assessment Act: Some Forward Progress, but Changes Needed to Ensure Sustainability
Federal EA Reform: The Perils of Overpromising and Underdelivering
Sunny Ways for EAs? The 2017 Forecast for Federal Law Reform
Federal EA Reform at the Cross-Roads
The Resurrection of Federal Environmental Assessment?
CEAA 1992: In Memoriam
Federal Budget Bill Will Weaken Canada's Environmental Laws
Federal Announcements Confirm Government's Intent to Weaken Canada's Environmental Laws
Federal Budget Signals Attack on Canada's Environmental Laws
From Coast to Coast, Canadian Groups Say Strong, Inclusive Federal Environmental Laws are Needed
Environmental Assessment Statement of Principles - for a healthy, secure, and sustainable Canada
Environmental Groups Go to Ottawa to Oppose Harper Government's Proposals to Weaken Federal Environmental Law
Green Budget Coalition Opposes Using Budget Process to Weaken Environmental Protection Laws

Publications