Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

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However, after 20 years of existence, this legislation was repealed and replaced by CEAA 2012.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.

Title:Letter to Minister McKenna re: Proposed Impact Assessment Act's "Project List"
Resource Type:Letter, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:4
Date authored:April 18, 2018
Publication number:1188
Author/s:Richard Lindgren and 12 other signatories
Author Organization:CELA and 12 other organizations
Title:Presentation on the Proposed Impact Assessment Act to the Standing Committee on Environmental and Sustainable Development
Resource Type:Presentation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:12
Date authored:April 6, 2018
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Canada's Proposed Impact Assessment Act: How to Regain Public Trust Through Appropriate Amendments
Resource Type:Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:38
Date authored:April 6, 2018
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Comparing Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) to the Impact Assessment Act (IAA, Bill C-69)
Resource Type:Commentary
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:225
Date authored:March 29, 2018
Author/s:Ria Harford
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Environmental and Regulatory Reviews: Discussion Paper(June 2017)- Proposed Role of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Resource Type:Letter, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:8
Date authored:September 13, 2017
Publication number:1135
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:Canadian Environmental Law Association
Title:Supplementary Submissions on Environmental and Regulatory Reviews: Discussion Paper (June 2017)
Resource Type:Letter, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:6
Date authored:September 8, 2017
Publication number:1132
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:Canadian Environmental Law Association
Title:CELA Submissions on Federal EA Discussion Paper
Resource Type:Letter, Report, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:43
Date authored:August 28, 2017
Publication number:1130
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:Canadian Environmental Law Association
Title:2016 CEPA Review – CELA Response to Environment and Climate Change Canada CEPA Discussion Paper of May 2016
Resource Type:Letter
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:11
Date authored:March 21, 2017
Author/s:Joseph F. Castrilli and Fe de Leon
Author Organization:Canadian Environmental Law Association
Title:The Need for Health Impact Assessments to be Integrated into all Federal Environmental Assessment Processes

A submission from health organizations and health professionals to the Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to review federal environmental assessment processes

Resource Type:Report, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:15
Date authored:December 23, 2016
Author/s:Multiple Health Organizations and Health Professionals
Title:The Legal Path to Sustainability - The Top Five Reforms Needed for Next-Generation Assessments

Final Submissions of the Canadian Environmental Law Association To the Expert Panel regarding the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

Resource Type:Report, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:17
Date authored:December 22, 2016
Author/s:Richard D. Lindgren
Author Organization:Canadian Environmental Law Association
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