Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
In 1992, the Government of Canada enacted the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), which was intended to achieve sustainable development by identifying, evaluating and mitigating adverse environmental effects which may be caused by projects under federal jurisdiction. Over the years, the CEAA was publicly reviewed and periodically amended by Parliament to ensure that the federal environmental assessment process was effective, efficient, and equitable. In addition, there have been a number of key judgments by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court which affirmed the importance of the CEAA as an information-gathering and decision-making tool in the environmental context.
However, the Government of Canada repealed this legislation in 2012, and replaced it with the new CEAA 2012. This new law, which is now in force, applies to a much smaller set of projects, greatly expands Ministerial discretion, and considerably narrows the nature and scope of federal environmental assessment obligations. Overall, CELA views the new CEAA 2012 as an unjustified and ill-conceived rollback of federal environmental law.
This collection contains CELA’s various briefs, articles and media releases on CEAA reform since 2010. Previous materials about the CEAA may be found in CELA’s publications list.