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However, after 20 years of existence, this legislation was repealed and replaced by CEAA 2012.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 The Right Hon. Stephen Harper re Proposed CEAA Reforms

Re: Parliamentary Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: Proposals for Reform

Resource Type:Letter
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:3
Date authored:March 27, 2012
Publication number:827
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Legal Analysis of the Report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Regarding the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Resource Type:Report
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:26
Date authored:March 27, 2012
Publication number:826
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Speaking Notes for Presentation to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

Resource Type:Presentation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:3
Date authored:October 27, 2011
Publication number:825
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA

Mar 27 2012

D'un océan à l'autre, des groupes canadiens déclarent que des lois environnementales fédérales inclusives sont nécessaires

Feb 29 2012

From Coast to Coast, Canadian Groups Say Strong, Inclusive Federal Environmental Laws are Needed
Title:Bill C-9: Proposed Changes to The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Resource Type:Legal Submissions
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:4
Date authored:July 9, 2010
Publication number:733
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Speaking Notes for Presentation to The Senate Committee on National Finance re Bill C-9 Proposals to Amend The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Resource Type:Legal Submissions
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:3
Date authored:July 6, 2010
Publication number:731
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:Bill C-9: Proposed Changes to The Canadian Environmental Assessent Act
Resource Type:Legal Submissions
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:4
Date authored:July 6, 2010
Publication number:730
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
Title:A comparison of the basic needs for improvement of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act with the substance and implications of amendments proposed in Bill C-9

CELA publication 721(C)

Resource Type:Report, Response to Consultation
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:16
Date authored:May 13, 2010
Publication number:721
Author/s:Robert B. Gibson
Author Organization:Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo and CELA
Title:Re: Bill C-9: Proposed Changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

CELA Publication 721(B) [Letter to James Rajotte, Chair of the Standing Committee of Finance]

Resource Type:Letter
Content:Download PDF file
# of Pages:3
Date authored:May 13, 2010
Publication number:721
Author/s:Richard Lindgren
Author Organization:CELA
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