Government appoints panel to review environmental rules and regs

By awrara ra

The Canadian government is reviewing environmental regulations in a bid to restore confidence in the country’s environmental and regulatory processes. This is to ensure that decisions on major projects are based on science, facts, and evidence, including traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced the creation of a four-member Expert Panel to undertake the review of federal environmental assessment processes.

Johanne Gélinas has been appointed as the Chair of the Expert Panel. Doug Horswill, Rod Northey, and Renée Pelletier have been appointed as members of the Expert Panel. The Minister has issued the Terms of Reference, establishing the mandate and timelines for the Panel.

Panel members were selected based on their knowledge, experience and expertise relevant to federal environmental assessment processes. The Minister also considered the need for diversity in terms of Indigenous, regional and gender representation.

The Expert Panel will engage broadly with Canadians, including Indigenous groups, the public and a wide range of stakeholders. Consultation opportunities will be held across Canada starting in September 2016.

As part of the government's commitment to renewing its relationship with Indigenous people based on trust, respect, and cooperation, the Expert Panel will work directly with Indigenous groups to ensure that their concerns are heard and taken into account throughout the review.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said: “Our belief that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand is central to the health and well-being of Canadians. This is especially important as we work to get resources to market and develop major projects responsibly in the twenty-first century. Canadians expect and deserve to have an environmental assessment system that they can trust.”

“The members of the Expert Panel will bring a broad cross-section of views and experience to this process and I have every faith in their ability to complete this review in a way that represents the views of all Canadians. I had the opportunity to meet the Panel today and share my thoughts with them on the importance of this review. I look forward to receiving their report, as we move towards a more open, transparent and inclusive process leading to decisions based on facts and scientific evidence.”

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