ontario news watch

Feds install temporary impact review process pending new law prompted by top court

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada will limit some of its work while the federal government develops new legislation to respond to a recent Supreme Court of Canada opinion.

The court ruled earlier this month that a law passed four years ago, which set up a new environmental review process for major projects, strayed into provincial jurisdiction.

It upheld the parts of the law that deal with projects Ottawa is financing on federal land or outside the country, but said measures that allow the federal minister to designate a provincial project for review are unconstitutional.

Guilbeault says that pending new legislation to address the court’s decision, the federal agency will look at all its ongoing assessments to determine if they fall under federal jurisdiction.

He says he will not designate any more projects for review for the time being.

The agency is currently reviewing more than four dozen projects, and almost half of them are mines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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