Green Party of Canada Urges Restoration of Integrity to Environmental Assessment Processes

May 2, 2024 at 8:59 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is urging the federal government to restore trust and accountability in Canada’s environmental review processes. Recent proposed amendments to the Impact Assessment Act, tucked away in the Budget Implementation Act, contradict previous commitments by the Liberal government and fail to protect the environment effectively.

In 2015, the Liberal platform committed to never using omnibus budget implementation acts. It also committed to repairing the environmental impact assessment law. In one fell swoop this week the Liberals have broken both those promises.

 There is a palpable sense of urgency and frustration surrounding the need to address the shortcomings of the Impact Assessment Act. The Green Party emphasizes the critical nature of the issue and its commitment to ensuring robust environmental protection measures.

“The government must fulfill its promises and strengthen the integrity of our environmental review processes,” said Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party. “We need clear and enforceable rules, not decisions left to the discretion of ministers. Our natural heritage deserves better protection.”

The Party is advocating for changes to the Impact Assessment Act that would reduce ministerial discretion and return to the more stringent and constitutionally sound guidelines that existed before the Harper government’s changes. This issue reflects broader concerns about parliamentary efficiency and the use of omnibus bills to pass significant legislative changes.

“We stand firm in demanding the reinstatement of thorough and transparent environmental assessments that were removed over a decade ago,” said MP Mike Morrice. “We are already seeing the significant impact of these shortcomings in the recent sign-off on Ontario’s destructive Highway 413. Canadians expect and deserve accountable and effective environmental protections.”

The current version of the Impact Assessment Act does not meet Canada’s obligations to safeguard its people or ecosystems. Greens say the proposed changes undermine the government’s credibility on environmental issues and overlook the urgent needs of addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity.

The Green Party of Canada calls on the government to make environmental reviews more transparent, based on clear criteria, and independent of ministerial interference. Furthermore, the party insists that the government must keep its promises and ensure environmental protection is a priority in all legislative measures.

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For more information or to arrange an interview : 

Fabrice Lachance Nové

Press secretary

514-463-0021

[email protected]

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