BC Government Sets the Stage for “Revitalizing” the Provincial Environmental Assessment Process

Selina Lee-AndersenConnor Bildfell

Changes are on the horizon for the BC Environmental Assessment (EA) process. On March 7, 2018, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman announced that the provincial government will “revitalize” the provincial EA process with a view to enhancing public confidence, advancing reconciliation with First Nations, and protecting the environment while supporting sustainable economic growth. Minister Heyman emphasized the province’s goal of ensuring that First Nations, local governments, and the general public can participate in an EA process that is “transparent, science-based, timely and provides early indications of the likelihood of success.” Continue Reading

2018 Federal Budget Proposes Legislative Changes to Make Foreign-Born Indigenous Peoples Having Status Under the Indian Act Retroactively Eligible for Certain Child Tax Benefits

Jaspreet KaurYaroslavna NosikovaGabrielle RichardsJustin Shoemaker

On February 27, 2018, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled in the House of Commons the Liberal Government’s third budget, Equality + Growth = A Strong Middle Class (“Budget 2018”).  Since 2016, foreign-born Indigenous peoples having status under the Indian Act who are legally residing in Canada, but are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents, qualify for the Canada Child Benefit.  Budget 2018 proposes to amend the eligibility requirements of the previous benefit systems (Canada Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit supplement and the Universal Child Care Benefit) on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2005 to make such persons eligible for these tax benefits where all other eligibility requirements are met.  For a discussion of these tax measures as well as others in Budget 2018, please see McCarthy Tétrault’s Budget 2018 Commentary.


Québec Publishes Draft Regulations to Amend Environment Quality Act

Cindy VaillancourtDominique Amyot-BilodeauMartin Thiboutot

On February 14, 2018, the Government of Québec published for consultation purposes 24 draft regulations aimed at implementing significant amendments made to the Québec Environment Quality Act (the “EQA”) pursuant to Bill 102[1].

The Government of Québec’s intent is that twenty-two of these draft regulations come into force at the latest by December 1, 2018. The proposed regulations also include new transitional measures that would come into effect on March 23, 2018. Continue Reading

Indigenous Interests in Focus – Impact Assessment Act introduces substantive measures for a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples

Stephanie AxmannBryn GrayMadeleine Hawkins

On February 8, 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-69, Part 1 of which tables the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), proposed federal legislation to replace Canada’s current environmental assessment legislation, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), as we outline here. Continue Reading

It’s been a great run NEB: After almost 60 years, the National Energy Board to be replaced with the Canadian Energy Regulator

Kimberly J. HowardAnna-Marie ManleyGordon Nettleton

On February 8, 2018, the Federal Government announced the first reading of Bill C-69: An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-69).

While Bill C-69 proposes to amend a multitude of Federal legislation, this article focuses on its impact on the National Energy Board (NEB). For a discussion of the other changes introduced through Bill C-69, please refer to McCarthy Tétrault’s other blog posts on this topic which can be found here. Continue Reading

Moving Towards Sustainability and Public Interest: Federal Government Introduces the Impact Assessment Act

Peter BradyJoanna RosengartenStephanie Axmann

On February 8, 2018, the federal government introduced the Impact Assessment Act (“IAA” or “Act”), federal legislation to replace Canada’s current environmental assessment legislation, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (“CEAA 2012”).

The proposed IAA is the result of the federal government’s review of the scope and process of Canada’s federal environmental assessment legislation, which began with the establishment of an external Expert Panel in August 2016. As we previously wrote, on April 5, 2017, the Expert Panel released a report that contained various recommendations to fundamentally change the federal approach to project assessment. Such recommendations included the consideration of a broader range of project impacts, the establishment of a single impact assessment agency, increased participation of Indigenous groups, and earlier participation of the public and Indigenous groups in the planning process for assessments. Many of these recommendations have been implemented in the proposed IAA. Continue Reading

Hit the Rewind Button: Federal Government Introduces Amendments to Canadian Navigation Protection Legislation to Restore Lost Protections

Selina Lee-Andersen

In 2012, omnibus budget legislation (Bill C-38) was introduced by the previous Harper government, which included changes aimed at streamlining various federal environmental assessment (EA) review and regulatory processes. As part of its 2015 election platform, the federal Liberals promised to review these changes with a view to restoring lost protections and introducing modern safeguards. Following a comprehensive review and public consultations, the federal government introduced into Parliament proposed amendments to processes under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), National Energy Board Act (NEB Act), and the Navigation Protection Act (NPA, previously the Navigable Waters Protection Act) on February 8, 2018. The federal government had introduced proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act (Bill C-68) earlier in the week on February 6, 2018. The proposed Fisheries Act amendments are discussed in more detail here. Continue Reading

Angling for Reconciliation: An Overview of Indigenous–related Amendments to the Fisheries Act

Stephanie AxmannSelina Lee-AndersenPaul R. Cassidy

On February 6, 2018, the federal government announced proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act (the Act), as we summarized here. In furtherance of the federal government’s reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, the proposed amendments provide opportunities to increase and strengthen the role of Indigenous groups in decision-making under the Act, which includes the potential for an increased role in project reviews, monitoring and policy development. The amendments also expressly provide opportunities for DFO to consider traditional knowledge in decision-making under the Act. Continue Reading

Back to the Future? Federal Government Introduces Amendments to Fisheries Act: Initial Thoughts

Selina Lee-AndersenStephanie AxmannPaul R. Cassidy

On February 6, 2018, the federal government announced amendments to the Fisheries Act (the “Act”) aimed at restoring what it describes as ‘lost protections” and “incorporating modern safeguards” to protect fish and fish habitat. The Act, regarded as one of Canada’s principal environmental laws as it is the primary federal statute governing fisheries resources in Canada, includes important provisions for conserving and protecting fish and fish habitat that affect a variety of industries. Continue Reading

New Mandatory Upgrade Training for Liquid Fuels Certificate Holders Coming Into Effect Soon

Trevor Courtis

After April 1, 2018, petroleum mechanics and site operators applying to renew their certification under the Certification of Petroleum Mechanics Regulation must have completed a one-time authorized upgrade training program. Continue Reading