Out of 2,970 project reviews that were stopped by the legislation that rewrote Canada’s environmental laws and weakened federal oversight on industrial development, 678 involved fossil fuel energy and 248 involved a pipeline, including proposals from Alberta-based energy companies, Enbridge and TransCanada.
The numbers were calculated using the agency’s new online database that is still undergoing some revisions, additions and corrections.
“Federal environmental assessment is only one among many regulatory instruments aimed at ensuring that projects do not cause significant adverse environmental effects, and it is important to note that these smaller projects will still be subject to relevant federal and provincial laws, regulations and standards,” said Isabelle Perrault, a spokeswoman for the agency.
She explained that Environment Minister Peter Kent has decided to continue a “screening-type assessment” for 18 projects that were already undergoing reviews before Parliament adopted the budget bill, which also offered new tools for the government to authorize water pollution, investigate environmental groups, weaken protection of endangered species, and limit public participation in consultations and reviews of proposed industrial projects.
It’s hard to look at that list of things that this bill does accomplish and actually conceive of how this was positively spun. Come to think of it, I guess they didn’t really bother, outside the hollow and craven business-schooler defence of “B-b-b-b-but efficiency! The economy!”
Oh, and the whole reason I posted this: the province with the most cancelled environmental reviews was, drumroll please, Saskatchewan, with 638 cancelled reviews! Whoops, we have to all leave the province now, we’ve forfeited our security deposit.