Bill to update impact assessment law coming in spring: Wilkinson

OTTAWA — Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the government will have legislation ready by the spring to fix the constitutional problems the Supreme Court has with the federal Impact Assessment Act.

The Liberals passed the act in 2019 to overhaul how major projects are assessed for their environmental and social impacts.

In October, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the law was too broad because it allowed Ottawa to wade into provincial jurisdiction.

The new legislation to fix that is part of a plan Wilkinson is publishing today to speed up the regulatory approval and permitting process for major projects.

Canada needs massive investments in the electrical grid and potentially hundreds of new critical mineral mines to meet the growing demand of the clean tech revolution.

But it can take more than 15 years to get a new mine approved and built because of inefficiencies in the review process, a timeline Wilkinson says must be cut by more than half.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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