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Overhaul of environmental assessment process

Friday, February 9, 2018

An expert from the University of Waterloo is available to discuss the federal government’s plans to streamline the approval process for major natural resource projects and other major changes to environment and energy policies.

Robert Gibson – School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Robert Gibson is a professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. His research focuses on environmental assessment, planning and development, environmental politics, history of attitudes to nature, public participation and democratic theory, environmental journalism, and sustainability ethics.

"Overall the bill includes some important steps forward, towards next generation assessments. Among these are the identification of positive contributions to sustainability as the first of five factors to address in decisions, emphasis in early planning and the opening for regional and strategic assessments. 

"Many key matters remain uncertain, including how more specific criteria for determining positive contributions to sustainability will be established, what projects and strategic undertakings will be covered, how early planning will be run and starting at what stage in proponents’ planning, and how big concerns about alternatives, cumulative effects and major policy issues will be addressed."

- Robert Gibson

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