Environmental Planning and Assessment Caucus
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
The Caucus has worked since the late 1980s on various elements of the development of federal environmental assessment (EA).
The Five-Year Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act), completed in 2003, was well served by members of the caucus who participated in regional workshops and public consultations across the country. During the review process, the caucus identified issues that were considered to be priorities in seeking improvements to the Act. In addition, to help environmental and citizen's groups participate in the Five-Year Review, the Caucus prepared a citizen's report card and a citizen's briefing kit.
Statutory ('Seven-Year') Review of the Act
The Caucus is preparing to involve the public in the Seven-Year Review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2010. Recognizing that this review will be different from the previous one, the Caucus believes that public awareness and involvement will play an even more important role. Public workshops, communications packages and research papers will be designed to help Canadians become engaged in the process. Specifically, the Caucus plans to look at ways to build awareness and capacity around the review, and at the same time increase public interest in federal EA.
In essence, we are informing the public about the upcoming review, letting them know how they can get involved and providing the tools for effective participation in both the review and the broader environmental assessment process.
Learn more about the EPA Caucus' work related to the statutory review of the Act.
Caucus Working Groups and Internal Committees
Since the advent of formal environmental assessment process in Canada with the inception of the Environmental Assessment Review Process (EARP) Guidelines Order in June 1984, members of the Caucus have participated in, and contributed to, the development of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and its regulations. Caucus members have also been involved in a range of advocacy and legal efforts to strengthen the CEA Act and its application.
Regulatory Advisory Committees
The Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) is a multi-stakeholder committee first established in 1992 to advise the Minister of Environment on the regulations and guidelines needed to implement the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Over the years, the RAC has evolved and broadened to include the provision of advice on environmental assessment policy in Canada, and the undertaking of periodic reviews of CEAA and its regulations.
RAC has proven to be a viable multi-stakeholder forum for discussing environmental assessment issues with a history of constructive participants interested in seeking consensus to advance the practice of environmental assessment in Canada. At present, representatives of Caucus member groups participate in the RAC to lend expertise, experience, knowledge, and credibility to the RAC and its subcommittees.
In the fall of 2002, the Caucus started the process of developing a longer-term strategy to improve EA within all jurisdictions of Canada. To this end, a Caucus member led an electronically assisted strategic planning process over several months, culminating in over 30 strategic actions, three key priority areas, and six new Caucus committees. These initiatives have and will continue to guide the Caucus’ activities over the coming years.
Subject to available funds, twenty to thirty delegates from member groups attend two meetings annually where delegates share experiences and consider options for action. Typically, one of the two meetings is held in Ottawa, where we can also meet with representatives of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency which administers the Act, to discuss both policy and the practical application of the Act.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the minutes from one of the recent Caucus meetings, please contact the EPA Caucus Coordinator.
Projects Outside Canada
The EPA Caucus is not currently involved in projects outside Canada.
Environmental Action Committee, AB
Mouvement Au Courant, QC
Rachel Forbes (interim co-chair)
West Coast Environmental Law Association, BC
Roberta Frampton Benefiel
Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc., NL
Joseph M. Hnatiuk
Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists, AB
Jamie Kneen (co-chair)
MiningWatch Canada, ON
Alberta Wilderness Association, AB
Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Chapter, NS
Northwest Institute, BC
Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Cooperative, SK
Environmental Coalition of PEI, PE
Green Action Centre, MB