Source: Government of Canada – MIL OSI National News
The Canada-British Columbia Impact Assessment Cooperation Agreement is a consolidation and update of earlier agreements between the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (now the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada) that have been in place since as early as 2004. The agreement sets outs ways the jurisdictions will work together on impact assessments of projects that require an assessment by both levels of government. This will ensure a more predictable and timely process, increased efficiency and certainty, and result in quality assessments that draw on the best available expertise, supporting the shared principle of “one-project, one-assessment.”
Under the agreement, projects that require an impact assessment by both the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia will undergo a cooperative impact assessment. The agreement provides for a number of mechanisms for cooperative impact assessments: coordination, substitution, or joint review panel. The agreement includes a commitment for Canada and British Columbia to work together to coordinate cooperation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples throughout impact assessments.
Cooperative impact assessments allow jurisdictions, proponents, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders to allocate resources more efficiently and increase clarity and consistency for Indigenous peoples and the public. Benefits also include more relevant and consistent sources of information, information sharing, effective public participation and coordinated communications.
Under the Agreement, both jurisdictions retain responsibility for satisfying their respective impact assessment legal requirements. Each government maintains authority in the areas under its jurisdiction and retains its ability to make decisions regarding a proposed project.
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