AuthorA John Sinclair an d Meinha rd Doelle
A John Sinclair and Meinhard Doelle
Impact assessment is now practised in over 150 countries worldwide,
and as knowledge and understanding of it evolve, so do the laws guid-
ing it. Federally, Canada entered a new chapter in 2015 by fundamentally
reconsidering how best to undertake environmental assessment. This
is a task that no other country has embarked on in the last decade or
more. Many people and organizations from a wide range of sectors,
both within and outside Canada, participated in and keenly watched the
process of review and reform unfold. The process started with mandate
letters that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided to his new Cabinet.
The 12 November 2015 letter to Minister of Environment and Climate
Change Catherine McKenna asked her to “immediately review Canada’s
environmental assessment processes to regain public trust and help get
resources to market and introduce new, fair processes.”1
By 2016, the minister had struck the Multi-Interest Advisory
Committee, representing Indigenous, industry, and environmental
non- governmental organizations to advise her and the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Agency on the development of a new Act. The
1 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and
Climate Change, “Minister of Environment and Climate Change Mandate Letter” (12
November 2015), online: Oce of the Prime Minister

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