Federal Budget Bill hides major changes in Environmental Assessment Law
The federal budget bill tabled on March 29th 2010 includes buried changes to the federal environmental assessment regime. Bill C-9 is sweeping omnibus legislation, coming in at over 900 pages and 2000 sections.
While the majority of the proposed amendments are to financial statutes necessary to implement the budget, many are not. The changes to theCanadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), are among those not tied to the budget. These amendments substantially change the environmental assessment process and would side-step court cases holding government accountable for administering the requirements of the existing legislation.