Core principles for environmental assessment

Core principles for environmental assessment


Following on the heels of a disappointing process for the seven-year review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”), core principles for environmental assessment laws have been endorsed by numerous environmental groups across Canada. The core principles for environmental assessment are:


1. adopt sustainability as the core objective;
2. strengthen public participation;
3. meaningfully involve Aboriginal governments as decision-makers;
4. establish a legal framework for strategic environmental assessments;
5. establish a legal framework for regional environmental assessments;
6. require comprehensive, regional cumulative effects assessments;
7. employ multi-jurisdictional assessment and avoid substitution;
8. ensure transparency and access to information;
9. make environmental assessment procedures fairer, more predictable and accessible; and
10.apply design principles throughout the environmental assessment process to ensure that focus and efficiency do not come at the expense of democratic and constitutional rights


Read “Core principles for environmental assessment” on the ELC blog.





The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.


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