Unmapped Territory: The Strategic Assessment of Climate Change

Under Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act, each project on the designated project list must undergo first a review in principle to ensure its compliance with the federal government’s climate policy framework and indigenous reconciliation goals before undergoing a more traditional project review that examines the specific local environmental impacts. The new Impact Assessment regulations convert the impact assessment process into an onerous and blunt instrument for discouraging any new economic project that causes GHG emissions to rise. Applying such a standard would constrain almost all economic activity and job creation in Canada, contrary to what the government claims are its objectives.