The federal government’s new approach to the environment means the public will have far less input into natural resource development in Canada, says the federal auditor general for the environment.
Greenies seem worried their mass emotion/deception-driven “click here to send a letter/fax to [some target]” campaigns will be downgraded to the irrelevant nonsense they are. Good.
Scott Vaughan, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, says changes to federal environmental assessment introduced last week are among the most significant policy developments in 30 or 40 years.
In comments to a conference about sustainable development, Vaughan said public consultation has always been a “bedrock” of environmental policy in Canada.
But with more than 100 pages of new provisions wrapped into the budget implementation bill tabled last week, “there will be a significant narrowing of public participation,” Vaughan said.
Hearings will be triggered less often. And when they are triggered, only people who are considered directly affected will be allowed to participate, Vaughan said.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Kent, however, said the new process would be inclusive.
Anyone directly affected can have a say, as well as First Nations and experts. Others can write in.
Regulators will decide who is directly affected on a case-by-case basis with the aim of preventing a flood of interveners who all say the same thing, said spokesman Rob Taylor.