Project Law Blog

Canadian Parliament Responds to Red Chris Decision

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Bill C-9, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures, was introduced in the House of Commons on March 30, 2010.

Of particular interest is Part 20 of the Act, which purports to amend the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”) to streamline certain process requirements for comprehensive studies, to give the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency authority to conduct most comprehensive studies and to give the Minister of the Environment the power to establish the scope of any project in relation to which an environmental assessment is to be conducted. It also amends CEAA to provide, in legislation rather than by regulations, that an environmental assessment is not required for certain federally funded infrastructure projects and repeals sunset clauses in the Regulations Amending the Exclusion List Regulations, 2007.  The changes appear to be a response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s January 2010 ruling in the MiningWatch case.