Summary of the Meetings of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Impact Assessment – December 2020, January and February 2021

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change established an Advisory Council on impact assessment in November 2020. The mandate of the Council is to provide the Minister with advice on the implementation of the impact assessment and regional and strategic assessment regimes under the Impact Assessment Act. The Minister asked the Council initially to focus on governance structures and processes, priority areas for regional and strategic assessments, and perspectives to ensure the planning phase is predictable and transparent, and that meaningful public engagement and Indigenous collaboration are achieved. The Council is made up of 12 members, including the Chair. The President of the Agency serves as an additional, ex-officio non-voting member. The Council will deliver its first report to the Minister in June 2021. Given its broad mandate and the short timeframe for the delivery of its first report to the Minister, the Council will identify specific areas where it can provide early advice and will elaborate on other topics in future reports.

Meeting Objectives

During their first three meetings in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021, the Council focussed on how they were going to operate, the scope of their mandate, and identification of areas for advice on the priorities outlined by the Minister. Expert presentations and discussions focussed on ensuring a common understanding of the Impact Assessment Act and its implementation to date, cultivating an ethical space in the Council, and beginning the process of developing advice for the Minister.

Discussion topics

Impact Assessment Act

Ethical Space

Governance

Regional and Strategic Assessments

Indigenous Issues

Next steps

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