Letter from the President to the Technical Advisory Committee on Science and Knowledge

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July 17, 2020

Dear Members of the Technical Advisory Committee on Science and Knowledge:

Thank you for the valuable work you have all done to advance the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and begin providing important advice on the implementation of the Impact Assessment Act. I am grateful for the contributions that you have all made.

I would particularly like to highlight the admirable job that your Co-Chairs, Darcy Pickard and Kevin Hanna, have done.

As we enter the second year of the TAC's mandate, the following three issues have emerged as key areas where the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) would value TAC's input and support:

  1. Health, Social and Economic Effects – Advice on implementation of the Interim Guidance on Health, Social and Economic Effects, including on scoping, characterizing effects, and methods and methodologies to support the Agency's analysis of health, social and economic effects.
  2. Cumulative Effects – Advice and guidance on technical and policy considerations related to understanding and managing cumulative effects on health, social and economic conditions resulting from projects in combination with other activities that have been or will be carried out.
  3. Positive Effects – Advice on best practices for selecting Valued Components and tools for assessing and enhancing positive effects that would inform the Agency's practices.

Stewart Lindale, the Agency ex-officio member on the Committee, will work with you to support your development of advice in these areas.

The Agency is also supportive of the joint work that you are pursuing with the Indigenous Advisory Committee to discuss both committees' priorities and views on western science and Indigenous knowledge.

It is important the work of the TAC be transparent and available to First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities, as well as the Agency's stakeholders and the broader impact assessment practitioner community. As such, the Agency will be available to support the TAC in developing mechanisms and tools to achieve this goal.

It was good to have the opportunity to attend some of your meetings in 2019 and 2020, and I look forward to doing so again in the future. I was also happy to have participated in the joint meeting with the Indigenous Advisory Committee on July 16 and will be interested in the outcomes of the collaboration between the two committees.

Finally, I would like to applaud your willingness to continue the TAC's important work virtually in the challenging circumstances we are all experiencing. Your work is critical to the continued success and improvement of Canada's impact assessment process.


David McGovern

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