Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia launch regional assessment to support future decisions on offshore wind projects in the province
March 23, 2023 — Ottawa — Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
Harnessing the power of wind can help deliver clean, affordable electricity to our homes and businesses, create jobs and local economic growth, and fight climate change for generations to come. Now is the time to secure that strong, healthy future for Canadians.
The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have launched the start of the Regional Assessment of Offshore Wind Development in Nova Scotia. The members of the Committee responsible for conducting the assessment are Graham Daborn, Steve Parsons, Lorraine Whitman, Ann G. Wilkie and James Wooder.
The final Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, along with the Terms of Reference for the Committee were released today. The Agreement and Terms of Reference outline how the assessment will be conducted, and sets out its goals, objectives, activities and planned outcomes, as well as key aspects of its governance and administration. Both documents were developed with input from the public, Indigenous Peoples, and environmental, fishing, academic, and industry organizations.
Under its Terms of Reference, the Committee now has 18 months to complete its work. During this time, it will engage with Indigenous Peoples, other organizations and the public, gather and analyse information and seek advice from advisory groups. It will then prepare a draft Regional Assessment Report for public review and comment, which will be finalized and submitted to the federal and provincial Ministers.
The main purpose of a regional assessment is to contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of future impact assessments of projects that are subject to the Impact Assessment Act. In this case, the assessment will allow for early analysis of future wind development offshore of Nova Scotia, as well as its potential environmental, health, social and economic effects and benefits. This will help inform planning and decision-making for future wind projects in the study area.
"Clean energy and technologies are essential in enabling a sustainable and prosperous low-carbon future. This is why we are working in close collaboration with our provincial partners in support of wind development in Atlantic Canada. Wind power is clean and will deliver affordable and reliable power to homes."
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"As Canada advances towards a sustainable and prosperous low-carbon future, we are working with provinces and territories to unlock economic opportunities on the path to net-zero. Today's announcement with the Government of Nova Scotia represents a step forward in deploying offshore wind power, which will provide clean power and good jobs for Nova Scotians. This is one of many areas where Canada is well-positioned to lead."
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
"As we continue moving towards a net-zero future, offshore wind is just one of the many alternative energy sources at our disposal to ensure a successful transition away from fossil fuels towards clean, renewable energy for future generations. I'm excited to see yet another initiative from our government that sets Canada up to be world-leaders in renewable energy while simultaneously encouraging continued economic growth not only right here in Nova Scotia, but across all of Canada."
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
"Nova Scotia offers some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, with ample capacity to serve both local and international green hydrogen markets. This regional assessment will give us the knowledge we need to pursue offshore wind as one of many solutions to help fight climate change and grow our green economy. This is a promising opportunity for Nova Scotia."
– The Honourable Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables
Regional assessments are studies conducted in areas of existing projects or anticipated development to inform planning and management of cumulative effects and inform future project impact assessments. They are a key part of the implementation framework for the federal Impact Assessment Act.
There will be two regional assessments for offshore wind development in Atlantic Canada: one in Newfoundland and Labrador and one in Nova Scotia. Each assessment has its own independent committee subject to the same Terms of Reference.
The Government of Canada has committed to a net-zero electricity grid by 2035. Using clean electricity for transportation, to heat buildings, and to power an increasing number of industrial activities is key to achieving a net-zero emission economy by 2050.
The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are committed to ensuring respect for the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and to fostering reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
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