A proposed new impact assessment system

Archived content

On August 28, 2019, the Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and the Navigation Protection Act came into force. The Impact Assessment Act creates the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. For more information, please visit the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada website.

What we are doing

The Government of Canada is bringing forward better rules for major projects to protect our environment, fish and waterways, and rebuild public trust in how decisions about resource development projects are made.

One of the key proposed changes is provide greater clarity and consistency by establishing the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (currently the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) to lead all federal reviews of major projects, working with other bodies like the new Canadian Energy Regulator (currently the National Energy Board), the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Offshore Boards, and in cooperation with provinces and territories and Indigenous jurisdictions.

These better rules reflect values that are important to Canadians — including early, inclusive and meaningful public engagement; nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government partnerships with Indigenous peoples; timely decisions based on the best available science and Indigenous knowledge; and sustainability for present and future generations.

Key features of the proposed new system

What's happening now and next steps

The proposed new Impact Assessment Act is undergoing review by Parliament. Until the proposed legislation comes into effect, existing laws and interim principles for project reviews will continue to apply to projects under review.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is currently developing policy, guidance, and regulations for the proposed new impact assessment system.

Guides and infographics

Gender-Based Analysis Plus in Impact Assessment

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Public Participation in Impact Assessment

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Handbook: Better rules for major project reviews

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Certainty, Confidence, Competitiveness: Helping Good Projects Move Forward Sustainably

Technical Guide: a proposed new impact assessment system

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Technical Guide: a proposed new impact assessment system

Certainty, Confidence, Competitiveness: Helping Good Projects Move Forward Sustainably

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Certainty, Confidence, Competitiveness: Helping Good Projects Move Forward Sustainably

Current system and proposed new system comparison

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Current system and proposed new system comparison

A focus on Indigenous peoples

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A focus on Indigenous peoples

How new laws and regulations are created

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How new laws and regulations are created

Why we did this?

The government promised to review environmental and regulatory processes to address concerns about previous reforms. The government put in place interim principles for project reviews in January 2016, then launched a comprehensive process in June 2016 to review existing laws and seek Canadians’ input on how to improve our environmental and regulatory system.

Improvements needed to the current system:

More information

Indigenous Engagement:

Advisory Groups:

Regulations:

Proposed legislation:

2016-2017 Review of environmental and regulatory processes:

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