VANCOUVER — The winds of legislative change out of Ottawa are shifting regulatory expectations for natural resource development across Canada, and the Yukon government is feeling the impact.
The Trudeau Liberals have expressed a desire to rejuvenate Canadians’ “trust in the regulatory process,” which so far has equated to an overt dedication to stomping out any remnants of the Harper Conservatives’ various attempts to streamline reviews for everything from pipelines to mining projects.
Trudeau is apparently big on “consultations,” and the federal government recently unveiled plans to “modernize” the regulatory process, which has begun with a widespread review that could impact the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
For Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, this creates a bit of a problem because the federal government has torpedoed the contentious Bill S-6 amendment to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) put forward by the pro-development Conservatives. Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, indicated the changes are not “fair and appropriate” to stakeholders and First Nations.
Now, it isn’t a total disaster for Yukon natural resources since the Trudeau Liberals are essentially taking YESAA back a step, and eliminating four key proposals that triggered a petition in the Yukon Supreme Court last year to have the legislation struck down.
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