The British Columbia government announced this week that, after one year of consultations with Indigenous peoples, industry, communities, environmental organizations and the public, it introduced legislation to modernize the environmental assessment of major resource projects.
In a media statement, the provincial administration said that the idea behind the changes is to provide “a clear and timely path for the approval of responsible resource projects, pursue reconciliation with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, increase public engagement and transparency and deliver stronger environmental protections.”
The new legislation is also part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement signed between the New Democratic Party and the Green Party when the former was pushing to form a minority government in last year’s regional election.
“Revitalizing the environmental assessment process is a key shared commitment because we both recognize the need to strengthen public trust in government decision-making,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, in the media brief. “It is vital to modernize the EA process so that important considerations like climate change, cumulative impacts and new scientific standards are properly incorporated.
I look forward to discussing the legislation further, so we can ensure that the wealth of our natural resources and the well-being of our ecological systems can be enjoyed by British Columbians for generations to come.”
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