Quicker environmental assessments to get projects moving – by Brian Lilley (Toronto Sun – July 7, 2020)


It took six years for Canada and its allies to fight the Second World War. Today, in Ontario, it can take that long to get a major project approved, and that’s just the environmental assessment. That, though, is about to change.

The Ford government is about to undertake what it is calling the biggest changes to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act in its near 50-year history.

Under the proposed changes, due to be laid out in legislation to be tabled at Queen’s Park in the coming days, some projects that currently require environmental assessments will be exempt. For other major projects, the government hopes to cut that timeline down from six years to three years.

“Part of the problem is that in order to do your environmental assessment you have to come up with a work plan. That can actually take up to two years before the environmental assessment is done,” Environment Minister Jeff Yurek told me in an exclusive interview.

Listening to the minister, I’m amazed we’ve gotten anything built in Ontario. Two years just to decide how to design an assessment, then another 20 months or more to conduct the assessment, as much as 16 months for the ministry to review it and 13 months for the ministry to make a decision.

For the rest of this article: https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-quicker-environmental-assessments-to-get-projects-moving

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