Sunday, January 18, 2009

Baird to end Environmental Impact Assessments for green infrastructure projects

Minister Baird is proposing to end environmental impact assessments for green infrastructure projects as reported in the Montreal Gazette. He claims that this would cut red tape and speed up the process of projects. The problem is that EIAs help to uncover issues and factors that have not been taken into consideration during the planning stage of a project. What the Minister should aim at instead is to find a method that EIAs do not overlap between federal and provincial governments and hence seek to streamline red tape at this level whilst maintaining and strengthening its use. As well, plenty of consulting firms (Environ, Golder Associates, etc.) and government agencies work on this issue. The last thing the government should be doing is cutting jobs in the environmental services sector.

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