Perspectives for consideration during amendments to the Impact Assessment Act (February, 2024)
On Oct 13th, 2023, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the "designated projects" portion of the federal Impact Assessment Act (the Act) as unconstitutional; this decision was made on the basis that the Act is not directed at regulating effects within federal jurisdiction, and that the defined term "effects within federal jurisdiction" does not align with federal legislative jurisdiction.
The Act, which replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 2012) in August 2019, is a planning and decision-making tool through which the federal government assess various potential environmental and social/economic effects of major projects. The Act as currently written has significant implications for the mineral development sector.
In February 2024, PDAC submitted feedback on the opportunities presented by this ruling to address both the unconstitutionality of the designated projects list and other issues identified by our members that have occurred during the Act’s implementation.