The expert panel convened to make recommendations to the Ontario government on the provinces environmental assessment process has tabled its report, which the government has released. The expert panel recommends changes for environmental assessments, and the government invites the public to comment.
"There is unanimous agreement that the EA process is essential to safeguarding the interests of present and future generations of Ontarians," Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky said today. "There was also a consensus that the process can be improved. Today, we have an expert opinion on ways of improving the process, which our government can use to plan its reforms."
The expert panel consulted with experts in the field and recommends a comprehensive framework for changes to Ontario’s EA process. The panel was appointed in June 2004 and asked for recommendations that would improve the EA process for waste management facilities, transit and transportation projects, and clean energy facilities.
Keith Carrigan, president and chief executive officer of BFI Canada Inc., says, "BFI Canada appreciates the opportunity to have participated in the proposed revision process of the Environmental Assessment Act. We share in and welcome the Minister’s stated belief that meaningful reform of the current structure is required. We look forward to reviewing the report, to providing our comments, and to working with the government and other stakeholders in pursuit of our common goal — a renewed, reasonable and responsible environmental assessment policy for the people of Ontario."
Ontarians are encouraged to comment on the panel’s recommendations. The report is available on the ministry website at www.ene.gov.on.ca (click on Environmental Registry and search for XA04E0015). The deadline for comments is July 4, 2005.
For further information, contact Arthur Chamberlain, minister’s office, 416-314-5139 or John Steele, communications branch, 416-314-6666.