Parliament: Question to PM Trudeau on the broken environmental assessment process

On Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 in Parlement, Période de questions

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, since Bill C-38 in 2012, we have been labouring under a broken environmental assessment process. Today we have a landmark report from the expert panel on EA, headed by our former commissioner for the environment. It makes a bold recommendation: get rid of the NEB’s Environmental Assessment Agency, have a single authority, give it quasi-judicial powers.

For the Prime Minister, how quickly can we expect this great recommendation to be legislated?

Justin Trudeau - Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her long-time leadership on environmental issues. We are also very interested in this report that has come forward. We know there is a lot more work to do to improve environmental assessment in this country.

Without public trust we cannot build the kind of infrastructure projects or the future for our communities that we need. We need to make sure we are demonstrating that we understand that protecting the environment goes hand in hand with building a strong economic future for Canadians, and this report goes right to how we can perhaps do that and do even better.

I thank the member for her leadership on this matter.

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    That’s a lot of words from our PM, considering it was such a non-answer.

    • Rayma

      The report has just come in!
      It now has to be evaluated and discussed. Otherwise, as I have written above.

  • D Jackson

    Wow…The pup is perfecting his double speak. Seems like a waste of time even asking a question in Parliament…perhaps questions could be directed and answered like the lie detector protocol uses…YES OR NO.

  • John K. Jeglum

    Whenever JT mentions we have a plan, it always rings false. Yes, a plan that presently strongly favors continued extraction, export and burning. We have a carbon tax, and cap-and-trade, the later a cute way to buy more pollution rights, or trade pollution rights for other purchased dispensations. In return the fossils get to continue for usually undefined end points of pollution output, which are then open to debate and discussion, with undoubtedly strong oil and gas lobbying to continue on and on, as long as possible. Coal being exported through Canadian ports. And now, “Canada delays methane emissions following American’s retreat” 22April2017 TC. So now that Trump’s administration is ramping up support for fossil fuel, the high-sounding statements of cutting methane in the upstream supply side of the fracked natural gas by 40 to 45%, is folding. Jim Carr’s defence was not based on anything to do with climate change. “Canada can’t ignore the U.S. if it wants to preserve the competitiveness of its oil and gas industry and commitments to sustainable development.” WHEN are we going to decide that the goal is to reduce emissions to achieve leveling off of temperature ideally at 1.5 deg C, or no more than 2.0 deg C? We have to start now, not in 10 or 20 years, to level off the emissions of GHGs. Right now we are headed to 1.5 deg sometime between 2025 and 2035, and 2.0 between 2035 and 2055 (All of these from freehand extensions of the slopes of temperature rise in the last 50 years, from James Hansen, A Better Graph.) Because temperature rise continues many decades after the gases reach the atmosphere and further impact ocean temperatures, it is necessary to begin to decrease GHG emissions now if we wish to reach these goals. And, in a world that seems obsessed with ever continuing growth, we need to begin to think about steady state systems on a planet with finite resources.

  • Gordon Ellis

    In all the discussion about the Kinder Morgan pipeline there has been very little about the hazard to our marine environment, parks and protected areas in the Salish Sea. After an extremely rare accident with a shipment of Dilbit, I would like to hear from the PM how he plans to explain to our grandchildren why there are no Orcas, crabs, salmon, indeed any life in our protected areas when there was an abundance before he took office.

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