Environment Minister George Heyman (Hansard TV)

B.C. government begins overhaul of environmental assessment

More certainty, input from Indigenous communities, George Heyman promises

Changes to B.C.’s environmental assessment system will “greatly enhance” Indigenous participation in resource development decisions, Environment Minister George Heyman says.

Heyman introduced legislation Monday to change the Environment Assessment Office procedures, describing them as a step to fulfil the NDP’s promise to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

“Having Indigenous collaboration from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process where good projects can move forward more quickly, providing benefits to Indigenous peoples while respecting their rights, values and culture,” Heyman said.

The overhaul is another feature of the minority NDP government’s agreement with the B.C. Green Party.

“It is vital to modernize the environmental assessment process so that important considerations like climate change, cumulative impacts and new scientific standards are properly incorporated,” said Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green MLA for Cowichan Valley.

Heyman told reporters there will be consultation over the next year to determine how Indigenous participation will take place.

“What we’re not going to do is determine for Indigenous peoples how they organize themselves politically, or try to decide for ourselves who has the greatest strength of claim,” Heyman said. “We’re asking Indigenous nations to come forward and identify their interest, and if there is overlapping jurisdiction or disagreement around a project, we will build in dispute resolution processes to work our way through those.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Graduation rates drop in Coast Mountains School District

Lower student cohorts, increase in Evergreen certificates pointed as possible causes

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

Proposal could see Haisla reserve double in size

Ellis Ross says waterfront development would be ideal

Kitimat CDC benefits from special technology for special kids

“The kids participate now where they didn’t before.”

Home care declines as B.C. senior population grows, advocate says

More deferring property tax, using rent subsidy to stay at home

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Ousted B.C. legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Most Read