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

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Nakusp Secondary School hosts day of remembrance

Event honoured Indigenous contributions to Canada’s war efforts

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

Most Read