B.C. environmental assessment review targets public confidence, reconciliation

By Canadian Press
March 7, 2018 - 11:49am

VICTORIA — Environment Minister George Heyman says the government is reviewing how it conducts environmental assessments of projects in British Columbia.

Heyman says the review announced today will focus on restoring public confidence in the assessment process, ensuring respect for Indigenous legal rights and protecting the environment while supporting sustainable growth.

He says the recommendations of a 12-member advisory committee will lead to reforms expected to be introduced this fall.

Premier John Horgan directed Heyman to revitalize the environmental assessment process in order to meet the public's expectations of a transparent process.

Ecologist Bruce Fraser and Lydia Hwitsum, a lawyer and former Cowichan Tribes chief, will lead the review, which will include meetings with Indigenous groups and environmental, industry and community officials.

Green party environment spokeswoman Sonia Furstenau says the review is a first step towards restoring public trust in the province's environmental assessment process.

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