There is potential for significant impacts on construction projects if the environmental assessments change. BCCA is looking for consistency and confidence when it comes to major infrastructure projects. Clearly we don’t have that in Canada right now. The post-decision second-guessing is destructive on many levels: if every time a government changes we question another multi-million or billion dollar project, nobody wins. Therefore, we support an overhaul that results in an efficient and predictable environmental assessment process.
That said, rushing the new Federal Bill C-69 through without industry consultation is not the right approach. We hope that any changes that are made will be the result of due diligence and consultation with the sectors that will be the most impacted – including construction.
We also urge Environment Minister George Heyman to consult with the construction industry in regard to the BC review currently underway.
BCCA supports processes to ensure that the assessments are done to a high standard, so that when a decision is made to build, that decision is trusted, is final, and has the best interests for British Columbians as its priority.
We need to make sure that Environment ministers have the appropriate scope and cannot stop a project on their own opinion. Everything must be done in consultation with stakeholders, preferably long before a project is greenlit.
We also support the idea of legislated timelines to make sure these assessments are implemented with consistency and dependability in order to plan for these major construction projects.
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