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Impact Assessment Act (S.C. 2019, c. 28, s. 1)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-09-11 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Regional Assessments and Strategic Assessments (continued)

Strategic Assessments

Marginal note:Assessments

  •  (1) The Minister may establish a committee — or authorize the Agency — to conduct an assessment of

    • (a) any Government of Canada policy, plan or program — proposed or existing — that is relevant to conducting impact assessments; or

    • (b) any issue that is relevant to conducting impact assessments of designated projects or of a class of designated projects.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s power

    (2) The Minister may deem any assessment that provides guidance on how Canada’s commitments in respect of climate change should be considered in impact assessments and that is prepared by a federal authority and commenced before the day on which this Act comes into force to be an assessment conducted under this section.

General Rules

Marginal note:Committee’s mandate and appointment of members

  •  (1) If the Minister establishes a committee under section 92 or 95, he or she must establish its terms of reference and appoint as a member of the committee one or more persons.

  • Marginal note:Agency’s mandate

    (2) If the Minister authorizes the Agency to conduct an assessment under section 92, subsection 93(1) or section 95, he or she must establish the Agency’s terms of reference with respect to the assessment.

Marginal note:Minister’s obligations — request for assessment

  •  (1) The Minister must respond, with reasons and within the prescribed time limit, to any request that an assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95 be conducted. The Minister must ensure that his or her response is posted on the Internet site.

  • Marginal note:Committee’s or Agency’s obligation

    (2) When conducting an assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95, the Agency or committee, as the case may be, must take into account any scientific information and Indigenous knowledge — including the knowledge of Indigenous women — provided with respect to the assessment.

Marginal note:Information available to public

 Subject to section 119, the Agency, or the committee, must ensure that the information that it uses when conducting an assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95 is made available to the public.

Marginal note:Public participation

 The Agency, or the committee, must ensure that the public is provided with an opportunity to participate meaningfully, in a manner that the Agency or committee, as the case may be, considers appropriate, in any assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95 that it conducts.

Marginal note:Federal authority’s obligation

 Every federal authority that is in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to the physical activities in respect of which an assessment referred to in section 92 or 93 is conducted — or with respect to any policy, plan, program or issue in respect of which an assessment referred to in section 95 is conducted — must, on request, make that information or knowledge available to the committee or Agency that conducts the assessment within the specified period.

Marginal note:Application of section 53

 Section 53 applies, with any necessary modifications, to a committee established under section 92 or 95 or under an agreement or arrangement entered into under subparagraph 93(1)(a)(i) or paragraph 93(1)(b) and, for the purpose of applying section 53 to a committee, a reference in that section to a review panel is a reference to a committee.

Marginal note:Report to Minister

  •  (1) On completion of the assessment that it conducts, the committee established under section 92 or 95 or under an agreement or arrangement entered into under subparagraph 93(1)(a)(i) or paragraph 93(1)(b) or the Agency, as the case may be, must provide a report to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Indigenous knowledge

    (2) Subject to section 119, the report must set out how the Agency or committee, as the case may be, took into account and used any Indigenous knowledge provided with respect to the assessment.

Marginal note:Copy of report posted on Internet site

 The Agency must post a copy of the report on the Internet site.

Canadian Impact Assessment Registry

Establishment of Registry

Marginal note:Canadian Impact Assessment Registry

  •  (1) There is to be a registry called the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry, consisting of an Internet site and project files.

  • Marginal note:Right of access

    (2) The Registry must be operated in a manner that ensures convenient public access to it. That right of access to the Registry is in addition to any right of access provided under any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Copy

    (3) For the purpose of facilitating public access to records included in the Registry, the Agency must ensure that a copy of any of those records is provided in a timely manner on request.

Internet Site

Marginal note:Establishment and maintenance

  •  (1) The Agency must establish and maintain an Internet site that is available to the public.

  • Marginal note:Contents — assessment conducted by Agency

    (2) The Agency must ensure that the following records and information relating to the impact assessment of the designated project that it conducts are posted and, subject to paragraph (4)(c), maintained on the Internet site:

    • (a) any public notice that is issued by the Agency to request the participation of the public in the impact assessment;

    • (b) a description of the factors to be taken into account in the impact assessment and of the scope of those factors;

    • (c) the report with respect to the impact assessment that is taken into account by the Minister under subsection 60(1), or a summary of the report and an indication of how a copy of the report may be obtained;

    • (d) any scientific information that the Agency receives from a proponent or federal authority, or a summary of the scientific information and an indication of how that information may be obtained;

    • (e) a description of the results of the follow-up program that is implemented with respect to that designated project or a summary of the results and an indication of how such a description may be obtained;

    • (f) notice of the Agency’s decision to terminate the impact assessment under section 73;

    • (g) any other information that the Agency considers appropriate, including information in the form of a list of relevant records and an indication of how a copy of them may be obtained;

    • (g.1) any public comments received during the impact assessment; and

    • (h) any other record or information prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(f).

  • Marginal note:Contents — assessment conducted by review panel

    (3) The Agency must ensure that, in the case of an assessment conducted by a review panel or an impact assessment completed under section 59, the following records or information are posted and, subject to paragraph (4)(c), maintained on the Internet site:

    • (a) the review panel’s terms of reference;

    • (b) any public notice that is issued by the review panel to request the participation of the public in an impact assessment;

    • (c) the report with respect to the review panel’s impact assessment referred to in section 55 or the impact assessment completed under section 59, or a summary of the report and an indication of how a copy of the report may be obtained;

    • (d) any scientific information that the Agency or the review panel receives from a proponent or federal authority, or a summary of the scientific information and an indication of how that information may be obtained;

    • (e) a description of the results of the follow-up program that is implemented with respect to that designated project or a summary of the results and an indication of how such a description may be obtained;

    • (f) notice of the termination of an assessment by the review panel under section 58;

    • (g) notice of the Minister’s decision to terminate an impact assessment under section 73;

    • (h) any other information that the Agency considers appropriate, including information in the form of a list of relevant documents and an indication of how a copy of them may be obtained;

    • (h.1) any public comments received in the course of the impact assessment; and

    • (i) any other record or information prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(f).

  • Marginal note:Management of Internet site

    (4) The Agency must determine

    • (a) what the form of the Internet site is to be and how it is to be kept;

    • (b) what information must be contained in any record required to be posted on the Internet site under this Act; and

    • (c) when information may be removed from the Internet site.

Project Files

Marginal note:Establishment and maintenance

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), in respect of every designated project, a project file must be established by the Agency on the day on which the notice referred to in subsection 10(1) in respect of the designated project is posted on the Internet site and maintained until the day on which any follow-up program in respect of that designated project is completed.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) The obligation set out in subsection (1) ends on the earliest of the following days:

    • (a) the day on which the Agency under subsection 16(1) decides that an impact assessment in respect of the designated project is not required;

    • (b) the day on which the impact assessment in respect of the designated project is terminated under subsection 20(1) or section 73;

    • (c) the day on which the Minister issues, in respect of the designated project, a decision statement that informs the proponent of his or her, or the Governor in Council’s, determination that the adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, or the adverse direct or incidental effects, that the designated project is likely to cause are not in the public interest; and

    • (d) the day on which the decision statement expires under subsection 70(3) or is revoked under section 71.

  • Marginal note:Contents of project file

    (3) A project file must contain all records produced, collected or received in relation to the Agency’s preparations for a possible impact assessment of a designated project and in relation to the impact assessment of that designated project, including

    • (a) all records posted on the Internet site;

    • (b) any report relating to the impact assessment;

    • (c) any comments that are received from the public in relation to the Agency’s preparations for a possible impact assessment and in relation to the impact assessment;

    • (d) any records relating to the design or implementation of any follow-up program; and

    • (e) any records relating to the implementation of any mitigation measures.

General

Marginal note:Categories of available information

  •  (1) Despite any other provision of this Act, the Registry is to contain a record, part of a record or information only if

    • (a) it has otherwise been made publicly available; or

    • (b) the Minister determines

      • (i) that it would have been disclosed to the public in accordance with the Access to Information Act if a request had been made in respect of that record under that Act at the time the record came under the control of the Agency, including any record that would be disclosed in the public interest under subsection 20(6) of that Act, or

      • (ii) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that it would be in the public interest to disclose it because it is required for the public to participate effectively in the Agency’s preparations for a possible impact assessment or the impact assessment — other than any record the disclosure of which would be prohibited under section 20 of the Access to Information Act.

  • Marginal note:Applicability of sections 27, 28 and 44 of Access to Information Act

    (2) Sections 27, 28 and 44 of the Access to Information Act apply to any information described in subsection 27(1) of that Act that the Agency intends to be included in the Registry with any necessary modifications, including the following:

    • (a) the information is deemed to be a record that the head of a government institution intends to disclose; and

    • (b) any reference to the person who requested access must be disregarded.

Marginal note:Protection from civil proceeding or prosecution

 Despite any other Act of Parliament, no civil or criminal proceedings lie against the Agency or the Minister — or any person acting on behalf of, or under the direction of, either of them — and no proceedings lie against the Crown or the Agency, for the disclosure in good faith of any record or any part of a record or any Indigenous knowledge under this Act or for any consequences that flow from that disclosure or for the failure to give any notice required under section 27 or 28 of the Access to Information Act if reasonable care is taken to give the required notice.

Administration

Marginal note:Regulations — Governor in Council

 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) amending Schedule 1 or 4 by adding or deleting a body or a class of bodies;

  • (b) for the purpose of the definition designated project in section 2, designating a physical activity or class of physical activities and specifying which physical activity or class of physical activities may be designated by the Minister under paragraph 112(1)(a.2);

  • (c) exempting any class of proponents or class of designated projects from the application of section 76;

  • (d) varying or excluding any requirement set out in this Act or the regulations as it applies to physical activities to be carried out

    • (i) on reserves, surrendered lands or other lands that are vested in Her Majesty and subject to the Indian Act,

    • (ii) on lands covered by land claim agreements referred to in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982,

    • (iii) on lands with respect to which agreements or arrangements referred to in paragraph 114(1)(d) or (e) apply,

    • (iv) under international agreements or arrangements entered into by the Government of Canada, or

    • (v) in relation to which there are matters of national security;

  • (e) respecting agreements or arrangements referred to in paragraph 114(1)(d) or (e);

  • (f) prescribing — other than the time limit referred to in subsection 97(1) — anything that, by this Act, is to be prescribed;

  • (g) prescribing the way in which anything that is required or authorized by this Act to be prescribed is to be determined; and

  • (h) generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Marginal note:Amendment of Schedule 2

 The Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 2 by adding, replacing or deleting a description of lands that are subject to a land claim agreement referred to in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Marginal note:Review of regulations

  •  (1) The Agency must review, within the prescribed period, any regulations made under paragraph 109(b).

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) After completing its review the Agency must submit to the Minister a report setting out its conclusions and recommendations.

 
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