Ottawa seeks Supreme Court opinion on Impact Assessment Act


Ottawa Seeks Supreme Court Opinion on Impact Assessment Act

The Alberta Government Believes the Impact Assessment Act #x27;impact assessment is unconstitutional.

There is no date for oral argument yet, but deadlines for filing documents have been set at the beginning by 2023.

The federal government is asking the Supreme Court of Canada to give its opinion on the constitutionality of its Impact Assessment Act.

Last May, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled the law unconstitutional, saying it threatened provincial jurisdiction over their management of natural resources.

According to David Wright, professor of law at the University of Calgary, a Supreme Court decision will help clarify legislative jurisdiction. There isn't much case law on federal jurisdiction when it comes to impact assessments, says Wright.

He adds, however, that the Supreme Court's opinion will have more authority than the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Ministry spokesperson of Environment and Climate Change, Oliver Anderson, says in a written statement that the feds believe the Supreme Court will agree.

“We believe this law is constitutional.

—Oliver Anderson, Spokesperson, Department of Environment and Climate Change

This law has better rules for larger projects. They restore public trust, protect the environment, advance reconciliation efforts, the statement read.

This legislation, which received Royal Assent in 2019, allows the federal government to study the impacts of major development projects using scientific expertise as well as Indigenous expertise.

The Alberta government has yet to respond to the new federal approach.


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