Memoranda of Understanding on Substitution Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada made a commitment to use the substitution provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act) as much as possible in order to reduce duplication and improve the predictability of project reviews.
Substitution refers to the authorization from the Minister of the Environment to substitute an existing federal environmental assessment process for a review panel established under the Act.
The Memorandum will facilitate the use of the substitution provisions for nuclear facilities within the jurisdiction of the CNSC.
The Memorandum describes key conditions under which substitution may be approved, for instance:
- Participant funding will be provided through programs established and administered by the CNSC.
- The persons to be appointed to the panels of these organizations will be unbiased and free from any conflict of interest relative to the project and will have knowledge or experience relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the project.
- The Government of Canada will continue to fulfill its obligations regarding Aboriginal consultation.
Protecting the environment remains a priority. All environmental effects that must be considered and mitigated under the Act will still be considered and mitigated through the substituted processes. Substitution will reduce duplication and make the process more efficient, without compromising the environment.