Environment Minister George Heyman (Hansard TV)

B.C. government begins overhaul of environmental assessment

More certainty, input from Indigenous communities, George Heyman promises

Changes to B.C.’s environmental assessment system will “greatly enhance” Indigenous participation in resource development decisions, Environment Minister George Heyman says.

Heyman introduced legislation Monday to change the Environment Assessment Office procedures, describing them as a step to fulfil the NDP’s promise to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

“Having Indigenous collaboration from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process where good projects can move forward more quickly, providing benefits to Indigenous peoples while respecting their rights, values and culture,” Heyman said.

The overhaul is another feature of the minority NDP government’s agreement with the B.C. Green Party.

“It is vital to modernize the environmental assessment process so that important considerations like climate change, cumulative impacts and new scientific standards are properly incorporated,” said Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green MLA for Cowichan Valley.

Heyman told reporters there will be consultation over the next year to determine how Indigenous participation will take place.

“What we’re not going to do is determine for Indigenous peoples how they organize themselves politically, or try to decide for ourselves who has the greatest strength of claim,” Heyman said. “We’re asking Indigenous nations to come forward and identify their interest, and if there is overlapping jurisdiction or disagreement around a project, we will build in dispute resolution processes to work our way through those.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Commercial salmon fisheries delayed for Bella Coola area

DFO notice says Area C gill net fisheries in Area 8 have been delayed until June 15

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read