OTTAWA A new bilateral agreement between the federal and Quebec governments solidifies their undertaking a co-operative environment assessment process for projects subject to both their laws. A single environmental assessment will meet the legal requirements of both governments while they maintain their respective existing roles and responsibilities.
Under the agreement, the governments of Canada and Quebec will be able to exchange information on projects; agree on terms of reference and evaluate the acceptability of projects; and inform each other on their decisions in this regard. The partners will also have the option of appointing a joint review panel to conduct hearings on the environmental effects of a project. This co-operative approach to the environmental assessment of projects seeks to reduce overall delays without affecting environmental protection.
The agreement and related documents can be viewed on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency web site at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca or the Ministre de l'Environnement du Qubec site at www.menv.gouv.qc.ca.
The Canada-Quebec Agreement on Environmental Assessment Co-operation was signed May 19, 2004, by the Minister of the Environment for Canada, the Hon. David Anderson, the Minister of the Environment for Quebec, Thomas J. Mulcair, and the Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental and Native Affairs, Benot Pelletier.