Now's Our Chance to 
Get Environmental Reviews Right

Let's make sure laws for approving pipelines, dams and mines are strong and fair

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The federal government has committed to adopting a better, fairer environmental assessment law in Canada. That means a new law for reviewing pipelines, dams, mines and other projects that impact the environment.

We need a stronger, fairer assessment law that upholds democracy; respects Indigenous rights and authority; and protects nature, communities and the economy for generations to come. 

This is a once-in-a-generation chance to achieve a legacy law that Canadians can be proud of. Let's get it right!

Flaws in Canada's environmental assessment law required the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) to conduct its own Indigenous-grounded assessment of an open pit mine on their traditional territory. This spring, the Nation said no to the proposed Ajax mine project. 

Read SSN's story 

The Ajax Project is a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine just two kilometres outside of Kamloops, BC on traditional  Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) territory.

When SSN's request for an Independent Review Panel to assess the Ajax Project was denied, the Nation courageously undertook a historic, Indigenous-grounded assessment based in SSN laws, traditions, customs and knowledge.

Throughout, the comprehensive assessment integrated Western and Indigenous knowledge. At the SSN Review Oral Panel Hearing, more than 80 Western experts and Knowledge Keepers shared their findings. 

This spring, the Nation announced it would not give its free, prior and informed consent for the proposed Ajax Project.

"The Ajax Mine Project in its proposed location at Pípsell is in opposition to the SSN land use objective for this profoundly sacred, culturally important, and historically significant cultural keystone site."

SSN's assessment concluded that the mine would negatively impact air and water quality, and would prevent Canada from meeting its greenhouse gas emission targets.

Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation Says No to Proposed Open-Pit Mine

Tell your MP they’ll get it right when Canadian environmental reviews:

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Work to achieve sustainability for both the environment and human well-being

In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act and the National Energy Board.

This is a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity for you to help improve the laws that protect our land, air and water and ensure they help Canada address climate change and meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

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Environmental Law Reform. Let’s Get it Right!

It would also undermine Canada's 2020 biodiversity goals by harming rare grasslands and wetlands, and putting further stress on species already at risk.

The assessment reached beyond the environment to economic viability. Experts determined — given the instability of copper and gold prices — the mine also poses an economic risk.

"Our decision to preserve and sustain Pípsell is for the long-term benefit of all Canadians; ensuring the future enjoyment of this special place serves to further reconciliation, so that we may all be great and good."

Within two months of SSN's announcement, more than 30 allied organizations signed a declaration of support for the SSN’s Review Process and decision.

Assess the cumulative impacts of development projects in a region

Advance reconciliation and co-governance with Indigenous peoples

Align with Paris Agreement climate commitments

Are transparent, accountable and include meaningful public participation

Ensure more projects get assessed

This August, when the Ajax Project environmental assessment report is open for comment, SSN is asking our Indigenous and non-Indigenous neighbours to call on their MPs, MLAs and Cabinet Ministers to deny any certificate under the flawed current EA; to reform federal and provincial EA law and to stand behind SSN’s Process and Pípsell decision.

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