Add "Impact" to the 
Impact Assessment Act 

Help us strengthen the laws for reviewing development in our national parks. Call the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change today! 

ACT NOW

Right now, the environment committee is making critical, lasting decisions about how the federal government will review private, commercial, and infrastructure development projects that significantly impact nature in our national parks.

The Impact Assessment Act – introduced as part of Bill C-69 – is meant to restore public trust in the environmental review process. But, it doesn't go far enough to protect the lands, waters and air that Canadians cherish – especially in our national parks.

Let's tell the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, that we need an Impact Assessment Act that will go further to protect the environment, our parks, and future generations.

Here are some talking points for your call. 
Tell the Minister:

  • We need to achieve sustainability for the environment and for the well-being of all Canadians.
  • All projects in national parks need to trigger an environmental assessment and not be solely at the discretion of Parks Canada.
  • The new law must uphold the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Canadians want assurance that our feedback on projects is taken seriously and can actually influence decisions.

The current flaws in Canada’s environmental assessment law allowed Parks Canada to approve guidelines to allow the massive expansion of the Lake Louise Ski Resort in Banff National Park – an expansion that would destroy some of the most important grizzly bear, wolverine, lynx and mountain goat habitat in the park. Bill C-69 won’t change the problems with this process unless you act. 

Read the story 

The Lake Louise Ski Resort in Banff National Park is one of the largest downhill ski resorts in North America, spanning two watersheds and a critical wildlife corridor in the Bow Valley. In 2015, after working for several years behind closed doors with the resort, Parks Canada approved site guidelines that would allow the resort to double its capacity and expand its footprint into legally protected and regulated Wilderness.

The approval allows for a doubling of the resort’s parking, a doubling of the number of ski lifts, the construction of new lodges, and construction of new water reservoirs for snow making. The approval would even support the cutting down of whitebark pine trees as part of the clearing of new ski runs. Whitebark pine trees are an endangered species supposedly protected by law under the federal Species at Risk Act.

Under Bill C-69, the proposed Impact Assessment Act, there is no legislative requirement for an environmental assessment for this type of massive development proposal in a national park and World Heritage Site. In contrast, under previous environmental assessment laws from 1992, any proposed expansion of a ski area would have been subject to an automatic comprehensive study requiring significant public participation, a cumulative effects assessment, and an examination of the need for and alternatives to the project.

In June 2015, Parks Canada released a wholly inadequate strategic environmental assessment on the expansion proposal, providing 21 days for stakeholders to read 250 pages of scientific, technical information and return comments.

Public Says “No” to Lake Louise Ski Resort Expansion, But It Was Approved! What Happened?

Tell the Minister of Environment and Climate Change that we need an Impact Assessment Act that goes the distance. Tell the Minister that:

ACT NOW

Right now, the federal government is making critical decisions about the fate of key laws that protect Canada's environment: Impact Assessment Act, Canadian Energy Regulator Act, Canadian Navigable Waters Act and the Fisheries Act.

For the next few weeks, the government is listening to Canadians about what we want for Canada's future. You can help make sure there are strong laws in place that protect our land, air and water; keep future generations healthy; and make it possible for Canada to respond to climate change, meet Paris Agreement commitments, and protect our biodiversity.

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Icons: Retinaicons, Alberto Miranda, A. Maslennikov, Z. Najdenovski, Vectors Market, Freepik. Photos: Ashley Hockenberry, Harvey Locke

Environmental Laws Canadians can be proud of

Despite the short timeline, once alerted by CPAWS and other groups, over 1,200 people sent comments to Parks Canada, over 90% of which expressed serious concern about the expansion proposal or opposed it outright.

Shockingly, Parks Canada’s “What We Heard” report from July 2015 ignored the overwhelming opposition that was expressed during the public consultation, dismissing much of it as “being generated by campaigns” or “being broad in nature about commercial development in national parks.” At the end of July 2015, Parks Canada gave the Lake Louise Ski Resort the green light to incorporate the massive expansion into its Long-Range Plan.

Under the proposed Impact Assessment Act, Parks Canada may act as both the developer of a project and as the regulator of development in national parks. This raises significant questions about Parks Canada’s ability to fairly represent and make decisions about development that reflect the public interest.

The current environmental assessment laws have led to a serious decline in rigour, transparency, and public consultation, which is contributing to more incremental development that threatens the ecological integrity of our parks.

As a voter, you want an Impact Assessment Act that will go further to protect the environment, our parks, and future generations

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 506-250 City Centre Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 6K7

All projects in national parks need to trigger an environmental assessment and not be solely at the discretion of Parks Canada

We need to achieve sustainability for the environment and for the well-being of all Canadians

The new law must uphold the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Canadians "like me" want assurance that our feedback on projects is taken seriously and can actually influence decisions.