BC is revitalizing its environmental assessment regime with the aim of enhancing public confidence, transparency and meaningful participation. The ELC has prepared a briefing note that recommends the new environmental assessment regime include a participant funding program.
Public participation improves government decision making by identifying and clarifying problems, interests, and alternatives. Members of the public can offer perspectives and information that might otherwise be unavailable to government or industry.
While public participation leads to better environmental assessments and government decisions, it must be made meaningful by providing assistance to members of the public that would otherwise not be able to participate. The provincial government enacted the new Environmental Assessment Act in November 2018, and it is currently developing regulations and policies before the bill comes into force. The ELC is collaborating with West Coast Environmental Law and other environmental groups to advocate for optimal regulations under the new Act.