The Ontario Rivers Alliance has provided comments on the draft Terms of Reference for the Expert Panel that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Minister) will establish to review the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA).
ORA is particularly concerned that when the new CEAA came into force in 2012, it resulted in the termination of most ongoing screening assessments for waterpower projects. It is essential that the CEAA require environmental assessment for all waterpower projects, as both large and small waterpower projects can and do result in numerous negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. Additionally, in Ontario there is no requirement for fish passage or up-front dam decommissioning provisions. These and other considerations are crucial if Canadian lakes and rivers are to remain resilient to a warming climate.