Environment Minister George Heyman (Hansard TV)

B.C. government begins overhaul of environmental assessment

More certainty, input from Indigenous communities, George Heyman promises

Changes to B.C.’s environmental assessment system will “greatly enhance” Indigenous participation in resource development decisions, Environment Minister George Heyman says.

Heyman introduced legislation Monday to change the Environment Assessment Office procedures, describing them as a step to fulfil the NDP’s promise to incorporate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

“Having Indigenous collaboration from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process where good projects can move forward more quickly, providing benefits to Indigenous peoples while respecting their rights, values and culture,” Heyman said.

The overhaul is another feature of the minority NDP government’s agreement with the B.C. Green Party.

“It is vital to modernize the environmental assessment process so that important considerations like climate change, cumulative impacts and new scientific standards are properly incorporated,” said Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green MLA for Cowichan Valley.

Heyman told reporters there will be consultation over the next year to determine how Indigenous participation will take place.

“What we’re not going to do is determine for Indigenous peoples how they organize themselves politically, or try to decide for ourselves who has the greatest strength of claim,” Heyman said. “We’re asking Indigenous nations to come forward and identify their interest, and if there is overlapping jurisdiction or disagreement around a project, we will build in dispute resolution processes to work our way through those.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unplug and Play Literacy Week returns in late January

The event sponsored by Interior Savings encourages everyone young and old to unplug from screentime

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Rockets stunned in 7-0 loss to Portland

Portland’s goaltender Dante Gianuzzi was named the game’s first star with a 17-save shutout

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Most Read