January 12, 2004

Ottawa, Quebec sign EA co-operation accord

OTTAWA, ONT-Federal and Quebec Environment Ministers David Anderson, and Thomas Mulcair recently signed a draft agreement on environmental assessment (EA) co-operation. The proposed agreement establishes a formal co-operative framework for the two levels of government for projects subject to both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Section IV.1, Division I of Quebec's Loi sur la qualitÈ de l'environnement. Under the agreement, the governments of Canada and Quebec will be able to exchange information on projects; agree on terms of reference and evaluate the acceptability of projects; and inform each other on their decisions in these areas. The main objective of this co-operation is to reduce overall delays caused by parallel EAs, without affecting environmental protection. Before finalizing the draft agreement, both governments are seeking comments from the public. The draft agreement may be viewed on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Web site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, or the Quebec Ministry of Environment site, www.menv.gouv.qc.ca. Comments are due by January 30, 2004 and should be directed (in English or French) to FranÁois Boulanger, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Quebec Regional Office, 1141, route de l'Eglise, 2nd Floor, Quebec QC G1V 4B8; 418/649-6438, FAX 418/649-6443, E-mail francois.boulanger@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.
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