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Critic suggests trashing environmental assessments

Changes announced in Thursday's federal budget will mean environmental reviews of projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline, which will bring oilsands crude to tankers in B.C.'s Douglas Channel, would last no more than 24 months. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has laid out plans to fast-track the review process on environmental projects.

Ottawa will reduce the number of environmental review bodies from 40 to just three. It's meant to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy.

Oliver said the government's plan has "four pillars"
1.     More predictable and timely reviews;
2.     Less duplication in the review process;
3.     Stronger environmental protection;
4.     Enhance consultations with aboriginal peoples.

Critics say the government's push for "streamlining"  is code for gutting Canada's environmental assessment process.

Bruce Pardy is a professor of environmental law at Queen's University. He told Daybreak host Chris Walker he thinks the government should get rid of environmental assessments altogether because they aren't effective at protecting the environment, and are bad for industry too.
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