There are differing views on the federal government's plan to change how environmental reviews are done, with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall supporting the move and a leading environmental group expressing misgivings.

Wall said Tuesday he likes the plan, which would speed up the pace of reviews.

Wall said reviews are necessary, but projects should not be delayed unnecessarily, especially by going through a provincial and a federal process.

"We do not want less rigorous environmental assessment. That's not what we've ever advocated," Wall said. "We just want to remove the duplication."

However, a spokeswoman from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society said Tuesday the changes pose a risk to the environment.

Ann Coxworth said she wants to know how the reviews will be done, when there are fewer people to work on them.

"When you look at this in combination with all of the layoffs of scientists at Environment Canada, I think there's certainly a risk that we won't get the level of review of projects as we've had in the past," Coxworth said Tuesday.

She said she was concerned the government was moving to exploit resources ahead of protecting the environment.

"It's kind of rushing through an approval process so we can get a resource out of the ground as soon as possible," she said. "If we're going to look at a sustainable future, that's not the way to go about it."

 

With files from CBC's Molly Thomas and Stefani Langenegger