Feds must do better at environmental assessments

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News today that MiningWatch Canada won its Supreme Court case concerning the Red Chris mine.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court ruled that the project can move forward because the BC government had already given it the go ahead. But environmentalists are nonetheless claiming victory because the Court also ruled that from now on the federal government must conduct comprehensive assessments of all big projects over a certain size that might affect the environment, the people and the long term future of the area affected by a major project.

The decision says that the Canadian government violated the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act by narrowing down the project assessment in a way that has excluded public consultation. Henceforth, the government will have to follow its own law, must take a look at all the effects of major industrial projects, including large metal mines and tar sands developments.