Wild Border Watersheds

The end of Responsible Resource Development? CEAA’s budget drops 44 per cent next year (ipolitics)

One of the government’s key environmental regulators is slated to see its budget drop by nearly half next year, according to the federal government main estimates tabled Tuesday.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (CEAA) budget will drop 44 per cent from the $31.1 million spent in 2014-15 to $17. 4 million in 2015-16, say the estimates, a fiscal document that maps out the government predicted spending in the coming fiscal year.

CEAA had its mandate dramatically reduced in 2012 due to changes brought on through a controversial omnibus budget bill. The agency went from managing thousands of environmental reviews for resource and other projects to around 150 today. The budget also altered the way the agency performed its assessments, by introducing time limits and new guidance.

The reason for the spending drop this year over last is “mainly attributable to the sunsetting of funds to improve Canada’s regulatory framework for major resource projects and Aboriginal consultation,” according to the main estimates.

The agency wasn’t available to provide a more detailed account at the close of day Tuesday, but the 2012 mandate change did come at the same time as a broad initiative by Ottawa to spur mining and petroleum development referred to as Responsible Resource Development.

(To read complete source article, click "ipolitics")

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