Part 1 enacts the Impact Assessment Act and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Among other things, the Impact Assessment Act
(a) names the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada as the authority responsible for impact assessments;
(b) provides for a process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic effects of designated projects with a view to preventing certain adverse effects and fostering sustainability;
(c) prohibits proponents, subject to certain conditions, from carrying out a designated project if the designated project is likely to cause certain environmental, health, social or economic effects, unless the Minister of the Environment or Governor in Council determines that those effects are in the public interest, taking into account the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, all effects that may be caused by the carrying out of the project, the extent to which the project contributes to sustainability and other factors;
(d) establishes a planning phase for a possible impact assessment of a designated project, which includes requirements to cooperate with and consult certain persons and entities and requirements with respect to public participation;
(e) authorizes the Minister to refer an impact assessment of a designated project to a review panel if he or she considers it in the public interest to do so, and requires that an impact assessment be referred to a review panel if the designated project includes physical activities that are regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act;
(f) establishes time limits with respect to the planning phase, to impact assessments and to certain decisions, in order to ensure that impact assessments are conducted in a timely manner;
(g) provides for public participation and for funding to allow the public to participate in a meaningful manner;
(h) sets out the factors to be taken into account in conducting an impact assessment, including the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;
(i) provides for cooperation with certain jurisdictions, including Indigenous governing bodies, through the delegation of any part of an impact assessment, the joint establishment of a review panel or the substitution of another process for the impact assessment;
(j) provides for transparency in decision-making by requiring that the scientific and other information taken into account in an impact assessment, as well as the reasons for decisions, be made available to the public through a registry that is accessible via the Internet;
(k) provides that the Minister may set conditions, including with respect to mitigation measures, that must be implemented by the proponent of a designated project;
(l) provides for the assessment of cumulative effects of existing or future activities in a specific region through regional assessments and of federal policies, plans and programs, and of issues, that are relevant to the impact assessment of designated projects through strategic assessments; and
(m) sets out requirements for an assessment of environmental effects of non-designated projects that are on federal lands or that are to be carried out outside Canada.
Part 2 enacts the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which establishes the Canadian Energy Regulator and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. The role of the Regulator is to regulate the exploitation, development and transportation of energy within Parliament’s jurisdiction.
The Canadian Energy Regulator Act, among other things,
(a) provides for the establishment of a Commission that is responsible for the adjudicative functions of the Regulator;
(b) ensures the safety and security of persons, energy facilities and abandoned facilities and the protection of property and the environment;
(c) provides for the regulation of pipelines, abandoned pipelines, and traffic, tolls and tariffs relating to the transmission of oil or gas through pipelines;
(d) provides for the regulation of international power lines and certain interprovincial power lines;
(e) provides for the regulation of renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore;
(f) provides for the regulation of access to lands;
(g) provides for the regulation of the exportation of oil, gas and electricity and the interprovincial oil and gas trade; and
(h) sets out the process the Commission must follow before making, amending or revoking a declaration of a significant discovery or a commercial discovery under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the process for appealing a decision made by the Chief Conservation Officer or the Chief Safety Officer under that Act.
Part 2 also repeals the National Energy Board Act.
Part 3 amends the Navigation Protection Act to, among other things,
(a) rename it the Canadian Navigable Waters Act;
(b) provide a comprehensive definition of navigable water;
(c) require that, when making a decision under that Act, the Minister must consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;
(d) require that an owner apply for an approval for a major work in any navigable water;
(e) set out the factors that the Minister must consider when deciding whether to issue an approval;
(f) provide a process for addressing navigation-related concerns when an owner proposes to carry out a work in navigable waters that are not listed in the schedule;
(g) provide the Minister with powers to address obstructions in any navigable water;
(h) amend the criteria and process for adding a reference to a navigable water to the schedule;
(i) require that the Minister establish a registry; and
(j) provide for new measures for the administration and enforcement of the Act.
Part 4 makes consequential amendments to Acts of Parliament and regulations.