Thank you all for your presentations.
It seems there are so many questions left to ask and so little time, but you've certainly given us more to think about, and I appreciate that.
I'll just start off by saying I represent an area not unlike the Northwest Territories in eastern Canada and Labrador. I know the importance of development initiatives. I know they always work better when there's full consultation, agreement by all governments, and respect for first nations, and when input from environmental and conservation groups is listened to and acted upon. At the end of the day, doing so saves everyone a lot of grief and a lot of money, especially industry investors, so I understand fully where you're coming from and your concerns today.
I agree that you can't rush complex assessments. We can all cite examples right across the country of environmental and social monitoring and assessment of projects being rushed so that they have lacked some of the information that was required to make good, sound, reasoned decisions. Many of the assessments were deemed to be inadequate in some ways, but projects moved ahead. We've all seen that. We can cite dozens of examples, I'm sure.
We want to make sure that does not happen in the Yukon. I think that is what I've liked about the model that has been in place. I think for the most part we've heard very good feedback about the YESAA process, from all the people I've heard speak about it, with the exception of the Mining Association of Canada, which had some concerns around timelines, which I think could be easily sorted out with some dialogue and discussion.
My question to you would be on two fronts. One, when we talk about significant change, whether it goes forward for an assessment or not, it is not defined within the act that we're dealing with. How do you define it? Has anyone told you what a significant change constitutes? We would not know. We can all guess. That's about all I, as a panellist, can do right now.
The other piece has to do with the independence of the YESAA process. Right now when you look at these changes from an industry perspective or an environmental perspective or a first nations' perspective, you can say either that it works or that it doesn't work, depending on the government of the day. Governments change. Not all governments are going to have the same will and mandate. Some will be pro-development; some will not. Some will be pro-environment; some will not. What I see now is an independent body that deals with those issues outside of what the principles and philosophy of the government of the day are, whether in the Yukon or in Canada.
I'd like you to comment on those two pieces for us, if you could.