Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Regina—Lewvan for not only sharing his personal stories, but also sharing the concerns of his constituents and sharing some ideas on how he thinks we can move forward together.
I am pleased today to respond to his question to reiterate our government's commitment to work together with the provinces and territories in implementing the Impact Assessment Act in the best possible way.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the provinces are an integral part of the impact assessment and regulatory process. It is committed to ensuring that the implementation of the Impact Assessment Act is done as effectively as possible, and to working closely with the province to ensure that good projects continue to move forward in a timely and environmentally responsible way.
I would like to acknowledge the time and resources that have been put in place by the provinces and how they have invested in the development of Canada's federal impact assessment regime. Provincial and territorial contributions throughout the review of the federal environmental assessment process were integral in the success of the development of the new Impact Assessment Act.
Developing the Impact Assessment Act and its regulation was a collective effort. The government has been diligent to balance the many viewpoints it has heard over the course of the past three years, including those of the provinces and territories. This is why the implementation of the legislation would also be a collective effort.
I acknowledge the concerns raised by the provinces and reassure my hon. colleague and all members of the House that the Government of Canada shares the goals of an efficient and predictable system that balances environmental protection and economic development and respects provincial jurisdiction.
While I recognize that there are still outstanding concerns from the provinces about the Impact Assessment Act, it is very important to note that during Parliament's consideration of this legislation, the government supported numerous amendments to limit ministerial discretion, including providing the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada authorities to align timelines with those of the provinces in support of one project, one assessment. These were done in response to concerns raised by the provinces and other stakeholders.
Our government continues to assess and work to address any outstanding concerns related to the implementation of the act. As the Prime Minister has recently indicated, the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the implementation of the act is done as effectively as possible. The government welcomes any advice on the implementation of the legislation and will work together to address provincial concerns.
Building on existing relationships and co-operation practices, the Government of Canada is confident that by working together we can ensure a smooth transition to the new federal impact assessment system, providing a more predictable and timely process, increased efficiency and certainty, and quality assessments that draw on the best available expertise.