YESAA being Gutted by Ottawa
Things you should know about what’s happening to Yukon’s MADE in Yukon FOR Yukon Environmental and Social Review Process:
• The proposed Changes to YESAA are in Bill S-6.
• These changes were brought forward to the Senate this June by our Yukon Senator.
• Rather than being passed through the House and then at the end going through Senate, this Bill will go through Senate first, and then at the end through the House.
• A CPAWS member called the Senate back in the summer to ask why these changes were going though the Senate first, and was told that the House of Commons is currently too busy.
• The member also asked what the process was for Yukoners to give input and was told that was up to the Yukon Government.
• When the member asked Yukon Government they deferred her back to the Federal office.
• If Yukoners want to have a say or give input they will have to write and or call their MP, Premier, and Senator to request that a YUKON consultation be provided.
Among the proposed YESAA changes the following are the most problematic:
• Binding Policy Direction to YESAA Board – the Minister of AAND (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development) has the final say, so the Federal Government would have the final say.
• Delegation of Federal Powers – that same Minister of AAND can delegate his or her powers to the Yukon Government, giving the final say to the Yukon Government whenever they chose to.
• Exemptions for Renewals or Amendments on Applications – while this may be a positive change in regards to small-scale non-industrial projects, there is no differentiation and therefore can also apply to large-scale projects and thus allowing them to bypass the entire YESAA process.
• Shorter Timelines for YESAA Assessments – cut down to 16 months overall, from the moment they receive the application. This does not allow nearly enough time in many cases as was stated by some indecent environmental consultants in the room. It’s a fast track through environmental assessment.
Some Background on history of Changes to YESAA:
• From 2008 – 2012 the Federal Government, YG, and Yukon First Nation’s did a review on YESAA, and although it was not consensus, those changes were put through.
• Also in 2008 the Minister of AAND appointed Neil McCrank to write a report outlining proposed recommendations for advancing the regulatory regime in Northern Canada, called the Road to Improvement. McCrank wrote that Yukon already had one in place and did not recommend any changes.
None of the new proposed changes in Bill S-6 were ever mentioned in either the Review or in McCrank’s report as changes that needed to be made to the YESAA Act.
Contact info for letters:
Senate of Canada
204 Black Street
Whitehorse YT Y1A 2M9
Yukon Government Administration Building
2071 Second Avenue
PO Box 2703
Whitehorse YT Y1A 2C6
211 Wood Street
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
2149 Second Avenue
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 1C5
Fax: 1+ (867) 668-7130