Competitive Canada: Recommendations to improve federal assessment for major projects
Marla Orenstein | September 2023
Download the full report
Many aspects of Canada’s approval system for major projects are world-leading. The process is rigorous, inclusive and protective of the environment. However, it isn’t efficient, coordinated or predictable.
This presents a competitiveness problem, but also a competitiveness opportunity. Many of Canada’s competitors also struggle with slow regulatory and permitting regimes and are attempting to develop solutions.
This report focuses on opportunities for improving project approval under the federal Impact Assessment Act. Some solutions are relatively easy to implement; others require deeper change. However, as noted by the government of Australia, “Any regulatory system is only as good as its weakest link. Partial reform efforts are unlikely to achieve meaningful improvements.”
In this report, we identify five key problems:
PROBLEM 1: Jurisdictional duplication & insufficient coordination
PROBLEM 2: Low confidence in the process of federal decision-making
PROBLEM 3: Policy decisions devolved onto the project approval process that should be addressed through other governmental processes
PROBLEM 4: Overly long process and slipping timelines
PROBLEM 5: Overly large scope
Read the full report for our analysis of these problems as well as solutions that can help Canada make progress and increase regulatory competitiveness.
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