Environmental Assessment Revitalization Advisory Committees

Over the course of revitalizing B.C.'s Environmental Assessment process, the EAO convened three committees composed of a variety of experts in environmental assessment to provide independent advice on legislation, regulations and policies.

The Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee was an independent forum that reviewed and made recommendations (PDF) on B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Act (2002) for the purpose of identifying key areas of improvement for the new Environmental Assessment Act.

The Committee was co-chaired by Bruce Fraser, an ecologist by training and past chair of both the Forest Practices Board and the Taskforce on Species at Risk; and Lydia Hwitsum, former Chief of the Cowichan Tribes and Chair of the First Nations Health Authority board of directors. The Committee was comprised of a further 10 members from local government, industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, environmental law, impact assessors and planners, and provided an independent analysis of B.C.'s current environmental assessment process as well as opportunities for improvement.

Additional details on the Committee members can be found in the attached backgrounder at the end of this news release.

The Committee met ten times (over 75 hours) between March and April, 2018 and produced a report with 33 recommendations that seek to be workable for all parties in the EA process.

The Indigenous Implementation Committee (IIC) was formed in June 2019 to:

  • Collaborate with the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on the implementation of the new Environmental Assessment Act (the Act)
  • Provide technical advice on the development of regulations and policies related to the Act
  • Help ensure that the Act contributes to reconciliation and aligns with the Draft 10 Principles

The IIC provided technical advice to the EAO on matters related to the development of regulations and key supporting policies to inform the EAO’s understanding of best practices and commenting on options and drafts of key documents prior to their release publicly including in relation to: 

  • Opportunities to develop a government-to-government (G2G) agreement with the Province to tailor the EA process to be compatible with an individual Indigenous nations’ approach to governance;
  • Providing adequate funding to ensure meaningful Indigenous nation participation;
  • Inviting Indigenous nations to self-identify to participate in the EA process Opportunities to identify how interests of Indigenous nations can be best addressed in a consensus seeking process with the EAO;
  • Ensuring that Indigenous Knowledge is applied to decision-making;
  • Building consensus with Indigenous nations throughout the EA process;
  • Seeking consensus at key points throughout the process in support of the principle of free, prior, and informed consent; and
  • Incorporating dispute resolution to support resolution of disputes consistent with Indigenous approaches to governance.

The Committee was co-chaired by the EAO, Bob Chamberlain and Ang Smith and was comprised of 14 committee members with relevant professional and personal expertise and experience representing a broad range of interests related to the EA process and regions of the province. Committee members provided their personal perspectives and experiences within an environmental assessment context, and did not represent the position or opinions of any Indigenous nation or organization to which they may belong.

Indigenous Implementation Committee Members
Name Role
Scott Bailey (EAO) Co-Chair
Bob Chamberlain Co-Chair (1st half)
Ang Smith Co-Chair (2nd half)
Nalaine Morin Committee Member
Sunny LeBourdais Committee Member
Anna Usborne Committee Member
Bruce Muir Committee Member
John Risdale - Chief Na'Moks Committee Member
Verna Power Committee Member
Nicole Kapell Committee Member
Angel Ransom Committee Member
Chief Maureen Chapman Committee Member
Jackie Thomas Committee Member
Melanie Walker Committee Member
Dave Nordquist Committee Member

Regional representatives were invited to self-nominate for the Committee - for more information, please click here.

Meeting summaries:

The Committee was formed to provide feedback and advise on the development of policies and regulations. The Committee was chaired by the EAO and was comprised of 19 representatives from a diverse selection of experienced environmental assessment (EA) participants to ensure a broad representation of perspectives on policies and regulations. Membership represented a cross section of industry, environmental NGOs, EA practitioners, local government, labour and former members of the Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee.

Stakeholder Implementation Committee Members
Name Organization Role
EAO representative  Environmental Assessment Office Chair
Meera Bawa Mining Association of BC Committee Member
Rob Stevens Association for Mineral Exploration of BC Committee Member
Kai Horsfield Canadian Energy Pipeline Association Committee Member
Geoff Morrison Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Committee Member
Matt Kennedy Clean Energy BC Committee Member
Denise Mullen Business Council of BC Committee Member
Gavin Smith West Coast Environmental Law Committee Member
Hannah Askew Sierra Club Committee Member
Scott Lunny United Steelworkers Committee Member
Carmen Holschuh Jacobs Committee Member
Bob Bocking LGL Limited Committee Member
Ward Prystay Stantec Committee Member
Kevin Hanna Prior Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee Member Committee Member
Marla Orenstein Prior Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee Member Committee Member
Karen Campbell Prior Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee Member Committee Member
Greg Knox Skeena Wild Committee Member
Ron Poole District of Kitimat Stikine Committee Member
Karen Elliott Municipality of Squamish Committee Member

Meeting summaries