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The Next Generation of Impact Assessment
  • Meinhard Doelle, Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
  • A. John Sinclair, University of Manitoba - Natural Resources Institute

Legislated impact assessment requirements were first introduced over fifty years ago with the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States and have since spread to over a hundred and fifty jurisdictions around the world. The details have varied widely, reflecting the global diversity of socio-ecological and governance systems and associated issues, traditions, capacities, ambitions, and power structures. In 2015, Canada embarked on a task that no other country has attempted in recent years: fundamentally reconsidering how best to tackle environmental assessment. This review and revision process ended with the passage of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) in 2019.

The Next Generation of Impact Assessment explores the evolution of the Canadian assessment process and evaluates the effectiveness of the IAA. Each chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the Act in regard to:

  • the contents of the IAA
  • regulations and guidance
  • an assessment of these provisions based on the literature
  • best practices related to the essential elements of impact assessment and federal government commitments made
  • establishing any action needed to ensure effective implementation of the IAA

The book also investigates areas of concern for implementation of the Act and proposes areas of further reform. The authors apply their expertise by providing a comprehensive and detailed examination of various sections and provisions while considering essential components that should be included in the next generation of assessment law and policy. The authors conclude that the IAA has the potential to one day symbolize a breakthrough in the federal assessment process, and this text is an invaluable resource dedicated to the successful implementation of the Act and to its continuous improvement.

Publication Date
Irwin Law Inc.
  • Environmental Assessment,
  • Canada,
  • Impact Assessment
Citation Information
Meinhard Doelle & A. John Sinclair, eds, The Next Generation of Impact Assessment (Toronto: Irwin Law Inc., 2021).