Reining in environmental assessments

Here’s another placemarker for an issue I’ve wanted to write about for some time. I have not read any details of the Harper Governments plan to rein in federal environmental assessments, but in principle, I believe such an exercise is long overdue.

It is a dirty little secret of the environmental movement that federal environmental assessments are a massive scam. They take far too long. They cost far too much. They do not focus on important issues.

Everyone in the system knows this, but no one complains, because almost everyone benefits. Engineering companies get tens of millions of dollars to carry out the studies; environmental groups get hundreds of thousands in baksheesh for their participation; the Environment Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency get  a level of featherbedding that would make John L. Lewis blush. The process does little to protect the environment that a much simpler, more focused approach could not do better and more efficiently.