President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Peterborough & District Wapiti Métis Council (PDWMC) Christa Lemelin was among those appointed to the Impact Assessment Advisory Council on December 14, 2020.
The newly established Advisory Council consists of 13 members who will provide non-partisan advice and recommendations on the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), its implementation, and regional and strategic impact assessments to the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The IAA was enacted in 2019 as a means to strengthen environmental protection in Canada, promote cooperation with other jurisdictions, foster sustainability, restore trust in how decisions are made, and grow the economy. It also aims to investigate broader impacts of potential projects (such as environmental, economic, social, and health considerations), while ensuring a spirit of reconciliation and respect for Indigenous communities.
Christa Lemelin, President of the PDWMC, will serve as one of several Indigenous appointments.
“My role, along with the Council, will be to provide advice to the Minister on whether Canada is achieving the purposes set out for it in the Act, including increasing transparency and predictability for proponents and the public, helping to identify issues early, and creating efficiencies to best support decision-making in the public interest.” stated the PDWMC President Lemelin.
“I am very excited to be part of this dynamic team and look forward to contributing and sharing the knowledge that I have gained throughout my career, as well as throughout my time as an elected member of our local Metis Council.”
Additionally, the Advisory Council will be responsible for:
• Engaging in thoughtful and deliberate study of IAA implementation
• Examining the governance of the impact assessment regime, including the early planning phase for impact assessment and regional and strategic assessments
• Advising the Minister on the efficacy of the impact assessment regime; and its efficiency, transparency, identification and resolution of potential issues, and support of public interest
• Submitting biennial reports to the Minister (beginning June 2021)
The MNO extends its congratulations to PDWMC President Christa Lemelin on her recent appointment to the Impact Assessment Advisory Council.