Notice of Referral to Review Panel

Ottawa — January 28, 2021 — The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment, has referred the impact assessment of the Suncor Base Mine Extension Project to an independent review panel.

As per section 36 of the Impact Assessment Act, the Minister may refer the impact assessment of a project to a review panel if it is in the public interest to do so, by considering the following factors:

  • the extent to which the effects within federal jurisdiction or the direct or incidental effects that the carrying out of the designated project may cause are adverse;
  • public concerns related to those effects;
  • opportunities for cooperation with any jurisdiction that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the designated project or any part of it; and
  • any adverse impact that the designated project may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Reasons contributing to the decision to refer to a review panel include: the consideration of potential adverse environmental effects to fish and fish habitat, species at risk, and migratory birds, and potential effects from greenhouse gas emissions. Other key considerations include potential impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples, general public concern, and the opportunity to cooperate with the province of Alberta.

The Minister has chosen to issue the notice of referral to a review panel prior to the notice of commencement of the impact assessment to provide flexibility to the Agency to engage in meaningful public participation, Indigenous consultation, and cooperation opportunities during the Planning Phase of the impact assessment.

The dates of the comment period on draft versions of the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines and the Public Participation Plan will be announced at a later date.

For further information on this impact assessment, please contact:

Suncor Base Mine Extension Project
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
160 Elgin St, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Telephone: 343-549-5813

Document reference number: 75

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