Funding for Public Participation and Access to Justice: Where Are We in 2011?

August 17th, 2011 by Iler Campbell LLP

When the Intervenor Funding Project Act (IFPA) expired in 1996 there was concern that access to environmental justice would be seriously affected in Ontario and there is growing evidence that this has happened. Under IFPA, environmental groups and individuals were able to better contribute to tribunal hearings under the Environment Assessment Act and other laws because of financial assistance provided to them. We argue that participant and intervenor funding for participation in approval processes such as those created by the Environmental Protection Act, Environmental Bill of Rights, the Planning Act, the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 would be beneficial and promote better decision making by government ministries and proponents. Early participation in planning can avoid surprises and controversies for decision-makers at later stages in the approval process.

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Filed in: Environment