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Science, Evidence and Traditional Knowledge

about 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

How do we respectfully and meaningfully incorporate Indigenous knowledge?

How do we provide greater confidence in the science behind project assessments?



jacson about 1 year ago
Removed by moderator.
Anne G almost 2 years ago
Local Indigenous Knowledge (Traditional Knowledge) should be considered during a project review and used to support scientific data during decision making. Government experts, provincial/territorial included, should conduct a peer review of the science and evidence during the regulatory review of the impact statement. Outside reviewers should only be brought in when there are no qualified government experts. Open access to data should be provided to ensure transparency during the process.
K Ketilson almost 2 years ago
• The Discussion Paper does not provide a pragmatic and integrated framework for inter-related federal regulatory processes. There are numerous reviews and reforms underway that are not connected with existing requirements, are inconsistent, and are duplicative or overlapping in many areas. These reviews and reforms need to be better coordinated – the cumulative burden of this extensive process of reform is overwhelming and costly to Canadians.• Impact Assessment must be restricted to designated major projects that significantly affect a matter of federal jurisdiction. In the nuclear industry, designated major projects are new uranium mines or mills, new nuclear fuel processing facilities, new nuclear power plants, and new nuclear waste storage facilities.• An adequate transition period has not been defined. Transition should be 2 – 3 years to allow seamless and efficient implementation. • Support the use of government experts, including provincial and territorial resources, to conduct the peer review of science and evidence in the regulatory review of the impact statement, and the use of third-party review only where government expertise is lacking in specific areas. • The scope of review should be resolved in, and based on the requirements outlined in, the agreed upon guidelines from the IA planning phase. • Support an integrated open science and data platform supported by publication standards and aligned with existing federal and provincial databases and reporting requirements required by the National Pollutant Release Inventory, provincial species at risk, the Fisheries Act, and operating licences and approvals. • Appropriate timing to transfer science and data to this platform from any IA process is on the date when the IA approval is published. • Support an assessment process that facilitates science-based decision-making. Do not support a process in which complex modelling will be used to balance subjective and value-driven factors in the absence of clear and transparent standards and guidance as proposed as the “sustainability approach” in Building Common Ground: a New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada.
Priddis almost 2 years ago
We are relying on Science to forecast our impending climate change doom, so why would we not use it to forecast changes on evaluating projects. What do indigenous groups have to say about climate change? Everything measurement seems to be based on climate change. It should be measured cradle to grave evaluation compared to other projects, alternative imports, and societal changes.
Amy almost 2 years ago
We are all children of the earth - 1st nations / white - ALL OF US. Allow us to ALL participate. Start beyond science...we all know that science has been proven wrong over and over. It's not "wrong" - just evolving like us... and our gov't should. So therefore other means should be sought.
Terence almost 2 years ago
In my opinion:1. It's not the science. It's what masquerades as science.2. To be convincing, every environmental assessment should include a sound actuarial analysis of what could go wrong and a statement of potential liability, along with an underwriter's assurance that he will underwrite that liability. 3. Any approved project should also be in the public interest. This may be non-tangible, but nevertheless demonstrable.4. Any surplus (uninsured) liability is, of course, a liability which is underwritten by the public. In unusual situations an uninsurable project may be in the public interest. In this case, an acceptably high insurance premium, in the sense of tangible (repeat tangible) public benefit, should be ensured before any project is approved.5. Thus: analysis acceptable to the insurance industry; insurance by a private insurance company; and public benefit. Otherwise no certificate. Let them pollute elsewhere.
Douglas Macaulay almost 2 years ago
I believe an approach of true partnership is required throughout processes of environmental review of policies and projects. For policies, the concept of working tables described in the Discussion Paper could improve partnership with Indigenous peoples. For projects, more progressive companies are already engaging more effectively and earlier with Indigenous peoples. Regulatory review of a completed environmental assessment should include explicit recognition of evidence that a proponent has successfully integrated traditional knowledge with well supported science in all areas required.
Karen Whiteside almost 2 years ago
Science, Evidence and Indigenous Knowledge - QsHow do we respectfully and meaningfully incorporate Indigenous knowledge? Indigenous knowledge can be utilized similarly to any science built on cause and effect and observation. One of the specific strengths being generational validation. How do we provide greater confidence in the science behind project assessments? Project science must be separate and objective in order to validate industry paid science reports allowing assessments to be conducted in an unbiased manner.
Robert L. Varty almost 2 years ago
We can respectfully incorporate indigenous knowledge by having an advisory committee of indigenous Canadians for this purpose. We can meaningfully incorporate indigenous knowledge by having a published body of indigenous knowledge in the English and French languages. ----- We can provide greater confidence in the science behind project assessments by using information that results from proper application of the scientific method. Such information should be available to all Canadians as full scientific reports and as brief news stories.
Lou Allison almost 2 years ago
I wrote some comments but they seem to have disappeared so I will repeat, to some extent, in the hope that I am not repeating myself. I would like to see a more rigorous standard set for credentials of scientific experts reported to government entities. In my experience, Masters students are writing reports submitted by project proponents, and in one case, an expert with discredited credentials was part of a panel (he had not actually published the papers that gave him authority as an expert, which was revealed when an intervener challenged him)(c.f. the environmental assessment by the EAO (by substitution) on the proposed Nexen-CNOOC/Inpex Aurora LNG plant for Digby Island, British Columbia and hearings into the proposed Enbridge pipeline). Also I have found that many environmental population studies have very short time-lines (one or two seasons, one or two surveys) rendering them all but meaningless. Proponents, who have a vested interest and bear the burden of cost, are often responsible for commissioning scientific studies, rendering the findings suspect at best and self-serving at worst: scientific studies should be conducted and reported on by independent scientists and their findings should be reported directly to the overseeing government entity.
Keepers of the Athabasca almost 2 years ago
Indigenous Knowledge (Traditional Knowledge) is site specific. For each project, information is needed from local First Nations, Traditional Knowledge holders, and Elders on the potential impacts of the project. This information needs to be respected and acted on, not just gathered, or there is no point. If a First Nation does not see the benefit in a project proposed for their traditional territories, they should definitely have the prerogative to veto that project. That is the principle of 'free prior and informed consent' written in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has now ratified.Funding needs to be provided to develop studies and data around new proposals. We need to develop the tools needed at each proposed location. Guidance needs to go both ways: the project proponent can advise what they propose, however local people and especially First Nations must be given capacity to also develop tools describing their positions. Peer reviews are critical to new proposals, and making science accessible in plain language will help citizens of Canada understand exactly what our situation is. In today's world of increasing cumulative effects and competition for important resources, we must be very very careful about our actions, especially on large industrial projects that will last for decades.
Christine Mettler almost 2 years ago
We can provide greater confidence in the science by being accountable to monitoring commitments. This means routinely, rigorously, and transparently monitoring environmental conditions and changes. For example, a recent report notes how this accountability piece is largely missing with regard to monitoring under the Wild Pacific Salmon Policy (see: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139%2Fcjfas-2017-0127#.WaRqv5OGMWp) "Our results, based on data for all species from British Columbia’s north and central coasts, show that monitoring effort has continued to erode, abundance of spawning adults has significantly declined for several species, the status of many salmon Conservation Units are in zones of concern, and 42% of the Conservation Units that we assessed as Red (threatened) would have improved in status had the Canadian fishery been reduced."
Melanie almost 2 years ago
More comprehensive environmental monitoring that assesses predicted impacts should be an integral part of process. To develop a knowledge base of what actual effects are allows us to better understand impacts of future projects
Melanie almost 2 years ago
There was promise during elections made that the NWPA regulations that protect Canadian waterways and were removed by Conservatives would be entirely restored. It is my understanding that now this will only be done on a case-by-case basis. Our water and waterways need to be protected especially with pending future impacts of climate change, which will certainly affect water flows and quality. Industrial projects should be rigorously assessed for environmental impacts if they will impact a waterway. I
G. Meston almost 2 years ago
Invest in regular, widespread, professional, and independent scientific monitoring and research to determine the true state of health of our land and watersheds, our eco-systems, our food sources, our carbon emissions, etc. Include, especially, areas around extraction industries. Make all gathered scientific data available to the public. How can good policy based on science be made if the science is not gathered and made available?Overhaul the Environmental Assessment process by forming a quasi-judicial board with the sole authority to conduct environmental assessments as per the recommendations of the expert panel on Environmental Assessments. Remove it completely from the National Energy Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and any other industry powered influence. Ensure First Nations representation on that board.
The Inverhuron Committee almost 2 years ago
Providing greater confidence in the science behind project assessments comes with the appearance of neutrality, Using independent researchers, overseers, and scientists along with an independent Review Panel would go a long way to building trust in the research.
Karen Wonders almost 2 years ago
Indigenous knowledge must be made part of all environmental assessments. Greater confidence in the science of such assessments would be part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) expert panel’s recommendations. The Environmental Assessment Agency must be made into a quasi-judicial board, with the sole authority for conducting EA. We can have no confidence if the government does not allow this Agency to make decisions, instead it proposes that the C-38 regime of energy projects going to the NEB, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and offshore boards will largely remain in place.
Sipekne'katik almost 2 years ago
1. To respectfully and meaningfully incorporate Indigenous Knowledge (IK) into assessments a guide is required for Proponents on how to incorporate IK into assessments to ensure consistency and to also ensure IK work is always undertaken. 2. Greater confidence in the science behind project assessments may occur when science is shared with the public and is peer reviewed.3.
Marilyn Otton almost 2 years ago
Transparency in science info.
Karen Breeck MD almost 2 years ago
I very much support and respect indigenous knowledge and values inclusion when considering Canada's future environment and regulatory reviews. There is so much wisdom in the indigenous advice that all environmental related decisions should be viewed as needing to consider/address the needs of at least the next seven generations. One area that clearly has to be prioritized this way is water and nuclear waste and the overlap specifically between the two. Nuclear waste can no longer just be "stored" indefinitely to figure out what to do with another day.. Canada has to now develop a formal "disposal" plan for the nuclear waste that we continue to make. Europe has already set a clear standard of deep caverns, in solid rock, in non earthquake prone areas, away from major water sources for all intermediate and above wastes. Yet Chalk River is not following any of these world precedents and is taking the "cheaper" but much less safe rout of essentially landfill disposal, on poreous grounds, in an earthquake prone zone, near the Ottawa River. Given the extremely long half lives of much of this material, the potential devastating risks to Canadians and the environment if these nuclear waste materials are not stored properly and/or are ever allowed to leach into our water supplies.. can not be understated. We must do this right the first time. We must err on the side of caution. When the Indigenous populations, our traditional waterkeepers, are happy with the plan for Canada's nuclear waste, I will be happy. I know they will be thinking of seven generations to come and not about this years profits for shareholders. We all have responsibilities for safe water and environment for the next generations of Canadians. As for greater confidence in science.. we will all have more confidence in the science behind project assessments when its the federal scientists that are also happy with the nuclear waste plans and not just the for profit corporations and their for profit consultants. Govt has to take nuclear waste back to be 100% under its control. At the end of the day, when a mistake or accident is made in this area, the potential impact is so huge that it will bankrupt any corporation to deal with and all costs for clean up will be borne by the taxpayer. The taxpayer therefore has a very large and direct interest to ensure that the disposal plans are done right in the first place. I think I speak for many Canadians, Id rather pay an extra tax to get this all done right in the first place then have to live in a Canada with a radioactive water supply.
Martha Jo (MJ) Willard almost 2 years ago
1. Science is always evidence based so correct terminology isn’t science, evidence but evidence-based scientific knowledge2. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and utilize their significant scientific knowledge which has been underrecognized previously3. All expertise, evidence based scientific data and Indigenous knowledge is fully considered, and that information presented by proponents is adequately validated4. Recognition of Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, rights, jurisdiction, and interests are respected and incorporated5. Peer reviewed science submission as well as integration of Indigenous knowledge
Jane almost 2 years ago
Science is a very broad term but in consideration of climate change – this report might be a good starting place – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/climate/document-Draft-of-the-Climate-Science-Special-Report.html
Jane almost 2 years ago
• The NEB could facilitate reconciliation by offering more education to non-indigenous Canadians as to the traditional knowledge of Indigenous and Inuit knowledge in relation to energy, fisheries, and water.
Ahava almost 2 years ago
Create opportunities for serious and in-depth conversation and consultation with Indigenous peoples, leaders, elders, men and women. Acknowledge Indigenous rights and territories. Make sure the science is provided by neutral parties without ties to the companies who will benefit from the project.
Jim Culp almost 2 years ago
I do not want to say how to respectfully and meaningfully to incorporate indigenous knowledge into a project assessment because only First Nations know that answer. From my perspective and that of organizations I have belonged too we need to be respected for the knowledge we have. Small gatherings with people like myself or asking for submissions can provide local knowledge and expertise that few and sometimes no government agency employee or consulting firm staff person is able too do. I have counted spawning salmon populations for many years walking, floating and flying by helicopters. I have angled on local rivers since 1974 and have spent countless times and hours walking streams, in riparian zones and through old growth forests for example in flood plains and along side hills. Always looking for wildlife sign and wild animals and birdlife and other wild creatures and on and on. Rarely has my knowledge and experience been asked for and the same can be said for many people like myself across the province of BC and I suspect across Canada.For me the science behind project assessment is only acceptable as long as all Government agencies, University and other institutional and professional and technical information or no information is acknowledged, for example when the PETRONAS LNG project was being assessed, little reference was made to studies carried out by or from those sources. There was as well was no acknowledgment that it takes years to study and be able to determine all of the species of fish that migrates through the eel grass in the Skeena Estuary off Lelu Island and how much time they spend in the transition zone from fresh to salt water. This is a very complex study that takes a long time and with considerable effort and even then all the questions likely will not be answered. I have almost always felt that environmental assessment is targeted to win the day for the proponent not to take the side of fish and wildlife and their habitats. I like many people am not comfortable with the process which favours the proponent.
Terry Woods almost 2 years ago
Start listening to Indigenous people and act upon what they are telling you. The message is pretty clear. Profits and short term economic possibilities are being placed ahead of what is ULTIMATELY good for our environment.As for science, start listening to what the body of independent scientists are saying. We have to stop taking oil out of the ground. We already know that the effects of industrialization have been harmful to our earth, so any further development will have harmful consequences. The extent of negative long-term effects are unknown, so we must rely upon the precautionary principle.
Anne Learn Sharpe almost 2 years ago
1. Listen. Indigenous people have been speaking since the time of first contact but only now is the colonizing culture beginning to listen. We are almost too late, but it is more important than ever that we understand and learn to value indigenous knowledge and wisdom. Respect. Indigenous people have rights that historically have never been respected. It is time to honor the treaties.2. Publish scientific sources for assessments and include a variety of opinions. Do not use science to advance political agendas.
Jan McQuay almost 2 years ago
The most important point here is to ensure the science is objective and unbiased. Corporations present studies to promote their projects, they have a clear bias. So independent science is key. Allow public scientists to speak freely about their research, not just follow the official line. Next, make science accessible and understandable to the public. But some projects should be rejected right from the start, e.g. energy projects that do not pass the "net zero greenhouse gas emissions" test.
Garry Fletcher almost 2 years ago
My comment below was intended to refer to the Transparency and Public Participation section and the Partnering with Indigenous Peoples sections.
Mark Tipperman almost 2 years ago
Decisions that affect the environment should never be made in a vacuum or reliant on industry purchased experts. Environmental assessments need to be prepared for all decisions that have the potential to affect the environment in any material way. Any indigenous community that may be in the path of the project's effect, need to be solicited for their input. Independent experts that are not beholden to industry and are free or industry ties, need to be consulted.
Garry Fletcher almost 2 years ago
Its ironic that these two ideas come together here.. Kinder Morgan went out to the First Nations communities along the route of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion and offered mutual benefit agreements with the project valued at more than $400 million.The 51 agreements made include 10 in Alberta and 41 in B.C. They were essentially buying off the communities with offerings of goodies from the project if they didn't object.. The irony lies in the fact that none of these secret agreements with the First Nations who accepted them can be made public. Yet Kinder Morgan keeps touting the fact that many First Nations have agreed and are not opposed to the project. A great example of transparency there! Our congratulations to the many First Nations such as the Tsleil-Waututh People, who refused to be bought off. See www.twnsacredtrust.ca/
Jean Rajotte almost 2 years ago
We provide greater confidence when we know the science did not come from the industries that will profit from whatever project. e.g. NEB is not independent of the industries that profit - uranium, nuclear power plant operators/constructors. The watchdog organizations, the assessment boards, etc., they need to be completely transparent in their operations, they need to be lead by independent scientists who are guided by principles of concern for public health, for environmental safety, for honouring our arrangements with indigenous groups.
Onni Milne almost 2 years ago
I don't know whether to laugh or cry regarding this questions. I suggest that you listen to the information that First Nations share with you. As stated in a comment below, Tom Berger's examination of the Mackenzie pipeline proposal is an appropriate model to follow. I suggest that you listen to citizens who present their concerns regarding proposed projects instead of offering public relations events as "consultation". The science behind project assessments never seems to say that a project will be rejected, only accepted with conditions. This government, like past governments, considers corporate interests as priority. This government does not recognize the word "NO" as part of the English language when it comes to approving projects.
Connie Duchene almost 2 years ago
The Indigenous population has title ownership of their territories; they therefore have to provide consent for access to their land and the resources on them. If you respect this, they will help you integrate the knowledge they have as stewards of the land.
Kim deLagran almost 2 years ago
Elder Councils should be consulted and their input given equal weight to scientific data in any decision making process. Publicize who are the scientists and their particular background of knowledge.
Evelyn Scott almost 2 years ago
Traditional Indigenous knowledge gathered and documented by qualified translators with needed languages must be given equal standings to western science data. Hearings musta be held in affected indigenous communities in local languages and respecting local protocols and cultural practices. The 1975-76 Mackenzie valley pipeline hearings chaired by Justice Thomasa Berger provid a good model to follow.
Wendy W. almost 2 years ago
I cannot help but be insulted by the first question. How to respectfully and meaningfully incorporate indigenous people's knowledge? This government has approved projects that go through indigenous lands without their approval. Consultation has been no more than going through the motions and then approving the project anyway. There has been no respect for indigenous lands. So the answer to the first question is simply to give indigenous people's some respect and stop trampling on their rights. The second question is also insulting. You are asking how Canadians can have greater confidence in the science. We DO have confidence in the science. What we don't have are governments who will listen and act on it.
Alexander Quaglia almost 2 years ago
My impression has alway been that we have to treat indigenous people and value like we do will everyone else. This is without exception or privileges.
John D. Jacobs, PhD almost 2 years ago
Allow adequate time and resources for Indigenous participation. Include independent, third-party scientific reviews as part of the process.
Charlene Minifie almost 2 years ago
Indigenous knowledge must go hand-in-hand with INDEPENDANT scientific recommendations (vs. research by interested parties). If government actually listened to both, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Judith Sharp almost 2 years ago
The elders of the indigenous communities are the keepers of the knowledge and they have the wisdom to speak of changes they have seen over their long lives. They need to be listened to and to be believed. Any scientific fact that sways a decision needs to be openly talked about so that all of us are able to understand it.
Ian Bonyun almost 2 years ago
Decisions should be made by scientists based on their scientific findings, not by politicians in the pocket of industry (cough cough Harper cough Trudeau cough cough). You want greater confidence in the science behind the assessements? Ensure adequate funding is provided to INDEPENDENT researchers, and irrevocably enshrine scientists' right to speak to the public about their research and findings.
Breanna almost 2 years ago
We incorporate them by actually listening to them. So far all this government has managed to do is side-step the meaningless consultation they hold with indigenous peoples. If they listened pipeline projects would not be approved because they would realize they are harming the earth and the people who live here. If you actually followed the science recommendations we wouldn't be having this discussion. We have experts for a reason. Our government to often acts like its above science, and are hurting citizens like myself.
Gary Janisse almost 2 years ago
Let them talk freely
Nicole Corrado almost 2 years ago
Ask Indigenous people. They have known Canadian ecology for 10000+ years.
PATRICIA ARNEY almost 2 years ago
To provide greater confidence in the science- ensure the research was not sponsored by industry.Actually incorporating indigenous knowledge would be respectful and meaningful.
Erin almost 2 years ago
Science does not have an agenda. It is simply testing an idea and reporting the results. Canadians have had scientists muzzled for too long under the previous government. This is unacceptable and downright scary. I believe the government should be listening to the Science more than taking into account ANY OTHER FACTOR. And the Science is clear: we are doomed if we don't make drastic changes NOW. I understand many parties responsible for decision making are not particularly Science literate. I propose more efforts be made to ensure scientific papers are summarized in a way that all peoples can understand, and these summaries be available online to the general public, alongside all other documentation for projects seeking approval. I also believe the government should have at least some Ministers and Cabinet members with a Science background.
Brad Jones almost 2 years ago
Please adopt all of the expert panels’ recommendations for these desperately needed environmental reforms.
Nancy Crozier almost 2 years ago
Ask the Indigenous People's to participate meaningfully and when they do...DON'T "thank"them for their contributions and ignore their rights!Support and respect their words by acting on them and include them in the profits made on their territories resource extraction.As to science please see my comments for the EarlyEngagement and Planning question.
Susan E. Match almost 2 years ago
The government needs to listen to the scientists.
Marilyn Shaw almost 2 years ago
Request input from all stakeholders. Contact as many groups as possible and find out from them whom they would like to put forward to provide input. Ensure that scientists are allowed to provide their input without being censored by the government in any way, shape, or form. They should not be constrained either to be silent or to toe some political party line.
Liz Haan almost 2 years ago
Reverse the non scientific changes made in 2012 to the NPA. Before the legislation was excellent but was gutted by Harper.
Joseph Fall almost 2 years ago
Many large industrial projects, particularly in the West, are proposed on the unceded traditional territories of First Nations with constitutional rights to input upheld in the Supreme Court. It is reckless and irresponsible of the Canadian Government to open themselves to future lawsuits, potentially with huge payouts, by failing to properly consult with and respond to First Nations. One excellent way to do this would be to treat Traditional Knowledge with respect and reverence and find ways to build that into EA and NEB processes.As an simple step towards providing "greater confidence in the science behind project assessments", the G.C. could start by (a) hiring independent scientists to do some of the basic research and publish their results in respectable, peer-reviewed journals; and (b) actually act upon the scientific results. People are cynical about the "science" behind these reviews when they are conducted by people with obvious close ties to or funding from the very industry they are examining AND when governments choose to ignore the science in favour of "economic considerations".
Kim Charlesworth almost 2 years ago
Give equal weight to First Nations knowledge - they managed to live here sustainably for several thousand years. Scientific assessments must be from independent bodies, not industry - they are biased and have proven unreliable in that they do not disclose known negative effects. Public must have access to ALL the data, and be allowed to have standing and challenge it.
J Wells almost 2 years ago
The scientific assessments must be from independently funded research,not those funded by industry . The scientific evidence offered by oil ,gas and mining companies for their projects must undergo cross examination . This was not allowed in the Kinder Morgan NEB hearings.Aboriginal knowledge must be accepted and reviewed by peers.
R Thomas almost 2 years ago
Consult with Indigenous communities about their traditional knowledge about natural areas, native species and protection. Give equal weight to traditional knowledge and expert-driven, scientific research.
Peter Puxley almost 2 years ago
Greater confidence in the science underpinning decision-making will only be achieved if there is sufficient support for public interest intervention and independent expert testimony contracted by those communities most affected by development proposals. There is far too great a reliance on industry-sponsored research today. DFO research should be enhanced to develop data on baseline populations of all marine species before reliable decisions can be made and trusted about impact on marine populations.
Barbara DeMott almost 2 years ago
Honor the Environmental Assessment expert panel's recommendation to convert the Environmental Assessment agency into a quasi-judicial board with sole authority for conducting assessments. Restore previously-held protections to waterways with the NWPA, which the Harper government destroyed. Listen and act on expert and indigenous expert recommendations instad of pandering to big oil
Ken Forster Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate almost 2 years ago
Make a firm commitment not to approve any project until the local indigenous groups have been consulted and agreed to it. Keep it.Free, prior and informed consent!
Nora Fernandez almost 2 years ago
Protect the Environment honestly and listen to Aboriginal people's concerns and recommendations as you promised...enough of cynicism and destruction, we may not have another chance. Science is science, it validates itself when not corrupted by corporate money.
Maureen McGuire almost 2 years ago
The means are there. The government prefers to use window dressing and ignore regional indigenous knowledge and acquiring objective scientific assessment.Overhaul the NEB and move it out of Calgary. Restore the NWPA to it's previous stature.Listen to the leaders of the First Nations communities.
Roger Richardson almost 2 years ago
Indigenous people have lived here for over 14,000 years without causing damage to the environment. Listen to what they say, not big oil, Monsanto or Nestlé.
Jason Steeghs almost 2 years ago
With regards to Indigenous knowledge...seek the knowledge honestly, actually listen to it, and demonstrate that you're meaningfully incorporating it. (Who wrote these questions!?)
Jason Steeghs almost 2 years ago
Listen to the experts you hire, for starters. Make project assessments available via a centralized database that's easy to access and not overly bureaucratic.
Caroline Maloney almost 2 years ago
Protect the Environment and listen to their concerns and recommendations, as promised!
Arthur Olin almost 2 years ago
To develop some trust that a government agency bases its decisions on scientific principles, it is necessary to be transparent and publish the data together with the relevant decisions, and then allow a period of public review where the results can be challenged on technical grounds. The review process is critical in establishing credible scientific knowledge, and even after review there have been many papers that have to be modified or withdrawn. Scientific justification for decision-making must be transparent and go beyond the authority of a small group.
Dan Carpenter almost 2 years ago
keep your election promise. To do otherwise suggests that you don't care about the concerns of Canadians that voted for you, that you can't be trusted to keep your word and that you are willing to put the interest of industry before the well being and future of our environment.
Sheila Harrington almost 2 years ago
1) ask first, before jamming through approvals of projects that have impact on FN's territories (whether or not they have completed reconciliation)2) if the scientists reporting are paid by corporations - no go - but if the scientists are independent, that is confidence3) refer to the UNIPCC and get with the program of saving our planet!! that's what you promised before election !
Roger Elmes almost 2 years ago
Follow science and informed research, enhanced by traditional knowledge. But the science should be paramount. We don't even have adequate data to determine which salmon stocks from which locales can be exploited or need to be forcefully protected. DFO has reduced the number of monitoring points from 1500 in the 1980s to less than 500 by 2014. This needs to be reversed now.
Sharon Leighton almost 2 years ago
Make a firm commitment not to approve any project until the local indigenous groups have been consulted and agreed to it. Keep it.
Sheila Page almost 2 years ago
You provide greater confidence in science by following the recommendations of the expert panels who have already submitted their comments.I prefer to let indigenous leaders comment on the other question noting that the legal structures regarding land claims are different in B.C. from the rest of Canada.
Timothy Bartoo almost 2 years ago
How do we respectfully and meaningfully incorporate Indigenous knowledge? By being willing to make decisions based on the wisdom articulated by Indigenous voices. It is not enough to “listen” if nothing subsequently comes of it. The bottom line is that decision-making power must actually be shared. The terms of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be adopted. For a project that impacts First Nations territories to go forward, free, prior and informed consent is required.How do we provide greater confidence in the science behind project assessments? By being willing to make decisions based on the science. If the science clearly demonstrates that a project will have detrimental social, economic and / or environmental impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated, the project should be rejected. A fair scientific assessment of the TransMountain Pipeline Expansion project, for example, would have resulted in its rejection.
Jane Mertz almost 2 years ago
Listen to the Elders in each community and then actually do what they suggest with regard to protecting the environment. Showing up for a brief meeting for a photo op is not engagement. Listen to the scientists and then actually follow through with their recommendations. This is not rocket science, this is traditional knowledge meets western science to benefit all that live in Canada and the planet. Our rivers do not know artificial boundaries.
Katherine Gray almost 2 years ago
I am a Canadian and follow all of the news related to environmental concerns with interest. I know the decisions that must be made are complex. I also know that we must respect the knowledge of the indigenous people of this country. I have some background in science and believe we must take very seriously the findings of the researchers and scholars in the scientific community. I do not understand all of the facets in each of these areas. However, I am aware that some people devoted to these very important matters have many questions and concerns. I respect Elizabeth May, MP as she speaks to these issue in parliament. I hope that her views will be listened to and followed in environmental matters. I also think that the work of the David Suzuki Foundation must be listened to and followed in environmental areas. There are other organizations whose members know more than I do. I trust that their views will also be acknowledged and taken seriously. Finally, science and traditional knowledge can show us the way to go, and we must always remember that our environment is our life and that continuing to take and take from it for monetary profit and short term benefits will not end well for our country or the world.
Tyler almost 2 years ago
What is the purpose of engaging expert panels if their recommendations aren't being followed? Please enact ALL recommendations that have been put forth by environmental experts.
Bill Henderson C.M. almost 2 years ago
Please adopt all of your expert panels’ recommendations
Navid Tabatabai almost 2 years ago
Please restore the Navigable Waters Act. I want our water to be protected from corporate greed!
Barbara Mills and Dorrance Woodward for Assoc. for Denman Island Marine Stewards almost 2 years ago
Science, Evidence and Indigenous KnowledgeWe heartily support the commitment to use integrated open science and data platforms to inform environmental frameworks and regional assessments. The sources of the scientific information and data should be clear, so the independence of those sources can be evaluated by all users.Furthermore, we support a requirement that only independent sources of scientific research and information are used during environmental assessments. In our experience, the CSAS model of using the most up- to –date, independent scientific experts to inform frameworks and assessments has resulted in excellent reports and recommendations. However, our experience here in Baynes Sound and the Strait of Georgia, is also that recommendations from these experts are rarely implemented by either proponents or ministry regulators either federal or provincial. Destruction and neglect of the environment, fish habitat especially, has consistently continued despite astute and timely advice. We therefore suggest that environmental recommendations be given the necessary credibility by this Independent Governmental Environmental Assessment Agency, in the form of a requirement of ongoing monitoring and enforcementCompliance and Enforcement We welcome the plan for CEAA to “maintain the authority for enforceable assessment conditions and to work with regulatory authorities to enhance compliance and enforcement activities”
Jess Harding almost 2 years ago
Both of these questions can be addressed by simply establishing protected status as the default state, e.g. NWPA, with the requirement that both science and Indigenous knowledge must be included in any proposal that potentially jeopardizes that protection. The onus must be on the project proponent to demonstrate adequacy of environmental protection, commitment and accountability for long term (generational) protections, and to long-term public benefits to society, including addressing local indigenous issues, whether traditional knowledge or inter-generational concerns. Clarity and transparency are essential.
Judith Appleby about 2 years ago
What has happened to the Environmental Assessment expert panel's recommendation to convert the Environmental Assessment agency into a quasi-judicial board with sole authority for conducting assessments? Confidence in science would increase if the government restored previously-held protections to waterways with the NWPA, which the Harper government undermined
Colin Creasey about 2 years ago
Try actually listening to indigenous peoples. They have been here for thousands of years, and have learned to live in harmony with the planet. The treatment of first Nations peoples is an absolute disgrace. As for the science behind these projects, the panels should be made up of respected academics with no ties to oil and gas industries, pharmaceutical companies, mining industries, etc., etc. There is no concern about the science if the expert panel participants are free from influence of major corporations, so please stop putting this "problem" before us. It is nothing more than a red herring.
Greg Taylor about 2 years ago
The Trudeau Liberals campaigned on 'evidence based decision making', but so far haven't demonstrated any such thing. From sticking with Harper's GHG targets, doing nothing to reverse his damage to the Navigable Waters Protection Act or Fisheries Act, to approving Kinder Morgan without redoing the environmental assessment(as promised by Trudeau) it is pretty clear that 'evidence-based decision making' hasn't happened. Add this to approving Kinder Morgan with ongoing First Nations court cases, and it's pretty clear First Nations perspectives have been largely ignored. You provide greater confidence in these areas by reversing Harper's damage and by providing a legitimate environmental assessment before approving any resource-based projects.
Nancy Pow about 2 years ago
Please respect the recommendations of the expert panel on the NEB. Those recommendations called for a complete overhaul of the NEB and moving it to Ottawa. The NEB is currently influenced more by the oil and gas industry than it is by science.
Clement Kent about 2 years ago
The call for peer review is great - but in what timelines? With what kind of support? Who is a "peer"?
Bonnie Sokoloski about 2 years ago
To respectfully and meaningfully incorporate indigenous knowledge, first of all, solicit it! Talk to leaders, elders and gather a consensus of their observations. They have been here a long time, and traditionally based their actions on what they observed over time. There are regional differences of course. For example coastal people's traditional observances are meaningful in considering projects that could affect their traditional fishing grounds. What First Nations People want is to be honestly heard by government, without having to go to court to do so. We would all stand to benefit if this were to happen.To provide better confidence in the science behind proposed projects, first of all fund INDEPENDENT scientists to review any science funded by the proponents of the project. Follow the advice you were given to make the EPA a quasi- judicial agency to make decisions regarding the advisability of proceeding with projects based on their environmental safety. In addition, make the changes to the NEB that were advised. No one has any confidence in the way your government has ignored the advice you were given on both of these issues. In addition We had hopes you would do as promised reversing the changes to the N W P A made by the previous government. Confidence is inspired by firm actions, not by flowery words and broken promises.
Diana van Eyk about 2 years ago
Honour treaty commitments and don't allow corporations to violate these commitments as was done on Lelu Island.
Marnie Troyer about 2 years ago
I would have greater confidence in the science behind project assessments if the government actually listened to them above the demands of big oil and gas. I'm not convinced this government is any different from the previous one in its commitment to protecting our environment.
Hung-Yeh Peisinger about 2 years ago
"How do we respectfully and meaningfully incorporate Indigenous knowledge?" Is this still a question? please read http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/pdf/wcip/IASG%20Thematic%20Paper_%20Traditional%20Knowledge%20-%20rev1.pdfBy taking indigenous knowledge seriously. [https://www2.viu.ca/integratedplanning/documents/IndegenousKnowledgePaperbyMarieBattistecopy.pdf]Regarding this knowledge as a deep wisdom on how to live on earth harmoniously. By making principles of indigenous knowledge as part of the Canadian constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedom. So that all decisions in regards to land use is governed by these principles and not government by industrial/ corporate greed.
Judy about 2 years ago
Government should accept the Environmental Assessment expert panel's recommendation to convert the EA Agency into a quasi-judicial board, giving it the sole authority to conduct environmental assessment.
Lisbeth Mousseau about 2 years ago
First Nations still have to go to court, at great expense, to be heard.
Mairy Beam about 2 years ago
I think it is the government officials who need to be more respectful of indigenous knowledge and to have great confidence in the science and scientist on their expert panels. For example the PM dismissed the recommendations on the committee on electoral reform because it didn't give the answer he favoured. That does not provide a good example to anyone in the government.
Bill Johnstone about 2 years ago
Your own Environmental Assessment (EA) expert panel said that the Environmental Assessment Agency should be a quasi-judicial board authorized to conduct assessments. So our government needs a much better explanation for sticking to the previous Act ‎C-38. It's not very sane to continue having energy assessment projects go to the NEB as it exists now, let alone to Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and offshore boards.
R Procyk about 2 years ago
See below
Mel Duhamel about 2 years ago
The science behind project assessments must be peer-reviewed by third-party researchers. Having regional assessments done jointly by government and academic researchers before project-specific EAs would generate much-needed environmental baseline data from which to measure each project's impacts as well as cumulative effects. One of my main concerns is the science (or lack thereof) behind proponents' waste treatment and site reclamation strategies. The technologies they are planning to use must be disclosed to government and independent academic researchers for verification, not hidden behind intellectual property protections. Too much is at stake; energy projects have already made far too many messes we literally can't clean up, even with the best available technology.
E. Peter about 2 years ago
The scientific evidence is already there. The problem appears to be political "stalling" because of corporate pressure. Greater confidence is achieved by: 1) displaying a sense of urgency; 2) showing some meaningful actions; and 3) reversing the mistakes made by the previous government. From what I have read, the indigenous people are already on board. Their frustration is with the lack of action and too many broken promises.
Patricia Rogerson about 2 years ago
Science takes time to make a measured response, you need to know how to interpret that response, they will never say always or never, so do not think they are being casual about their results when they say most of the time. The Indigenous community is not one single group with a common goal or agenda. In Canada we have many Indigenous communities with different traditional knowledge based on the areas they have inhabited, trying to make them one group with a common voice is a disservice to the Indigenous communities and other Canadians.
DCL about 2 years ago
How do we provide greater confidence in the science? By actually making decisions based on science, and by letting scientists speak!
Susan P. Walp about 2 years ago
If the government ignores the recommendations and conclusions of expert panels or commissions, it should explain why.
Luc about 2 years ago
I think it's a case of mistaken priorities. The economic case is made first, backed up by whatever science happens to fit the narrative, and then public welfare (sometimes including indigenous knowledge) is expected to tuck in around the edges.We would of course see radically different outcomes if priorities were adjusted. But then again, that's not what this is about - you want to check the box called 'meaningful consultation' and get back to what you were doing anyways.
Jacqueline Steffen about 2 years ago
By providing opportunities for discussion of differences in views, assists in considering other viewpoints. Opportunities to explore different cultures’ use of and relationship to the natural world and encourages learners to open their minds to different ideas and perspectives.Initiatives should express the views and interests of people of various socio-economic status and must include the views of indigenous peoples.The precautionary principle denotes a duty to prevent harm, when it is within our power to do so, even when all the evidence is not in. This principle has been codified in several international treaties to which Canada is a signatory. Domestic law makes reference to this principle but implementation remains limited. I would also suggest independent scientific reviews/evidence to be conducted and must be disclosed to the public.
Pinz about 2 years ago
Please see the following website for an excellent critique by Robert Lyman, Owner & Principal of ENTRANS Policy Research Group, Inc. on the subject of incorporating indigenous knowledge into the Environmental and Regulatory Review Process. http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2017/07/26/in-defence-of-science-a-commentary-on-the-use-of-aboriginal-traditional-knowledge-in-regulation/ I agree with his commentary. I think that the Government's proposal to incorporate aboriginal traditional knowledge into regulatory practice and make it equal with scientific, evidence-based knowledge is fundamentally flawed.The government's discussion paper appears to support equal consideration of aboriginal traditional knowledge with scientific facts, analysis and judgments based on the use of the physical and social sciences. The foundation of modern science is not that all theories are incontrovertibly true, but that the methods used to derive these theories are empirical and replicable by other independent studies. Further, if theories are proven to be inadequate, previous assumptions can be revised/discarded and a new, more evolved theory is developed that better explains the physical world. Traditional knowledge, in contrast, does not have this capacity to progress & evolve because it involves repeating ancestral patterns, binding its holders to mythology from the past.
David Maxwell about 2 years ago
The problem is not a lack of confidence in the science itself, but the dismissal of the input by scientists. The same thing applies to indigenous knowledge. Listening politely (or not), followed by decision making completely ignoring the input is not an honest consultation. It is window dressing designed to cover up the fact that the drivers of government's actions are quite other than the common weal.
Roger about 2 years ago
The sources of funding for scientific assessments must be disclosed. Peer review of the science by experts chosen by the government should also be public. Interested parties may also submit peer review - with the expert's identity disclosed only to the government.
Al Spiess about 2 years ago
Being informed is part of respect, this must be given both ways. Involving our indigenous society at the ground level should be part of the process, as it is within all societal jurisdictions. Indigenous knowledge should be considered but legitimate based science should be the foundation for approval of non approval
Andrew Adams about 2 years ago
By all means do consider indigenous knowledge but where there is a conflict between well researched scientific knowledge and indigenous knowledge then the scientific knowledge should prevail since it is repeatable information while often indigenous knowledge is more like an opinion survey that varies depending on which indigenous people you asked.The science behind the projects should be peer reviewed by experts in that field of study who are given enough time and money to test the repeatability of the science.
JACK MEYER about 2 years ago
Ask them what they know and if it is truthful and based on truthful proof not just say so.
Raymond Hoff about 2 years ago
Dr. Piver, below, says "A lack of evidence for harm is not equal to evidence of safety." I agree fully and given that there are 30,000+ chemicals in the environment for which we know little or nothing of their effects on ecosystems, science will always have uncertainty, which often leads to inaction.The EIAA white paper does not mention "The Precautionary Principle" which was central to EIA discussions in the 1980's. If we don't know the impact of a proposed project, we should tread slowly, perhaps even stopping a submission. The Science should use homologous approaches where a similar project or proposal has been studied and if concern has been found, that evidence should be included. New pesticide submissions would be an example where lack of evidence of specific harm is not evidence of safety.
Raymond Hoff about 2 years ago
Peer review of indigenous knowledge is not defined in the framework. But as a source of evidence, indigenous knowledge need to be of the same stature as scientific knowledge. The Minister's Advisory Committee on sources of indigenous knowledge should be tasked with providing a mechanism where the evidence provided by First Nations is more than "accepted belief", or worse, not generally accepted beliefs of the First Nations peoples. Providing involvement from the First Nations to scrutinize the submissions of indigenous knowledge to the EIAA process will provide confidence that the submissions are not just heresay.
Earl Matheson about 2 years ago
Everyone's 'knowledge' should be treated equally provided it is supported by evidence and science. And a greater confidence in project science will be gained by specific evidence and not fuzzy phrases like 'most scientists agree that....'.
Andre Piver MD about 2 years ago
open letter re: Parliamentary Committee Review of Canadian Environmental Protection ActDear Leaders,Thanks for the roles you have played. The underlying issue that would give any environmental legislation and regulation functionality, is reversing the cuts in funding for independent research in basic science. I have no special interest other than as a physician trained in the interpretation of science. I do however understand that if the private sector is left responsible for the great majority of research funding (including even guiding the direction for the NRC), all that will be funded is the shortest path to patent-protectable products or meeting minimal regulatory requirements and the "tick-box" "appearance" of oversight. Whether it be the risk of a swing to non-competitive free market stifling or literally the risk of extinction with positive feedback rapid change, independently funded research and independent peer review processes are the only way to steer a responsible course.To achieve genuine and meaningful oversight, our regulatory agencies need to have a picture beyond this shortest path; they need also understand the underlying territory, i.e. the ultimate disposition of many compounds and their metabolites in natural systems (ecosystems), and importantly including within our internal ecosystems: i.e. organs and tissues. These often remain unknown, so we know not even where to look, for pathological impacts. The public does not understand that this is lacking. A lack of evidence for harm is not equal to evidence of safety. This of course also applies to the "elephant in the room" of climate change. Without this background support for basic science, lofty policy change is completely meaningless and will not pick up problems until it is “too late” i.e. there are major and frequent impacts... after the damage is done . The past devolution in funding for independent basic science research does not meet the requirements of an enlightened society and leaves us with only the appearance, of responsible governance ( risk management). Furthermore it has has contributed to an appropriate cynicism and loss of faith in science, civilized society, i.e. alternative facts etc. The role and functionality of professional journalism has unfortunately been likewise neglected. These fundamental (foundational) issues must be addressed if we are to reverse the loss of dearly paid-for old wisdom; the same wisdom that was called the enlightenment.Andre C. Piver MD6774 Harrop Procter Rd.Nelson, B.C., V1L 6R2Canada , tel 250.229 4665
n nLinc about 2 years ago
We have to establish a level playing field for scientific innovation companies that are arising as our next generation takes over. Now you can call this the last ride of a success story for indigenous peoples but the reality of things explains once we comprehend concenaus and other raw data we get to our goal with less effort put in.
Byron Whitford about 2 years ago
You provide greater confidence in the science by supporting proponents who invest significant scientific resources when developing projects. Government can also solicit help from the scientific community and university to help pier review and verify industry scientific findings. Government must also push back against junk science and deliberate attempts by opponents to undermine good science because they are against a project.