The Environmental Assessment Process of Canadian ‘Frontier’ Oil and Gas

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, North Slave Region

Tags: environmental assessment, social sciences, petroleum industry, policy development

Principal Investigator: Fraser, Gail S (1)
Licence Number: 15064
Organization: York University
Licensed Year(s): 2012
Issued: May 22, 2012
Project Team: Dr. Anna Zalik (Collaborator, York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies), Leah Fusco (Research Assistant, University of Toronto, Geography Department)

Objective(s): To provide a systematic pan-Canadian analysis and critique of problematic environmental assessment trends (for example, the lack of publicly available environmental data, inconsistent environmental effects monitoring programs, difficulties addressing cumulative effects, and ineffective public consultation), and to produce practical policy solutions to these trends in the form of "best practice" guidelines to reorient current developments and to inform projected expansions.

Project Description: The research will provide 1) a systematic pan-Canadian analysis and critique of problematic environmental assessment trends (for example, the lack of publicly available environmental data, inconsistent environmental effects monitoring programs, difficulties addressing cumulative effects, and ineffective public consultation), and 2) practical policy solutions to these trends in the form of "best practice" guidelines to reorient current developments and to inform projected expansions.

The research is informed by a literature review of scholarly publications, government reports, non-governmental organization publications, and mass media news coverage. Based on this review, the researchers then hope to interview representatives of many different groups, including community groups, non-governmental organizations, government departments, and researchers.

Interviews would be voluntary. The interview process usually takes about one hour. The team will audio record the interview only if the participant agrees. Before the interview, the researchers would present the participant with a consent form to ensure she/he understands and is comfortable with the process as well as how we will be using the information.

This visit is the first of several planned visits. During this first visit a primary aim is to listen to local people about their experiences and research needs in the area of environmental assessments and oil and gas development. Therefore, the first visit will help develop relationships and a plan for ensuring that the research benefits the local community.

A longer term benefit of this project for local people will be the publications generated after the research is complete that the team will share with the community in a return visit. At this time, the researchers would be able to present findings of the research, answer questions from the community, and get feedback to ensure they have understood the issues from the community perspective.

The research team will present findings of research and make any publications available. The researchers will present the work in an accessible way, answer questions from the community, and get feedback to ensure that they have understood the issues from the community perspective. The researchers will also have discussions with community members about how further research should proceed. The research team will share contact information with participants and other people met so that the team can continue the conversation via email or phone between visits.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 1, 2012 to June 29, 2012.