This paper examines two fundamental and inter-related tensions relating to environmental assessment between the desire to be proactive, promoting sustainable development and the more traditional practice of preventing harm, as well as the need to balance a predictable, expeditious and
efficient process with transparency and inclusive deliberation. Proposed reforms to the environmental assessment process in Ontario, Canada, are examined as a case in point, showing how the recommendations in Ontario are consistent with international trends. In particular, over-arching principles
need to be embedded in more precise sector-specific policies to enable environmental assessment processes to meet these competing goals.
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public participation; sustainability
Document Type: Research Article
School of the Environment, Rm. 1016V, 33 Willcocks St., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E8
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3
Publication date: March 4, 2015
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