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This research paper has been produced for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on behalf of the sub-committee on Strategic Environmental Assessment (the SEA sub-committee) which is in turn mandated by the Minister of the Environment’s Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC). The immediate need for the report is a request from RAC to the SEA sub-committee to research and report on law and policy options for improving the conduct of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Canada, with a focus on the federal level.

The purpose of the paper is to provide an impartial, research-based assessment of the best approaches to designing and implementing a more effective federal SEA regime for Canada, recognizing the diversity of contexts and conditions under which SEA is needed in this country, the frequently overlapping nature of federal, provincial and other government responsibility, and the challenges evident from SEA experience in Canada to date.


Submitted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in partial satisfaction of a Contribution Agreement dated July 2008 between the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the University of Waterloo.