Update – Participation in Assessments during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Affording opportunities for interested and potentially affected parties to participate in the assessment process is a central tenet of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act. YESAB recognizes the challenges facing many individuals and organizations, in particular First Nations, to participate effectively in assessments during the pandemic. YESAB also strives to ensure a timely and efficient assessment process and acknowledges the importance of “restarting” the economy once pandemic response measures are relaxed.
For all assessments, during the pandemic, YESAB will extend the period for seeking views and public comment to the maximum allowable time under the rules.
Where a potentially affected First Nation indicates that it intends to submit comments, but requires more time than the Rules permit, YESAB will extend the period for seeking views a reasonable amount of time to accommodate the First Nation.
Where a potentially affected First Nation is unable to comment, or where YESAB has not heard from the First Nation, YESAB will carefully examine the circumstances and decide whether to advance or to pause the assessment.
A decision to advance an assessment will only be made if the assessor can draw reasonable and justifiable conclusions about project effects. Reasons for the decision to advance an assessment will be explained in the assessment report and based on a range of factors relating to such things as the nature of the project and what is known of the values and interests associated with the project area. Any decision to pause an assessment will be reviewed June 30, 2020 unless pandemic response measures are relaxed beforehand. Reasons for pausing an assessment will be explained on the YESAB Online Registry.
Yukon Envionmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board