Timing of Canadian Project Approvals: A Survey of Major Projects

  • Kurtis Reed Associate, Strikeman Elliott LLP
  • Bradley Grant General Counsel, AltaGas Ltd.
  • Cameron Anderson Legal Counsel, AltaGas Ltd.
  • Jonathan S. Drance Consultant, Strikeman Elliott LLP


This article provides a detailed canvassing of the Canadian energy project approval process, beginning with an examination of the evolution of the project approval process in Canada and the current legal framework under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The article then applies the framework to numerous major energy project approvals in Canada from 2010 to present day, and provides a comparative analysis to the project approval processes in both the United States and Australia in order to find possible solutions to the issues plaguing our current system. This article identifies and discusses current, practical issues and provides recommendations for how the project approval process in Canada can become more efficient for all those involved.