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Environmental impact to be considered on federal works projects says new law

October 10, 2023  By Rock to Road Staff

Photo provided by Adobe Stock

OTTAWA, Ont. — A Senate bill encouraging sustainability as a consideration in all federal construction and works projects has passed unanimously.

The bill amending the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act passed on Sept. 27 and will become law once it receives a royal assent date.

The amendment states, “with respect to the construction, maintenance and repair of public works, federal real property and federal immovables, the Minister shall consider any potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and any other environmental benefits,” and may allow the use of any material, product or sustainable resources in aiming to achieve those benefits.

The amendment started as a way to encourage the consideration of the use of wood as a sustainable material, but now includes wording to allow “wood, or any other thing” which may help to reduce emissions or allow a project to be more sustainable.


While the amendment encourages the current and future ministers to consider the impacts to the environment construction projects may have, it does not lay out requirements to award future contracts to the most sustainable bidder, nor does it assign penalties for ignoring these considerations.

This is the second time this bill has been introduced. The first was in 2019 when orders in Parliament died after the session ended.

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