Scoping Population Health in Impact Assessment (ScopHIA)
Jennifer Ann Brown
Candace Nykiforuk, PhD
Identifying Best Practices for Scoping Major Natural Resource and Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects under Canada's Impact Assessment Act
Canada’s Impact Assessment Act provides new opportunities for public health practitioners, researchers, and policy makers working to improve population health equity for many marginalized and vulnerable populations. Impact assessments are federal review processes conducted for major natural resource developments and large infrastructure projects such as mines, oil and gas fields, or pipelines. Typically located in more rural and remote regions of the country, major projects can provide income, employment, and other benefits for nearby communities. At the same time, major projects may pose risks to community health and wellbeing, including exposure to pollution and loss of ecosystem services, stress on community infrastructure and food and water security, and interfering with land-based cultural practices.
Public health involvement in impact assessments can help to identify and mitigate the risks to community health from major projects. For example, the sector’s input can help ensure that federal decision-makers have appropriate information about possible direct health impacts and impacts on the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health.
This webinar will focus on intersectoral opportunities for public health involvement during the 180-day planning period at the beginning of every new impact assessment for a major project, presenting best practices identified through a federally funded systematic realist review of 185 reports from peer-reviewed and gray literature.