Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Registry?

The Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (the Registry) is a website where the Agency stores records, including documents and comments, from federal impact assessments. The Agency and other organizations responsible for completing federal assessments ensure that records of assessments are posted and maintained on the Registry so that the public can access them.

What can I do on the Registry?

You can find information about projects and other assessments on the Registry by:

You can also read and submit comments to have your say on potential projects.

See About the Registry to learn more about the different types of assessments you can find on the Registry.

How can I search the Registry?

You can search from the Registry homepage using:

  • keywords
  • reference numbers
  • location
  • filters on the results page

Results are sorted by relevance. To see all the records that are posted online, leave the search field empty. See the Search Tips page for more help on filtering and sorting your search results.

Registry records

What records can I find on the Registry?

All information that is considered during an assessment is posted on the Registry subject to exceptions related to privacy, security or confidentiality.

For assessments led by the Agency or by a review panel, you can find:

  • public notices with details on how to get involved in an assessment
  • technical documents submitted by proponents
  • guidelines and plans informing the conduct of impact assessments
  • documents for public review
  • public comments
  • geospatial data files

Links to key documents for a specific project are listed on the assessment page. Links to all documents and comments for the project can be found under “List all records.”

See the contact information provided on the relevant assessment page if you have questions or require more information.

What information is available on the Registry for projects on federal lands and outside Canada?

The information for assessments of projects on federal lands and outside Canada is different from assessments led by the Agency or by a review panel. Each authority responsible for completing the assessment must post the following documents:

  • Notice of intent to make a determination and invite public comments
  • Notice of determination, which includes any mitigation measures

More information or records for these assessments may be available upon request. Contact the authority identified on the relevant assessment page for details.

See the policy and guidance for Projects on Federal Lands and Outside Canada for more information about these requirements.

Can I get a record in an alternate format?

Records posted on the Registry are in web accessible formats (such as HTML) or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Contact the Registry team if you require information in another format.

Are records available in both official languages?

The Agency commits to ensuring that information from the federal government and services provided on the Registry are available in both English and French. Information from external sources (such as public comments) are not subject to the Official Languages Act and are available in the language they are submitted.

How can I get a copy of a record once the assessment is complete?

Information for completed projects stays on the Registry for reference. Some archived assessments may have additional information that is not posted on the Registry. Contact the department or organization that is identified on the Registry assessment page for details.

Contact information for archived assessments is not up-to-date. For further information about an archived assessment, use the generic contact information of the authority listed on the project page.

Commenting and sign-in

How do I submit a comment?

Individuals and organizations can submit comments on an assessment via the Registry’s online commenting tool or by email. All comments are subject to the Submission Policy. Navigate to the assessment page of interest for contact information or to submit a comment online.

To submit a comment online, follow the instructions to authenticate your identity. You can authenticate your identity using either:

  1. the login credentials that you use with a government-verified sign-in partner (e.g. for online banking); or
  2. a GCKey, a secure government credential that you can sign up for. Refer to the Sign-in FAQs for details.
Complete the submission form including your email address, name, and the name of the organization you represent (if applicable).

Why do I need to use a secure sign-in?

To protect the integrity of information posted on the Registry, users must authenticate their identity. If you do not wish to authenticate your identity using one of the secure sign-in methods, you can still submit comments via other means, such as email. You should refer to the contact information listed on the assessment page of interest.

For more information, see the Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

What happens to my comment?

All comments received are considered in the assessment process. Comments submitted online via the Registry are posted in real-time. Information submitted by other methods (email, fax, etc.) are posted online after being reviewed.

Why was my comment edited?

The Agency is required to protect and remove confidential information. We may also remove information in response to an author’s request or for administrative reasons, such as transcription or duplication errors.

Interactive assessment map

How do I find an assessment on the Registry map?

You can find assessments on the map using:

  • keywords
  • place names
  • proponent names
  • reference numbers

You can also find assessments within a certain distance from a point on the map using the “Near Me” tool.

Use different filters like assessment type, nature of activity, location and date range to narrow your search.

What tools are available on the Registry map?

The Registry map includes tools to help you find and navigate geographic assessment data. You can select different data points that will add a layer of visual information to the map. See the Registry Interactive Map - Quick Reference Guide for more details.

What data is in the Registry map?

The map shows the approximate geographic locations of assessments using latitude and longitude coordinates. Usually, it represents the center location of the project area. There may be more than one location identified for linear projects. Geospatial data files submitted by proponents may also be available.

What are geospatial data files?

Geospatial data files are specialized data types linked to a geographic location that can be viewed on a map in the form of layers. Geospatial data can be linked to a location on a map, such as a street address, town, province or any other geographic feature like a coastline, mountain, or river.

A common file type used to represent geographic data files are shapefiles. These consist of geographic features like vectors (i.e. points, lines, and polygons) and their attributes. These can viewed with specialized geographic information system (GIS) software.

Where can I find geospatial data files on the Registry?

Proponents submit geospatial data files to the Agency throughout the assessment process. They are submitted with documents such as the Detailed Project Description or the Impact Statement.

Once the Agency has received these data files, we make them available on the Registry. You can find them using the Registry’s search parameters or document filters.

How can I use geospatial data files?

You can download geospatial data files and use them for your own project, research or analysis. You will need specialized geographic information system (GIS) software.

If you do not have access to GIS software, you can also use the Registry map. Upload the zipped geospatial data file using the “Add Data” tool located on the toolbar at the bottom of the Registry map view. See the Registry Interactive Map - Quick Reference Guide for more details.

For technical help, contact the Agency’s Geomatics Services team.

Archived assessments

What is an archived assessment?

An archived assessment is one that is no longer required to be maintained online. Information may not be available in a web accessible format and is provided for reference purposes only.

How do I know if an assessment was archived?

The word “(Archived)” is included in the title. Assessments and any related document website pages are marked with a banner at the top of the page.

What happened to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Archives?

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Archives was an online database of assessments completed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 1992. This database has been decommissioned, and all of the information continues to be publicly available.

Information about archived comprehensive studies and assessments by a review panel are available on the Registry. You can use a keyword search on the Registry homepage to find them.

Information about projects that were assessed by a screening or class-screening are now available through the Open Data website.

Contact us

I have a question that is not on this page. How can I get an answer to it?

If you need help with or have questions about federal impact assessments, please contact the Agency.

For specific questions about the Registry site, please contact the Registry team.

For technical help or questions about the map or geographic data layers, please contact the Agency’s Geomatics Services team.

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