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Researchers ask Justin Trudeau for more science to be put into environmental assessments

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the media following a summit meeting in Toronto with investors and members of the Canadian government, on Monday, November 14 , 2016. .
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the media following a summit meeting in Toronto with investors and members of the Canadian government, on Monday, November 14 , 2016. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

OTTAWA – A group of young scientific researchers has drafted an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing concern that current environmental assessments and regulatory reviews lack “scientific rigour.”

The group, which purports to represent more than 1,000 researchers in Canada, makes a number of recommendations that it says will help rebuild public trust in the assessment processes.

The recommendations include having projects assessed by parties who have an arms length relationship from proponents.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a new world’: Government scientists told they can speak freely to media

Another recommendation is that decision-making criteria be developed so decisions are based on science and fact.

The researchers also suggest that all information from the assessments should be made publicly available and that there be public disclosure of all meetings among interested parties and members of the decision making process.

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They say they decided to draft the letter partly because they must live with the future effects of major projects that get approval.