The Environmental Assessment Act’S Impact On Business In Ontario
An improved physical environment would undoubtedly yield gross benefits to the residents of Ontario. The really challenging question is how should environmental policy be formulated and implemented in order to achieve these benefits with the least amount of social cost? There is a net social benefit from environmental policy only if the gross social benefits of reduced pollution exceed the social costs of achieving it. Our analysis of the likely effects of the Environmental Assessment Act leads us to conclude that the potential benefits are at best elusive, and possibly non-existent. The potential costs, however, can be identified with some precision, and could be substantial. The next social cost will be borne not only by business firms investing in Ontario, but also by the residents of the Province in general. We conclude, therefore, that the Environmental Assessment Act is not a socially efficient method of implementing environmental policy.
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