Important Announcement Regarding the 2020 OAIA Conference
Dear OAIA Members and Impact Assessment Community,
During this very difficult time of the COVID-19 global pandemic, our hearts go out to everyone in our community as we navigate new challenges, make major adjustments to our lifestyles, and care for the health and well-being of ourselves and of those that we love.
In light of these current circumstances, the OAIA Board of Directors decided to cancel this year’s 2020 OAIA Annual Conference in October and defer the conference to October 18, 19 and 20, 2021.
The theme of our 2020 conference was, “Common Goal, Uncommon Pathways” drawing on the goal of Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act which is “betterment of the people of the whole or any part of Ontario by providing for the protection, conservation and wise management in Ontario of the environment”. We wanted to consider experiences of delivering on the common goal of betterment while considering the future of impact assessment, highlighting innovative pathways together with examples of what is working well. We anticipate this theme will be equally relevant next year.
Although it is disappointing to cancel this year’s conference, we must prioritize the health and welfare of the community. In addition, various local and national travel restrictions and high uncertainty of the virus’s trajectory prevent all of us from being able to plan any travel-related activity for the foreseeable future.
OAIA volunteers continue to serve our impact assessment community so we can continue to connect, share our work and inspire each other. We are working to find additional opportunities for remote engagement and professional development and networking. Please stay tuned for updates soon and continue to visit the OAIA website (www.oaia.on.ca) for additional information!
Thank you for continuing to be an important part of our impact assessment community. We send wishes of health, safety, and perseverance to you and your loved ones.
Charles Birchall and Cheryl Chetkiewicz
Co-chairs, OAIA Conference Planning Committee
As part of the outcomes of the OAIA 2020 webinars on Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Legislation – The Past, Present and Future – OAIA generated two reports for Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.