Guidelines for Abstract Proposal Submissions

Next Generation Impact and Environmental Assessment in Ontario

October 25th and 26th, 2023

Virtual Options Available

The Faculty Club – University of Toronto, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto

OAIA members, as well as impact and environmental assessment practitioners, are encouraged to submit a proposal to speak at this year’s conference. This year, the conference will be exploring the theme of Next Generation Impact and Environmental Assessment in Ontario. There are both in-person and virtual options for presentation and participation.

Proposals are encouraged, but not required, to align with one of the four program areas:

  • Impact & Environmental Assessment – Innovative Approaches and Quick Wins
  • Meaningful Engagement
  • Sustainable Development
  • Climate Resilient Infrastructure

To guide prospective speakers in aligning their topic sessions with these program areas, OAIA has developed a list of Conference Sessions & Suggested Topics (as posted below). These suggested topics identify specific areas of focus. You are encouraged to review the suggested topics and consider them when submitting your proposal.

All proposals submitted to OAIA are subjected to a rigorous jurying process. The first step of this process is a peer review of each proposal. Upon completion of the peer review process, the preliminary conference program will be drafted, and all submitters will be notified as to whether their presentation proposal has been accepted.

Instructions to Submitters


  1. OAIA is offering a student bursary of $2500. For more information, please see Ontario Impact Assessment Award – Student Bursary.


Guidelines for Writing a Proposal Abstract

  1. All abstracts (see Instructions to Submitters) must be submitted using the OAIA Abstract Submission Form.
  2. Ensure that the submission is clear in its intent.
  3. Information must be accurate; spelling errors and missing information may result in presenters or co-authors not being correctly linked to their contributions.



  1. Abstract Submissions are welcome from industry, government, Indigenous groups, academia, students EA/IA consultants and non-government sectors.
  2. One Abstract Submission Form is required for each topic.
  3. Each presentation or case study should be approximately 15 minutes in length.
  4. Each session will be approximately 1.5 hours in length, including time for audience participation. The committee will be coordinating topics to fit into the sessions.
  5. If you are interested in organizing a complete session, please complete separate Abstract Submission Forms for each topic area and note in the abstract section on the form that you are planning a complete session.
  6. If you are presenting virtually, note this in the abstract section on the form. Otherwise, the selection committee will presume you will be presenting in-person.


Deadline & How to Submit

  1. Submit your Abstract Submission Form no later than June 29, 2023
  2. Download the Abstract Submission Form and complete.
  3. To submit your proposed abstract, click here: Submit Abstract Proposal


Travel & Other Expenses

  1. All presenters must register and pay the registration fee. There are several registration options available.
  2. No reimbursement for travel costs will be made.
  3. In some instances, with prior arrangement with the conference organizing committee, some assistance may be available to offset some travel costs (Students, please refer to Ontario Impact Assessment Award – Student Bursary).


Selection Process

  1. The following criteria will be used by the selection committee:
    1. Applicability to environmental and impact assessment practice or theory in Ontario
    2. Scientific and technical merit
    3. Clarity of presentation (e.g., abstract begins with a clear statement of issues).
  2. OAIA will respond to all submitters by July 29, 2023,to advise if your proposal has been accepted.
  3. If you are invited to proceed, you will be asked to register for the Conference, join as an OAIA Member, and confirm your participation by August 16, 2023.
  4. You will be asked to submit all electronic files related to your submission (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) no later than October 2, 2023.

Conference Sessions & Suggested Topics

The Conference Sessions and Suggested Topics below have been developed to guide practitioners in submissions that explore the Next Generation Impact and Environmental Assessment in Ontario. Include the Session and Topic in your submission form. New topics are welcome.

Session 1 Innovative Approaches to Impact & Environmental Assessment
Suggested Format: Round Table Discussion
Suggested Topics:

a.    Investigate New Approaches that have been Used and Work Well.

b.    How Modernized Approaches Benefit Infrastructure Development, Using Sustainability Tools, and Developing Integrated Environmental Assessments (EAs).

c.    Ideas for Impact Assessment (IA) and EA Practitioners to Avoid Delays and Move Infrastructure Planning to More Certainty.  Case Studies Welcomed.  How Do We Avoid These Delays and Move Toward Certainty?

Session 2 A Focus on New Provincial Approaches
Suggested Format: Case Studies and Workshop
Suggested Topics:

a.    Delisting

b.    Deregulation Orders

c.    Enabling Works

Potential Moderated Workshop:

  • How Will the Modernized Approaches Benefit Infrastructure Development
  • Are There Other Innovative Approaches to Delisting and Deregulation?
Session 3 Modern Populism & Getting Things Done: A Focus on Modern Municipal Budget Constraints
Suggested Format: Panel Discussion
Suggested Topics:

a.    Impacts on Infrastructure Building

b.    Impacts on Capital Budgets, Inflation, Planning, Development Changes

c.    Impacts on Budget Scopes for the Future

Session 4 Communication & Consultation
Suggested Format: Presentations, Case Studies & Discussion
a.    Consultation Protocols

b.    Innovative Approaches.    Better Practices

d.    Northern & Southern Ontario: Commonalities & Differences

e.    Effective Indigenous Consultation

Potential Moderated Discussion:

  • The Fine Line between How Much is Too Much and How Much is not Enough.
  • What Can We Do to Improve the Communication Process?
Session 5 The Impact of Land & Water: Indigenous & Contemporary Connections
Suggested Format: Presentations, Case Studies & Discussion
Suggested Topics:

a.    The Impact of Water

b.    The Impact of Land

c.    Land Relationship Planning

d.    Meaningful Land Acknowledgements

Session 6 Integrating Diverse Voices in IA & EA
Suggested Format: Presentations, Case Studies & Discussion
Suggested Topics:

a.    Intergenerational Knowledge

b.    Integrated Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

c.    Community Groups & Advocacy Impacts

    • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Examples
    • Community Groups & Advocacy examples

d.    Opportunities for Reconciliation through Impact & Environmental Assessment: Examples from across Canada & Around the World

Session 7 Impact Benefits Agreement (IBA) Related to Indigenous Communities
Suggested Format: Presentations, Case Studies & Discussion
Suggested Topics:

a.    Impact Benefits Agreements (IBAs) Related to Indigenous Communities

    • When are they used? What is Discussed? What is Decided Upon?

b.    The Importance of Ceremony: Tobacco – Truth & Honesty

c.    How Indigenous Groups work with Government Versus Industry Proponents

d.    Land Relationship Planning

e.    Community Benefits Program

f.     Indigenous EAs:

    • Indigenous Led EA
    • All Communities Acting Under a Land Code: First Nations Management Act
    • Produce & Develop Their Own EA & EA Process
    • Develop a Wind Turbine for a Reserve Versus Transmission Line Off Reserve, Done Under the Provincial Act
    • Until Land Claim is Settled it Remains Under the Prescribed Owner
    • Land Code & Land Management Evolution: What this Means for EA
Session 8 Need for Secure Infrastructure
Suggested Format: Presentations, Case Studies & Potential Workshop
Suggested Topics:

a.    Climate Emergencies & Climate Action Planning: Tools & Technologies

b.    Risk Management & Risk Treatment: New Approaches to Managing Risk

c.    Modeling Approaches: Flood Modeling, Air Quality, Etc.

d.    ENVISION: Case Study & Discussion on Advance Sustainability Versus Using Ugly Technologies

e.    Advancing Digital Technologies in IA & EA

f.     Climate Emergencies & Climate Action Planning: Tools & Technologies

Potential Moderated Workshop: Will Advancing Contemporary Process Using Sustainability Tools and Incorporating Sustainability Lead Us to a More Secure Future?