Applying Sustainable Transitional Justice: A case study of the 2015 Boat Harbour Act of Nova Scotia
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Standard approaches to policy evaluation often have their foundations in conventional economic concepts. But cost-benefit policy analysis is no longer enough to evaluate how policies, programs, projects, or developments can affect communities. Many policies are evaluated based on factors such as GDP growth or a cost-benefit analysis. These methods of evaluation can undermine, or overlook negative environmental impacts, particularly in marginalised communities. With a focus on environmental policy and environmental justice, this study seeks to develop a sustainable transitional justice (STJ) evaluation mechanism and apply it to the case of the Boat Harbour Act (BHA) of 2015 in Nova Scotia. The STJ evaluation mechanism will be derived from key literatures on the environment, climate, and energy justice, as well as interviews with Mi'kmaq community members, activists, and Elders, from the Pictou Landing First Nations. The literature and interview analysis are focused on environmental racism and reconciliation, gender, health, socio-economic security and poverty, and environmental sustainability. These are the five key sections of an STJ evaluation mechanism and are developed into comprehensive criteria for evaluating the BHA. The case study will show the practicality and replicability of the mechanism. The case finds that the BHA is partially successful but needs to consider community impacts further.