Vol. 151, No. 12 — June 14, 2017
SI/2017-28 June 14, 2017
ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT ACT
Order Fixing July 12, 2017 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into force
P.C. 2017-559 June 2, 2017
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 128 of the Environmental Enforcement Act, chapter 14 of the Statutes of Canada, 2009, fixes July 12, 2017 as the day on which subsection 47(2) and sections 48, 101, 102 and 121 to 123 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to section 128 of the Environmental Enforcement Act (EEA), chapter 14 of the Statutes of Canada, 2009, this Order fixes July 12, 2017, as the date on which subsection 47(2) and sections 48, 101, 102, and 121 to 123 of that Act come into force.
This Order will bring into force amendments to the Canada Wildlife Act (CWA), Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) and Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) that will modernize and harmonize the fine regimes and sentencing provisions under these Acts to promote more effective enforcement of the laws that protect Canada’s air, land, water, and wildlife.
The EEA, assented to on June 18, 2009, strengthened and harmonized the enforcement regimes for nine environmental acts under the responsibility of the Minister of the Environment. The bulk of the Act was brought into force by Order in Council in December 2010, and provisions related to the new fine regime for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 came into force in 2012.
Subsection 47(2) and sections 48, 101, 102, and 121 to 123 of the EEA are the final amendments to be brought into force. These provisions amend the fine regimes and sentencing provisions of the CWA, MBCA and WAPPRIITA. They also allow the Governor in Council to designate, by regulation, the provisions in regulations under these Acts that, if contravened and upon conviction, would subject the offender to the minimum fines and the increased maximum fines in the new fine regime.
Provisions related to the new fine regime
Sections 48, 102 and 122 of the EEA introduce a new fine regime for offences under the CWA, MCBA and WAPPRIITA, respectively. These provisions introduce tailored ranges of fines for different categories of offenders (individuals, corporations, small revenue corporations, other persons and vessels) and include minimum fines and increased maximum fines for serious offences that involve direct harm or risk of harm to the environment, or obstruction of authority. The provisions also introduce doubled fine amounts for second and subsequent offenses.
Sections 48, 102, 122 and 123 of the EEA also introduce new sentencing provisions for offences under the CWA, MCBA and WAPPRIITA. The new provisions notably codify the fundamental purpose of sentencing for each Act, introduce a stronger set of sentencing principles and list aggravating factors that must be considered by the court when determining the fine amount. These provisions aim to give guidance to the courts and to ensure that fines reflect the seriousness of designated offences.
Provisions pertaining to the designation of offences in regulations
Subsection 47(2) and sections 101 and 121 of the EEA provide for the Governor in Council’s authority to create regulations that designate provisions of regulations adopted under the CWA, MBCA or WAPPRIITA that, if contravened and upon conviction, subject the offender to the minimum fines and the increased maximum fines in the new fine regime. Such regulations have been developed for the CWA (the Designation of Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canada Wildlife Act) Regulations, which designate provisions in the Wildlife Area Regulations) and for the MBCA (the Designation of Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994) Regulations, which designate provisions in the Migratory Birds Regulations and the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations), but not for WAPPRIITA. No offences in regulations under WAPPRIITA have been designated, as the most serious offenses are found in the Act itself and not in the regulations made under that Act.
As they contain the authority needed to create the proposed designation regulations, it is necessary for subsection 47(2) and sections 101 and 121 of the EEA to come into force prior to these regulations.
The amendments introduced by the EEA to the fine regimes and sentencing provisions for the CWA, MBCA and WAPPRIITA help ensure that court-imposed fines reflect the seriousness of offences under these Acts.
There are minimal impacts directly associated with the amendments, however, as they neither amend existing obligations or requirements, nor impose new obligations or requirements on the public, or other partners or stakeholders. The provisions associated with the Order will only affect those who are convicted of offences under the CWA, MBCA, or WAPPRIITA.
As required by the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan was conducted which concluded that there will be no expected important environmental effects, either positive or negative; accordingly, a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
The EEA was introduced in the House of Commons in March 2009 and received support from all parties. During the legislative process in the House and Senate, parliamentary committees reviewed the Act and held hearings that included representation from various partners and stakeholders. The EEA passed in the House of Commons on May 13, 2009 and received royal assent on June 18, 2009.
Formal consultations were also held on the regulatory provisions to be brought into force by this Order. These regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 15, 2012, and then again on April 9, 2016, for 30-day and 60-day comment periods, respectively, and no objections were expressed.
Legislative Governance Division
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