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Strengthening Environmental Laws

Nature Canada / What we do / NatureVoice / Strengthening Environmental Laws
Many of Canada’s most important federal environmental laws, including Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act, National Energy Board Act, and Navigable Waters Protection Act were seriously weakened in recent years.  Others such as the Canada Wildlife Act need legislative reform if biodiversity is to be conserved.

Nature Canada, Ecojustice and West Coast Environmental Law, together with other environmental groups and scholars, have prepared a series of detailed proposals for reforming these federal environmental laws for consideration by the Trudeau government.

The environmental organization or scholar that initiated each proposal is identified; note that none of the proposals necessarily represent the official policy of either the initiator or any of the organizations involved.

The environmental law reforms summarized below are designed to address these Strathmere Group recommendations. The reforms including the following:

  • Quick Start on Federal Environmental Assessment – This brief proposes regulatory and policy changes to resolve quickly and without recourse to legislation the more egregious problems caused by passage of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012. Download here.
  • National Energy Board Act – This brief proposes amendments to the National Energy Board Act to restore its independence in terms of decision-making with respect to major pipeline and offshore oil and gas projects.
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 Reform – This legislation would replace CEAA 2012 and help ensure a healthy, secure, more democratic and sustainable Canada by making sustainability its core objective, putting responsibility for reviews in the hands of an independent Sustainability Authority, and requiring meaningful participation, First Nations’ involvement as decision-makers, and some level of review for all undertakings subject to the Act.
  • Amendments to Fisheries Act Fish Habitat Provisions recommends focused amendments to restore protection of fish habitat in lakes, rivers and marine waters frequented by fish. Download here.
  • The Underlying Threat: Addressing Subsurface Threats to Environment Canada’s Protected Areas proposes amendments to the Canada Wildlife Act and regulations to provide better protection for wildlife and habitat in National Wildlife Areas. Download here.

Nature Canada will post these environmental law reform proposals on the web site as they are finalized.

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