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Strengthening Environmental Laws

Nature Canada / What we do / NatureVoice / Strengthening Environmental Laws
Bills to replace or amend some of Canada’s most important federal environmental laws were introduced into Parliament on February 8 2018.  These include legislation to replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and National Energy Board Act, and amend the Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore and strengthen legal protections that were eliminated or weakened by the previous government.

Nature Canada, 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.  In addition, we will be commenting on the bills, testifying in legislative committees in the House of Commons and Senate, and proposing amendments that strengthen these laws:

  • 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 one federal agency, requiring meaningful public participation, ensuring  early engagement by Indigenous communities and opportunities for their participation as decision-makers, and some level of review for all undertakings subject to the Act. Download submissions to expert panel here.
  • 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. See also Stephen Hazell’s blog on the proposed legislation to amend the Fisheries Act.

In addition, Nature Canada believes that federal wildlife laws such as the Canada Wildlife Act and Migratory Birds Convention Act also should be reformed to provide better protection for wildlife and habitat in National Wildlife Areas. Download here.

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