Compliance and Enforcement
Environment Canada is responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations that it administers. Inspectors and enforcement officers, in cooperation with other federal and provincial departments, carry out regular inspections, investigate reported offences, and gather information to support any findings (Environment Canada, 2007b).
Techniques used to promote compliance with environmental Acts and Regulations include:
- communication and publication of information
- public education
- consultation with parties affected by these provisions of the Act
- technical assistance
According to powers granted at the legislative level the, following activities are used to enforce the Acts and Regulations:
- inspections to monitor or verify compliance
- investigations of alleged violations
- issuance of warnings, directions by Inspectors, authorizations, and Ministerial orders, without resorting to court action
- court actions, such as injunctions, prosecution, court orders upon conviction, and civil suits for recovery of costs
All acts under the jurisdiction of federal ministries share common compliance and enforcement strategies.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) falls under the jurisdiction of Environment Canada. Other departments and agencies responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with CEPA are the Minister of Environment, Minister of Health, Enforcement Officers, Analysts, Review Officers, Attorney General and affiliated officials, and the Courts (Environment Canada, 2002).
The protection of fisheries habitat and pollution prevention, as outlined in the Fisheries Act, is enforced through the Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for the administration of the Act at the federal level. The compliance and enforcement policy is a joint effort between the Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of the Environment, because of their joint responsibility for preventing pollution (Environment Canada 2007c).
At the provincial Level, Alberta Environment is responsible for promoting compliance and enforcement of the Water Act, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act. The province is largely responsible for the protection of the environment in its borders and often assists with the implementation of federal acts.
Alberta has created several initiatives for ensuring compliance.