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Environment Canada (EC), legally incorporated as the Department of the Environment under the Department of the Environment Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-10 ), is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for coordinating environmental policies and programs as well as preserving and enhancing the natural environment and renewable resources.

(a) the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality;(b) renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna;(c) water;(d) meteorology;(e) the enforcement of any rules or regulations made by the International Joint Commission; and(f) the coordination of the policies and programs of the Government of Canada respecting the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment.

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (R.S., 1999, c. 33), Environment Canada became the lead federal department to ensure the clean up hazardous waste and oil spills. The department is also responsible for international environmental issues (e.g., Canada-USA air issues).

Under the Constitution of Canada, responsibility for environmental management in Canadamarker is a shared responsibility between the federal government and provincial/territorial governments. For example, provincial governments have primary authority for resource management including permitting industrial waste discharges (e.g., to the air). The federal government is responsible for the management of toxic substances in the country (e.g., benzene). Environment Canada provides stewardship of the Environmental Choice Program, which provides consumers with an eco-labelling for products manufactured within Canada or services that meet international label standards of (GEN) Global Ecolabelling Network.

Environment Canada continues (2005-present) to undergo a structural transformation to centralize authority and decision-making, and to standardize policy implementation.

Jim Prentice is the current Minister of the Environment (2008-).


Environment Canada is divided into several geographic regions:

The department has several organizations which carry out specific tasks:

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is an arm-length agency that reports to the Minister of Environment

Parks Canada, which manages the Canadian National Parks system, was removed from Environment Canada and became an agency reporting to the Minister of Heritage in 1998. In 2003, responsibility for Parks Canada was returned to the Minister of the Environment.


Environment Canada Enforcement Branch is responsible for ensuring compliance with several federal statues. The Governor-in-Council appoints enforcement officers and pursuant to section 217(3) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, enforcement officers of Environment Canada have all the powers of peace officers.

There are two types of enforcement officers: Environmental Enforcement and Wildlife Enforcement. The former administers the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and pollution provisions of the Fisheries Act and corresponding regulations. The latter enforcesMigratory Birds Convention Act, Canada Wildlife Act, Species at Risk Act and The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

On March 4, 2009, a bill to increase the enforcement capabilities of Environment Canada was introduced into the House of Commons. The Environmental Enforcement Bill would increase the fines for individuals and corporations for serious offenses, give enforcement officers new powers to investigate cases and grants courts new sentencing authorities that ensure penalties reflect the seriousness of the pollution and wildlife offences.

All officers wear dark green uniform with black ties and a badge (appear on the right). Environmental Enforcement Officers only carry baton whereas Wildlife Enforcement Officers are equipped with firearm.

More information: EC Enforcement Branch

Related legislation

  • Canada National Parks Act
  • Canada Water Act
  • Canada Wildlife Act
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992, c. 37)
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999)
  • Department of the Environment Act
  • Environment Week Act, Canadian
  • Fisheries Act (pollution prevention into fish bearing waters) (R.S., 1985, c. F-14)
  • International Boundary Waters Treaty Act (R.S., 1985, c. I-17)
  • International River Improvements Act
  • Lac Seul Conservation Act
  • Lake of the Woods Control Board Act
  • Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
  • Migratory Birds Convention Act
  • National Wildlife Week Act
  • Resources and Technical Surveys Act (R.S., 1985, c. R-7)
  • Species at Risk Act (2002)
  • Weather Modification Information Act
  • Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Inter-provincial Trade Act

See also


  1. J. Prentice
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. & Ice Services
  6. CWS
  7. Climate Science
  8. NPRI
  9. (CEAA)
  10. Parks Canada
  11. Environment Canada - Acts, Regulations and Agreements - Enforcement - Acts and Regulations
  12. New Enforcement Legislation Cracks Down on Environmental Offenders
  13. Canada's newest environment officers set to help turn the country green

External links

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