Environment Canada

Environment Canada
Flag of Canada.svg

Departments of the Government of Canada

FIP Environment Canada.PNG
Minister Peter Kent
Deputy Minister Paul Boothe
Parliamentary Secretary Mark Warawa
Established 1971
Responsibilities are as follows:
  • Meteorological Service of Canada
  • Parks Canada
  • Canadian Ice Service
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Water Survey of Canada
  • National Water Research Institute
  • National Pollutant Release Inventory
Employees ~6,000[1]
Department Website

Environment Canada (EC) (French: Environnement Canada), 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. Its ministerial headquarters is located in les Terrasses de la Chaudière, Gatineau, Quebec.[2][3]

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 for which the government is responsible, and to provide technical assistance to other jurisdictions and the private sector as required. 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 Canada 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.



  • Minister
    • Deputy Minister
      • Associate Deputy Minister
        • Assistant Deputy Minister
          • Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
            • Director General
              • Director
                • Managers
                  • Staff


Ice Reconnaissance de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 at Carp Airport

Environment Canada is divided into several geographic regions:

The department has several organizations which carry out specific tasks:

  • Enforcement Branch
    • Environmental Enforcement
    • Wildlife Enforcement
  • Environmental Stewardship Branch
    • Canadian Wildlife Service[4]
    • Chemical Sectors
    • Energy and Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Operations
    • Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
    • Strategic Priorities

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is an arms-length agency that reports to the Minister of Environment[13]

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.[14]



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 have all the powers of peace officers.

There are two designations 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 enforces Migratory 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.[15] 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 also equipped with firearm.[16]

The Minister may also appoint members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fishery officers, parks officers, customs officers and conservation officers of provincial and territorial governments as enforcement officers and to allow them to exercise the powers and privilege of Environment Canada officers.

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.[17]

More information: EC Enforcement Branch

Enforcement of: Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR)

The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) operates with a few basic premises, one of which being that electronic waste is either "intact" or "not intact". The various annexes define hazardous waste in Canada, and also deem any waste that is "...considered or defined as hazardous under the legislation of the country receiving it and is prohibited by that country from being imported or conveyed in transit" to be covered under Canadian regulation and therefor subject to prior informed consent procedures.[18][19]

The loophole in the regulations that allows tons of e-waste to be exported from Canada is the use of the definition of "intact" vs "functional". A non-functioning electronic device that is intact can be exported under the current legislation. What can't be exported without prior informed consent is a non-functioning but no longer intact electronic device (if the component pieces are deemed hazardous). The principal problem being, the non-functioning but intact electronic device is at high risk of being disassembled in some far away e-waste dumping ground. The Canadian government's use of a unique interpretation of the Basel Convention obligations "intact" and "not intact" opens the door to uncontrolled e-waste exports as long as the device is intact. See Canadian fact sheet and associated links[20].

Since Canada ratified the Basel Convention on August 28, 1992, and as of August 2011, Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch has initiated 176 investigations for violations under EIHWHRMR, some of which are still in progress. There have been 19 prosecutions undertaken for non-compliance with the provisions of the EIHWHRMR some of which are still before the courts. Electronic waste by country

Related legislation

See also


  1. ^ About Environment Canada
  2. ^ "Inquiry Centre." Environment Canada. Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "Inquiry Centre 351 St. Joseph Blvd. 8th Floor, Place Vincent Massey Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3" Address in French: "Informathèque 351, boul. St-Joseph 8e étage, Place Vincent Massey Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0H3."
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Environment Canada. Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "Address: Environment Canada Inquiry Centre 351 St. Joseph Boulevard Place Vincent Massey, 8th Floor Gatineau, Quebec." Address in French: "Environnement Canada Informathèque 351, boulevard St-Joseph Place Vincent-Massey, 8e étage Gatineau (Québec)."
  4. ^ CWS
  5. ^ MSC
  6. ^ Monitoring
  7. ^ Predition
  8. ^ Aviation & Ice Services
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Climate Science
  11. ^ NPRI
  12. ^ http://www.ec.gc.ca/faunescience-wildlifescience/
  13. ^ (CEAA)
  14. ^ Parks Canada
  15. ^ Environment Canada - Acts, Regulations and Agreements - Enforcement - Acts and Regulations
  16. ^ Canada's newest environment officers set to help turn the country green
  17. ^ New Enforcement Legislation Cracks Down on Environmental Offenders
  18. ^ http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2005-149/index.html
  19. ^ http://www.ec.gc.ca/gdd-mw/default.asp?lang=en&n=1C6F3B4C-1
  20. ^ http://www.basel.int/natreporting/cfs.html

External links

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