OTTAWA — The federal government’s new Environmental Enforcement Act, which received Royal Assent on June 18, aims to crack down on polluters, poachers and wildlife smugglers though increased finds and new enforcement tools.
The new Act, sets minimum fines for serious offences of between $5,000 for individuals and $500,000 for large corporations. As well, the Act raises maximum fines to as high as $6 million. The bill also gives 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.
The Act also expands enforcement to deal with environmental offenders by:
? authorizing the suspension and cancellation of licenses, permits or other authorizations upon conviction;
? requiring corporate offenders to report convictions to shareholders; and
? mandating the reporting of corporate offences on a public registry.
As well, the Act directs that fines imposed by the courts go to the Environmental Damages Fund which provides funding to local environmental restoration, improvement, research and development, and public education initiatives.
For more information about this act please visit Environment Canada’s website: http://www.EC.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=714D9AAE-1&news=FF3737AB-7757-4C49-A477-C8FD21750872