Enforcement and compliance

The Environmental Enforcement Act (EEA) is omnibus legislation that creates new enforcement tools, amends the fine regimes and strengthens the sentencing provisions in nine environmental acts. The combined effect of these measures is to help achieve greater compliance with federal environmental legislation. A more detailed description of the EEA can be found on the Enforcement website.

The EEA fine regime applies whenever an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) is prosecuted. Under the revised fine regime, which came into force on June 22, 2012, designated offences are subject to minimum fines and higher maximum fines. For offences set out in CEPA, designated offences are listed in the Act itself. For offences set out in regulations under CEPA, designated offences are listed in a separate regulation, the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999).

A list of the offences designated under CEPA is available on line.

Administrative monetary penalties under CEPA Parts 7 and 9

The EEA also introduced the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (EVAMPA), which sets out the framework for the establishment of a fair and efficient administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) regime. AMPs are civil penalties designed to create a financial disincentive to non-compliance and to provide an alternative to other enforcement measures, such as written warnings and prosecution, which may not be effective or appropriate in all situations.

On April 9, 2016, the proposed Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day comment period. The proposed Regulations would designate provisions of Parts 7 and 9 of CEPA, and regulations created under those Parts, that could be enforced by means of an AMP.

More information about the proposed AMPs regime is available on-line.

Fact sheets

Canadians expect the Government of Canada to provide laws and regulations in order to protect them and their society, and these laws must be effectively enforced. The Parliament of Canada has ensured that CEPA 1999 will be enforced by stipulating the Government of Canada’s duty of enforcement directly in the Act at paragraph 2(1)(o).

The role of enforcement under CEPA 1999

Principles of CEPA 1999 enforcement

CEPA 1999 review officers

Enforcement measures

Environmental protection alternative measures (EPAMs)

Environmental damages fund

Environmental damages fund evaluation

Prosecutions under CEPA 1999 - Statistical and detailed reports on environmental protection enforcement activities

Historical records on enforcement actions are available in the CEPA annual reports archives. Recent enforcement actions are available via the Enforcement notifications. To obtain more information and/or provide comments, visit the Enforcement website.

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