An Act respecting the protection of the Antarctic Environment (S.C. 2003, c. 20)

Assented to 2003-10-20

An Act respecting the protection of the Antarctic Environment

S.C. 2003, c. 20

Assented to 2003-10-20

An Act respecting the protection of the Antarctic Environment

SUMMARY

The purpose of this enactment is to protect the Antarctic environment, particularly by implementing the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

This enactment provides a permitting regime that gives the Minister the necessary powers to ensure that the activities undertaken by Canadian expeditions, Canadian vessels and Canadian aircraft in the Antarctic are subject to an environmental impact assessment prior to their occurrence.

This enactment creates prohibitions to protect the Antarctic marine environment, specially protected areas and historic sites and monuments in the Antarctic, and species that are native to the Antarctic.

Preamble

WHEREAS Canada is a party to the Antarctic Treaty, to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals and to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources;

WHEREAS the Antarctic is a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada is committed to the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act.

INTERPRETATION

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

    “Antarctic”

    « Antarctique »

    “Antarctic” means

    • (a) the continent of Antarctica, including its iceshelves;

    • (b) all islands south of 60o south latitude, including their iceshelves;

    • (c) all areas of the continental shelf that are adjacent to that continent or to those islands and that are south of 60o south latitude; and

    • (d) all sea and airspace south of 60o south latitude.

    “authorized representative”

    « représentant autorisé »

    “authorized representative” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

    “Canadian”

    « Canadien »

    “Canadian” means

    • (a) a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or

    • (b) a body corporate established or continued under the laws of Canada or a province.

    “Canadian aircraft”

    « aéronef canadien »

    “Canadian aircraft” has the same meaning as in subsection 3(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

    “Canadian expedition”

    « expédition canadienne »

    “Canadian expedition” means a journey undertaken by a person or persons

    • (a) that is organized in Canada; or

    • (b) for which the final place of departure of the person or persons is in Canada.

    “Canadian vessel”

    « bâtiment canadien »

    “Canadian vessel” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

    “conveyance”

    « moyen de transport »

    “conveyance” includes any vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

    “master”

    « capitaine »

    “master” includes every person who has command or charge of a vessel but does not include a pilot.

    “Minister”

    « ministre »

    “Minister” means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purpose of this Act.

    “permit”

    « permis »

    “permit” means a permit issued under section 21.

    “place”

    « lieu »

    “place” includes any platform anchored at sea, shipping container or conveyance.

    “Protocol”

    « Protocole »

    “Protocol” means the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, signed at Madrid on October 4, 1991, as amended from time to time, to the extent that the amendments are binding on Canada.

    “registered owner”

    « propriétaire enregistré »

    “registered owner” has the same meaning as in subsection 3(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

    “Treaty”

    « Traité »

    “Treaty” means the Antarctic Treaty, signed at Washington on December 1, 1959, as amended from time to time, to the extent that the amendments are binding on Canada.

  • Marginal note:Same meaning

    (2) Unless a contrary intention appears, words and expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in the Treaty or the Protocol.

  • “Another Party to the Protocol”

    (3) A reference in this Act to “another Party to the Protocol” is a reference to a Party other than Canada.

PURPOSE

Marginal note:Purpose of the Act

 The purpose of this Act is to protect the Antarctic environment, particularly by implementing the Protocol.

APPLICATION

Marginal note:Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada and of a province.

Marginal note:Non-application to Canadian Forces

 This Act does not apply to a member of the Canadian Forces acting in that capacity or in respect of a vessel, facility or aircraft of the Canadian Forces or a foreign military force or in respect of any other vessel, facility or aircraft that is under the command, control or direction of the Canadian Forces.

Marginal note:Non-application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

 The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act does not apply to a project, within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of that Act, if the project is to be carried out in the Antarctic.

PROHIBITIONS

Marginal note:Canadian expeditions
  •  (1) No person who is on a Canadian expedition shall be in the Antarctic except in accordance with a permit or under the written authorization of another Party to the Protocol.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who is

    • (a) travelling through, on or above the high seas to an immediate destination outside the Antarctic; or

    • (b) in the Antarctic for the sole purpose of fishing for profit.

Marginal note:Canadian stations

 No person shall be in a Canadian station in the Antarctic except in accordance with a permit.

Marginal note:Canadian vessels
  •  (1) No Canadian vessel shall be in the Antarctic except in accordance with a permit or under the written authorization of another Party to the Protocol.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a Canadian vessel that is

    • (a) travelling through or on the high seas to an immediate destination outside the Antarctic; or

    • (b) in the Antarctic for the sole purpose of fishing for profit.

Marginal note:Canadian aircraft
  •  (1) No person shall operate a Canadian aircraft in the Antarctic except in accordance with a permit or under the written authorization of another Party to the Protocol.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a Canadian aircraft travelling to an immediate destination outside the Antarctic.

Marginal note:Mineral resources

 No Canadian or Canadian vessel shall, in the Antarctic, conduct any activity relating to mineral resources, including the recovery or exploitation of, or the prospecting or exploration for, mineral resources. This does not prohibit scientific research conducted in accordance with a permit or under the written authorization of another Party to the Protocol.

Marginal note:Native species
  •  (1) Except in accordance with a permit or under the written authorization of another Party to the Protocol, no Canadian shall, in the Antarctic,

    • (a) kill, injure, capture, handle or molest a native mammal or native bird;

    • (b) remove or damage native plants in a manner that significantly affects their local distribution or abundance;

    • (c) fly or land a helicopter or other aircraft in a manner that disturbs any concentration of native birds or seals;

    • (d) use a vehicle or vessel, including a hovercraft and a small boat, in a manner that disturbs any concentration of native birds or seals;

    • (e) use an explosive or firearm in a manner that disturbs any concentration of native birds or seals;

    • (f) while on foot, wilfully disturb a breeding or moulting native bird;

    • (g) while on foot, wilfully disturb any concentration of native birds or seals;

    • (h) significantly damage any concentration of terrestrial native plants by landing an aircraft, driving a vehicle or walking on it, or in any other manner; or

    • (i) engage in any activity that results in the significant adverse modification of the habitat of any species or population of native mammals, native birds, native plants or native invertebrates.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (2) The following definitions apply in subsection (1).

    “native bird”

    « oiseau indigène »

    “native bird” means a member, at any stage of its life cycle, including eggs, of any species of the class Aves that is indigenous to the Antarctic or that occurs there seasonally through natural migrations.

    “native invertebrate”

    « invertébré indigène »

    “native invertebrate” means any terrestrial or freshwater invertebrate, at any stage of its life cycle, that is indigenous to the Antarctic.

    “native mammal”

    « mammifère indigène »

    “native mammal” means a member of any species of the class Mammalia that is indigenous to the Antarctic or that occurs there seasonally through natural migrations.

    “native plant”

    « plante indigène »

    “native plant” means any terrestrial or freshwater vegetation, including bryophytes, lichens, fungi and algae, at any stage of its life cycle, including seeds and other propagules, that is indigenous to the Antarctic.

 
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