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Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (S.C. 2009, c. 14, s. 126)

Act current to 2020-06-17 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act

S.C. 2009, c. 14, s. 126

Assented to 2009-06-18

An Act to establish a system of administrative monetary penalties for the enforcement of the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada Water Act, the Canada Wildlife Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the International River Improvements Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Act and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act

[Enacted by section 126 of chapter 14 of the Statutes of Canada, 2009, in force December 10, 2010, see SI/2010-91.]

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Chief Review Officer

Chief Review Officer means the review officer appointed as Chief Review Officer under subsection 244(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and includes any review officer designated under subsection 244(3) of that Act to perform the functions of the Chief Review Officer. (réviseur-chef)

Environmental Act

Environmental Act means the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada Water Act, the Canada Wildlife Act, the Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the International River Improvements Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Act or the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. (loi environnementale)

Minister

Minister means

penalty

penalty means an administrative monetary penalty imposed under this Act for a violation. (pénalité)

prescribed

prescribed means prescribed by regulation. (Version anglaise seulement)

review officer

review officer means a person appointed as a review officer under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. (réviseur)

  • 2009, c. 14, s. 126 “2”
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 53
  • 2015, c. 10, s. 61
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 195
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 188

Purpose of Act

Marginal note:Purpose of Act

 The purpose of this Act is to establish, as an alternative to the existing penal system and as a supplement to existing enforcement measures, a fair and efficient administrative monetary penalty system for the enforcement of the Environmental Acts.

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

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

Regulations

Marginal note:Regulations

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) designating as a violation that may be proceeded with in accordance with this Act

      • (i) the contravention of any specified provision of an Environmental Act or of any of its regulations,

      • (ii) the contravention of any order or direction, or of any order or direction of any specified class of orders or directions, made under any provision of an Environmental Act or of any of its regulations,

      • (iii) the failure to comply with any obligation, or with any obligation of any specified class of obligations, arising from an Environmental Act or any of its regulations, or

      • (iv) the failure to comply with any condition of a permit, licence or other authorization, or any condition of any specified class of conditions of permits, licences or other authorizations, issued under an Environmental Act or any of its regulations;

    • (b) respecting the determination of, or the method of determining, the amount payable as the penalty for each violation, penalties which may be different for individuals and other persons, and for ships and vessels;

    • (c) respecting the service of documents required or authorized under this Act, including the manner and proof of service and the circumstances under which documents are deemed to be served;

    • (d) respecting who can request a review under this Act on behalf of a ship or vessel in relation to an alleged violation by the ship or vessel;

    • (e) prescribing anything that by this Act is to be prescribed; and

    • (f) generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Only contraventions and failures to comply that are offences under an Environmental Act may be designated under paragraph (1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Restriction — Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

    (3) With respect to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, only a contravention or a failure to comply arising out of any provision of Part 7 and 9 or out of any provision of any regulation made under either of those Parts, may be designated under paragraph (1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Restriction — Impact Assessment Act

    (3.1) With respect to the Impact Assessment Act, only the following contraventions or failures may be designated under paragraph (1)(a):

    • (a) a contravention under section 7, subsection 122(5), 125(3), 129(1), 135(2) or 141(4) or (5) or section 142 or 143 of that Act;

    • (b) a contravention of a condition established under subsection 64(2) of that Act or added or amended under section 68 of the Act; or

    • (c) a failure to provide to the Minister information required under subsection 72(1) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Restriction — Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

    (3.2) With respect to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, only a contravention or a failure to comply arising out of any provision of Part 2 of that Act or out of any provision of any regulation made under that Part may be designated under paragraph (1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Restriction — amount of penalty

    (4) The amount that may be determined under any regulations made under paragraph (1)(b) as the penalty for a violation may not be more than $5,000, in the case of an individual, and $25,000, in the case of any other person or a ship or a vessel.

  • 2009, c. 14, s. 126 "5"
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 54
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 196
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 180

Minister’s Powers

Marginal note:Powers regarding notices of violation

 The Minister may

  • (a) establish the form of notices of violation;

  • (b) designate persons, or classes of persons, who are authorized to issue notices of violation; and

  • (c) establish, in respect of each violation, a short-form description to be used in notices of violation.

Commission of Violations

Marginal note:Commission

 Every person, ship or vessel that contravenes or fails to comply with a provision, order, direction, obligation or condition designated by regulations made under paragraph 5(1)(a) commits a violation and is liable to an administrative monetary penalty of an amount to be determined in accordance with the regulations.

Marginal note:Liability of directors, officers, etc., of corporations

  •  (1) If a corporation commits a violation, any director, officer, agent or mandatary of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the violation is a party to the violation and is liable to an administrative monetary penalty of an amount to be determined in accordance with the regulations, whether or not the corporation has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Liability of directors and officers of corporate owners of ships and vessels

    (2) If a ship or vessel commits a violation, every director or officer of a corporation that is an owner or an operator of the ship or vessel who directed or influenced the corporation’s policies or activities in respect of conduct that is the subject matter of the violation is a party to the violation and is liable to an administrative monetary penalty of an amount to be determined in accordance with the regulations, whether or not the ship or vessel has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Liability of owners, operators, masters and chief engineers of ships and vessels

    (3) If a ship or vessel commits a violation and the owner, operator, master or chief engineer of the ship or vessel directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the violation, the owner, operator, master or chief engineer, as the case may be, is a party to the violation and is liable to an administrative monetary penalty of an amount to be determined in accordance with the regulations, whether or not the ship or vessel has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

Marginal note:Proof of violation — persons

  •  (1) In any proceedings under this Act against a person in relation to a violation, it is sufficient proof of the violation to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent or mandatary of the person, whether or not the agent or mandatary has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Proof of violation — masters of ships

    (2) In any proceedings under this Act against the master of a ship or vessel for a violation, it is sufficient proof of the violation to establish that it was committed by a crew member or other person on board the ship or vessel, whether or not the crew member or other person has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Proof of offence — pilots

    (3) In any proceedings under this Act against the pilot in command of an aircraft for a violation, it is sufficient proof of the violation to establish that it was committed by a crew member or other person on board the aircraft, whether or not the crew member or other person has been proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

Marginal note:Issuance and service of notice of violation

  •  (1) If a person designated under paragraph 6(b) believes on reasonable grounds that a person, ship or vessel has committed a violation, the designated person may issue a notice of violation and shall cause it to be served on the person, ship or vessel according to the Regulations.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (2) The notice of violation must

    • (a) name the person, ship or vessel that is believed to have committed the violation;

    • (b) set out the relevant facts surrounding the violation;

    • (c) set out the penalty for the violation;

    • (d) inform the person, ship or vessel of their right to request a review with respect to the alleged violation or penalty, and of the period within which that right must be exercised;

    • (e) inform the person, ship or vessel of the manner of paying the penalty set out in the notice; and

    • (f) inform the person, ship or vessel that, if they do not pay the penalty or exercise their rights referred to in paragraph (d), they will be considered to have committed the violation and that they are liable for the penalty set out in the notice.

Rules About Violations

Marginal note:Certain defences not available

  •  (1) A person, ship or vessel named in a notice of violation does not have a defence by reason that the person or, in the case of a ship or vessel, its owner, operator, master or chief engineer

    • (a) exercised due diligence to prevent the violation; or

    • (b) reasonably and honestly believed in the existence of facts that, if true, would exonerate the person, ship or vessel.

  • Marginal note:Common law principles

    (2) Every rule and principle of the common law that renders any circumstance a justification or excuse in relation to a charge for an offence under an Environmental Act applies in respect of a violation to the extent that it is not inconsistent with this Act.

Marginal note:Continuing violation

 A violation that is committed or continued on more than one day constitutes a separate violation for each day on which it is committed or continued.

Marginal note:Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

 If subsection 174(1) or paragraph 178(1)(a) of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is designated by regulations made under paragraph 5(1)(a) of this Act, each CO2e tonne of a greenhouse gas that is emitted over the applicable emissions limit for which no compensation is provided by the increased-rate compensation deadline constitutes a separate violation.

  • 2018, c. 12, s. 197

Marginal note:Violation or offence

  •  (1) Proceeding with any act or omission as a violation under this Act precludes proceeding with it as an offence under an Environmental Act, and proceeding with it as an offence under an Environmental Act precludes proceeding with it as a violation under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Violations not offences

    (2) For greater certainty, a violation is not an offence and, accordingly, section 126 of the Criminal Code does not apply in respect of a violation.

Marginal note:Limitation period

 No notice of violation in respect of a violation may be issued more than two years after the day on which the subject matter of the violation arises.

Reviews

Marginal note:Right to request review

 A person, ship or vessel that is served with a notice of violation may, within 30 days after the day on which the notice is served, or within any longer period that the Chief Review Officer allows, make a request to the Chief Review Officer for a review of the penalty or the facts of the alleged violation, or both.

Marginal note:Variation or cancellation of notice of violation

 At any time before a request for a review in respect of a notice of violation is received by the Chief Review Officer, a person designated under paragraph 6(b) may cancel the notice of violation or correct an error in it.

Marginal note:Review

 On receipt of a request made under section 15, the Chief Review Officer shall conduct the review or cause the review to be conducted by a review officer or by a panel of three review officers assigned by the Chief Review Officer. The Chief Review Officer may be a member of that panel.

Marginal note:Right to appear

 The person, ship or vessel that requests the review and the Minister may appear in person or may be represented by counsel or by any other representative.

Marginal note:Witnesses

  •  (1) The review officer or panel conducting the review may summon any person to appear as a witness and may order the witness to

    • (a) give evidence orally or in writing; and

    • (b) produce any documents and things that the review officer or panel considers necessary for the purpose of the review.

  • Marginal note:Enforcement of summonses and orders

    (2) Any summons issued or order made under subsection (1) may be made a summons or an order of the Federal Court or of the superior court of a province and is enforceable in the same manner as a summons or an order of that court.

  • Marginal note:Procedure

    (3) To make a summons issued or an order made under subsection (1) a summons or an order of the Federal Court or of the superior court of a province, the usual practice and procedure of the court in such matters may be followed, or a certified copy of the summons or order may be filed with the court’s registrar and the summons or order then becomes a summons or an order of that court.

  • Marginal note:Fees for witnesses

    (4) A witness who is served with a summons is entitled to receive the fees and allowances to which persons who are summoned to appear as witnesses before the Federal Court are entitled.

Marginal note:Decision

  •  (1) After giving the person, ship or vessel that requested the review and the Minister reasonable notice orally or in writing of a hearing and allowing a reasonable opportunity in the circumstances for the person, ship or vessel and the Minister to make oral representations, the review officer or panel conducting the review shall determine whether the person, ship or vessel committed a violation.

  • Marginal note:Burden

    (2) The Minister has the burden of establishing, on a balance of probabilities, that the person, ship or vessel committed the violation.

  • Marginal note:Correction of penalty

    (3) If the review officer or panel determines that the penalty for the violation was not determined in accordance with the regulations, the review officer or panel shall correct the amount of the penalty.

Marginal note:Service of copy and reasons

 The review officer or panel shall render their determination in writing within 30 days after the day on which the review is completed and, without delay, provide the Minister and the person, ship or vessel to which the determination relates with a copy of the determination and reasons.

Marginal note:Responsibility

 If the review officer or panel determines that a person, ship or vessel has committed a violation, the person, ship or vessel is liable for the amount of the penalty as set out in the decision.

Marginal note:Determination is final

 A determination made under section 21 is final and binding and, except for judicial review under the Federal Courts Act, is not subject to appeal or to review by any court.

Marginal note:Rules

 The Chief Review Officer may make rules

  • (a) to govern the practice and procedure in respect of reviews under this Act;

  • (b) generally, to set out the work of review officers in respect of reviews under this Act; and

  • (c) to prevent trade secrets and information described in section 20 of the Access to Information Act from being disclosed or made public as a result of their being used as evidence in a review under this Act, including rules to provide for hearings or parts of hearings to be held in public or in private.

Responsibility

Marginal note:Payment

 If a person, ship or vessel pays the penalty set out in a notice of violation, the person, ship or vessel is considered to have committed the violation and proceedings in respect of it are ended.

Marginal note:Failure to act

 A person, ship or vessel that neither pays a penalty imposed under this Act nor requests a review in the prescribed time is considered to have committed the violation and is liable for the penalty.

Recovery of Penalties

Marginal note:Debts to Her Majesty

  •  (1) A penalty constitutes a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be recovered in the Federal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.

  • Marginal note:Limitation period

    (2) No proceedings to recover the debt may be instituted more than five years after the day on which the debt becomes payable.

  • Marginal note:Application of fines

    (3) All penalties received by the Receiver General in respect of the commission of a violation are to be credited to the Environmental Damages Fund, an account in the accounts of Canada, and used for purposes related to protecting, conserving or restoring the environment or for administering that Fund.

Marginal note:Certificate

  •  (1) The Minister may issue a certificate certifying the unpaid amount of any debt referred to in subsection 27(1).

  • Marginal note:Registration in Federal Court

    (2) Registration in the Federal Court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction of a certificate issued under subsection (1) has the same effect as a judgment of that court for a debt of the amount specified in the certificate and all related registration costs.

General

Marginal note:Admissibility of documents

 In the absence of evidence to the contrary, a document that appears to be a notice issued under subsection 10(1) is presumed to be authentic and is proof of its contents in any proceeding in respect of a violation.

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