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Fisheries Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-14)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-01-12 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Fish and Fish Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention (continued)

Marginal note:Minister may require plans and specifications

  •  (1) If a person carries on or proposes to carry on any work, undertaking or activity that results or is likely to result in the death of fish, in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat or in the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where that deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of that deleterious substance may enter any such waters, the person shall, on the request of the Minister — or without request in the manner and circumstances prescribed by regulations made under paragraph (3)(a) — provide him or her with any documents — plans, specifications, studies, procedures, schedules, analyses, samples, evaluations — and any other information relating to the work, undertaking or activity, or to the water, place, fish or fish habitat that is or is likely to be affected by the work, undertaking or activity, that will enable the Minister to determine

    • (a) whether the work, undertaking or activity results or is likely to result in the death of fish that constitutes or would constitute an offence under subsection 40(1) and what measures, if any, would prevent that death or mitigate the extent of death;

    • (a.1) whether the work, undertaking or activity results or is likely to result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat that constitutes or would constitute an offence under subsection 40(1) and what measures, if any, would prevent that result or mitigate its effects; or

    • (b) whether there is or is likely to be a deposit of a deleterious substance by reason of the work, undertaking or activity that constitutes or would constitute an offence under subsection 40(2) and what measures, if any, would prevent that deposit or mitigate its effects.

  • (1.1) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 24]

  • Marginal note:Powers of Minister

    (2) If, after reviewing any document and other information provided under subsection (1) and affording the persons who provided it a reasonable opportunity to make representations, the Minister is of the opinion that an offence under subsection 40(1) or (2) is being or is likely to be committed, he or she may, by order, subject to regulations made under paragraph (3)(b),

    • (a) require any modifications or additions to the work, undertaking or activity or any modifications to any plans, specifications, procedures or schedules relating to it that the Minister considers necessary in the circumstances, or

    • (b) restrict the carrying on of the work, undertaking or activity.

    The Minister may personally direct the closing of the work or undertaking or the ending of the activity for any period that he or she considers necessary in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) prescribing the manner and circumstances in which any document or other information is to be provided to the Minister without request under subsection (1); and

    • (b) prescribing the manner and circumstances in which the Minister may make orders under subsection (2) and the terms of the orders.

    • (c) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 24]

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (4) If the Minister proposes to make an order under subsection (2), he or she shall offer to consult with the governments of any provinces that he or she considers to be interested in the proposed order and with any departments or agencies of the Government of Canada that he or she considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (5) Nothing in subsection (4) prevents the Minister from making an interim order under subsection (2) without the offer of consultation referred to in subsection (4) if he or she considers that immediate action is necessary.

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (6) Orders made under this section are not statutory instruments for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Marginal note:Power to designate

  •  (1) The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons as inspectors for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act and may limit in any manner he or she considers appropriate the powers that an inspector may exercise under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Certificate to be produced

    (2) The Minister shall provide every inspector with a certificate of designation and on entering any place or premises referred to in subsection (3) an inspector shall, if so required, show the certificate to the person in charge.

  • Marginal note:Authority to enter

    (3) An inspector may, for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act, enter any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel — other than a private dwelling-place or any part of any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel, used as a permanent or temporary private dwelling-place — in which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that

    • (a) there is anything that is detrimental to fish habitat; or

    • (b) there has been carried on, is being carried on or is likely to be carried on any work, undertaking or activity resulting or likely to result in

      • (i) the death of fish,

      • (i.1) the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat, or

      • (ii) the deposit of a substance in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the substance or any other substance that results from the deposit of the substance may enter any such water.

  • Marginal note:Powers on entry

    (3.1) The inspector may, for a purpose related to verifying compliance with this Act, examine any substance or product in the place or premises, take samples of it and conduct tests and measurements.

  • (3.2) to (3.5) [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 145]

  • Marginal note:Duty to notify — death of fish

    (4) Every person shall without delay notify an inspector, a fishery officer, a fishery guardian or an authority prescribed by the regulations of the death of fish that is not authorized under this Act, or of a serious and imminent danger of such occurrence, if the person at any material time

    • (a) owns or has the charge, management or control of the work, undertaking or activity that resulted in the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence; or

    • (b) causes or contributes to the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence.

  • Marginal note:Duty to notify — harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat

    (4.1) Every person shall without delay notify an inspector, a fishery officer, a fishery guardian or an authority prescribed by the regulations of a harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat that is not authorized under this Act, or of a serious and imminent danger of such an occurrence, if the person at any material time

    • (a) owns or has the charge, management or control of the work, undertaking or activity that resulted in the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence; or

    • (b) causes or contributes to the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence.

  • Marginal note:Duty to notify — deleterious substance

    (5) If there occurs a deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish that is not authorized under this Act, or if there is a serious and imminent danger of such an occurrence, and detriment to fish habitat or fish or to the use by humans of fish results or may reasonably be expected to result from the occurrence, then every person shall without delay notify an inspector, a fishery officer, a fishery guardian or an authority prescribed by the regulations if the person at any material time

    • (a) owns or has the charge, management or control of

      • (i) the deleterious substance, or

      • (ii) the work, undertaking or activity that resulted in the deposit or the danger of the deposit; or

    • (b) causes or contributes to the occurrence or the danger of the occurrence.

  • Marginal note:Duty to take corrective measures

    (6) Any person described in paragraph (4)(a) or (b), (4.1)(a) or (b) or (5)(a) or (b) shall, as soon as feasible, take all reasonable measures consistent with public safety and with the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat to prevent the occurrence or to counteract, mitigate or remedy any adverse effects that result from the occurrence or might reasonably be expected to result from it.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (7) As soon as feasible after the occurrence or after learning of the danger of the occurrence, the person shall provide an inspector, a fishery officer, a fishery guardian or an authority prescribed by the regulations with a written report on the occurrence or danger of the occurrence.

  • Marginal note:Corrective measures

    (7.1) If an inspector or fishery officer, whether or not they have been notified under subsection (4), (4.1) or (5) or provided with a report under subsection (7), is satisfied on reasonable grounds that immediate action is necessary in order to take any measures referred to in subsection (6), the inspector or officer may, subject to subsection (7.2), take any of those measures at the expense of any person described in paragraph (4)(a) or (b), (4.1)(a) or (b) or (5)(a) or (b) or direct that person to take the measures at their expense.

  • Marginal note:Inconsistency

    (7.2) Any direction of an inspector or fishery officer under this section that is inconsistent with any direction under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is void to the extent of the inconsistency.

  • Marginal note:Access to property

    (8) For the purposes of subsections (4) to (7.1), any inspector or other person may enter and have access through any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel — other than a private dwelling-place or any part of any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel, used as a permanent or temporary private dwelling-place — and may take all reasonable measures in order to ensure that those subsections are complied with. However, nothing in this subsection relieves any person from liability at law for illegal or negligent acts or omissions or for loss or damage caused to others by the entry, access or measure.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (9) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing

    • (a) the authority for the purposes of subsection (4), (4.1) or (5), the manner in which the notification under those subsections is to be made, the information to be contained in the notification and the circumstances in which no notification need be made;

    • (b) the authority for the purposes of subsection (7), the manner in which the report under that subsection is to be made, the information to be contained in the report and the circumstances in which no report need be made;

    • (c) the manner in which inspectors and fishery officers may take any measures or give any directions under subsection (7.1) and the conditions to which those measures are subject;

    • (d) the manner and circumstances in which any measures taken or directions given under subsection (7.1) may be reviewed, rescinded or varied; and

    • (e) any other matters necessary for or incidental to carrying out the purposes and provisions of this section.

  • Marginal note:Assistance to inspectors

    (10) The owner or person in charge of any place or premises entered by an inspector under subsection (3) and every person found there shall give the inspector all reasonable assistance to enable the inspector to carry out their duties and functions under this section and shall provide the inspector with any information with respect to verifying compliance with this Act that the inspector requires.

  • (11) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 25]

  • (12) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 25]

  • (13) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 25]

Marginal note:Search

  •  (1) A fishery officer or inspector who has a warrant issued under subsection (2) in which the officer or inspector is named may enter any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel — other than a private dwelling-place or any part of any place or premises, including a vehicle or vessel, used as a permanent or temporary private dwelling-place — in which the officer or inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence under subsection 40(1), (2) or (3) is being or has been committed and search the place, premises, vehicle or vessel for evidence of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Authority to issue warrant

    (2) On ex parte application, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorizing any fishery officer or inspector named in the warrant to enter and search any place or premises referred to in subsection (1), subject to any conditions that are specified in the warrant, if the justice is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is in the place or premises

    • (a) anything on or in respect of which an offence under subsection 40(1), (2) or (3) is being or has been committed; or

    • (b) anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe will afford evidence with respect to the commission of an offence under subsection 40(1), (2) or (3).

  • Marginal note:Use of force

    (3) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (2), an inspector named in the warrant may use force only if they are accompanied by a peace officer and the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.

  • Marginal note:When warrant not necessary

    (4) A fishery officer or inspector may exercise the powers of entry and search referred to in subsection (1) without a warrant issued under subsection (2) if the conditions for obtaining the warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would not be practical to obtain the warrant.

  • Marginal note:Exigent circumstances

    (5) For the purposes of subsection (4), exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant would result in danger to human life or safety or the loss or destruction of evidence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. F-14, s. 39
  • 1991, c. 1, s. 9
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 146

Marginal note:Exercise of powers

 Every power that may be exercised in Canada by an inspector under this Act may be exercised anywhere this Act applies.

Marginal note:Offence and punishment

  •  (1) Every person who contravenes subsection 34.4(1) or 35(1) is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $15,000 and not more than $1,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $30,000 and not more than $2,000,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of a person, other than an individual or a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $6,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,000 and not more than $12,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $75,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $150,000 and not more than $8,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $300,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $600,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of a person, other than an individual or a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $100,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $200,000 and not more than $8,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $25,000 and not more than $2,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $50,000 and not more than $4,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes subsection 36(1) or (3) is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $15,000 and not more than $1,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $30,000 and not more than $2,000,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of a person, other than an individual or a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $6,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,000 and not more than $12,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $75,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $150,000 and not more than $8,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $300,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $600,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of a person, other than an individual or a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $100,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $200,000 and not more than $8,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $25,000 and not more than $2,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $50,000 and not more than $4,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Small revenue corporation status

    (2.1) For the purpose of subsections (1) and (2), a court may determine a corporation to be a small revenue corporation if the court is satisfied that the corporation’s gross revenues for the 12 months immediately before the day on which the subject matter of the proceedings arose — or, if it arose on more than one day, for the 12 months immediately before the first day on which the subject matter of the proceedings arose — were not more than $5,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Relief from minimum fine

    (2.2) The court may impose a fine that is less than the minimum amount provided for in subsection (1) or (2) if it is satisfied, on the basis of evidence submitted to the court, that the minimum fine would cause undue financial hardship. The court shall provide reasons if it imposes a fine that is less than the minimum amount provided for in either of those subsections.

  • Marginal note:Other offences

    (3) Every person who

    • (a) in carrying on a work, undertaking or activity, fails to comply with a prescribed condition referred to in paragraph 34.4(2)(a) or 35(2)(a), with a condition set out in an authorization or a permit, as the case may be, issued under paragraph 34.4(2)(b) or (c) or 35(2)(b) or (c) or subsection 35.1(3) or 35.2(7), or with a condition imposed by regulations made under subsection 36(5) or (5.2),

    • (a.1) fails to provide any document or other information as requested by the Minister under subsection 37(1) within a reasonable time after the request is made,

    • (a.2) fails to provide any document or other information required to be provided under subsection 35.2(3) within the prescribed period,

    • (a.3) fails to provide any additional information that is required to be provided under subsection 35.2(4) within the time and in the manner that the Minister specifies,

    • (b) fails to provide or submit any material, information or report that is to be provided or submitted under regulations made pursuant to subsection 37(3),

    • (c) fails to provide notification that he or she is required to provide under subsection 38 (4), (4.1) or (5),

    • (d) carries on any work, undertaking or activity described in subsection 37(1)

      • (i) otherwise than in accordance with any document and other information relating to the work, undertaking or activity that they provide to the Minister under that subsection,

      • (ii) otherwise than in accordance with any such document and other information as required to be modified by any order of the Minister under paragraph 37(2)(a), or

      • (iii) contrary to any order made by the Minister under subsection 37(2),

    • (d.1) carries on any work, undertaking or activity described in subsection 35.2(3) otherwise than in accordance with any document and other information relating to the work, undertaking or activity that they provide to the Minister under that subsection or subsection 35.2(4),

    • (e) fails to take any reasonable measures that he or she is required to take under subsection 38(6) or fails to take those measures in the required manner,

    • (f) fails to provide a report that he or she is required to provide under subsection 38(7),

    • (g) fails to comply with the whole or any part of a direction of an inspector or a fishery officer under subsection 38(7.1),

    • (h) fails to comply with a request of the Minister made under subsection 34.3(1), an order of the Minister made under subsection 34.3(2) or (3) or a provision of a regulation made under subsection 34.3(7),

    • (i) fails to comply with all or any part of a direction of a fishery officer or fishery guardian with respect to the application of any regulations made under paragraph 43(1)(o),

    • (j) carries on any work, undertaking or activity that is a part of a designated project in contravention of subsection 35.1(4), or

    • (k) carries on, in contravention of subsection 35.2(1), any work, undertaking or activity prescribed under paragraph 35.2(10)(a),

    is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable, for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars and, for any subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

  • (4) [Repealed, 1991, c. 1, s. 10]

  • Marginal note:Matters of proof

    (5) For the purpose of any proceedings for an offence under any of subsections (1), (2) and (3),

    • (a) the death of fish takes place whether or not any act or omission resulting in the death is intentional;

    • (a.1) a harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat takes place whether or not an act or omission resulting in the alteration, disruption or destruction is intentional;

    • (a.2) a deposit as defined in subsection 34(1) takes place whether or not any act or omission resulting in the deposit is intentional; and

    • (b) no water is water frequented by fish, as defined in subsection 34(1), where proof is made that at all times material to the proceedings the water is not, has not been and is not likely to be frequented in fact by fish.

  • Marginal note:Application of fines

    (6) All fines received by the Receiver General in respect of the commission of an offence under this section are to be credited to the Environmental Damages Fund, an account in the accounts of Canada, and used for purposes related to the conservation and protection of fish or fish habitat or the restoration of fish habitat, or for administering that Fund.

  • Marginal note:Recommendations of court

    (7) The court imposing the fine may recommend to the Minister that all or a portion of the fine credited to the Environmental Damages Fund be paid to a person or an organization specified by the court for a purpose referred to in subsection (6).

  • R.S., 1985, c. F-14, s. 40
  • 1991, c. 1, s. 10
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 147, c. 31, s. 174
  • 2019, c. 14, s. 27
 
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