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Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (S.C. 1999, c. 33)

Act current to 2021-06-28 and last amended on 2021-05-01. Previous Versions

PART 2Public Participation


Definition of environmental protection action

 In this Part, environmental protection action means an action under section 22.

Environmental Registry

Marginal note:Establishment of Environmental Registry

 The Minister shall establish a registry, to be called the Environmental Registry, for the purpose of facilitating access to documents relating to matters under this Act.

Marginal note:Contents of Environmental Registry

  •  (1) The Environmental Registry shall contain notices and other documents published or made publicly available by the Minister, and shall also include, subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act,

    • (a) notices of objection and of any approval granted under this Act;

    • (b) a copy of every policy and of every proposed regulation or order made under this Act; and

    • (c) copies of documents submitted to a court by the Minister relating to any environmental protection action.

  • Marginal note:Form and manner of Environmental Registry

    (2) The Minister may determine the form of the Environmental Registry, how it is to be kept and how access to it is to be provided.

Marginal note:Protection from civil proceeding or prosecution

  •  (1) Despite any other Act of Parliament, no civil or criminal proceedings may be brought against any person mentioned in subsection (2) for the full or partial disclosure in good faith of any notice or other document through the Environmental Registry or any consequences of its disclosure.

  • Marginal note:Persons protected

    (2) The persons against whom the proceedings may not be brought are Her Majesty in right of Canada, the Minister and any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Minister.

Rights under Other Parts

Marginal note:Additional rights

 The rights conferred by this Part are in addition to the right to request the addition of a substance to the Priority Substance List, the right to file a notice of objection under Parts 1, 5, 7 and 11 and the right to request under Parts 5, 7 and 11 that a board of review be established under section 333.

Voluntary Reports

Marginal note:Voluntary reports

  •  (1) Where a person has knowledge of the commission or reasonable likelihood of the commission of an offence under this Act, but is not required to report the matter under this Act, the person may report any information relating to the offence or likely offence to an enforcement officer or any person to whom a report may be made under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Request for confidentiality

    (2) The person making the report may request that their identity, and any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal their identity, not be disclosed.

  • Marginal note:Requirement for confidentiality

    (3) No person shall disclose or cause to be disclosed the identity of a person who makes a request under subsection (2) or any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal their identity unless the person authorizes the disclosure in writing.

  • Marginal note:Employee protection

    (4) Despite any other Act of Parliament, no employer shall dismiss, suspend, demote, discipline, harass or otherwise disadvantage an employee, or deny an employee a benefit of employment, by reason that

    • (a) the employee has made a report under subsection (1);

    • (b) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has refused or stated an intention of refusing to do anything that is an offence under this Act; or

    • (c) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has done or stated an intention of doing anything that is required to be done by or under this Act.

Investigation of Offences

Marginal note:Application for investigation by Minister

  •  (1) An individual who is resident in Canada and at least 18 years of age may apply to the Minister for an investigation of any offence under this Act that the individual alleges has occurred.

  • Marginal note:Statement to accompany application

    (2) The application shall include a solemn affirmation or declaration

    • (a) stating the name and address of the applicant;

    • (b) stating that the applicant is at least 18 years old and a resident of Canada;

    • (c) stating the nature of the alleged offence and the name of each person alleged to have contravened, or to have done something in contravention of, this Act or the regulations; and

    • (d) containing a concise statement of the evidence supporting the allegations of the applicant.

  • Marginal note:Form

    (3) The Minister may prescribe the form in which an application under this section is required to be made.

Marginal note:Investigation by Minister

 The Minister shall acknowledge receipt of the application within 20 days of the receipt and shall investigate all matters that the Minister considers necessary to determine the facts relating to the alleged offence.

Marginal note:Progress reports

 After acknowledging receipt of the application, the Minister shall report to the applicant every 90 days on the progress of the investigation and the action, if any, that the Minister has taken or proposes to take, and the Minister shall include in the report an estimate of the time required to complete the investigation or to implement the action, but a report is not required if the investigation is discontinued before the end of the 90 days.

Marginal note:Minister may send evidence to Attorney General of Canada

 At any stage of an investigation, the Minister may send any documents or other evidence to the Attorney General of Canada for consideration of whether an offence has been or is about to be committed under this Act and for any action that the Attorney General may wish to take.

Marginal note:Discontinuation of investigation

  •  (1) The Minister may discontinue the investigation if the Minister is of the opinion that

    • (a) the alleged offence does not require further investigation; or

    • (b) the investigation does not substantiate the alleged offence.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) If the investigation is discontinued, the Minister shall

    • (a) prepare a report in writing describing the information obtained during the investigation and stating the reasons for its discontinuation; and

    • (b) send a copy of the report to the applicant and to any person whose conduct was investigated.

    A copy of the report sent to a person whose conduct was investigated must not disclose the name or address of the applicant or any other personal information about them.

Environmental Protection Action

Marginal note:Circumstances when an individual may bring an action

  •  (1) An individual who has applied for an investigation may bring an environmental protection action if

    • (a) the Minister failed to conduct an investigation and report within a reasonable time; or

    • (b) the Minister’s response to the investigation was unreasonable.

  • Marginal note:Nature of the action

    (2) The action may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction against a person who committed an offence under this Act that

    • (a) was alleged in the application for the investigation; and

    • (b) caused significant harm to the environment.

  • Marginal note:Relief that may be claimed

    (3) In the action, the individual may claim any or all of the following:

    • (a) a declaratory order;

    • (b) an order, including an interlocutory order, requiring the defendant to refrain from doing anything that, in the opinion of the court, may constitute an offence under this Act;

    • (c) an order, including an interlocutory order, requiring the defendant to do anything that, in the opinion of the court, may prevent the continuation of an offence under this Act;

    • (d) an order to the parties to negotiate a plan to correct or mitigate the harm to the environment or to human, animal or plant life or health, and to report to the court on the negotiations within a time set by the court; and

    • (e) any other appropriate relief, including the costs of the action, but not including damages.

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