Environment Canada has already trained 43 new enforcement officers who have completed Basic Enforcement Training and will soon be deployed across the country – likely in the Fall.
It’s related to the Federal government’s push this year to increase fines and expand enforcement tools aimed at ensuring a greater respect of environmental laws and regulations. The government this year amended nine environmental laws to achieve this.
The enforcement officers are being given new powers to investigate cases. At the same time, the courts have new sentencing guidelines that ensure penalties reflect the gravity of offences.
The new rules also aim to deal with environmental offenders by:
* specifying aggravating factors, like causing damage to wildlife or environmental damage that is irreparable;
* allowing for the suspension and cancellation of their permits upon conviction;
* forcing corporate offenders to report convictions to shareholders; and
* mandating a public shaming of corporate offences on a public registry.