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Recommendations for Improvements to Bill C-74, an Act to Amend the Fisheries Act and to Amend the Criminal Code in Consequence Thereof

Subject: 
Environmental Law, Fisheries, Environmental Protection
Author: 
West Coast Environmental Law Association
Summary: 

This brief makes recommendations for improving Bill C-74, an Act to Amend the Fisheries Act and to Amend the Criminal Code in Consequence Thereof. The recommendations are summarized in the first part of the brief. The second part of the brief sets out discussion and recommendations on a section by section basis.

Some key points are:

1. section 36 of the Fisheries Act should be amended to allow fees to be charged, on a sliding scale, when authorizing a person to deposit a deleterious substance pursuant to regulations under the Act;

2. section 37 of the Fisheries Act should be amended to make it mandatory that information be requested from a person carrying on works that may result in damage to fish or fish habitat and to make it mandatory that an order be made when it is likely that an offence will be committed under section 40;

3. a new penalty provision should be added to the Fisheries Act allowing for more severe penalties where there has been intentional or reckless harm to fish habitat;

4. a new section should be added to the Fisheries Act allowing for an injunction to be granted to any person where an offence is likely to be committed under section 40;

5. a new section should be added to the Fisheries Act permitting a person to bring a civil action where the person has suffered loss or damage as a result of a violation of the fish habitat protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Act;

6. a new provision should be added to the Fisheries Act allowing for compensation for loss of property when there has been a violation of the fish habitat protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Act;

7. a "whistleblower" protection provision should be added to the Fisheries Act;

8. the new order powers in Bill C-74 which are available to a court on sentencing should be expanded further to allow for a wider range of options for a court;

9. a new provision should be added to the Fisheries Act allowing two citizens to apply to have the Minister initiate an investigation of an offence under the Act;

10. the Minister should be required to report annually to Parliament regarding the administration of the fish habitat protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Act; and

11. the draft Enforcement and Compliance Policy for the Fisheries Act should be released as soon as possible.

This short list does not include numerous other important points made in the brief.

Publication Date: 
November 1, 1990
Publication Pages: 
18
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law Association
Publication Format: 
PDF