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Federal policy in Canada

Although Canadian Government has well-designed policies and accurate staffing, it seems that environmental problems still persist. In one executive summary posted by Sierra Club Canada, environmental assessment (EA) has become a skeptical, irrational and very unrestricted federal policy in Canada. Instead of becoming a logical and democratic sieve to ensure that ecological and economic recklessness does not devastate Canada's natural riches, it has become a routine exercise that is neither lucrative nor conservation-minded.

A number of evidences of the government's lack of enthusiasm to advocate the law on EA and implement it equally are identified. These are increasing legal actions, conflict of interest, mislaid assessments and scientific reprimands. There was complaint due to non compliance that was passed to the NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation. Because of that, the government is currently being sued by the Sierra Club of Canada because of falling short in assessing the fiscal and environmental effects of the sales of nuclear reactor in China. An amount of 1. 5 billion US$ was not included in the CANDU sale from EA.

This was calculated by the government. It marked the history of the poor system. Voisey's Bay Nickel Company is one of the followers of the process that is commonly ignored in Ottawa. Actually, the company had already shelled out 20 million US$ on its statement about the results of their nickel mine worth 5 million US$. The million dollar nickel mine supplies the Asian market. Why then that a company this big follows this kind of process? (Nikiforuk, 1997) Another situation that shows the poor system of enforcement of environmental laws is the failure in Fisheries Act.

It is the only and most significant law in Canada for the protection and conservation of fish and fish habitat. Critically, it seizes individuals and even corporations or companies that are responsible in harming fishes and destroying their habitats. However, only fines and jail terms are the penalties available to avoid such damages. Below are some sections of the Fisheries Act that explains the rules and penalties regarding safety of the marine ecosystem: Section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act states: “Subject to subsection (4), no person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance may enter any such water. ”

In other words, it is illegal to put toxic substances into water where fish live. Section 36(4) states that no person contravenes 36(3) if that person deposits or permits the deposit of a deleterious substance that is authorized by regulations made under the Act. Section 40(2) makes a contravention of s. 36(3) a summary conviction or indictable offence. The penalties available for violating s.

36(3) range up to fines of $1 million and three years in jail. Section 78. 1 of the Fisheries Act states that where a contravention of the Act is ongoing, each day constitutes a separate offence. (THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA’S FAILURE TO ENFORCE THE FISHERIES ACT AGAINST MINING COMPANIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1998) Despite these policies, many incidents of fish habitat destruction still occur. A specific example is the mining operations in British Columbia. These mining operations have been a continuous causes of damage to fishes and their habitats with their past and ongoing drainage of acid mine and other heavy metal pollution.

With this dilemma, there are two federal departments accountable in environmental laws enforcement. These are the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Environmental Canada. They are aware of these situations and always been updated and informed of these facts for extensive periods of time. However, neither of the two supposed to be ‘responsible’ departments have strongly implemented the Fisheries Act against British Columbia mining companies for a long period of time.

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