International law that advocates for a precautionary approach has become increasingly influential to domestic law 4. The application of the law has become more efficient and effective 5. There has been an increasing commitment to sustainable development strategies
Table 3.8: Overview of the Environmental Assessment Act The Fisheries Act , 1985 is one of the oldest environmental statutes in Canada, which delegates the responsibility for the protection of fish and fish habitat to the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). However, it will demonstrated that the Fisheries Act, like all statutes, does not stand alone and should instead be seen as only one part of a very large web of law with numerous Acts and actors working together to
achieve a common aim. To illustrate this point, we will use Ontario’s Drainage Act to demonstrate how the Fisheries Act works hand in hand with provincial and municipal frameworks, in order to protect fish and fish habitats. The construction and maintenance of agricultural and municipal drains provides an example of how all levels of government have responsibilities for the protection of fish and fish habitat. Agricultural drains are subject to both the Fisheries Act and Ontario’s Drainage Act , which is under the authority of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The delegated authority for the implementation of the Drainage Act is the municipalities. Private drains that are constructed on agricultural land are not covered under the Drainage Act, although they are subject to the Fisheries Act. Under the Drainage Act, the construction and maintenance of drains may require permission from the respective Conservation Authority (CA) as per the Conservation Authorities Act. For the construction of municipal drains, the municipality passes a by-law that adopts a drainage engineer's report that contains the plans, profiles and specifications for the drain. This report forms the basis for municipal drain approvals, construction and maintenance works. The Conservation Authorities also assess potential fish habitat impacts under the Fisheries Act for newly constructed or modified drains. Where the CA lacks fisheries or fish habitat data, the MNR provides available fisheries and fish habitat information to the municipalities to assist with determining the risk of negatively impacting fish habitat. It should be noted that a work permit may be required for private drains but is not required by the MNR for the installation or maintenance of a municipal drain under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA). Work permits under the PLA are required for drainage works involving dredging and filling of shore lands and are administered by the MNR. (Aquatic Resources Management Advisory Committee, 2009) If you did not understand the previous paragraph, don’t worry – that’s the point! The law is not straight forward, and reaches far beyond the provisions that are contained within each Act. To complicate things even further, the Fisheries Act also has important connections with
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 150 pages?