Moreover, the Standing Committee of Environment and Sustainable Development released a report that shows a depressing portrait of enforcement organization of Environment Canada. In relation to this report, Barry N. Spiegel, a lawyer at the Toronto office of an environmental law firm, used the terms ‘confusion, chaos, cognitive dissonance, and denial’ to describe the current situation and performance of Environment Canada. The committee also claimed that the implementation of federal environmental laws is patchy and insufficient.
Accordingly, these conditions do not affect only the environment, but also the administration’s operations emasculate the environmental accomplishments of the leading industries of Canada. (Spiegel, 1998) These are only few recent defiant compliance reports in the environment in Canada. Ontario, the most controversial area in Canada, is in front of much more environmental issues. Ontario has been going through some water problems due to the Walkerton incidence. Although the province has rigid environmental policies in protecting their environment and the health of the people, severe water problems still persist.
They have been experiencing unsafe water drinking and specious management practices of waste water. Consequently, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment utilized a variety of tools in bringing about environmental compliance. On the other hand, the Investigations and Enforcement Branch or IEB has the work of investigating environmental breaches with regards to environmental legislations and related regulations of Ontario. Based on some studies, most of the water in populated areas of Ontario is contaminated. The water was too much damaged that they lost sensible effort to restore it to be potable again.
The only thing that they hold on to is dilution. A pollution event started the Walkerton catastrophe. If the incidence did not happen and pollution did not cause threat to our environment, shortcomings of the in charge institutions and processes they control would not be important and remain unnoticed. Many decrees have been passed to protect the water quality. There are three primary laws that provide sanctions on water pollution. These are the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Ontario Environmental Protection Act, and the federal Fisheries Act. However, without sufficient law enforcement, the purposes of these laws would not be possible.
Pollution offenses should be inclined to enforcement in such a way that our environmental laws and regulations are intended. If enforcement is effectively done, its result would be pervasive benefits of the public. Hence, it would exhibit respect for the law, divulge information to the people about pollution, and upholds specific and wide-ranging preclusion. In due course, effective implementation of the laws can aid protect and conserve water. It could also help to lower the shared or public cost of providing potable water to all the residents of Ontario.
Therefore, an Ontario Environmental Protection Agency should be founded to perform this function. This agency would be under the Minister of the Solicitor General. The enforcement of environmental laws in Ontario has been like a rollercoaster ride. Because of the alterations in reporting principles and disclosure policies, it became complicated to track the records of the Ontario government’s law enforcement. The following data illustrates the common underlying movements of enforcement activities: From these data, it is shown that the Ontario government has been performing up-and-down law enforcement.
There was an increase in the activity level of the IEB until 1992. From year 1993-1997, it declined. Then again, it increased in the span of 1998-2000. Moreover, it appears that deterioration in activity levels started before staffing levels dropped. It is demonstrated that the IEB has enforced environmental laws on a large scale successfully from 1985 to 1991. But, due to administrations diverse political colors, enforcement has been permitted to decline. Changes in structure, which is the establishment of Ontario Environmental Protection Agency, would help to take away political concerns in the enforcement.