Fine Regime under the Environmental Enforcement Act

The Environmental Enforcement Act (EEA) introduces a new fine regime to be applied by courts following a conviction under any of the nine environmental acts amended by the EEA. Under the new regime, designated offences involving direct harm or risk of harm to the environment, or obstruction of authority, are subject to minimum fines and an increased range of fines. The applicable fine range also varies for different categories of offender and depending on the procedure followed in the prosecution. The EEA fine ranges are illustrated in the tables below.

Individuals
Type of OffenceMinimum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Maximum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Minimum Fine
(Indictment)
Maximum Fine
(Indictment)
Designated offences
$5 000
$300 000
$15 000
$1 M
Other offences
Not applicable (N/A)
$25 000
N/A
$100 000

 

*Small Revenue Corporations & Ships under 7500 tonnes
Type of OffenceMinimum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Maximum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Minimum Fine
(Indictment)
Maximum Fine
(Indictment)
Designated offences
$25 000
$2 M
$75 000
$4 M
Other offences
N/A
$50 000
N/A
$250 000

* Small revenue corporations are considered to be corporations with revenues under $5,000,000 in the 12 months preceding the offence in question.

Corporations & Ships of 7500 tonnes or more
Type of OffenceMinimum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Maximum Fine
(Summary Conviction)
Minimum Fine
(Indictment)
Maximum Fine
(Indictment)
Designated offences
$100 000
$4 M
$500 000
$6 M
Other offences
N/A
$250 000
N/A
$500 000

All fines doubled for second and subsequent offences.

In addition:

  • Court may impose a fine that is less than the minimum amount provided in the EEA if the minimum fine would cause undue financial hardship

  • The court must order offenders to pay an additional fine equal to any benefit, advantage or property gained as a result of the offence

  • Under the wildlife acts (the Canada Wildlife Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act) the fine for an offence involving more than one specimen may be calculated as though each one had been the subject of separate charges

  • All fines will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF)
    • Community groups and other organizations can apply for funding from the EDF for restoration and other environmental protection projects

More information about the coming into force of the EEA fine regime under each of the nine amended acts is available on-line.

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