Regulations and Other Instruments

A regulation is the manifestation of a legislative power conferred by Parliament on the executive branch of government.

Regulations are a form of law that have binding legal effect and usually state rules that apply generally, rather than to specific persons or situations. Regulations are not made by Parliament, but by persons or bodies to whom Parliament has delegated the authority to make them (for example, a Minister or an administrative agency). Authority to make regulations must be expressly delegated by an Act. An Act generally sets out the framework of a regulatory scheme and delegates the authority to develop the details and express them in regulations.

Acts sometimes authorize the making of documents (or instruments) that have the same legislative effect as regulations, but are called by another name (for example, "orders"). Usually, these documents are made in the same way as regulations and are subject to the same policy and legal constraints.

Individuals or organizations whose activities are governed by regulations and other instruments are referred to as regulatees.

More information on regulations and other instruments can be found in the Privy Council Office's Guide to Making Federal Acts and Regulations.

There are a wide range of regulations designated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), covering different types of activities, chemicals, and emissions. Other instruments under CEPA that are important to regulatees include different types of notices, guidelines, agreements and codes. Links are provided below to key instruments of concern to regulatees.

Read more about the Regulatory Process...

Current Regulations

Current CEPA regulations include the following:

Proposed Regulations

Proposed CEPA regulations include the following:

Other Instruments – Notices & Codes of Practice

Under CEPA, there are a number of other instruments that are important for regulatees to keep in mind. They include Pollution Prevention Planning Notices, Significant New Activity Notices and Codes of Practice:

  • Pollution Prevention Planning (P2 Planning) notices: these notices legally require regulatees to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan for a specific type of substance or activity.
  • Significant New Activity notices (SNAcs): a notice issued to ensure that adequate additional information is provided by anyone who intends to manufacture, import, or use a substance for a new activity, so that the activity's potential risks to environmental and human health can be assessed.
  • Codes of Practice: These codes give industries and regulators clear direction on how to reduce emissions, effluents, and wastes. Such tools are not law, but may form the basis for laws and regulations.

Forward Regulatory Plan: This plan provides information on regulatory proposals that Environment Canada expects to bring forward over the next two years. It also identifies public consultation opportunities and a departmental contact point for each regulatory initiative.