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.

The Statutory Instruments Act (R.S., 1985, C. S-22) defines the term regulations and establishes the basic legal process the federal government must follow when developing regulations:

"To be a regulation, an instrument must be:

  1. a statutory instrument that is made in the exercise of a legislative power conferred by or under an Act of Parliament, or
  2. a statutory instrument for the contravention of which a penalty, fine or imprisonment is prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament,
  3. a rule, order or regulation governing the practice or procedure in any proceeding before a judicial or quasi-judicial body established by or under an Act of Parliament; or
  4. an instrument described as a regulation in any Act of Parliament."

A copy of every regulation proposed to be made by the Minister or the Governor in Council under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 is published by the Minister in Part I of the Canada Gazette, Canada's official parliamentary journal. This publication is a statement that indicates the manner in which the Ministers (of the Environment and Health) intend to develop a proposed regulation.

Within 60 days after the publication of a proposed regulation, any person, including a representative of the government of any country that would be affected by or benefit from it, may file with the Minister written comments on the proposed regulation. Alternatively, a notice of objection may be filed with the Minister requesting that a Board of Review be established and stating the reasons for the objection.

A proposed regulation is only published once in Part I of the Canada Gazette, regardless of whether or not it is altered during the 60-day public consultation period following its publication. Once a proposed regulation has been finalized, the final official regulation is published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Canada Gazette notices, orders and regulations are presented in two formats: PDF format and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). The on-line PDF format of the Canada Gazette is official as of April 1, 2003. The electronic versions of the Canada Gazette, Parts I, II and III prior to April 1, 2003, are not the official publications. For all purposes of interpreting and applying the law, users should consult the appropriate official publication (PDF from April 1, 2003 or print prior to April 1, 2003) of the Canada Gazette, Parts I, II and III.

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 and Climate Change 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.

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