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definition - Environment_Canada

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Environment Canada

Flag of Canada.svg

Departments of the Government of Canada

FIP Environment Canada.PNG
Minister [[Peter Kent]]
Deputy Minister Paul Boothe
Parliamentary Secretary Mark Warawa
Established 1971
Responsibilities are as follows:
Employees ~6,000[1]
Department Website

Environment Canada (EC) (French: Environnement Canada), legally incorporated as the Department of the Environment under the Department of the Environment Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-10 ), is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for coordinating environmental policies and programs as well as preserving and enhancing the natural environment and renewable resources. (a) the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality; (b) renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna; (c) water; (d) meteorology; (e) the enforcement of any rules or regulations made by the International Joint Commission; and (f) the coordination of the policies and programs of the Government of Canada respecting the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment. Its ministerial headquarters is located in les Terrasses de la Chaudière, Gatineau, Quebec.[2][3]

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act[4] (CEPA 1999) (R.S., 1999, c. 33), Environment Canada became the lead federal department to ensure the clean up hazardous waste and oil spills for which the government is responsible, and to provide technical assistance to other jurisdictions and the private sector as required. The department is also responsible for international environmental issues (e.g., Canada-USA air issues). CEPA was the central piece of Canada's environmental legislation but it is slated to be replaced when budget implementation bill (C-38), (in its third reading debate in House of Commons), comes into affect in June 2012. [5]

Under the Constitution of Canada, responsibility for environmental management in Canada is a shared responsibility between the federal government and provincial/territorial governments. For example, provincial governments have primary authority for resource management including permitting industrial waste discharges (e.g., to the air). The federal government is responsible for the management of toxic substances in the country (e.g., benzene). Environment Canada provides stewardship of the Environmental Choice Program, which provides consumers with an eco-labelling for products manufactured within Canada or services that meet international label standards of (GEN) Global Ecolabelling Network.

Environment Canada continues (2005-present) to undergo a structural transformation to centralize authority and decision-making, and to standardize policy implementation.



  • Minister
    • Deputy Minister
      • Associate Deputy Minister
        • Assistant Deputy Minister
          • Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
            • Director General
              • Director
                • Managers
                  • Staff


Environment Canada is divided into several geographic regions:

The department has several organizations which carry out specific tasks:

  • Enforcement Branch
    • Environmental Enforcement
    • Wildlife Enforcement
  • Environmental Stewardship Branch
    • Canadian Wildlife Service[6]
    • Chemical Sectors
    • Energy and Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Operations
    • Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
    • Strategic Priorities

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is an arms-length agency that reports to the Minister of Environment[16]

Parks Canada, which manages the Canadian National Parks system, was removed from Environment Canada and became an agency reporting to the Minister of Heritage in 1998. In 2003, responsibility for Parks Canada was returned to the Minister of the Environment.[17]



Environment Canada Enforcement Branch is responsible for ensuring compliance with several federal statues. The Governor-in-Council appoints enforcement officers and pursuant to section 217(3) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, enforcement officers have all the powers of peace officers.

There are two designations of enforcement officers: Environmental Enforcement and Wildlife Enforcement. The former administers the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and pollution provisions of the Fisheries Act and corresponding regulations. The latter enforces Migratory Birds Convention Act, Canada Wildlife Act, Species at Risk Act and The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.[18] All officers wear dark green uniform with black ties and a badge (appear on the right). Environmental Enforcement Officers only carry baton whereas Wildlife Enforcement Officers are also equipped with firearm.[19]

The Minister may also appoint members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fishery officers, parks officers, customs officers and conservation officers of provincial and territorial governments as enforcement officers and to allow them to exercise the powers and privilege of Environment Canada officers.

On March 4, 2009, a bill to increase the enforcement capabilities of Environment Canada was introduced into the House of Commons. The Environmental Enforcement Bill would increase the fines for individuals and corporations for serious offenses, give enforcement officers new powers to investigate cases and grants courts new sentencing authorities that ensure penalties reflect the seriousness of the pollution and wildlife offences.[20]

More information: EC Enforcement Branch

Enforcement of: Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR)

The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) operates with a few basic premises, one of which being that electronic waste is either "intact" or "not intact". The various annexes define hazardous waste in Canada, and also deem any waste that is "...considered or defined as hazardous under the legislation of the country receiving it and is prohibited by that country from being imported or conveyed in transit" to be covered under Canadian regulation and therefor subject to prior informed consent procedures.[21][22]

The loophole in the regulations that allows tons of e-waste to be exported from Canada is the use of the definition of "intact" vs "functional". A non-functioning electronic device that is intact can be exported under the current legislation. What can't be exported without prior informed consent is a non-functioning but no longer intact electronic device (if the component pieces are deemed hazardous). The principal problem being, the non-functioning but intact electronic device is at high risk of being disassembled in some far away e-waste dumping ground. The Canadian government's use of a unique interpretation of the Basel Convention obligations "intact" and "not intact" opens the door to uncontrolled e-waste exports as long as the device is intact. See Canadian fact sheet and associated links.[23]

Since Canada ratified the Basel Convention on August 28, 1992, and as of August 2011, Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch has initiated 176 investigations for violations under EIHWHRMR, some of which are still in progress. There have been 19 prosecutions undertaken for non-compliance with the provisions of the EIHWHRMR some of which are still before the courts. Electronic waste by country

  2012 Budget Bill C-38, the "Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act"

Bill C-38, (June 2012), replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 1992, 1999) with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Species at Risk Act, The National Energy Board Act, the Canadian Oil and Gas Operations Act, the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Fisheries Act (for example, closing the Experimental Lakes Area) all undergo major changes under Bill-38. By placing the emphasis on jobs, growth and prosperity significant changes have been made to the federal environmental assessment regime (EA) and environmental regulatory framework. [24] [25]

  Minister of the Environment and the Kyoto Accord

In December 2011, Ministry of the Environment (Canada) Peter Kent announced Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol one day after negotiators from nearly 200 countries meeting in Durban, South Africa at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (November 28 - December 11), completed a marathon of climate talks to establish a new treaty to limit carbon emissions.[1]) The Durban talks were leading to a new binding treaty with targets for all countries to take effect in 2020.

Environment minister Peter Kent argued that, "The Kyoto protocol does not cover the world's largest two emitters, the United States and China, and therefore cannot work." In 2010 Canada, Japan and Russia said they would not accept new Kyoto commitments. Canada is the only country to repudiate the Kyoto Accord. Kent argued that since Canada could not meet targets, it needed to avoid the $14 billion in penalties for not achieving its goals.[26] This decision drew widespread international response.[27] States for which the emissions are not covered by the Kyoto Protocol (the US and China) have the largest emissions, being responsible for 41% of the Kyoto Protocol. China’s emissions increased by over 200% from 1990 to 2009.[28]

  Related legislation

Environment Canada administers and assists in the administration of nearly c. 24 acts through regulations and through "voluntary and regulated agreements with individuals or multiple parties in Canada and elsewhere to define mutual commitments, roles and responsibilities and actions on specific environmental issues." [6]

  Bill C-38

Bill C-38 (2012) [29]

  Canada National Parks Act

Canada National Parks Act

  Canada Water Act

The Canada Water Act (proclaimed on September 30, 1970) provides the framework for cooperation with provinces and territories in the conservation, development, and utilization of Canada's water resources. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, completes the framework for the protection and of water resources. Environment Canada is the federal department (Ministry) in charge of conserving and protecting Canada's water resources. The Water Act (2000), a federal legislation, "supports and promotes the conservation and management of water, including the wise allocation and use of water." [7]. The provinces are responsible for administering the Water Act (2000). In Alberta for example, Alberta Environment and Water is responsible for administering the Water Act (2000) and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (2000). Provinces environmental ministries primarily lead Water for Life (2003) programs. Provinces also implement and oversee "regulation of municipal drinking water, wastewater, and storm drainage systems.'[8]

  Canada Wildlife Act

Canada Wildlife Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. W-9) Amended in June 2012 by Bill C-38 [9] 'allows for the creation, management and protection of wildlife areas' to preserve habitats, particularly for at risk species and requires permits for specified activities in designated wildlife areas.[10]

  Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992, c. 37)

The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (2000) "supports and promotes the protection, enhancement, and wise use of the environment. The Act's individual regulations cover a wide range of activities, from beverage container recycling and pesticide sales, potable water, to wastewater and storm drainage." [11]

  Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999)

  Department of the Environment Act (Canada)|Department of the Environment Act

  Environment Week Act, Canadian

  Fisheries Act (pollution prevention into fish bearing waters) (R.S., 1985, c. F-14)

Federal legislation such as the Fisheries Act (1985) have relevance for water management in the provinces. [12]

  International Boundary Waters Treaty Act (R.S., 1985, c. I-17)

  International River Improvements Act

  Lac Seul Conservation Act

  Lake of the Woods Control Board Act

  Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act

  Migratory Birds Convention Act

Federal legislation such as the Migratory Birds Convention Act (2000) also have relevance for water management in the provinces. [13]

  National Wildlife Week Act

  Resources and Technical Surveys Act (R.S., 1985, c. R-7)

  Species at Risk Act (2002)

  Weather Modification Information Act

Weather Modification Information Act

  Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Inter-provincial Trade Act

Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Inter-provincial Trade Act

  See also


  1. ^ About Environment Canada. Ec.gc.ca.
  2. ^ "Inquiry Centre." Environment Canada. Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "Inquiry Centre 351 St. Joseph Blvd. 8th Floor, Place Vincent Massey Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3" Address in French: "Informathèque 351, boul. St-Joseph 8e étage, Place Vincent Massey Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0H3."
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Environment Canada. Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "Address: Environment Canada Inquiry Centre 351 St. Joseph Boulevard Place Vincent Massey, 8th Floor Gatineau, Quebec." Address in French: "Environnement Canada Informathèque 351, boulevard St-Joseph Place Vincent-Massey, 8e étage Gatineau (Québec)."
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2] "Federal Government Releases Draft Legislation to Reform Federal Regulatory System."
  6. ^ CWS[dead link]
  7. ^ ''Msc''. Msc-smc.ec.gc.ca (April 30, 2012).
  8. ^ Monitoring[dead link]
  9. ^ ''Predition''. Msc-smc.ec.gc.ca.
  10. ^ Aviation & Ice Services[dead link]
  11. ^ Environment Canada - Weather and Meteorology - Home. Ec.gc.ca (March 1, 2012).
  12. ^ Climate Science[dead link]
  13. ^ ''Npri''. Ec.gc.ca (February 22, 2012).
  14. ^ Environment Canada - Science and Technology - Wildlife Research & Landscape Science | Environment Canada. Ec.gc.ca (March 22, 2012).
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ (''Ceaa''). Ceaa-acee.gc.ca (May 9, 2012).
  17. ^ ''Parks Canada''. Pc.gc.ca (April 13, 2012).
  18. ^ Environment Canada - Acts, Regulations and Agreements - Enforcement - Acts and Regulations. Ec.gc.ca (June 30, 2011).
  19. ^ Canada's newest environment officers set to help turn the country green. .canada.com (July 24, 2007).
  20. ^ New Enforcement Legislation Cracks Down on Environmental Offenders. Ec.gc.ca.
  21. ^ Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations. Laws-lois.justice.gc.ca (May 2, 2012).
  22. ^ Environment Canada - Pollution and Waste - Basel Convention. Ec.gc.ca.
  23. ^ [4][dead link]
  24. ^ Shawn Denstedt Q.C.; Sander Duncanson (Apr 27, 2012). Federal Government Releases Draft Legislation to Reform Federal Regulatory System. http://www.osler.com/NewsResources/Federal-Government-Releases-Draft-Legislation-to-Reform-Federal-Regulatory-System/. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ Alan Harvie; Richard King; Jean Piette; J.M. Madeleine Donahue (June 7, 2012). "Canada: Canadian Government Proposes Significant Changes To The Environmental Assessment And Regulatory Framework". http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/180742/Climate+Change/Canadian+Government+Proposes+Significant+Changes+To+The+Environmental+Assessment+And+Regulatory+Framework. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Canada pulls out of Kyoto protocol". The Guardian (UK). December 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/12/canadas-kyoto-withdrawal-draws-international-response.html
  28. ^ The Economist (December 15, 2011). http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2011/12/carbon-emissions. Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  29. ^ [5]

  External links



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