On June 18, 2009, Bill C-16, the Environmental Enforcement Act, received royal assent, although it has not yet been proclaimed in force. The bill will amend nine existing statutes, including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 2009, to set new minimum penalties, to increase certain maximum penalties and to create new administrative penalties for less serious offences. In addition, the bill will require, among other things, the federal government to maintain a public registry that includes information about convictions for all offences under the amended legislation. It will also require courts to issue orders directing any corporation that has been convicted of such offences to notify its shareholders of the facts relating to the offence and of the details of the punishment imposed.

For further information on the Act, please refer to Torys’ March Environmental Health and Safety Bulletin.