International Joint Commission (IJC)

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The International Joint Commission (IJC) is an international organization created by the Boundary Waters Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1909.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

In particular, the Commission rules upon applications for approval of projects affecting boundary or transboundary waters and may regulate the operation of these projects; it assists the two countries in the protection of the transboundary environment, including the implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the improvement of transboundary air quality; and it alerts the governments to emerging issues along the boundary that may give rise to bilateral disputes.

Canada and the United States each appoint three of the six IJC Commissioners, including one chair from each country. The two chairs serve concurrently. The Commissioners are appointed by the highest level of government in each country, but once appointed they do not represent the national governments; they operate at arm’s length. The Commissioners traditionally work by consensus to find solutions that are in the best interest of both countries. The Commissioners are supported by U.S. and Canadian Section offices in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, Ontario.

The IJC has established more than 20 boards and task forces to help meet its responsibilities along the Canada-U.S. boundary. Board and task force members are drawn equally from both countries and are expected to work in their professional capacities, not as representatives of an organization or region.

Missions and Mandates :

  • Boundary Waters Treaty
  • Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 2012
  • Rules of Procedures
  • Guiding Principles

Activities :

  • Historical Highlights
  • Dockets
  • Reports and Publications

IJC Team :

  • Commissioners
  • Staff
  • Boards and Task Forces

For more information about IJC, visit http://www.ijc.org.

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Canadian Environmental Protection Act

What we examined

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) is Canada’s principal federal environmental statut

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e. It is intended to protect the environment and

human health by mitigating and managing risks posed by harmful substances. CEPA 1999 and its regulations govern a variety of environmental matters, including toxic substances, cross-border air and water pollution, and waste disposal. The Act also imposes requirements for pollution prevention planning and emergency plans, and it regulates the inter-provincial and international movement of hazardous wastes and recyclable materials.

Environment Canada’s enforcement program is aimed at ensuring that individuals, companies, and government agencies comply with the pollution prevention and conservation goals of environmental and wildlife protection Acts and regulations, including CEPA 1999. The enforcement of CEPA 1999 is carried out by the Department’s Environmental Enforcement Directorate, comprising a national office and five regional offices across Canada whose activities include monitoring and enforcing regulatory compliance.

We examined whether Environment Canada’s enforcement program was well managed to adequately enforce compliance with CEPA 1999. We assessed whether the Department has applied a risk-based approach to plan its enforcement activities and target the greatest threats to human health and the environment; enforced the law in a fair, predictable, and consistent way, as the Act requires; measured the results of its enforcement activities; and acted on identified opportunities for improvement.

Audit work for this chapter was completed on 11 October 2011.

Why it’s important

CEPA 1999 states that the protection of the environment is essential to the well-being of Canadians and that the primary purpose of the Act is to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention. According to Environment Canada, environmental laws alone are not enough to guarantee a cleaner, better environment. These laws also need to be enforced. Enforcing CEPA 1999 is therefore an important part of protecting the health of Canadians, biodiversity, and the quality of Canada’s air, soil, and water. According to Environment Canada, enforcement of the law can encourage behavioral changes needed to protect the environment and human health by preventing and managing risks posed by toxic and other harmful substances.

The law is a very important one in keeping the peace within the Ontario government in regards to environmental issues and should be regarded when building any new type of structure as it will in some form impact the area around it. If you’d like to read more on the Law, click on the image above.

Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication

1ffa3bb62aThe Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM)/ Le réseau canadien d’éducation et de communication relatives à l’environnement, is Canada’s only national, bilingual, charitable network for environmental learning (EL). EECOM works strategically and collaboratively to advance EL to ensure Canadians are environmentally literate, engaged in environmental stewardship and contributing to a healthy, sustainable future. At a time when the environment and sustainability issues are a clear priority to Canadians, EECOM’s role is more important than ever before.

EECOM works with multi-disciplinary, multi-regional, multi-cultural and multi-sectoral partner individuals and organizations from across Canada. Reflecting the fundamental importance of networking and collaborating among regions, cultures and sectors in EL, EECOM’s network is comprised of teachers, students, academics, community leaders, nature interpreters, youth, and business leaders. Current members and associates include representatives and decision makers from provincial, territorial or national environmental learning organizations, from a variety of sectors including: all levels of government, NGOs, universities, K-12 schools, private sector, industry, autonomous workers and retirees.

If you’d like to learn more please feel free to click the image above to be directed to their website.

Canadian Environmental LAW Association

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The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) is a non-profit, public interest organization established in 1970 to use existing laws to protect the environment and to advocate environmental law reforms. Funded by Legal Aid Ontario, CELA is one of 76 community legal clinics located across Ontario, 18 of which offer services in specialized areas of the law. CELA also undertakes additional educational and law reform projects funded by government and private foundations. To find out more see our most recent Annual Report.

Clinic Mandate

The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) is a specialty community legal clinic providing services to low income individuals and disadvantaged communities across Ontario in environmental law matters. CELA was established in 1970, funded as an Ontario specialty legal aid clinic since 1978, and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital pursuant to the laws of Canada in 1982, providing legal aid services to the community without fees for service. CELA services include environmental law legal services, including representation before a variety of courts and tribunals as well as assistance to individuals representing themselves, summary advice, law reform and public legal education.

CELA’s objectives are:

  • To provide equitable access to justice to those otherwise unable to afford representation for their environmental problems;
  • To advocate for comprehensive laws, standards and policies that will protect and enhance public health and environmental quality in Ontario and throughout Canada;
  • To increase public participation in environmental decision-making;
  • To work with the public and public interest groups to foster long-term sustainable solutions to environmental concerns and resource use;
  • To prevent harm to human and ecosystem health through application of precautionary measures.

In accomplishing all of these objectives, primary recognition is given to CELA’s mandate to assist low-income people and disadvantaged communities.

Canadian Environmental Network

The RCEN was established in 1977 and is an aid tool that connects and arcen_logollows for multiple not-for-profit non government organizations primarily in Canada to communicate, aid and work together for common goals.

They host national caucuses and discuses topics such as Environmental Planning, toxicity, mining, deforestation and so forth. They host their annual reports on their website for review which hold the names of various affiliated organizations along with the caucuses and their outcomes. Also included is their audits (2011 Audit) for previous years available to be seen so that investors can get a decent look at the health and viability of the organization as a whole.

They have consultations open and even offer job applications for people who are looking for a position in something relating to the environment so if you feel interested in anything relating feel free to check out the website by clicking on the photo above.