The pollution prevention provisions of Canada’s Fisheries Act, and the regulations made pursuant to those provisions, form the core of Canada’s federal water pollution regime. The Act applies nationally, and the sectoral regulations apply to an ever-expanding list of activities. The regime is actively enforced. The Canada’s Fisheries Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) 1 together form the key underpinnings for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s pollution regulations. The Canada’s Fisheries Act also takes an unusual approach to pollution prevention: a general prohibition against pollution in the Act itself, while the regulations under the Act permit pollution under specified conditions. The Canada’s Fisheries Act itself is over 150 years old. Where did the modern regime come from, and how did it take the form it has today? That is the subject matter of this Case Study.

Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration
Regulatory Governance Initiative
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School of Public Policy and Administration

Beale, M. (2020). Canada’s Fisheries Act: The Evolution of a Modern Pollution Prevention Regulatory Regime. Regulatory Case Studies. Carleton University. doi:10.22215/sppa-2020-01