In Canada, regulation of the environment is a shred responsibility. It is shared among more than ten provinces and the federal government (De Souza, 2012). In some cases, conflict arises between the statutes of the federal government and provinces (O’Neil, 2012). In such scenarios, the federal law is given the power to contain the conflict situation. However, there are few cases of such conflicting statutes. In addition, the municipalities also play a role in managing the environment. The federal constitution provides the ground for establishment of the federal environmental laws. The major federal environmental statutes include fisheries act, Canadian Environmental Protection and Assessment Act, Species at Risk Act, Canada Shipping Act, Pest Control Products Act and the Hazardous Products Act (Cohen Commission of Inquiry, 2012). On the other hand, the provincial constitutional powers are the basis for the provincial environmental laws. Each of the provinces has its own environmental laws. It deals with matters such as the municipalities, civil and property rights as well as local undertakings and works (O’Neil, 2012). Ontario province established its statutes which include environmental bill of rights, environmental protection act, clean water act, environmental assessment act and safe drinking water act. These statutes depend on each province, but are based on the federal statutes.
Regulation of Forestry and Ocean Fisheries Analysis
The department of fisheries and oceans in Canada is a department created to develop and implement policies or programs that support ecological, scientific and economic interests in inland waters and oceans (Harnett, 2012). It was created in July, 1867. It is responsible for the preservation and ensuring sustainable use of the fisheries resources. At the same time, it ensures that the marine resources are safe and effectively utilized in a manner that responds to the needs of the of the world’s economy. The department seeks to be an excellent service provider to ensure sustainable development and safety of the water resources within the country.
In the first place, the human societies have failed to understand the value of forests and oceans and fisheries. In fact, they do not know that forests and oceans have cultural, economic and aesthetic values (De Souza, 2012). For instance, forests acts as tourist attraction. Tourists enable the country to earn income, which has the economic aspect. Failure to know these values leads to destruction and neglect of valuable resources. However, human societies do not observe the regulations that have been put in place, thus resulting in destruction of forests, oceans and fisheries.
The second challenge faced is that individuals charged with the responsibility of managing the environment have failed to keep in step with the changes in world. It is worth noting that the world is constantly changing and various managers must be responsive to the changes. As population grows, the demand from the environment also increases. Consequently, the impact on the environment also increases. What the environment could support in the previous year might not be possible the following year. The regulations that are set by the managers should respond to the changing environmental changes.
The third reason why the regulations have failed is, because the role of managing the environment is so much fragmented. It is fragmented into departments such as agriculture, commerce, health and the environment (Harnett, 2012). In addition, it is also fragmented into provinces, municipalities, federal government and international environmental treaties. These fragmentations confuse the managers about the extent of their jurisdiction. At the same time, each department has its separate management goals. The consequence is that the departments have to consult each other to implement its policies. This results into long bureaucratic procedures that hinder the implementation of the regulations. It is necessary to note that pollution disobeys territorial laws (Cohen Commission of Inquiry, 2012). Despite the strict legislations imposed by a country, it can still be affected. For example, water pollution affects all the fish in that water. The management body lacks control over such regulations from other countries, thus leading failure.
Some provinces do not have necessary legislation to protect the aquatic life. In some other instances, the provincial, federal and international statutes are in conflict. In Canada, sea water and fresh water are protected by the federal government. The fisheries act is used to regulate pollution of the water resources (Fraser & Siddon, 2012). It is evident that
“The Fisheries Act is the principal federal statute that manages Canadian fisheries resources. Much of the Act is aimed at regulating fishing. However, the Fisheries Act does not only protect fish, but also protects the habitat they need to reproduce, grow and survive. As any biologist can tell you, to try to protect fish without protecting their habitats does not make scientific sense” (“Cohen Commission of Inquiry”, 2012).
Similarly, the act disallows the discharge of dangerous substances into water that serves as a habitat for fish. Legislation is also made on each industry that is likely to dispose any toxic substances into the waters. In addition, the Canada Shipping Act is meant to control the discharges from ships. At the same time, the line minister for environment has the powers to set legislation that is geared towards controlling and preventing any form of marine pollution from whatever source, especially land. On the other hand, the provinces are mandated to takings and discharges into fresh water lakes. Persons seeking to discharge anything into these lakes must seek permission or approvals (De Souza, 2012). However, the law prohibits such activities. In this regard, the following are stipulated in the act.
“Sections 35 and 36 provide a regulatory backstop to prevent destruction and pollution of Canada’s bodies of water. Most provinces do not have laws making it an offence for industry or developers to harm fish habitat; for those that do, these laws are typically weak and discretionary. Some provinces, like Ontario, rely on the Fisheries Act in their own regulations, including ensuring environmental assessment of major projects like mines which are excluded from provincial environment assessment laws. While an important provision in Canadian law, section 35 is overly discretionary and should be strengthened, but it ought not to be weakened” (“Cohen Commission of Inquiry”, 2012).
According to Eastern provinces, surface and ground water have no ownership until captured. The amount of water to be taken per day from the fresh water sources is also restricted. Therefore, individuals who want to take more water than what is provided for must also seek permit. Such restrictions are more, especially when it comes to inter-basin transfers. In the western provinces, use of water is subjected to a system of water rights.
In the fourth place, environmental management in most cases is not scientifically based. Consequently, the management is usually inactive. As a result, it uses management tools to monitor results and gauge its effectiveness. In addition, management is used to reduce effects of human beings on the environment. Non-application of science in environmental management also limits the ability to integrate management of coastal zones. Similarly, the management lack adequate resources to be used in science in promoting success. These resources include the human resource, financial resource and the physical resource.
Finally, the management departments lack the support of the local communities. It constantly formulates very good environmental policies, but the local communities have failed to adopt the stipulated regulations (Fraser & Siddon, 2012). The local communities argue that the coastal region is the source responsible for their well being and livelihood. Therefore, the local people hinder the implementation of the policies aimed at environmental conservation. Management agencies usually lack the power and resources to deal with persons destroying the environment. The only resource is the goodwill and support of the people for effective implementation of the policies.
Another factor that hinders the success of environmental regulation is the number of international and regional treaties. Canada tries to meet these treaties by formulating policies that are consistent with them. Sometimes, Canada is forced into a situation of altering its policies to make it compliant with the international treaties. In most cases, treaties entered by the federal government affect the provinces (Harnett, 2012). Therefore, it becomes difficult for the federal government to force the province to comply with the international treaties, because that may mean compromising their statutes. In other cases, some of the international treaties and regulations affect trade, thus reducing the income of a country. As a result, the federal government would decide to compromise regulation but earn more income. The same applies to the municipal and provincial governments.
In summary, the regulation on forestry and ocean fisheries has not been very successful. Most countries have failed to successfully enforce these regulations. For example, in Canada, there are several environmental laws that regulate the forests and ocean fisheries. These include the provincial, federal and municipal statutes. In addition, the country is subjected to international treaties. Each of these regulations has their own goals. Therefore, the first problems that hinder effective enforcement are conflicting goals, laws and regulations. Secondly, the regulations have suffered lack of support from local communities. The local communities argue that the water resources are their source of livelihood and well being. Such resistance hinders effective enforcement of policies. Moreover, the purpose of regulation is not well known by the society. The other challenge is lack of adequate human, financial and scientific resources required to implement the policies. Finally, the implementing officers are not very responsive to changing situations and needs of the society.