Seven new projects aim to restore damaged ecosystems in Atlantic provinces and in Quebec
July 6, 2017 – Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canada is committed to conserving and protecting our environment and our wildlife, especially in communities where environmental damages have occurred. The Environmental Damages Fund makes sure that court-awarded penalties for environmental violations are used for projects that restore or improve the environment in areas where damage has occurred, so that Canadians can live in thriving, healthy communities.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $445,000 in seven environmental projects through the latest round of available funding from the Environmental Damages Fund. This funding will be used to support local environmental restoration initiatives throughout the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, including projects that will help restore natural habitats for aquatic life.
“Our government is committed to protecting and restoring Canada's natural and cultural legacy. By funding projects through the Environmental Damages Fund, we can make sure that court penalties from environmental offences are invested primarily in project activities related to the original environmental damage. The fund also allows us to tap into the expertise of dedicated and knowledgeable local organizations, which yields the best results for Canadian ecosystems.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The Environmental Damages Fund follows the polluter pays principle to help ensure that those who cause environmental damage take responsibility for their actions.
A key principle of the Environmental Damages Fund is to invest funding in projects that restore or improve the quality of damaged resources in the geographic region that was originally harmed. For example, if an organization or individual is fined under the Fisheries Act for releasing a deleterious (harmful) substance into a river, the fine could go to the Environmental Damages Fund for projects that aim to restore the affected river’s ecosystem. Fines are automatically directed to the Environmental Damages Fund, under 10 federal statutes including
- the Fisheries Act, subsection 40(6)
- the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
- the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
Several other federal statutes contain discretionary clauses that can be used to direct fines to the Environmental Damages Fund, including the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the Fisheries Act, paragraph 79.2(f).
Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)
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