Environmental damages fund evaluation: executive summary

Executive Summary

The EDF evaluation examined four discrete areas determining first whether the EDF was effectively used consistent with the terms of the original TB submission in the Atlantic Region and thereafter examining areas of potential improvement and utilization of the EDF in other contexts.

Atlantic Region EDF Evaluation

In our opinion we conclude that in the Atlantic Region, the EDF was effectively used, consistent with the terms of the original TB submission. Specifically:

  1. TB submission conditions were being met;
  2. The contribution program was effective in applying resources to the remediation of projects related to the original prosecutions;
  3. Court stipulations were being addressed; and
  4. The management structure and operations associated with the EDF effectively supported its use.

Improvement and Use of EDF in other Contexts

The evaluation also considered the use of the EDF with respect to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), specifically, Environmental Protection Alternative Measures (EPAM). In our opinion there was insufficient information and experience available to conclusively assess the degree to which EDF could be used to supplement or enhance the EPAM, although it appears to us that the two programs can complement each other in providing vehicles to effectively enhance prosecutions and as a result, environmental remediation.

The evaluation assessed the familiarity with the EDF for personnel involved in the court process. In our opinion we conclude, that except for the Atlantic Region, those involved in environmental prosecutions were not familiar with the full potential of the EDF. They had little or no experience with the use of the EDF as a mechanism for directing penalties to support remediation of environmental damage.

The evaluation considered the applicability of EDF in the context of court awards for wildlife protection, remediation and we conclude that subject to some clarification, it could provide an effective vehicle to assist in the overall wildlife protection program.

While we reviewed a provincial Fund that initially appeared to be similar to the EDF we concluded that the circumstances under which that Fund operated are not sufficiently similar to draw meaningful comparisons. We could not locate any other provincial or in fact federal funds that were sufficiently similar to make meaningful comparisons.

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