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Simon Shields, Lawyer

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Since 2005

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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (federal)(CEAA)

(current to 01 May 2016)

Note Re Application of the CEAA

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act ('CEAA') applies where designated projects impact on environmental concerns within the jurisdiction of the federal government, either by virtue of federal control of the lands involved or by their involvement of federal statutes, particularly the Migratory Birds Convention Act, the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act (all of which have their own modules in this Guide).

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • HABITAT
The full current text of this legislation (including regulations) may be viewed at the Canada statute website.

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While not directly relating to animals or their welfare, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) process can have a significant influence on animal habitat. The CEAA requires that 'designated projects' (which may be located in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry) are subject to an environmental assessment (unless otherwise exempted) which determines the environmental effects of the project and determines what mitigation of it's negative effects is required.

For this purpose, "environment" includes "living organisms" and their "interacting natural systems" [CEAA s.2(1)]. The purposes and mandate of the CEAA are to protect the environment from significant adverse environmental effects caused by the designated projects, and in so doing to apply the 'precautionary principle' (that only proof of risk, rather than certainty, of harm is required to justify preventative measures).

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