York University, BES Program


Course: Environmental Law, ES/ENVS 3420.03

Term:  Winter Term 2003 ~

Calendar Description:  Introduction to basic legal concepts: sources of law, legal remedies, common law, administrative law. Planning acts, environmental protection acts and environmental assessment acts. Litigation processes, hearing boards, and their operation. Critical review of environmental legal concepts and their social, economic and environmental effects.

Prerequisite: None.  (Previously ENVS 2400 3.0 or permission of a Course Director)

Note: a shortened version of this course outline is available on the Internet.
The address is: http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/envlaw-outline.htm

Course Directors

David McRobert, In-House Counsel, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, 1075 Bay Street, Suite 605, (just below Bloor St.) T. 416-325-3376; david.mcrobert@eco.on.ca.  For access to David’s CV, see http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/dsm-vita.htm

Paul Muldoon, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 130 Spadina Ave., Suite 301, T. 416-960-2284; Ext. 219; muldoonp@olap.org

Course Director Office Hours

On-campus meetings in an office at FES prior to or after class can be arranged on request by calling the course directors at their offices.  Students also may be able to meet for coffee with the course directors in the FES lounge prior to class on Wednesdays.   The course directors also will make themselves available for office hours at their work offices; please call them at the phone numbers listed above.

Course consultation hours: contact one of the course directors to arrange a meeting.

Other Course Lecturers

Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284

Ramani Nadarajah, Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284; Ext. 217

Teaching Assistant:  There is no TA for the course this year. 

Course Secretary: Denise Dunbar

Course Management:   In this course, the Course Directors and Guest Lecturers form a Teaching Team who share responsibility for the overall shape and direction of course activities.  Grading responsibilities will be shared between the course directors and a course  assignment grader assigned by FES.

Time and Location:

Lectures:               Wednesday, 10.30-1.20, Fine Arts, Rm. 316

Note: the third hour of each 3-hour class will include time for discussions and presentations.

Purpose and Objectives of the Course

Laws and regulations are key instruments in environmental management. The purpose of the course is to explore the legal and regulatory framework that governs the Canadian environment, and the values, assumptions, and guiding principles underlying this framework.  The Canadian legal framework is also compared to those employed in other jurisdictions in Europe and the United States, and the social, economic and environmental effects of the frameworks are critically reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on emerging legal frameworks that promote sustainable development.

The specific objectives of the course include:

1.    to provide a critical examination of key environmental statutes such as environmental protection acts, environmental assessment acts, Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, and planning acts.

2.    to provide an overview of the common law, the Canadian Constitution and administrative law. In addition, the course explores the main features of the litigation and tribunal hearing processes.

3.    to review recent approaches to environmental justice.

4.    to discuss specific examples and case studies.

Organization of the Course

The course involves formal lectures by the instructors and invited guest lecturers and  possible student presentations involving a portion of the students.  The lecture sessions will include time for discussion between the lecturers and students.  The class discussions may be supplemented by videos.

The required readings are central to the course.  The lectures, student presentations and classroom discussions will serve to enrich, clarify, and illustrate crucial issues from the assigned readings.  Readings listed under a particular date are assigned for discussion on that date and at the session immediately after the lecture date.

Topics examined in the course are described in greater detail below.

Evaluation: The grade for the course will be based on the following assignments and requirements:

Outline of Research Paper: 5% (Due February 5)
Project Report or Reading Log: 25% (Due February 12)
Research Paper:   40% (Due April 2)
Final Exam:   30% (To Be Scheduled)
Presentation:      10% (optional; To Be Scheduled)


Reading Break:  Feb. 17 –21, 2003

Assignment #1 is an outline of your research paper. You will submit  a 1-2 page proposal for a research paper. The instructors will return the proposal to you by February 12 or February 26 either approving it or suggesting revisions with a subsequent deadline of no longer than one week.  Some suggested topics are attached to this outline (see Appendix 3).  You may also select a topic not outlined on the list, which must be approved by a course director.

Assignment #2 is a short project report or a Reading Log.  A list of project topics is attached to this outline as Appendix 1.  The project report should be 6-8 pages in length, must meet all the appropriate project requirements set out in Appendix 1 (p. 25 below), must list all references cited in an appropriate scholarly format, and be typed or word-processed, double-space. 

The reading log report will provide a discussion of ten different readings.  Requirements are set out in Appendix 1 below.  The report or the Reading Log is due by the end of class on Feb. 12, 2003.  Court decisions (e.g. Hydro Quebec) are not eligible as readings for the Reading log.  If you have questions about this, please speak to an instructor.

Assignment #3 is your research paper.  Your paper should be 14-20 pages in length, must list all references cited in the required scholarly format (see below), and be typed or word-processed, double-space.  The essay will be due by the end of the last lecture for the course (April 2) and will be graded by the course directors.  For further details on topics and required citation style, see the appendices attached to this outline.

All assignments should be printed out and provided to instructors in hard copy unless the intended recipient for the assignment has granted permission to allow a student to send the document by e-mail.

The Final Examination will take place during the regularly scheduled examination period following the end of the term.  It will consist of three questions; these will have been selected from a list of six.  The six examination questions will be provided approximately one month before the examination, and your instructors will answer questions about the examination at the last class of the term.  The examination will last three hours.

Optional Assignment - Oral Presentation to Class

All students are provided with the option of making an oral presentation to the class on their approved research paper topics.  The presentation will be assigned a weight of up to10% of the final grade.  A good presentation can boost your paper grade but a presentation mark will not be included in the paper grade if the presentation mark would lower your paper grade.[1]

If you decide to make a presentation, it will be based on your research paper.   Presentations will take place during March, and you should discuss the specific time for your presentation with the course directors.  Presentations will be 6-9 minutes in length and penalties will be assessed for those who exceed this time allotment.  To economize on time, the use of hand-outs is encouraged when appropriate.  Presentations slots should be selected and approved by the fourth week of classes. Presentation will be scheduled during Weeks 8-11 and your presentation slot should be selected and approved by your instructors by February 26, 2003.

Tour of the Law Library

York University is blessed with one of the best law libraries in Canada and, as York students, you are entitled to use it.  Most relevant statutory and regulatory materials and excellent research material are available in the Osgoode Hall Law Library.

A tour of the Osgoode Hall Law Library has been scheduled.  The course directors will confirm the date for the tour on or before January 22nd. (Note: the tour is tenatively scheduled for January 29th.) Please meet in front of the Reference Desk.  Our tour guide will be Louise Tsang, Osgoode Hall Law School’s Reference and Research Librarian.

Required Readings

The following books and consolidations of readings are required reading for the course:

Required Textbook

Jamie Benidickson, Environmental Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2002).  This is a concise introduction to environmental law in Canada. This text may be purchased for approximately $40-45 from the York University Bookstore.

Consolidations of Readings Prepared by Course Directors

These consolidations of cases and materials have been assembled because not all of the topics relevant to this course are discussed in the main textbook.  There are two main formats: electronic and hard copy  “course kits”.

1.  Electronic Format

D. McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Cases, Statutes and Readings on CD-Rom (2003). 

This CD-ROM contains a significant collection of current Ontario and federal Environmental Laws and other relevant course material.  The  CD-Rom (and an accompanying contents sheet) is free and should be available from David McRobert or Denise Dunbar in early January 2003.  Documents on the CD-R are in various formats including Adobe Acrobat, Word, HTML, Word Perfect.  We recommend that you access the material using Windows Explorer (click on the Accessories Folder from your Windows program menu) or a similar data management program.  Preparation of this CD-R is an experiment and we are interested in your feedback on it.

2.  Hard Copy Version of Cases and Readings

D. McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Cases and Readings (2003). 

This course book will be available for copying at a copy facility on the York campus.  Please pick up the original for copying from Denise Dunbar, the Course Secretary.  Feel free to copy the sections and pages of the course book that you are most interested in. (The cost for copying this course book should be about $30-35.) We anticipate that this approach should save students a considerable amount of money.  We kindly request that 1) students try to ensure that pages are not lost or misplaced and the original is returned with all the pages in proper order; 2) students borrow the material for less than three hours and promptly return it to Denise Dunbar.

The course directors intend to place a hard copy of the 2003 course book on Reserve at the Scott Library by the end of January.   A copy of the 2001 version of this publication already is on Reserve. See: PCOP.5923 Scott

Page numbers for the hard copy version of the course book are noted in the Reading List, e.g. [CB PP. xx].

Readings from the course book available on the CD-Rom

Please note that all of the readings from the hard copy version of the course book (see Item 2 below) are available on the CD-Rom for the course.  They are located in the folder titled “Readings” and this folder is subdivided by Lecture number.  Each lecture is then further sub-divided into three folders: Required Readings; Recommended Readings; and Other Readings.  These readings are available in PDF and Word formats.  Recommended and Other Readings are intended to enhance understanding or assist with research papers and students need not review these readings to fulfill course requirements.

3.  Hard Copy of Consolidation of Statutory Materials

A consolidation of statutory materials (including laws and regulations) has been prepared to supplement the required reading. See: D. McRobert (ed.),  Environmental Law: Federal and Provincial Statutes (2003).  A hard copy of this package can be borrowed at the Scott Library Reserve Desk.  See: D. McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Federal and Provincial Statutes (2001).  See: PCOP.5924 Scott

The 2003 consolidation of statutory materials will be available for copying at a copy facility on the York campus.  Please pick up the original for copying from Denise Dunbar, the Course Secretary.  (The cost for copying this material should also be about $30-35.) Again, we kindly request that 1) students try to ensure that pages are not lost or misplaced and the original is returned with all the pages in proper order; 2) students borrow the material for less than three hours and promptly return it to Denise Dunbar.


Readings from the Statutory Materials available on the CD-Rom

Please note that a large collection of Statutory Materials is available on the CD-Rom for the course: see D. McRobert, Environmental Law: Cases, Statutes and Readings on CD-Rom (2003). The selected statutes and regulations are located in the folders on the CD-Rom titled “Ontario Laws and Selected Regulations” and “Federal Laws”, and they are available in PDF and Word formats.

Recommended & Required Readings Only On Reserve

Some of the recommended and required readings are not in the textbook, on the course CD-Rom or the prepared casebook.  You will have to rely on the Reserve Section of Scott Library.  Where possible, the Scott call numbers have been provided for the Reserve Readings at the end of the item: e.g., See: XRX.549xx  Scott

If any readings appear to be missing (they may have been misplaced or stolen) please contact one of you course directors as soon as possible.  All of the readings are available for two hours to ensure wide access.

Other Resources 

In addition to the course textbook and the two kits prepared by David McRobert, there are many excellent textbooks and sources that deal with the general issues covered in this course, as well as particular topics.  Among these are:

A. David Estrin and John Swaigen (eds.), Environmental Law:  A Handbook on Ontario Environmental Law (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery Press, 1993).  This text may be purchased for approximately $48 from CIELAP.  Used copies also may be available for purchase in the York U bookstore.  This textbook was used in this course between 1994 and 2002.

B. Elaine Hughes et al. (eds.), Environmental Law and Policy, 2nd Edition. (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 1998).  This text may be purchased for approximately $90 (plus GST) from Emond-Montgomery.

The following publications and journals contain many articles and court decisions that are directly related to this course:

C.  The Journal of Environmental Law and Practice (available at Osgoode Hall Law School, CELA Resource Library and ECO Resource Centre)

D. Canadian Environmental Law Reports (CELRs).  (available at Osgoode Hall Law School, CELA Resource Library and ECO Resource Centre)

Key to Symbols and Abbreviations in The Reading List Below

RES -- The letters RES in front of a reading indicate that it is on reserve in the Reserve Section of Scott Library. ie. it is not included in the required text or course book.

CD  -- The letters CD in front of a reading indicate that it is available on the course CD-ROM: D. McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Cases, Statutes and Readings on CD-Rom (2003).  This CD-ROM is available free from David McRobert or the course secretary, Denise Dunbar.

CB  -- The letters CB in front of a reading indicate that it is in the hard copy version of the course book: D. McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Cases and Readings (2003).  This course book also is available at the Reserve Section of Scott Library.

ST -- The letters ST in front of a reading indicate that the reading is contained in the consolidation of statutes.), i.e. D.McRobert (ed.), Environmental Law: Federal and Provincial Statutes (2003). This material also is available on Environmental Law: Cases, Statutes and Readings on CD-Rom (2003).

Schedule of Topics and Readings

The following list of lecture topics and readings is subject to change.  Remember that the readings listed under each date are assigned for reading during the following week and will be discussed at the tutorial following that date.

Date: January 8, 2003, Hour 1

Title: Introduction to Course & History of Environmental Law in Canada

Schedule and Topics: (a) Overview to the Course and (b) Brief History of the Development of Environmental Law in Canada

Lecturers: David McRobert & Paul Muldoon

Required Readings:

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Introduction, Chapter 1.

CD & CB  [CB pp. 1-10]   Workplace Health and Safety Agency, "Understanding the Law," In: Core Certification Training Program: Participant's Manual.  (Toronto: WHSA, 1992); pp. 272-281.

Recommended Reading:

RES  D.L. Gibson and T.G. Murphy, Extracts on Introductory Materials and Constitutional Law, From: All About Law: Exploring the Canadian Legal System, (Toronto: John Wiley and Son, 1989) Chapters 1 to 3, p. 1-67. See: XRX.54962  Scott

Date: January 8, 2003, Hour 2

Title: Constitutional Law in Canada

Schedule and Topics: (a) The Concept of Law in Our Society; (b) Role of Law to Protect the Environment; (c) The Canadian Legal Framework: (i) The Constitution and Division of Powers and (ii) The Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and (d) CCME’s Harmonization Accord.

Lecturer: Paul Muldoon

Required Reading: 

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapter 2.

CD & ST  Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 91-92. [Available on Internet for viewing at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/index.html]

CD & ST  Constitution Act, 1982 - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [Available on Internet for viewing at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/index.html]

CD & CB [CB pp. 43-47] Attorney General of Canada  v. Hydro Quebec (1997), 24 C.E.L.R. 167. (Headnote only in CB)

Internet: http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/index.html

CD & CB [CB pp. 11-24] Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, A Canada-Wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization. (Winnipeg: CCME, 1998).

CD & CB [CB pp. 32a-32s] CELA. v. Canada (Min. of the Environment) (1999), 30 C.E.L.R. (N.S.) 59

Recommended Reading:

CD & CB [CB pp. 39-42]  R. v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. (1995),17 C.E.L.R. 129-181. (Headnote only in CB)

CD  David Estrin, “Mirror Legislation,” In: A. Lucas (ed.), Environmental Protection and the Canadian Constitution (1987).  Available in Osgoode Hall Law School library.

CD & CB [CB pp. 90-98]  Energy Probe et al. v. Attorney General of Canada (1994), 17 O.R. (3d) 717.  (CB only has Extracts of this decision.)

RES  Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, Report to Parliament, Harmonization and Environmental Protection, December 1997 See: XRX.54955  Scott

CD  Canadian Judicial System, Supreme Court of Canada website, Accessed Nov. 2002  http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/aboutcourt/role/index_e.asp

CD & CB [CB pp. 33-38a]  Summary of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 in Mary Mancini (ed.) The 1998 Guide to Ontario Environmental Law.  (Richmond Hill: Ontario Business Information Products, 1998).

RES  M.A. Bowden, “Jurisdictional Issues” In: E.L. Hughes et al., Environmental Law and Policy.  (Toronto: Emond-Montgomery, 1993).  See: XRX.54954  Scott

Date: Jan. 15, 2003

Title:  Overview of The Canadian Judicial System

Schedule and Topics:  (e) The Canadian Legal Framework (Cont'd); (f) The Court System (g) Some Re-Occurring Themes in the Course: (i) Public versus Private Rights; (ii) Citizen Participation in Decision-Making; (iii)  Sustainability; (iv) Risk; (h) Alternative Approaches to Disputes: (i) The Law Reform Process and Law Making: (i) MOE Regulatory Review & Red Tape Review; (ii) Other Government-wide Reviews; and (iii)Voluntary Compliance and Non-Regulatory Approaches.

***Election of a student representative***

Lecturer: David McRobert

Required Reading:

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapters 4, 15-16

CD & CB [CB pp. xxx]   Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Fisheries Act Enforcement in Ontario, Annual Report, 2001-02, (Toronto: ECO, 2002); pp. 57-63.  [Authors: D. McRobert & A. Weaver]

CD & CB [CB pp. 132-144]  Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans et al., Fisheries Habitat Enforcement Protocol, April 1999.

Recommended Reading:

CD & CB [CB pp. 84-89] Guy Crittenden, “Harris’ Kremlin”, The Globe and Mail, November 1, 1997

CD & CB [CB pp. 101-111-a.10]  Canadian Environmental Law Association, Trashing Environmental Protection: Ontario’s Four-Part Strategy, March 1999.

CD & CB [CB pp. 99-100] Roger Marentette, "A Review of the Alternative Dispute Resolution System in Ontario/Canada," Muni-scope: Informing Ontario's Municipalities, August 1992, Vol. 7(4), pp. 25-26.

CD & CB [CB pp. 64-75]  John Moffet and F. Bregha, “The Role of Law Reform in the Promotion of Sustainable Development” (1996), 6 Jour. Env. Law and Practice 1.

CD & CB [CB pp. xx ]   Environmental Commissioner of Ontario,  Discussion Paper for Round Table on Voluntary Compliance, Self-Regulation and Environmental Protection, (Toronto: ECO, October 1996).

Date: Jan. 22, 2003

Title  Overview of The Canadian Judicial System

Schedule and Topics:  (e) The Canadian Legal Framework (Cont'd); (f) The Court System (g) Some Re-Occurring Themes in the Course: (i) Public versus Private Rights; (ii) Citizen Participation in Decision-Making; (iii)  Sustainability; (iv) Risk; (h) Alternative Approaches to Disputes: (i) The Law Reform Process and Law Making: (i) MOE Regulatory Review & Red Tape Review; (ii) Other Government-wide Reviews; and (iii)Voluntary Compliance and Non-Regulatory Approaches.

Required Reading: See readings for January 15th.

CD & CB [CB pp. 125-128]   Barry Spiegel, “Privatizing Safety  ‑ Industry on the Honour System?”, Willms & Shier, Municipal\Corporate Report, Winter 1998


CD & CB [CB pp. xx  ]  David McRobert, "Bureaucratic Speed Bumps and Ecological Tread Marks: Environmental Policy Making in the Ontario Government, 1988-1993", Presentation to the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, February 14, 1994


Date: January 29, 2003


Schedule and Topics:  (a) Overview of Court Actions; (b) Common Law Causes of Action (Nuisance, Negligence, trespass, etc; (c) Statutory Causes of Action (EBR, CEPA, etc); (d) Private Prosecutions to Enforce Fisheries Act and Other Laws

Lecturer: David McRobert

***Review of Research Ethics Protocol***

Required Reading:

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapter 5

CD & CB [CB p. 215]  Karen Selick, “Governments Don’t Protect Environment”, Canadian Lawyer, October 1996.

CD & CB [CB pp. 216-7]  Tock v. St. John’s Metropolitan Area Board, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1181 (Headnote only)

CD & CB [CB p. 330]  Hollick v. City of Toronto , [2001] 2 S.C.R. [Fulltext available on the Internet at  <www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/index.html>

Recommended Reading:

RES  E. Brubaker, Property Rights in Defence of Nature.  (Toronto: Earthscan, 1995).  Selected extracts on the role of the courts and causes of actions; approx. 50 pp. See: XRX.54934  Scott.  An electronic version of this reading is available on the CD-Rom.

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapters 9 &10

RES  D. McRobert, Lecture Notes, Using the Courts, March 2001

RES  D. McRobert and R. Cooper, The Environmental Registry, the Right to Request an Investigation and Environmental Protection Actions under CEPA: Implementation Issues and Lesson from Experience with Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights.  Paper for presentation to Working with Bill C-32: the New CEPA, Insight Conference, November 1999. See: XRX.54956  Scott; Internet: http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/cepdrtrc.htm

Other Resources:

Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Report of the Task Force on the Environmental Bill of Rights (Toronto: MOE, 1992), pp. 83-111.  Available in Osgoode Hall Law School library.

Date: Feb. 5, 2003


Schedule and Topics: (a) Evolution and Overview of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR); (b) Elements of the EBR: (i) Purposes (ii) Environmental Registry (iii) Applications for Investigation/Review (iv) Right to Sue and Whistleblower Rights (v) Environmental Commissioner; (vi) Administration of the Environmental Bill of Rights.

Lecturer: David McRobert

Guest Lecturer: John Ferguson, MES, Ph.D., Public Education Officer, ECO

NOTE: Before coming to this lecture, students should visit the Internet web site for the Environmental Registry: <see www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/ebr>.  We encourage you to discuss your experiences with the Registry in the class.

Required Reading:

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapter 3

CD Environmental Commissioner of Ontario,  The EBR and You, (Toronto: ECO, 2000). 

See: http://www.eco.on.ca/english/publicat/usrguide.pdf 

CD & ST  Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993

Recommended Reading:

RES  Diana Babor, Environmental Rights in Ontario: Are Participatory Mechanisms Working? (1999). Colorado Journal Of International Environmental Law and Policy: 1998 Yearbook.  Pp. 122-135. See: XRX.54957  Scott

CD  D. McRobert, “The Nuts, the Bolts and the Rest of the Machinery: A Guide to and Update on Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights” Sept. 2001; Available on Course CD-Rom.  Internet: http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/canapp01.htm

CD & CB [CB pp. 112-124]   Halfway River First Nation v. British Columbia (Min. Of Forests) (1997), BCJ no. 1494 (BCSC).

CD & CB [CB pp. 211-14]  Environmental Law Centre, University of Victoria, “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: Legislation needed to block threat to democracy,” Extracted from Internet Home Page, Nov. 1997.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Developing Sustainability -- Annual Report, 2001-02, (Toronto: ECO, 2002).  This report can be downloaded and read at the ECO’s web site; see http://www.eco.on.ca..

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Having Regard -- Annual Report, 2000-01; See <www.eco.on.ca>.

Other Resources:

RES  Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Changing Perspectives -- Annual Report, 1999-00, (Toronto: ECO, 2000).  This report can be downloaded and read at the ECO’s web site; see http://www.eco.on.ca.. PCOP.5928 Scott

RES  Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Open Doors -- Annual Report, 1998, (Toronto: ECO, 1999).  This report can be downloaded and read at the ECO’s web site; see http://www.eco.on.ca. See: PCOP.5929 Scott

Estrin & Swaigen, Environment on Trial (1993), Chapter 25, pp. 794-815.

Date: February 12, 2003


Schedule and topics: Hours 1&2 (a) Introduction to the Environmental Planning Process (b) The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA); (c) The Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EAA); (d) The Implications of Bill 76; (e) The Future of the EA Process in Ontario


Lecturer: Paul Muldoon; Guest Lecturer: CELA Staff Lawyer

Required Reading:

Benidickson, Environmental Law, Chapter 12

CD & CB [CB pp. 2xx]  MOE, General Information about the Environmental Assessment Act Review and Approval Process, MOE’s Internet site, Accessed December 2002.

CD & CB [CB pp. 218-234, 244-246] Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office (FEARO) and Environment Canada,  "Government Strengthens EA Regime, Keeps Red Book Commitments", News Release and Backgrounder, October 6, 1994.

CD & CB [CB pp.  ]   Alan Levy,  "A Review of Environmental Assessment in Ontario,” (2002),  vol. 11, no. 2, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice,  at p. 173

CD & CB [CB pp. 280-81]  Essex Ofner Resources v. Ontario (1996), 18 C.E.L.R. 317.

Recommended Reading:

Environmental Law, Chapter 9, pp. 185-224

CD & ST  Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 140 as amended

CD & ST  Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, S.C. 1992

CD & CB [CB pp. 282-288d]  Societe Pour Vaincre La Pollution v. Canada (1996), 22 C.E.L.R. 64 (FCTD).

CD & CB [CB pp. 273-277]  Friends of the Island v. Canada (1996), 18 C.E.L.R. 1 (FCA)

CD & CB [CB pp. 278-79]  Re: West Northumberland Landfill Site, (1996) 19 C.E.L.R. 179. (Headnote only) [Fulltext available in Osgoode Hall Law School Law Library]

RES  Grace Patterson and David Evans, "ADR at the Environmental Assessment Board", Presented to the Collaborative Decision Making Seminar, FES, York University, Nov. 21-23, 1996. XRX.54946 Scott

Other resources:

Alan Levy,  "Scoping Issues and Imposing Time Limits by Ontario's  Environment Minister at Environmental Assessment Hearings - A History and Case Study" (2001),  vol. 10, no. 2, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice,  at p. 147.


Date: February 19, 2003  READING WEEK

Date: February 26, 2003


Schedule and Topics:  (a)    Environmental Tribunals in Canada; (b) Basic Concepts: Natural Justice; (c) Keeping the Process Fair: Judicial Review; and (d) The Role of Experts.

Lecturer: Paul Muldoon; Guest Lecturer: CELA Staff Lawyer

Required Reading:

Environmental Law, Chapter 12

CD & CB [CB pp. 289-90]  J.W. McElhaney, "Preparing Experts," ABA Journal, August 1990.

Recommended Reading:

CD & CB [CB pp. 291-94]  Joanne Ross Wilder, "Choosing the Right Expert Witness," Family Advocate, Spring 1990.

RES  R. Eisen, Expert Opinion Evidence at Environmental Board Hearings (1989).CELRs, See XRX.54944 Scott

RES  A. Roman, Effective Advocacy Before Administrative Tribunals. (Toronto: Carswell, 1989).  See: XRX.54945 Scott

Other readings:

Estrin & Swaigen, Environment on Trial (1993), Chapter 25, pp. 794-814 & Chapter 4, pp. 77-100.


Date: March 5, 2003


Schedule and Topics: :(a) Definition of and Nature of "Standard-Setting"; (b) Types of Standards - The Range of Legal and Policy Tools; (c) Some Examples of How Standards are Developed; (d) The Ontario Approval Process: An Overview; (e) Bill 57 and Standardized Approvals; (f) Reforms to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA); (g) An Overview of Compliance and Enforcement; (h) Case Histories of Enforcement Actions

Lecturer: P. Muldoon

Required Reading:

Environmental Law (2002), Chapters 6-8, Chapter 13.

CD & ST  Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990 (as amended); as assigned.

CD & CB [CB PP.  ]   CELA, “Risk Assessment and the Precautionary Principle”, Chapter 4 of Environmental Standard Setting and Children’s Health (2000)  CELA's "Children's Health Study" on CELA website, http://www.cela.ca/ch_health/toc.htm

Recommended Reading:

CD & ST  Canadian Environmental Protection Act,  S.C. 1999

RES   Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, Enforcing Canada’s Pollution Laws: The Public Interest Must Come First!, Third Report to the House of Commons.  (Ottawa: House of Commons, May 1998). See: XRX.54943  Scott

CD & CB [CB pp. 43-47]  R. v. Hydro Quebec, (1997).

Date: March 12, 2003


Schedule and Topics:Hours 1&2 -- (a) How the Planning Act works; (b) Private vs. Public Rights in land development; (c) Bill 163 and the NDP Land Use Planning Law Reforms; (d) Bill 20 -- The Land Use Planning and Protection Act; (e) Ecosystems and Protected Areas

Guest Lecturer: Theresa McClenaghan

Required Reading:

CD & ST  Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Policy Statement Under Planning Act (Toronto: MMAH, 1996&1997). 1999 [Available on Internet for viewing at [http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/business/policye/table.asp]

Links shown in brackets are not currently supported.

CD & CB [CB pp. 295-295a.38]  Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Citizen’s Guide to the Land Use Planning System in Ontario.  (Toronto: MMAH, 1997).

See [http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/business/guides/index-e.asp]

Recommended Reading:

RES   John Chipman, The Planning Act in Transition (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 1996); Chapters 2&3; pp. 5-26. See: XRX.54942  Scott

CD & ST  Planning Act, RSO as amended. See: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/

Environmental Law, Chapter 14

RES   Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, The Land Use Planning System in Ontario: Achieving the Vision. (Toronto: Queen's Printer, August 1998).  30 pp. [http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/business/plansys/contents-e.asp] see See: XRX.54941  Scott

MMAH, The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 For background:  see [http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/inthnews/releases/20011101-3e.asp]

Other Resources:

MMAH, Five Year Review of the PPS, Summer 2001, For background:  see

Estrin and Swaigen, Environment on Trial (1993), Chapter 8, pp. 137-184 .

For additional background material on land use planning in Ontario , see http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_3077_1.html

Date: March 19, 2003


Schedule and Topics: See Lecture on March 6, 2003

Lecturer: P. Muldoon

Required Reading:

CD & CB  Spraytech v. Town of Hudson [2001] 2 S.C.R.  (Headnote only) [Fulltext available on the Internet at http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/index.html

CD & CB [CB pp. 235-38]  Dee Kramer, "Green Cops to the Rescue," Probe Post, Summer 1991.

Recommended Reading:

CD & CB [CB pp. 239-243]  B. Commoner, "The Failure of the Environmental Effort," (1988) in Environmental Law Reporter, vol. 18, 10195-99.

Date:  March 26, 2003

Title: Waste Management Law

Schedule and Topics:(a) The Legal Framework: (i) Provincial Law; (ii) Federal Law (iii)  National Packaging Protocol (CCME); (iv) Bi-lateral and International Agreements (v) The Blue Box Story; (b) Reforms to Provincial Laws and Regulations, 1991-95: (i) GTA Waste Management and Interim Waste Authority; (ii) 3Rs Regulations; (iii) Municipal Waste Powers Legislation; (c) Changes to Provincial Laws and Regulations, 1995-2001 (i) New Landfill Standards and Waste System Planning (ii) Incineration Regulations and Policies, 1995; (iii) MOE’s Regulatory Review

Lecturer: David McRobert

Required Reading:

CD & CB [CB pp. 315-329]   Ministry of Environment and Energy, Backgrounder: Ontario's New 3Rs Regulations. (Toronto: WRO, MOEE, 1994).

CD & CB [CB pp. 340-347]  D. McRobert, "User Pay for Waste Management: Issues and Options,”  Notes prepared for the Toronto Environmental Alliance, May 1994.

CD & ST  Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O 1990 - Part V

CD & CB [CB pp. 250-263]  J.R. Tidball and R.F. Lopes, ”Framework for Approval of Landfills in Ontario,Canada,” Proceedings Sardinia 95, Fifth International Landfill Symposium, Italy, October 1995,

CD & CB [CB pp. 352-356]   D. McRobert, "Ontario’s Blue Box Fiasco,”  Notes prepared Broadcast on CKLN Radio, January 1991.

Recommended Reading:

Environmental Law, Chapters 17, & 18

RES  D. McRobert, "Reforming Legislation and Regulation to Promote the 3Rs: Some Observations on Ontario's Waste Management Act, 1992 and the Proposed 3Rs Regulations", Paper for Recycling Council of Ontario Annual Conference, Oct. '92. See: XRX.54951  Scott  Internet: http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/wma-3r.htm

RES  Harold Crooks, Giants of Garbage: The Rise of the Global Waste Industry and the Politics of Pollution.  (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1993). See: XRX.54952  Scott

CD  David McRobert, Ontario's Blue Box System: A Case Study of Government's
Role in the Technological Change Process, 1970-1991From: Labour Relations, Technological Change and Sustainability: Resolving the Structural Issues. Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Draft LLM Thesis, October 1994.  Internet: http://www.lacieg2s.ca/law/bluebox.htm

Other Readings:

CD  Doug Thompson, “Proposal for a New Landfill Siting Process in Ontario”, Municipal World, August 1995, pp. 13-16.

Environmental Law, Chapter 11

Date: April 2, 2003


Schedule and Topics:1st Hour --(a) Background to the Inquiry, including (i) The Legal Framework (ii) Parties to the Hearings and The Inquiry Process; (b) The Walkerton Inquiry reports


Lecturers: David McRobert & Paul Muldoon

Required Reading:

Draft exam questions, Hand-out in March 2003

CD & CB [CB pp. xx]   D. McRobert (ed.), “Chronology of Walkerton Events”, Based on Toronto Star series, October 2000.

CD & CB [CB pp. xx]   Larry Krotz, “Troubled Waters”, Saturday Night Magazine, National Post, Dec. 9, 2000.


CD & CB [CB pp. xx]   Gary Gallon, “The Real Walkerton Villain”, Globe and Mail, Dec. 2, 2000.

CD & CB [CB pp. xx]   Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, The Protection of Ontario’s Groundwater and Intensive Farming, July 27, 2000.

CD & CB [CB pp. xx ]   C. Gillis, “E. Coli: They haven’t learned,” National Post, Dec 23, 2000.

CD Walkerton Inquiry, Final Report on Parts 1a and 1b.  Released January 2002.

Note: The Walkerton Inquiry Reports and other legal information for the Inquiry are available on the course CD-Rom.  They also are on the Internet: see http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/walkerton/

Grading Scheme, Assignment Submissions, and Lateness Penalties

The grading scheme for ENVS courses conforms to the 9-point system used in other undergraduate programs at York.  Assignments and tests will bear either a letter grade designation (e.g., A, B, C+, etc.) or an equivalent percentage grade.  (See detailed descriptions in the FES Regulations or in the BES Supplementary Calendar.)  The final grade for the course will be calculated using the weighting formula established above for this course.

Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time.  Accordingly, the assignments for ENVS courses must be received by the Instructors on the due date specified for the assignment.  Assignments can be handed in at the lecture on the date they are due or they can be deposited in the course box.  Please ensure that the assignments are date and time stamped at the FES reception desk before they are deposited. Note that assignments should not be deposited in the Instructors mailboxes in the Lumbers Building, nor will they be accepted by the SPO staff.

Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one-half grade point per day that they are late.  Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc. will be entertained by the Course Director only when supported by written documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).

Inclusivity in the BES Program

The BES Program strives to include a broad range of perspectives and substantive material in its course offerings.  Central to a clear understanding of environmental problems is the link between exploitation of the natural world, and justice issues related to racism, gender inequity, and poverty.

Religious Observance Days

York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community, and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents.  Should any of the dates specified in this syllabus for in-class test or examination pose such a conflict for you, contact the Course Director within the first three weeks of class. Similarly, should lab, practica, workshop, etc., assignments scheduled later in the term pose such a conflict, contact the Course director immediately.  Please note that to arrange an alternative date or time for an examination scheduled in the formal examination periods (April/May), students must complete and Examination Accommodation Form, which can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

Student Representations

In order to facilitate the expression of student views, the Course Directors will allow for class time to elect a student representative from the class list to represent student views and promote dialogue.  This representative will also act as a liaison between the Student Programs Office and the Undergraduate Program Director.

Academic Honesty

York students are subject to policies regarding academic honesty as set out by the Senate of York University and by the Faculty of Environmental Studies.  Please read the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty (which can be found as Appendix One of the Academic Regulations of the Faculty of Environmental Studies or in the University Policies and Regulations section of the York University Undergraduate Programmes Calendar). During the 2001-2002 academic year, the Faculty of Environmental Studies established policies and procedures to implement the Senate Policy. You are encouraged to read the Faculty of Arts Policy on Academic Dishonesty in the Faculty of Arts section of the Calendar if you need more background.

Ethics Review Process and FES Guidelines and Procedures for Ethical Review of Research Involving Human Participants

York students are subject to policies regarding ethics in research practices. All research activity with human participants and minimal risk as part of this course has to undergo ethical review. Please consider the following definitions:

_    “Human participants” in research will be defined as persons who provide data or information to the researcher which are typically not part of their professional capacity.

_    The definition of minimal risk being used is the one given in the SSHRC/NSERC/MRC Tri-Council Policy Statement Ethical Conduct for Research involving Humans (August, 1998): “If potential subjects can reasonably be expected to regard the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research to be no greater than those encountered by the subject in those aspects of his or her everyday life that relate to the research, then the research can be regarded as within the range of minimal risk.” (p. 1.5)

This course has two assignments that may involve interviewing lawyers, public officials, etc. on a range of Environmental Law issues. The course directors have drafted a research protocol that applies when students in the course interview subjects when conducting research for their assignments. The protocol is attached to this course outline as part of the appendices (see Appendix 4).  A review of the research ethics problems, informed consent procedures, etc. will be provided in the third or fourth week of classes.

Student and Instructor Conduct

Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterised by courtesy and mutual respect and to refrain from actions disruptive to such a relationship.  Moreover, it is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour.  Further, the instructor is the best person to decide, in the fairest instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class.[York University Policy and Procedures to Deal with Disruptive and/or Harassing Behaviour by Students in Academic Situations.]

Lengthy discussions between students in the back rows of the lecture room while the lecturer is trying to present material and explain complex concepts are disrespectful and should be avoided.


Students who feel that there are extenuating circumstances which may interfere with the successful completion of the course requirements are encouraged to discuss the matter with one of the Course Directors as soon as possible.  Students with physical, learning or psychiatric disabilities who require reasonable accommodations in teaching style or evaluation methods should discuss this with the Course Director early in the term so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

How to Cite Research Material You Find on the Internet

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing most of what you read on the Internet is true.

While the Internet is now the world’s biggest library in history, this does not make it reliable.  Be cautious.  Researching rules remain the same no matter what medium you are using.   Since information on the Internet that you download one day can disappear tomorrow, you should make electronic copies of the documents (e.g. on your hard drive or floppy disks) you use in your papers and assignments and then immediately make a note on the sources in your course notebook.  We also strongly recommend that you print out a copy of important source documents and immediately write the information required below on to the print-out of the document.

Several style guides for citing information found on the Internet are now available.  Here is the format that we recommend that students follow:

Author’s name or Organization name (if known); full title of the document in quotation marks; the full title of the complete works if applicable (e.g., when you are using an extract); date of publication or date of last revision (usually shown at the botttom of the text); the full http address enclosed within angle brackets < >; date of visit to the site.

For example,

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, “Implementing the Environmental Bill of Rights - Environmental Registry Notice And Comment Procedures: A Guidance Document”; published on Internet: December 1, 1997; <http://www.eco.on.ca>; date visited: December 25, 1998.

This format can be adapted for laws and cases.  For Supreme Court of Canada cases, include the date of the decision as well as the date published on the Internet.  For laws and regulations, indicate when the law or regulation was last updated.  This information should be available on the site.  If you have questions, speak to one of the Course Directors.


Appendix 1-  Requirements for Reading Log and Field Trip/Projects 

Appendix 2 - Requirements for Research Paper

Appendix 3 - Suggested Topics for Research Papers -- Winter 2002

Appendix 4 -  Research Protocol and Ethics/Consent Form

Appendix 5 -  Laws, Regulations and Other Resources on the Internet

Appendix 6 – Glossary andKey to Other Abbreviations in This Guide (and the Course)


PURPOSE: This assignment is designed to hone your analytical skills through reading and writing exercises.  This assignment requires that you periodically do some additional writing in relation to the required readings.  Though this task may seem difficult at first, repetition will make you more proficient at identifying central arguments and supporting evidence from the readings.  You will also become skilled at developing your own unique critical responses to the course readings.

Please note: Court decisions are not suitable as readings for reading log responses.


 Write a "response" to ten of the required readings, following the guidelines below.

Do a separate log for each required reading or chapter in a given week - this counts as “one” submission.

Work on your own – don’t collaborate with other students in the class.

Write informally, don’t bother to polish, but follow the usual rules for proper referencing and acknowledgment of your sources. 

DUE:  Logs are due at the start of class on February 12, 2003.  You can either submit a paper copy or send it via E-mail: david.mcrobert@eco.on.ca. 

FEEDBACK: You will receive a grade and feedback on your writing logs.

EVALUATION: 25% of course grade.



Notice the title of the article, reading or book title and table of contents.  Reflect on what you might already know about this subject.  Do the title, subheadings or section headings anticipate the direction the author intends to take on this subject?  Read the opening paragraphs, skim the first and last sentences of the paragraphs in the body of the text, then read the concluding paragraphs. 

Please use the headings listed below and submit a separate entry for each reading:





1.  SUBJECT: (1 sentence)

In your own words: What is the reading about?


In your own words: What is the central point or question the author addresses?  (Cite page reference)


In your own words: What is the author's most important point or central argument? (Cite page reference)

4. KEY SUPPORTING FACTS OR EVIDENCE: (can be in point form)

List up to 5 important facts or evidence the author cites that support his or her case. (You may quote or paraphrase, but cite page reference.)

5.  RESPOND TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1/2 page – this should be the main part of your log)

A/ How do the ideas (or methodology) in this article connect with, support or contradict other readings you have studied in this course?  or

B/ What aspect of this reading did you find most persuasive or least persuasive?  What further evidence or argument is needed to convince you of this argument?   or

C/ How does the reading match or contradict your personal experience or knowledge of current events?

b.  Field Trip/Project Description And Requirements

Overview: Students have a choice between the following four types of project assignments:

The reports on your projects are due on February 12th.  Your report or assignment should be no longer than 6-8 pages of double-spaced text, excluding attachments.

Option 1 -- Rent the films A Civil Action starring John Travolta and Erin Brokovich starring Julia Roberts and prepare a comparative review of the films.

Option 2 –Prepare A Position Paper on Environmental Law and Policy Issue Raised by A Newspaper Article on a Topical Issue

Option 3 -- Field Trip Description and Requirements

Option 4 -- Prepare a project related to the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993

A.  You can prepare a Draft Leave to Appeal Application on a Class I or II Instrument; or

B.  You can prepare Draft comments on a proposal for a new law, policy, regulation or instrument that has been posted on the Environmental Registry. 

The options are outlined in detail below.

Option 1 -- -- Rent the films A Civil Action starring John Travolta and Erin Brokovich starring Julia Roberts and prepare a comparative review of the films.

A Civil Action is a gripping story about a fascinating legal battle between a young flamboyant lawyer, Jan Schlictmann, and two large American companies.  Schlictmann takes on the companies, suing them for pollution to groundwater supplies in a town called Woburn in Massachusetts.  He hoped to win millions in compensation and ended up losing his law firm.

In previous years, students in this course reviewed the book by Jonathan Harr.  (You are welcome to review the book and the movie and compare them but the book is quite long and this will take a considerable amount of time.)  This film was released in late 1998. 

Erin Brokovich (1999) starring Julia Roberts

Erin Brockovich is an unconventional drama based on true events, starring Julia Roberts as the twice-divorced mother of three young children who sees an environmental and social injustice, takes on the bad guy and wins.

With no money, no job and no prospects on the horizon, Erin is in a tight spot. Following a car accident in which Erin is not at fault, she finds herself even worse off when her attorney fails to land her any kind of settlement. With nowhere else to turn, Erin pleads with her attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her at his law firm. It is there, while working, that Erin stumbles upon some medical records placed in real estate files. Confused, she begins to question the connection. She convinces Ed to allow her to investigate, where she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated water in a local community which is causing devastating illnesses among its residents.

Although the local citizens are initially leery of becoming involved, Erin's persistence and the personal interest she takes in their lives makes them listen. Going door to door, she signs up over 600 plaintiffs, and Erin and Ed, with the help of a major law firm, go on to receive the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history - $333 million. By triumphing over difficult odds, she is able to prove herself, and reinvent her life.

In your review, make sure you cover the following:

1. the mistakes that you think Schlictmann made in developing and presenting his case.  Should he have settled with Facher’s client?  Did Schlictmann fail his clients?  Why do you think that Schlictmann had such a difficult time gathering evidence to support his case?

2.  some of the strategies that Brokovich used to fight the power company. 

3.  compare and contrast the results for the plaintiffs in these two cases as portrayed by the film-makers and actors.

You should not waste time and space summarizing the plot (as many students did last year) and you should focus on the content of the movie, not the cinematography, film editing

and acting performances.  (This is not a film studies course.)

Option 2 --Position Paper or a Scholarly Analysis of a Environmental Law and Policy Issue Raised by A Newspaper Article on a Topical Issue

Students can prepare a 6-8 page position paper for an environmental group or a scholarly analysis based on an environmental issue raised in a newspaper article (or a series of articles) published in Ontario between January 2, 2003 and February 11, 2003.  This assignment will explore the legal and policy background to the issue(s) raised in the newspaper article(s).  The issue(s) raised by the article(s) must be a manageable subject that can be discussed in a  6-8 page paper and the topic must be approved by your course instructor. 

A position paper should reflect the approach that might be adopted by an environmental group.  In contrast, a scholarly analysis should reflect a balanced discussion of various aspects of the issue, and could reflect the historical, economic and social context related to the issue.

In your paper you should identify and explain the relevant law and/or policy and discuss whether you think the law and/or policy needs to be reformed and explain why the law needs to be changed.  Please attach a readable copy of the newspaper article(s) to your paper.

More information on this assignment will be provided by your course instructors in January.  This was the most popular type of assignment prepared between 1998-2002.

You may be able to find a suitable newspaper article by visiting the websites for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post or other newspapers.

Make sure you indicate whether you are preparing a scholarly analysis of an issue or a position paper.

Option 3 -- Field Trip Description and Requirements

The field trip option allows students to watch an environmentally-related court or tribunal hearing process as it takes place in order to better understand how decisions that affect the environment are made.

The report on your field trip should cover at least the following topics:

1) What type of hearing did you attend?

2) What is/are the issue(s) and why was/were the issues referred to the hearing?

3) What law and what section of the law authorized the hearing?

4) How long did you attend and what happened during your visit?

5) If arguments were made, what were they?  What do you think the opposing arguments might be?

Before you go on a field trip, make sure you do the following:

1.         Confirm the hearing time and place with David McRobert, or if he is unavailable, appropriate officials at the particular tribunal. (Hearings sometimes are cancelled or delayed.)

2.         Discuss your selection with David McRobert so that he can confirm the selected hearing assignment is valid; please do so by phone or by e-mail if necessary. If required, David will call to make sure that the scheduled activities are actually taking place and to obtain the time the hearing commences.

Hearings, and related hearing processes, may be underway in the next 5-6 weeks at the following tribunals and agencies. 

b) Field Trip Sites

Environmental Review Tribunal:

Appeals on orders and decisions made by MOE officials are heard by panels of the Environmental Review Tribunal on a regular basis. You can find out about upcoming ERT hearings (names of parties, dates, times and locations) by visiting the ERT web site listed below.  You also can find out about some ERT meetings and hearings by monitoring the Environmental Registry created under the EBR.

Hearings are held at various locations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and its environs, and at the ERT Office, 2300 Yonge St. (at Yonge and Eglinton), Suite 1201, Toronto.  To learn more about the work of ERT and/or to confirm locations, dates, and times, please visit the web site for the ERT: http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/ERT_new_index30.htm

If you are planning to attend an ERT hearing, please call Susan Dunn, the Tribunal's Secretary at 416-314-3300, one working day before your selected hearing is scheduled to take place to see if it has been cancelled.  Please do not call her or other Tribunal officials before then or to ask her about how the Tribunal works.  If you want more information on the Tribunal's procedures, please visit the Tribunal’s web site.  The address is provided below.  You also can ask to have general information pamphlets and materials mailed to you, please contact the Tribunal at 416-314-3300.

Please note that in late 2000 the Environmental Assessment Board was merged with the Environmental Appeal Board to create the Environmental Review Tribunal.  You will see references to these previous tribunals in the course materials.

Please note: to find out more about Environmental Review Tribunal decisions and procedures, please visit the Tribunal’s excellent web site at: <www.ert.gov.on.ca>.

Ontario Energy Board (OEB):

For a schedule of hearings, please call a week or two before you plan to attend and an OEB Hearings Officer will be able to tell you what matters are scheduled.  OEB Hearings are usually held at the OEB Office, 2300 Yonge St. (at Yonge and Eglinton), Suite 2601, Toronto.  To confirm dates please call the OEB at 416-481-1967.

Ontario Municipal Board (OMB):

The OMB often holds hearings on planning issues that relate to environmental concerns.

For a schedule of hearings, please call a few days before you plan to attend and an OMB Hearings Officer will be able to tell you what matters are scheduled and if any are related to environmental issues.  Call 416-326-6800.  The OMB is located at 655 Bay Street (at Elm Street between College and Gerard Sts.), 15th floor, Toronto.

Ontario Superior Court

There are hundreds of trials and prosecutions underway in various courts every day in Ontario.  Unfortunately, few trials involve environmental issues.

In Toronto, most relevant trials take place at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. West in Toronto (i.e. the Court House at Queen & University).  If there are trials underway in March and April, course directors will provide additional information.  Note:  Please contact the Court by calling (416) 327-5000  before you go a trial to confirm that the trial is taking place on the day you intend to go and has not been postponed.

Federal Court of Canada

If there are relevant trials in the Federal Court, course directors will provide additional information on this option.

Again, please contact the Court by calling (416) 973-3356 before you go the hearing to confirm that the hearing is taking place and has not been postponed.

Option 4 -- Preparing a project related to the Environmental Bill of Rights

These projects allow a student to gain an understanding of EBR processes as follows:

a.  You can prepare a Draft Leave to Appeal Application on a Class I or II Instrument.

b.  You can prepare Draft comments on a proposal for a new law, policy, regulation or instrument that has been posted on the Environmental Registry after December 15, 2002. 

Please note: These EBR projects are intended to be learning experiences. Your project work will not be submitted to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) or the prescribed ministries for processing.

Students are encouraged to pair up into teams of two or three people to undertake these projects.  This is not mandatory.  Students in the pair will receive the same mark for this assignment unless there are special circumstances that would make this result unfair.

Please do not prepare an Application for Review or an Application for Investigation under a ministry or ministries prescribed under the EBR.

Special Note on EBR Projects

In addition to your Application for Leave to Appeal or comments on a Registry proposal, you should prepare a short 2-page discussion covering the following issues:

1) What is/are the issue(s) examined in your application or comment paper?

2) What law or regulation, if any, does the Leave to Appeal Application or comment paper discuss?

3) Why is the Leave to Appeal Application necessary? (for Leave applications) or 

What kinds of arguments would opponents and supporters of the proposed law, regulation, policy or instrument make about the environmental impacts of the proposal and any changes to it that are desirable? (for comment documents)

Many of the proposals on the Registry have links to the full text of proposal documents such as draft policies and regulations.   If you need additional research material from the ministries, we recommend that you first visit the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario or the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) libraries.  Keep in mind that staff working in the ministries do not have the resources to deal with all of your questions, especially when you are uncertain about what you need from them.

On the EBR projects, your primary point of contact should be David McRobert. 

a) Draft  Application for Leave for Appeal

You can prepare a Draft  Application for Leave for Appeal on a Class I or II instrument for which a decision has been posted on the Registry by the Ministry of the Environment after January 7th.  A copy of the instrument proposal and decision from the Registry that you are appealing must be included with your assignment. 

A sample of a Leave to Appeal Application will be placed on Reserve in Scott Library.  The ERT rules are available at the Tribunal’s web site (see above).

Your project report, including the completed Leave to Appeal Application to the Environmental Review Tribunal, should be no longer than 6-7 pages plus the Registry proposal and decision (usually 3-4 pages).

For the purposes of this assignment, please make up some facts that suggest why you as an individual or your incorporated group has a right to launch the Leave application. 

Students who prepare EBR leave to appeal assignments may also be permitted to present the results of these assignments to the class. Certain conditions will apply.  For example, if you intend to appeal a ministry decision to issue a permit or an approval, then normally three students (acting as lawyers for the various parties) will be involved: 1) one student/team representing an environmental group or a concerned citizen, 2) one representing the Ministry of Environment (who granted the approval) and 3) one representing the proponent applying for the permit.  If you wish to do make a presentation based on your EBR assignment, please speak to one of the course instructors by February 12th.

If you wish to do a presentation to your class based on your leave to appeal application, you should try and coordinate your work with colleagues to ensure that you all do a similar type of MOE instrument and it is possible to have one person/team representing the ministry, etc.

In addition, students working on the leave project should consider some of the decisions rendered by the Environmental Review Tribunal (formerly called the Environmental Appeal Board) on section 38 of the EBR.  These decisions are discussed in the following papers:

David McRobert, “The EBR Litigation Rights: Six Years of Experience” A Background Paper for the EBR Litigaton Rights Workshop. May 25, 2000. Online: ECO website http://www.eco.on.ca/english/publicat/litigat2.pdf

See also: Paul McCulloch and David McRobert, “The EBR Litigation Rights: A Survey of Issues and Six-Year Review” A Background Paper for the EBR Litigaton Rights Workshop. May 25, 2000. Online: http://www.eco.on.ca/english/publicat/litigat3.pdf

b) Draft Comments on a Proposal for a new Law, Policy, Regulation or Instrument

You can submit draft comments on a proposal for a new law, policy, regulation or instrument that has been posted on the Environmental Registry after January 1, 2003.  A copy of the proposal from the Registry that you are commenting on must be included with your assignment.

If you submit comments on a proposal for a proposed policy, regulation or Act, you must obtain a copy of the full text of the proposed policy, regulation or law.

If you submit comments on a proposal for an instrument, you should visit the ministry office to see a copy of the proponent’s application.  These applications can be viewed at the ministry office listed on the Registry proposal.  Please call ahead before you visit the Ministry office because Ministry staff are very busy.  The phone numbers are usually included in the Registry proposals.  Please ask David McRobert for assistance if you have questions.

Your report for this assignment should be no longer than 6-8 pages (including 2 pages of explanation as described above under “Special Note”)  plus the Registry proposal (usually 1-3 pages).  Once you have identified a Registry proposal or decision for your EBR project, you may wish to visit to the ECO’s Resource Centre.  Please call ahead and discuss your plan to visit with one of the following ECO staff people: Mark Murphy, Public Information Officer, 416-325-3375 or Ann Cox, Librarian, 416-325-3377.

An excellent book on the EBR is P. Muldoon and R. Lindgren, The Environmental Bill of Rights: A Practical Guide (1995).  Toronto: Emond-Montgomery. 

As a starting point for your EBR project, please visit the MOE’s Website and view some Registry postings.  The Internet (URL) location for the Registry on the MOE’s Website is:


Before you undertake an EBR assignment, make sure you do the following:

1.Read the background material on the EBR in the course readings.

2.Discuss your project selection with your instructor so that he can confirm the assignment is valid; please do so by phone if necessary.

Appendix 2 - Requirements for Research Paper

Due:  April 2, 2003

Late Penalty:  0.5 grade per day (including weekends) from final paper grade

Length:  14-20 pages, typed, double spaced

References: please use footnotes or endnotes for references.  Please do not use the scientific reference style (ie.: Muldoon 1988).  You must provide exact pages for all direct quotes and should be included for most references. Personal communications based on telephone conversations or interviews with experts should be referenced as follows: Name, Position, Company/Organization, Company Location, Date (e.g. Personal Communication, M. Valiante, Professor of Law, University of Windsor, Windsor, March 28, 1998).

Marking System:  We will mark your research paper based on five criteria (in order of decreasing importance):

* critical thinking

* style and flow of paper

* quantity and quality of research

* organization

* overall impression

Appendix 3 - Suggested Topics for Research Papers -- Winter 2003

These topics are suggested onlyStudents are free to propose other topics but the proposed topics must have a strong connection to the course material.  All topics must be approved by one of the course directors.  Please note that it is prohibited to submit a paper for this course if the paper has been submitted in order to meet requirements for another course unless a) the two courses are taking place simultaneously and b) all course directors agree on the arrangement.  (See note on Academic Honesty provided above.)

Additional reading and research material on some of the topics outlined below has been compiled by David McRobert and is available on the course CD-Rom.

1.Review MOE’s Anti-Smog Plan.  Why are changes to the current air pollution regulatory regime required?  Are the proposed measures contained in the Anti-smog Plan (Announced by the MOE in November 1999) adequate?  If not, why not? 

2. Review the proposed changes (Bill C-19, Tabled March 2001) to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and comment on their potential impact on environmental planning in Canada.

3. What is the constitutional division of powers in Canada for endangered species?  Is the federal government proposing to do enough to legislate protection of endangered species?  Should it do more?  Be sure you refer to the federal endangered species legislation tabled in Bill C-5 (enacted in December 2002) and recent Environment Canada discussion and study papers on this topic.

4. Review Bill 57, the Environmental Approvals Improvement Act, 1997 and comment on its potential impact on environmental approvals in Ontario.  Make sure you examine MOE proposals and decisions (on the Registry) for standardized approvals regulations (SARs) and approval exemptions regulations (AERs).

5. Review and analyse the Nutrient Management Act (Ontario) and the accompanying regulations proposed under it.   Compare the NMA with legislation in other provinces in Canada.

6.  Review the summaries of the Ontario ministry business plans for selected ministries (these generally are located on the Internet Home Pages for the ministries), evaluate them and then comment on their potential environmental and social impact on Ontario.  What is missing from the plans?  How do the plans compare with the Statements of Environmental Values for various ministries that are required under the Environmental Bill of Rights and were released by the ministries in November 1994?

7. In February 1997, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources released its new policies on wilderness protection and public land disposition.  The MNR also commenced a public consultation process called “Lands for Life”. In March 1999, the Ontario government announced its new northern land use policy called Ontario’s Living Legacy.   Write a critique of the Lands for Life policy and the public round tables and consultations that have been undertaken in support of it.

8. Write a paper that examines the impact of the Land Use Planning and Protection Act (Bill 20) proclaimed in May 1996 and associated administrative reforms on environmental protection (e.g. MMAH’s Policy Statement under the Planning Act released in May 1996) in Ontario.  Make sure you contrast the goals of the 1996 reforms with recent Smart Growth policies.

9. Review and analyze the MOE's compliance and enforcement policies related to the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.  Why is enforcement important?  How have MOE enforcement policies evolved in the past decade?  In your view, are the current policies appropriate?  If so, why?  If not, how would you change the policies?  Can the MOE fulfil its responsibilities if it does not have adequate resources?

10.Write a paper that examines the impact of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act enacted in Dec. 2001 and associated administrative and planning reforms.  You might compare the ORMCA with the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

11. Write a submission to amend Ontario's Energy Efficiency Act to improve energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and motors.  How are the current standards developed?  How should they be determined in the future?

12.Write a paper recommending reforms to various laws such as the federal Income Tax Act, energy legislation, Environmental Laws, (eg. CEPA, CEAA), resource extraction laws related to forestry, mining, farming, etc. intended to promote Green Industry development in Canada.

13. Prepare a submission on the environmental and economic aspects of the Energy Competition Act.  How will privatization affect the Ontario government’s ability to regulate the activities of electricity production sector in Ontario?  Make sure you 1) examine the white paper on reform, Directions for Change, released by the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology (MEST) in November 1997 in preparing your paper and 2) discuss the new role of the Ontario Energy Board.

14. Prepare a paper on Ontario’s new Brownfields legislation enacted in late 2001.  Write a paper describing the strengths and weaknesses of this law and compare it with the law in at least one other jurisdiction such as the US federal law (CERCLA).

15.The Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights was passed in December 1993.  You have been hired to advise a small environmental group on how they can best make use of the bill in their work.  Write a brief analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of two or three aspects of the EBR.  Make sure you refer to past reports released by the ECO in preparing your analysis.

16. Review the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and comment on its potential impact on environmental protection in Canada.

17. Prepare a critical review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for submission to the Minister of the Environment.  (For background on CEAA, see the CEA Agency web site.) We recommend that concentrate on 3-4 aspects of the CEAA in preparing your submission.

18.Develop a position paper on how to reform federal and provincial laws to control global warming.  Make sure that you discuss the potential role of carbon taxes and vehicle fuel efficiency standards in developing your analysis.

19.Review Bill 82, the Environmental Statute Law Amendment Act, and comment on its potential impact on environmental protection in Ontario.  Make sure that you discuss the implications of the provisions for administrative monetary penalties (AMPs).

20.Review and analyse the Gibbons report (Managing the Environment) released in February 2001 in response to the Walkerton tragedy.  Make sure you outline at least four of the key proposals in the report. Why is this report important?  What do you think the strengths of report are?  What are the problems with the report? (The full text of the report and its background studies are available on the MOE’s web site.)

21. What existing techniques could be used to protect buffer areas and corridors around national, provincial and regional parks in Ontario?  What policy and legal changes would be beneficial?  Develop a strategy for applying these techniques near a real protected area.

22.Does Ontario's protected areas legislation meet the standards of the Biodiversity Convention?

23. How should the Weed Control Act and the Drainage Act be reformed to enhance biodiversity conservation?

24.Does current agricultural legislation protect genetic diversity? Explain the extent of this protection and what could be done to improve it.

25.       Propose a new property tax system to promote protection of environmentally significant lands that would address rural municipalities' concerns. Identify the steps necessary to implement this system.

26.What opportunities do municipalities have to promote biodiversity conservation? Examine how these opportunities have been used in one municipality.

27.       Develop your own planning, land ownership and private stewardship strategy for the disposition of federal and provincial lands for a particular area of the province approved by the instructors.

28. Write a paper that examines the role of municipalities in the enforcement of Environmental Law in Ontario.  Keeping in mind the regulatory reform proposals laid out  by the MOE in Responsive Environmental Protection (July 1996) and Better, Stronger, Clearer (Nov. 1997), changes to municipal powers in the new Municipal Act (2001) and the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on municipal regulation of pesticides (Spraytech), suggest how you see this role changing in the next 5-10 years.

29.Write a paper that examines the impact of Ontario’s policies and regulations (1995) on incineration of municipal solid waste.  Make sure you discuss the anticipated impact of the new policy on 3Rs practices and municipal waste management master planning.

30.Write a submission to the Federal Minister of Environment on A Canada-Wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization prepared by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and signed in January 1998.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring environmental enforcement and regulatory powers to the provinces?  Are national environmental standards important?  Why?

31.In the summer of 1992, federal and provincial leaders proposed to amend the Canadian Constitution based on a document called the Charlottetown Agreement.  Write a discussion paper on the provisions in this proposal affecting the environment.

32. Write a paper recommending reform of Ontario legislation to enhance water conservation practices in Ontario.

33. Federal and provincial environmental assessment processes in Canada are seen by some critics as cumbersome, ineffective and expensive.  Write a critique of recent hearings and the 1996 revisions to Ontario’s EAA (contained in Bill 76) and make recommendations on what Canadian and provincial governments could do to maintain the credibility of the process.

34. Review the proposed Species at Risk Act (tabled on Feb. 2, 2001) and comment on its potential impact on protection of endangered species in Canada.  Include a discussion of the constitutional context for SARA and the related agreements on species and habitat protection between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

35. Review and analyse Bill 195, Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the MOE's Drinking Water Protection Regulations released in response to the Walkerton tragedy.  Why is this legislation important?  How have MOE compliance and enforcement policies on drinking water evolved in the past two decades?  What is missing from Bill 195?

36. Review and analyse the Provincial Parks Act (Ontario) and compare it with the new National Parks Act.


Appendix 4 - Research Protocol and Ethics

If students conduct detailed interviews with individuals or officials in environmental groups, government or industry for research papers and field trip reports, they must obtain approval from an instructor.  In addition, they must explain to participants the nature of their research and the conditions for participation in the study.  Finally, the consent form should be reviewed and signed at the time the conditions of the research are explained to the participants.

Student researchers will prepare questions in advance of the interviews and these will be discussed with the course directors.

Conditions for Participation in Research

The following conditions will apply to research projects for this course.  These conditions must be explained to participants before interviews are conducted.

a) The interview, whether conducted in person or over the phone, can only be taped if the participant agrees to this.

b) The participant is free to refuse to answer any specific questions.

c) The participant must be free to withdraw from the interview at any time, and all interview material will be returned to the participant if he or she so requests.

d) The consent form will authorize the researcher(s) to use the data from the interview only for the purposes of the research and any reports directly resulting from it.

e) If the participant does not wish to have his or her identity revealed, this should be indicated on the consent form.  In this case, the name of the participant will not be revealed and the information must be presented in a way that does not reveal the identity of the participant.

f) The words and statements of the participants cannot be quoted without prior written consent as provided by the Consent Form.

Retention of Consent Forms

Students are required to retain consent forms and be prepared to make these available to the course directors on request.

Consent Form for Research Project,  Environmental Law, EN/ENVS 3420.03


Research Supervisor/Course Directors: David McRobert, In-House Counsel, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, (416) 325-3376; Paul Muldoon, CELA, (416) 960-2284

Purpose of Research
Participant Agreement:

I have been fully informed about the proposed study and my role in it. 
I hereby agree to participate in this research project on the following conditions.

1. I agree / do not agree (circle one) that my name can be used in association with this research.
2. I agree / do not agree (circle one) to be directly quoted for this research.

Additional Comments


Participant’s Signature   --  Date

Researcher’s Signature   -- Date

To the participant: If you have any comments and concerns about your participation in this research, please direct your comments to David McRobert, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York, M3J 1P3

Appendix 5 - Laws, Regulations, and Other Resources on the Internet

There are many laws and regulations and government and industry policies, guidelines and codes on the Worldwide Web/Internet.  For this reason, we have decided to reduce the number of laws and regulations reproduced in your course kit.

A. Access to Federal Laws and Regulations

Most of the federal laws and regulations, updated to 2001 or 2002 (check for date near the top of the actual electronic document), can be viewed at the following URL location on the Internet:


Federal statutes at this site include:

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act,  S.C. 1992 (as amended)

Canadian Environmental Protection Act,  S.C. 1999 (proclaimed in March 2000)

Fisheries Act,  R.S.C. 1985

The federal laws (and the regulations under these laws) can be downloaded to disk or your hard-drive in hyper-text mark-up language (html) and then converted into a WordPerfect, MS Word, MS Works, etc. document for easy manipulation, searching, extraction and quotation in papers, etc. (The regulations are the last HTML document on the list after Folio.)  Students should consider downloading the documents if they are interested in pursuing a career related to Environmental Law and wish to have ready access to these laws.

In addition, new federal bills affecting the environment tabled in the past year can be viewed at the following sites:



Click on Government Bills (in green text) on the left-hand side of your screen.  The bills index often also contains links to plain-language descriptions of proposed legislation prepared by lawyers and researchers for  MPs by the Parliamentary Research Branch of the Library of Parliament. (Click on Legislative Summary for the particular bill.)

Species at Risk Act (SARA), Bill C-5 (enacted Dec. 2002) and various discussion papers and fact sheets are available on Internet for viewing or downloading in PDF format at the Environment Canada site: http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/species/sar/strategy/index.htm

Bill C-19, Amendments to CEAA,

The specific ministry or department sites often also include backgrounders, summaries and other useful summary materials.  These proposed new laws have not been reproduced in your course books to save paper and money.

Internet Access for Ontario Laws and Regulations

A fairly new site on the Internet established by the Ontario government has consolidations of all Ontario statutes and regulations.


The goal is to provide statutes and regulations that are up to date to within 14 days of enactment of a new law or amendment of an existing law.

You can read or save the various laws in HTML or in MS Word.  To download an MS Word version, click on Download.  To view and/or save the HTML version, click on the statute.  You also can print from the HTML version.

At the beginning of each statute, there are notes citing the last amendment that has been consolidated into the electronic version of the statute.  At the beginning of each regulation, there is a note citing the last amendment that has been consolidated into the regulation.

This site also includes reference tables that will enable you to check for recent changes in the law. These tables include notes specifying their currency.

You may want to keep this site in mind if you need to review the text of some sections while working on a paper (e.g. to check the language of  s. 14 of the EPA).  If you have access to the Internet, you can do some basic research on acts and regulations.  However, be warned that anything you download or view is not the official version.

The full text of the EBR and its regulations are available for downloading and viewing at the MOE's home page and on the Registry.

MOE Policies

Most of Ontario MOE policies and guidelines are located at the MOE’s web site:


The MOE also has a Fax-on-Demand services that allows you to order copies of policies and then have them faxed to a location you enter on a touch-tone key-pad over the phone.  Call the MOE’s Public Information Centre at (416) 323-4321 for more information.

The 1994 consolidation of MOE’s policies are provided on the course CD-Rom in the folder titled “MOE Policies”.                               

Court Decisions on the Internet

Some court decisions or summaries of the decisions can be located on the Internet.  All Supreme Court of Canada decisions released between 1989 and the present are available at the following site:


These decisions can be downloaded and saved to Wordperfect 5.1 format (or WP 6.1 for more recent decisions) or printed from the screen.

All Federal Court of Canada decisions released between 1994 and the present are available at the following site:


Ontario Court of Appeal decisions

Ontario Court of Appeal decisions released between 1998 and the present can be viewed at:


CanLii – Canadian Court Decisions on the Net

CanLii, now a permanent resource in Canadian Law, was initially built as a prototype site in the field of public and free distribution of Canadian primary legal material. It was designed by the Centre de recherche en droit public of the University of Montreal for the Federation of Law Societies of Canada .


Although its prototype phase is over, certain restrictions on its use must still be considered. Please see the disclaimer page on the site for more information on these restrictions.  This site provides access to several collections of decisions made by the Canadian federal and provincial courts. Some of the collections published are complete with respect to the period they cover.  However, others are partial and represent selections of decisions rendered in the period in question.  The scope of each collection is specified on its presentation page.  Please consult this page in order to identify the limitations of the searches possible.

There are also sites where decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other US courts are available to be downloaded, printed or reviewed.


New Ontario Laws and Bills

The first, second and third reading versions of new Ontario laws tabled in the Legislature can be viewed and downloaded at the following site: see   Click on “Bills” and then “Bills Before the House.”

The recent bills can be downloaded in both html and .pdf, the latter is viewable and printable using an Adobe Acrobat reader (available free on the Internet).

Ontario Hansard --  see http://www.ontla.on.ca/hansard/house_debates/37_parl/session3/index.htm

The Hansard is the record of debates in the Legislature (and the Parliament) and the debates reported in the Hansard often provide important background on the legislative rationale for new laws and the critical assessments of the opposition parties.  Check if a particular bill went to a Standing Committee for public hearings; the record of presentations made at hearings is often very illuminating.  The publications section of the Legislative Assembly site has the text of Ontario bills that have been tabled and passed in the Legislature.

Appendix 6 – Glossary and Key to Abbreviations in This Guide (and Course)

For a glossary of terms related to Environmental Law, see the Glossary on the web site of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario:


Abbreviations and Acronyms (Terms and Titles)

AG                   Attorney General (Ministry of)

AMO               Association of Municipalities of Ontario

ARET              Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics

AER                 Approval Exemption Regulation

ASHRAE         American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers

BAT                 Best Available Technology

BSC                 Better, Stronger, Clearer (MOE report, Dec. 1997)

CBA                Canadian Bar Association

CCME             Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment

CERLF            Canadian Environmental Law Research Foundation (now CIELAP)

CELA              Canadian Environmental Law Association

CELR              Canadian Environmental Law Reporter

CESD              Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development (Federal)

CIELAP           Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy

COA                Canada-Ontario Agreement (on Great Lakes)

CO                  Carbon Monoxide

CO2                 Carbon Dioxide

CSA                Canadian Standards Association

C of A              Certificate of Approval

DLR                 Dominion Law Reports

DLUG              District Land Use Guidelines

EA                   Environmental Assessment

EAB                 Environmental Assessment Board

ECO                Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (under EBR)

EOT                 Environmental Law (textbook)

EPP                 Enhanced Public Participation (under EBR)

ESA                 Environmentally Significant Area

FCA                Federal Court of Appeal

FCCC              Framework Convention on Climate Change

FCTD              Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division

FTA                 Free Trade Agreement

GHGs              Greenhouse Gases

GTA                Greater Toronto Area

GTSB              Greater Toronto Services Board (closed Dec. 2001)

IPCC               International Panel on Climate Change

ISO                  International Standards Organization

LFL                 Lands for Life

MTCR             Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation

MCBS             Ministry of Consumer and Business Services

MDC               Market Design Committee

MEST              Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology

MISA              Municipal-Industrial Strategy for Abatement

MOE               Ministry of the Environment

MOH               Ministry of Health

MOL               Ministry of Labour

MOU               Memorandum of Understanding

MBS                Management Board Secretariat

MMAH            Ministry of Municipal Affairs

MNR               Ministry of Natural Resources

MNDM           Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

MTO               Ministry of Transportation of Ontario

NAPCC           National Action Plan on Climate Change

NAFTA           North American Free Trade Agreement

NEPA              National Environmental Policy Act (US Federal EA law)

NOx                Nitrogen Oxides

NPRI               National Pollutant Release Inventory

NRTEE            National Round Table on Environment and Economy

OECD             Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation

OLL                 Ontario’s Living Legacy (successor to LFL)

OPGI               Ontario Power Generation Incorporation

OMAFRA       Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

OMB               Ontario Municipal Board

ORC                Ontario Realty Corporation

ORTEE            Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy (closed in Sept. 1995)

OWMC           Ontario Waste Management Corporation

OWDO            Ontario Waste Diversion Organization

PCPA              Pest Control Products Act

PSL                 Priority Substances List (under CEPA)

PIC                  Public Information Centre, MOE

PERT               Pilot Emissions Reduction Trading

PCBs               Polychlorinated Biphenyls

PTTW              Permit To Take Water

RAP                 Remedial Action Plan

REP                 Responsive Environmental Protection (MOE report, July 1996)

RLUS              Regional Land Use Strategies

SAR                 Standardized Approval Regulation

SCC                Supreme Court of Canada

SCR                 Supreme Court Reports

SEV                 Statement of Environmental Values

SO2                  Sulphur Dioxide

TDM                Transportation Demand Management

TSSA               Technical Standards and Safety Authority

UNCED           United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

US EPA           United States Environmental Protection Agency

WMMP           Waste Management Master Plans

WMPB            Waste Management Policy Branch, MOE

Canadian Legislation

CEAA              Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

CEPA              Canadian Environmental Protection Act

SARA               Species At Risk Act (proposed, Bill C-5)

Ontario Legislation

BCA                 Building Code Act

CHA                Consolidated Hearings Act

CFSA              Crown Forest Sustainability Act

EAA                 Environmental Assessment Act

EBR                 Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993

ECA                Energy Competition Act

EEA                 Energy Efficiency Act

EPA                 Environmental Protection Act

FIPPA             Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

FWCA             Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

NEPDA           Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act

ORMCA           Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act

OWRA             Ontario Water Resources Act

PLA                 Public Lands Act

(Please add to this list as necessary.)

course outline\Outline 2003 Dec7 2000

[1] Some examples: If you received an A for your presentation and a B on your paper, your grade would be boosted.  However, if you received a B for your presentation and A on your paper, the paper grade would remain an A.