The controversial Environmental Penalties legislation was referred to the Standing Committee on General Government on April 5. In an unusual move, the Bill was sent to Committee before having Second Reading. This gives the government latitude to back away from some of the unpopular and overly penal provisions without having to withdraw the whole Bill. This tactic is seen as a face-saving gesture by the government in the face of legislation.
Environmental Penalties would first apply to MISA companies only. However, changes to other parts of the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act would affect all regulated companies and individuals. Many of these wide-ranging changes have been opposed by industrial advocates, environmental lawyers and others, as unnecessary, harsh and unfair.
For legal advice on the implications of Bill 133 on your business or municipality, call Barry Spiegel (416) 862-4837, Doug Petrie (416) 862-4835 or Carolyn Shaw(416) 862-4828.
Click here for more details on Bill 133.