Environmental Rights for the Canadian Citizen: A Prescription for Reform


  • R. T. Franson
  • P. T. Burns




The environment isa subject that recently has come to the fore of public awareness andhascreated much interest and controversy.Sotoo has the legal framework which surrounds the environment. The authors discuss the environment and the lack of care taken to preserve the environment when administrative decisions are made. The authors point out that the lack of co-ordination between these administrative tribunals often leaves the environmental consequences of these administrative decisions to their fate. The traditional checks on the administrative process are -used primarily to remedy private wrongs and since wrongs to the environment are more public in nature, the requisite standingisusually lacking. Thus, the administrative decisions are insulated from review in this way. Also, most statutes do not require public hearings to be held, thus the public has no input into the decisions. The authors, feeling this path of insulated administrative decisions could lead to dire consequences, have recommended changes involving the legal framework which surrounds the environment. They feel that there should be more public input into the administrative decisions. Legislation should be enacted that would require that environmental impact studies be done before these decisions are made. The authorsalsorecommend that legislation be enacted to give a methodoffiducial redress forinjuriesto the environment by creating a right to a safe, clean and healthful environment. The authors suggest that compensation schemes, although necessary should not be the focal point of environmental redress, but that the legal framework surrounding the environment should be geared to prevention of damage, rather than compensation after the damage as occurred.