Back on the omnibus with Bill C-45: Another omnibus budget bill drives more change to federal environmental law

Back on the omnibus with Bill C-45: Another omnibus budget bill drives more change to federal environmental law

By Brenda Heelan Powell, Staff Counsel

As you may recall, in late April 2012, the federal government introduced Bill C-38: An Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012[i] and is now known as the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, S.C. 2012, c. 19.  The implementation of Bill C-38 substantively changed federal environmental law in Canada.[ii] Over ten pieces of federal environmental legislation were amended or repealed by Bill C-38.  Significant changes were made to federal environmental assessment law, fisheries law, and the operation of the National Energy Board.

On October 18, 2012, the federal government introduced Bill C-45: A Second Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures. Again, significant changes will be made to federal environmental law by an omnibus budget bill.  The proposed changes include amendments to federal environmental assessment law, fisheries law and the law protecting Canada’s navigable waters.  As well, Bill C-45 proposes to enact the Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act which exempts the construction of an international bridge between Windsor and Detroit from a host of environmental laws.

The Environmental Law Centre has posted a more detailed review of the changes made by Bill C-45 on its website.


[i] Many, but not all, provisions of Bill C-38 came into force on the date of Royal Assent (i.e. June 29, 2012).  Two notable exceptions are the provisions regarding CEAA 2012 which came into force on July 6, 2012 by Order-in-Council, and the provisions amending section 35 of the Fisheries Act are being implemented in a two-step process.

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3 Comments
  • What might the future of Canada’s environmental laws and policies hold? A look at the federal Liberal environmental platform | Environmental Law Center
    Posted at 19:13h, 13 November Reply

    […] significant changes made to federal environmental laws in recent years (see our past posts: here, here, here, here and here) the ELC would definitely welcome a review of regulatory laws, policies and […]

  • Omnibus budgets bills that transformed Canada’s environmental laws visited by the Federal Court | Environmental Law Centre (Alberta)
    Posted at 14:07h, 22 December Reply

    […] The Federal Court issued its decision in Courtoreille v Governor General in Council 2014 FC 1244 on December 19th.  In this case, Chief Steve Courtoreille – on behalf of himself and the Mikisew Cree First Nation – sought relief for the federal government’s failure to consult prior to introducing the 2012 omnibus budget bills which made significant changes to Canada’s environmental laws (see our summaries here and here). […]

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