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Of serious and persistent concern to most Canadians, environmental protection is governed by a complex and controversial legal regime that is affected by constitutional division of jurisdiction, corporate and taxation laws, international trade law, and traditional private law doctrines such as torts and contract law. Statutes and regulations that are specifically designed to protect the environment, and the institutional frameworks within which they operate, are often the subject of competing political agendas.
Within the continuing framework of a comprehensive introductory guide to environmental law in Canada, the fourth edition describes recent developments in civil litigation or regulation of air and water quality alongside reference to key statutory developments from the past five years. Significant changes to environmental law at the federal level in connection with fisheries, environmental assessment, penalties and enforcement measures are highlighted, together with information on important judicial decisions respecting sentencing, public participation, aboriginal consultation, and the status of environmental liabilities in bankruptcy proceedings. The fourth edition provides guidance on analysis and developments associated with prominent environmental institutions and agreements including the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Significant developments at the international level respecting climate law and biodiversity protection are also discussed.