Evaluation of the Enforcement Program

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2.0 Background and Context

2.1 Mandate and Objectives

The Enforcement Branch (EB) is mandated to enforce federal environmental and wildlife legislation in order to prevent, deter and detect non-compliance. Statutory obligations of EB fall under the categories of environmental enforcement (pollution prevention) and wildlife enforcement.

The environmental enforcement component of the Enforcement Program focuses on enforcing federal legislation dealing with risks to the environment and its biodiversity.6 The Environmental Enforcement Directorate (EED) is responsible for the administration of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), which enables over 45 regulations, and the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act (FA), in addition to six regulations covering large industrial sectors.7

The wildlife enforcement component of the Enforcement Program focuses on enforcing federal legislation that protects plant and animal species in Canada, including migratory birds.8 The Wildlife Enforcement Directorate (WED) is responsible for the enforcement of four acts: the Canada Wildlife Act (CWA), the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA 1994), the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA), and the Species at Risk Act (SARA).”9

Canada has numerous environmental obligations under a number of international treaties and implements international conventions through its domestic law. In addition, obligations for collaborative enforcement actions and/or the provision/sharing of enforcement expertise are established through federal/provincial agreements and international treaties, protocols and agreements.

2.2 Delivery

There are three core activities that comprise the Enforcement Program: intelligence gathering and analysis; inspections; and investigations. The role of the environmental and wildlife enforcement intelligence function is to provide intelligence support services to all levels of enforcement within Environment Canada. Intelligence involves the ongoing information collection and analysis of emerging non-compliance issues within regulated sectors, to support inspection and investigation activity. An inspection involves verification of compliance with environmental legislation. Inspections can occur at specific sites or can be conducted remotely by verifying documentation. An investigation involves the gathering and analyzing of information relevant to a suspected violation of the environmental or wildlife legislation administered by Environment Canada.

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2.3 Governance, Roles and Responsibilities

In June 2005, the Department reorganized its enforcement functions by creating the Enforcement Branch. Dating back to the early 1990s, enforcement had been delivered nation-wide through a matrix management model, whereby regional managers of enforcement reported to regional service executives and ultimately to the Regional Director General, with National Headquarters providing functional direction for policy and program delivery.10

Under the new structure, both the Environmental Enforcement Program and Wildlife Enforcement Program report to Environment Canada’s Chief Enforcement Officer (CEO), with direct line-management authority across the regions. The CEO reports directly to the Deputy Minister. The CEO is responsible for the management, administration and operations of the Enforcement Program. This focused approach ensures that the Deputy Minister has senior management support dedicated to directing enforcement activities so as to contribute to Environment Canada objectives, guide the proper application of Environment Canada legislation, and minimize legal risks in administering the enforcement function.11

For the time frame of this evaluation (2004–2005 to 2007–2008) the Enforcement Program was linked through the departmental Results Management Structure (RMS) to the Departmental Management Services Board (DMS Board), which was recently renamed the Internal Services Board (IS Board). For this four-year period, Enforcement’s governance was located under the fourth of four departmental strategic outcomes: “Integration and enabling services contribute to achieving departmental strategic objective”. As of 2008–2009, Enforcement is linked to the Environmental Protection Board (EP Board) and the Ecosystem Sustainability Board (ES Board).

During the time period of the evaluation, the Enforcement Branch comprised three directorates: the Environmental Enforcement Directorate, the Wildlife Enforcement Directorate and the Enforcement Services Directorate. In 2008–2009, a fourth directorate was added to the Enforcement Branch—the Strategic Policy, Planning and Coordination Directorate.

The Environmental Enforcement Directorate (EED) and the Wildlife Enforcement Directorate (WED) are accountable for environmental enforcement operations and wildlife enforcement operations, respectively, across the five Environment Canada administrative regions. The regions are the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie and Northern, and Pacific and Yukon regions. Each Region is managed by two Regional Directors—one for EED and the other for WED.

To carry out its mandate, the Enforcement Branch requires support from the Enforcement Services Directorate (ESD), which coordinates and provides services to the Environmental Enforcement Directorate and the Wildlife Enforcement Directorate. These services include engagement on international and federal/provincial/territorial files; training and learning for enforcement officers (EOs); operational policy development; and regulatory review. The ESD also provides corporate Branch support and strategic services to the CEO, to the National Headquarters’ operational directorates, and to the regions. The Strategic Policy, Planning and Coordination Directorate, which was added in 2008–2009, is responsible for supporting the CEO and the Branch in developing and implementing strategic enforcement policy directions, developing and managing Branch business planning and reporting frameworks, and ensuring information flows to effectively support decision making.

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2.4 Partners and Stakeholders

Enforcement relies on the co-operation of many partners and stakeholders within and beyond Environment Canada to deliver its results. In addition to having several key internal partners within Environment Canada, partners and stakeholders also include other federal government departments and agencies that share legislative responsibility or assist with investigations or inspections. In addition, Environment Canada’s statutes contain provisions that authorize the Minister of the Environment to delegate specific enforcement powers to other governments or to designate qualified officials, including employees from other governments (i.e., provincial, territorial or Aboriginal), to enforce its legislation. The Enforcement Program collaborates closely with enforcement counterparts in provincial, territorial (and sometimes municipal) enforcement agencies and wildlife protection agencies. Finally, the Enforcement Program also works with international governments and agencies, and non-governmental organizations on certain environmental issues that extend beyond domestic borders. In some cases, formal agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs) have been developed, and in others, the working relationships with these partners are less formal.

Key Environment Canada internal partners include the environmental protection regulatory programs within the Environmental Protection Operations Directorate (EPOD) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). EED must coordinate closely with the environmental protection regulatory programs, as these organizations maintain the day-to-day focus on these regulations and the associated regulatee community and are responsible for providing technical expertise and support, compliance promotion and referrals of non-compliance issues, among other responsibilities. Likewise, WED must liaise closely with CWS, which is responsible for the overall delivery of the wildlife and habitat programs within Environment Canada, focusing on regulatory and conservation aspects of migratory birds, species at risk, international aspects of wildlife management and trade, and nationally important wildlife habitat. CWS relies heavily on the Science and Technology Branch to conduct research and provide scientific assessments to support these overall objectives. Another vital internal partner is the Compliance Promotion and Analysis Division (CPAD), also referred to as Compliance Promotion. CPAD is a key contributor in the continuum of activities required to support regulatory compliance; it provides leadership, coordination and delivery, and the reporting of compliance promotion activities for environmental protection programs, as well as developing compliance analysis tools and conducting analyses.

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2.5 Performance Reporting

NEMISIS (National Enforcement Management Information System and Intelligence System) is an internal computer tracking system used to collect, track and disseminate enforcement information. Occurrences, inspections and investigations are tracked through NEMISIS.12 Training is provided to enforcement officers in order to help ensure consistency in the inputting of data. Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) staff members who work with NEMISIS facilitate data quality procedures on NEMISIS data. NEMISIS data feed into Compliance Analysis and Planning to enable the Department to analyze regulatory compliance data in relation to other regulatory and environmental data.

2.6 Program Logic Model

The logic model presented in Figure 1 is a visual representation of the Enforcement Program that identifies the linkages between activities and intended outcomes. This logic model was developed in collaboration with the Enforcement Branch as part of the Evaluation Plan (May 2008) for this evaluation. It presents a chain of results that demonstrates how the activities of the Enforcement Program are intended to lead ultimately to the outcomes of conserving and protecting biodiversity and reducing risks to Canadians, their health and their environment from toxic and other harmful substances, air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

The logic model of the Enforcement Program is presented in Figure 1.

Click to enlarge

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2.7 Resources

Table 1 below presents Enforcement Program expenditures for the period from 2002–2003 to 2007–2008. Information on expenditures for the two years prior to the creation of the Enforcement Branch (in June 2005) is included to allow a more thorough examination of the Enforcement Program’s budgetary history. As the table demonstrates, expenditures remained fairly stable over the study period, with very little fluctuation from 2003–2004 levels, though there was a slight decline by approximately 5% for the last two years.

Table 1: Enforcement Program Expenditures, 2002–2003 to 2007–2008 ($000s)13
Fiscal Year Salaries O&M Capital TOTAL
2002–2003 14,739.9 8,448.0 498.0 23,685.9
2003–2004 17,103.4 9,394.9 3,060.9 29,559.2
2004–2005 19,257.2 10,407.7 2,076.6 29,664.9
2005–2006 20,135.6 10,773.0 1,875.5 32,784.1
2006–2007 18,376.5 8,516.3 800.1 27,692.9
2007–2008 18,948.2 8,142.7 1,337.2 28,428.0
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Additional resources were approved for the Enforcement Program in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, an incremental $67M over five years was approved to fund a 50% increase in the number of enforcement officers (106 new officers). In 2008, an incremental $65M over five years was approved to increase the effectiveness of enforcement officers, with better forensic laboratory support, training for officers, support for review of regulatory instruments, improved data collection and performance measurement, program planning and reporting. Once fully implemented, these additional resources represent an increase of approximately $29M per year, essentially providing the budget to allow spending levels to double.

Table 2, below, shows the distribution of enforcement officers, including the planned allocation of the 106 new FTEs.

Table 2: Planned Distribution of Enforcement Officers14
Enforcement Officers 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009
Atlantic 21 14 35 23 16 39 25 17 42
Quebec 36 7.5 43.5 43 12.5 55.5 51 16.5 67.5
Ontario 29 12 41 40 19 59 54 26 80
Prairie & Northern 34 13 47 38 16 54 46 18 64
Pacific & Yukon 26 10 36 29 12 41 35 14 49
NHQ 7 6 13 8 7 15 10 9 19
Total 153 62.5 215.5 181 82.5 263.5 221 100.5 321.5
Incremental vs. 2006–2007       28 20 48 68 38 106
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6 Environment Canada website: Enforcement.

7 2008–2009 Planning and Financial Strategies: Enforcement (6B4), April 2008.

8 Environment Canada website: Enforcement.

9 Wildlife Enforcement Directorate, National Program Strategic Priorities: Planning Year 2007–2008.

10 Integrated Business and Human Resources Plan for Fiscal Year 2007–2008, June 2007, p. 3.

11 Information on roles and responsibilities of the CEO come from a presentation entitled Draft Proposal for a Chief Enforcement Officer.

12 Enforcing Canada’s Pollution Laws: The Public Interest Must Come First! The Government Response to the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, October 1998.

13 Enforcement Branch, 2009. Information on Enforcement’s expenditures for 2008–2009 was not available.

14 Enforcement Branch, 2009. Information on the actual distribution of the 106 new FTEs was not available.

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