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Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6024-6048; doi:10.3390/su6096024

Can Environmental Laws Fulfill Their Promise? Stories from Canada

Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
JG Jebsen Centre, University of Tromsø, Tromsø N-9019, Norway
Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia, Perth WA 6009, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 12 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [734 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Canadian environmental law has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, responding to some of the flaws and weaknesses identified by commentators seeking to explain the continuing trend in environmental degradation. The aim of this article is to tell the story of three pieces of Canadian environmental legislation, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, the federal Species at Risk Act, and Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, with a view to exploring whether the environmental ambition underlying these pieces of legislation is being realized. Our overall conclusion is that there is a significant gap between the ambition of these three pieces of environmental legislation and their actual implementation but this gap arises from design choices made by the legislature and the executive, rather than something inherent in the law itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental law; cumulative effects management; endangered species; environmental appeal boards environmental law; cumulative effects management; endangered species; environmental appeal boards
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bankes, N.; Mascher, S.; Olszynski, M. Can Environmental Laws Fulfill Their Promise? Stories from Canada. Sustainability 2014, 6, 6024-6048.

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