Request a Review of a Compliance Order
Compliance Orders may be issued by enforcement officers to prevent a violation, to stop an on-going violation or to require that violations be corrected under the following statutes:
- Antarctic Environmental Protection Act and its regulations,
- Canada Wildlife Act and its regulations,
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and its regulations,
- Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and its regulations,
- International River Improvements Act and its regulations, and;
- Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and its regulations.
The Review Process:
- You must request a review within 30 days of receiving your copy of a written Compliance Order or within 30 days of receiving an oral order. The 30-day time limit for filing a request for review may be extended by the Chief Review Officer in circumstances where it would be in the public interest to do so. In general, however, you should not rely on receiving an extension. The sooner the request for a review is made to the Chief Review Officer, the sooner the Compliance Order will be reviewed.
- The request for a review must be sent to the Chief Review Officer at the Environmental Protection Tribunal of Canada. The request must be in writing and signed by the person, ship or vessel seeking review or that person's representative (e.g., lawyer). We encourage applicants to use the Tribunal’s request for review form that is available on our website in order to ensure that all of the required information is included in your request.
- The request must include the following information:
- The name and address for service of the person requesting the review;
- A copy of the Compliance Order you wish to have reviewed;
- The reasons why you are requesting a review of the Compliance Order in sufficient detail for the Chief Review Officer to understand your grounds of objection;
- Whether or not you will be applying to suspend the operation of the Compliance Order pursuant to subsection 258(2) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
- At the same time a request for review is filed with the Tribunal, the applicant must serve a copy of the request on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. This should be done by serving the documents on the appropriate Regional Office of Environment and Climate Change Canada in the region where the Compliance Order was issued or where the Applicant is located. You may wish to consult the directory of addresses to find the right address.
- To expedite the review, a request may be filed with the Tribunal in electronic format by sending it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that a request for review must also be filed in hard copy. Documents other than a request for review may be filed with the Tribunal in electronic format without the need for an additional hard copy.
Once the request for review is received by the EPTC
- After the Tribunal receives a complete request for a review, it will send a letter or an email to the applicant confirming receipt and assigning a case name and case number to the file. This case information will also be shared with Environmental and Climate Change Canada officials who will be asked to identify the counsel who will be representing the Minister in this specific case. Please note that case name and case number should be used on all documents or other material filed during the course of the review.
- Once officials at Environment and Climate Change Canada receive the copy of a request for review that the applicant has served on them, they must, within 5 business days, disclose to the applicant the portion of their files that relate to the Compliance Order and send an electronic copy of the material to the Tribunal. Thus, the applicant will have all of the material from Environment and Climate Change Canada that is relevant to the Compliance Order. The Tribunal will add the information to its public record.
- In most cases, the Tribunal will contact the applicant (or applicant's representative) to arrange a pre-hearing conference. The pre-hearing conference provides an opportunity to clarify issues, establish a timetable and the procedures that will govern the particular case, and decide how confidential information (if any) or expert witnesses will be handled. For many cases, the pre-hearing conference will be a telephone conference call presided over by a Review Officer. In more complex cases, the pre-hearing conference may involve a meeting of the parties and their representatives with a Review Officer. After the pre-hearing conference, the Review Officer will usually issue directions regarding procedures, timing and any other matters that have been dealt with before the hearing. The directions will complement the Draft Rules of Procedure and Practice Directives that guide the Review Officers.
- In some cases, the areas of dispute between Environment and Climate Change Canada and the applicant for a review may be suitable for mediation. In such cases, the Chief Review Officer will assign a mediator, who will generally not be the Review Officer assigned to the case, to conduct a mediation in the hope of settling the matter without a hearing. Even where mediation does not settle all the issues under dispute, it may allow the applicant and Environment and Climate Change Canada to agree on what matters should be brought before the Review Officer at a hearing.
Application to Stay (suspend) a Compliance Order
A request for a review does not suspend the operation of the Compliance Order. The Review Officer, however, has the discretion to stay (i.e., suspend) the Compliance Order until the review is complete. In doing so, the Review Officer may impose reasonable conditions that are consistent with the protection of the environment and public safety.
An applicant who seeks to have a Compliance Order stayed pending the review hearing must file a written application to stay the Compliance Order, in whole or in part, with the Tribunal. The application should state the reasons why a stay is requested, and should be supported by an affidavit that sets out, among other matters the applicant considers relevant, the following:
- The reasons why the applicant believes that there is a serious issue to be resolved on the review;
- The reasons why the applicant would suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted;
- The reasons why the balance of convenience favours the granting of the stay. In addressing the balance of convenience, the affidavit should set out the reasons why the granting of the stay is consistent with the protection of the environment and public safety.
Environment and Climate Change Canada may file an affidavit in reply to the application for a stay. The Tribunal may permit cross-examination on the affidavits as necessary to allow a decision to be made. The Tribunal may also make arrangements for the parties to make oral representations about the application for a stay. In some circumstances, these representations will be made by a telephone conference call. In other cases, the application will be dealt with in writing.
The applicant may also apply for an interim stay of the Compliance Order, pending resolution of the application for a stay. An application for an interim stay should be made in writing, setting out reasons why an interim stay should be granted. An application for an interim stay will be considered either in a telephone conference call among parties and the Review Officer or be based on the written documents.
- The applicant for a review is entitled to appear in person (or through a representative) before the Tribunal. Counsel will appear on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Canada and the presiding Review Officer may also be advised by counsel. The hearings will often be held near where the applicant resides or where the matter that gave rise to the Compliance Order is located. Hearings may also be heard in writing, by teleconference call or by video conference. Applicants are entitled to present their evidence in either official language and be heard by a Review Officer fluent in that language. Where the applicant or witnesses wish to present evidence in a language other than French or English, the Tribunal must be notified and the applicant must provide expert translators or interpreters.
The Tribunal will attempt to schedule hearings as quickly as possible to suit the convenience of the parties.
After the hearing
- The Review Officer will issue a decision within 15 days after the end of the hearing. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change or the applicant may appeal the decision of the Review Officer in respect of a Compliance Order to the Federal Court - Trial Division within 30 days.
Additional questions can be directed to the Registry Office of the Tribunal:
Environmental Protection Tribunal of Canada
344 Slater Street, 15th Floor, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0B6