Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

Ecology Law Quarterly, Volume 37 (2010), p. 981-1040.


Environmental law; Canada


This Article examines the history of Canadian environmental law to explain why it has become a laggard in both legal reform and environmental performance. Canadian environmental law has long been of interest to scholars worldwide, yet its record is often poorly understood. The Article contrasts recent developments with the seemingly progressive initiatives of the 1970s, and analyzes these trends in light of their political, economic, and governance context, as well as the wider critiques of environmental law. It argues that there is considerable room for Canadian governments to adopt more robust methods of environmental law, including following pioneering reforms advanced in other countries. However, even with such steps, further environmental degradation might not be averted unless Canadians are prepared to accept more fundamental changes to their economic systems and social values.


This article was previously published as a research paper in the Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy series.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.