A Review of the Environmental Enforcement Culture in Alberta in Relation to the Oil Sands

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This paper reviews the environmental enforcement culture in Alberta with a view to ascertaining what mechanisms are in place in Alberta for responding to the commission of environmental offences in the context of the oil sands and the extent to which those mechanisms are being used. The paper identifies and discusses a number of enforcement mechanisms available in Alberta, including administrative penalties, orders, warnings and prosecutions. The paper observes that there is a clear policy towards increased penalties and that creative sentencing is now the norm in the enforcement of environmental offences in Alberta. Lastly, the paper finds that the legal and policy framework for environmental enforcement in Alberta has been offender-focused, with little attention being paid to the plight of victims of environmental offences.
Aberta Oil Sands