What ever happened to Canadian environmental law?

Stepan Wood*, Georgia Tanner, Benjamin J. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-1040
Number of pages60
JournalEcology Law Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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