BILL NO. 116
2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
68 Elizabeth II, 2019
The Honourable Iain Rankin
Minister of Lands and Forestry
First Reading: March 14, 2019
AND WHEREAS an ecosystem approach that involves the integrated management of land, water and living organisms, promotes conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and recognizes that humans are an integral part of ecosystems will strengthen land-use planning and natural resources management;
AND WHEREAS programs, policies and protective measures for biodiversity enable the Government of Nova Scotia to maintain and restore the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems, ensuring healthy ecosystems and the provision of ecosystem goods and services;
AND WHEREAS the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is a complex, cross-cutting imperative that necessitates co-operation and collaboration among all sectors and is therefore a shared responsibility of all levels of government, non-government organizations, the private sector, the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia and all other Nova Scotians;
AND WHEREAS biodiversity must be managed for the benefit of present and future generations, which is in keeping with the Mi'kmaq concept of Netukulimk, defined by the Mi'kmaq as the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community by achieving adequate standards of community nutrition and economic well-being without jeopardizing the integrity, diversity or productivity of our environment;
AND WHEREAS a number of Government departments and legislation such as the Endangered Species Act, Environment Act, Wilderness Areas Protection Act and the Wildlife Act play key roles in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Nova Scotia but do not address all aspects of conservation and sustainable use;
(a) "biodiversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and among the ecological complexes of which such living organisms are a part, and includes genetic diversity, diversity within and between species and diversity of ecosystems and ecological processes;
(d) "conservation" means the maintenance or sustainable use of the Earth's resources in a manner that maintains biodiversity and the evolutionary and other processes that resulted in the biodiversity;
(j) "organism" means an active, infective or dormant stage, or form of life, of any biological entity capable of reproducing itself, or of transferring genetic material, and includes plants, animals, fungi, mycoplasmas, micro-organisms, viruses and viroids, cell and tissue cultures, germinal cells, seeds, pollen and spores;
(l) "sustainable use" means, with respect to biodiversity, the use of biodiversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biodiversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.
- (i) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or
5 The Department of Lands and Forestry is the lead department with respect to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and shall work with the other Government departments within their related mandates to achieve the purpose of this Act.
POWERS AND DUTIES
(c) consult and co-ordinate with other departments and agencies of the Province with respect to their work and efforts relating to any matter involving the conservation or sustainable use of biodiversity;
(e) co-ordinate and implement biodiversity policies and programs in co-operation with the Government of Canada, the government of a province of Canada or a municipality, or with an agency of any of the foregoing;
- (i) goals and targets for biodiversity and indicators of ecosystem health and integrity, and
- (i) the protection of biodiversity in the Province,
8 Subject to Section 6 of the Public Service Act, the Minister may enter into an agreement with any person, including the Government of Canada, the government of a province of Canada or a municipality, or with an agency of any of the foregoing, for any purpose related to this Act or the regulations, including an agreement respecting
- (i) incorporate the value of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services into decision-making, and
- (i) any matters relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,
13 The Minister shall establish and maintain such classification, inventory, status-assessment and monitoring programs as the Minister considers necessary or advisable to assess the state of biodiversity in the Province and to provide information to inform the responsible conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
AND OTHER PERSONNEL
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may utilize, upon such terms and conditions as the Minister considers appropriate, the services of such persons as the Minister considers necessary for the efficient carrying out of the purpose of this Act and the regulations.
(4) A copy of an identification card purporting to be signed by the Minister is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof in any court of law that the individual named on the card is a conservation officer.
(6) Subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister considers appropriate, the Minister may, in writing, exempt a conservation officer from any provision of the Act or the regulations while the conservation officer is carrying out an investigation or other enforcement activity under the Act or the regulations.
18 A conservation officer, in carrying out the conservation officer's duties under this Act, has all the powers, authority and immunities of a peace officer under the Criminal Code (Canada) and may exercise them in any part of the Province.
19 A person acting in the discharge of the person's duties under this Act or the regulations, and anyone assisting the person, may enter upon any land without being liable for trespass, but no person is exempted from liability for actual damage caused by such entry.
20 The protection afforded by this Act or any other enactment to a conservation officer extends to any person while and to the extent that the person is in the course of assisting a conservation officer under the conservation officer's direction.
21 (1) Where there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person has contravened or is about to contravene this Act or the regulations, a conservation officer, the Minister or an individual authorized to act on behalf of the Minister may issue a biodiversity protection order requiring the person to do any or all of the following:
(c) do all things and take all steps necessary to comply with this Act and the regulations and to remedy any injury or damage, or to control, eliminate or manage any adverse impact to biodiversity, caused by a contravention of this Act or the regulations.
(2) A biodiversity protection order may contain such terms and conditions as the person issuing the order considers appropriate to prevent, mitigate or remedy any adverse effects to biodiversity that result or may result from the contravention of this Act or the regulations.
22 (1) A person to whom a biodiversity protection order is issued by a conservation officer or an individual authorized to act on behalf of the Minister may, within 30 days of the date of the order, appeal to the Minister by notice in writing.
(4) The Minister may dismiss the appeal, revoke the biodiversity protection order or issue a new order in substitution for the order issued by the conservation officer or individual authorized to act on behalf of the Minister.
(5) The Minister may, in writing, delegate any power conferred or duty imposed on the Minister by this Section to a person employed in the Department of Lands and Forestry on such terms and conditions as the Minister considers appropriate.
23 (1) A person to whom a biodiversity protection order is issued by the Minister or who is aggrieved by a decision of the Minister made under Section 22 may, within 30 days of the date of the order or decision, appeal the order or decision to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
24 (1) A conservation officer, together with such persons whose assistance the conservation officer considers necessary or advisable, may, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act, the regulations, a biodiversity protection order or the terms and conditions of a permit,
(b) require the production of records or documents in the possession of any person that relate to the conservation, use, damage or destruction of biodiversity in the Province and remove them temporarily for the purpose of making copies;
(d) make any examination, investigation or inquiry that the conservation officer considers necessary to ascertain whether there is compliance with this Act, the regulations, a biodiversity protection order or the terms and conditions of a permit issued under this Act;
(e) inspect, take samples and conduct tests of samples, including tests in which a sample is destroyed, of any thing being produced, used or found in the place and be responsible therefor, except for a sample that has been destroyed, until the thing is returned to the place;
(2) A conservation officer may, for the purpose of any investigation, inquiry or examination made by the conservation officer under this Act, summon an individual to give evidence, and administer an oath or affirmation to an individual.
25 (1) A conservation officer who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe an organism or any other item is being held or possessed in contravention of the regulations or is being held or possessed in a manner that contravenes the regulations may, with a search warrant or telewarrant,
26 A conservation officer who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe an organism or any other item is being held or possessed in contravention of the regulations or is being held or possessed in a manner that contravenes the regulations may, without a warrant,
(a) direct that a vehicle, vessel or conveyance be stopped or be moved, by the route and in the manner that the officer may specify, to a place specified by the officer where an inspection may be carried out and the officer may, for a reasonable time, detain a vehicle, vessel or conveyance;
27 A conservation officer may seize anything, including an organism, that the conservation officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds may afford evidence of a contravention of this Act or the regulations.
(3) Where an organism is delivered to another person, the Minister may assess the cost of keeping it to the owner or person in possession, or both, and that cost shall be paid on demand by the person assessed and is recoverable by the Minister as a debt due to Her Majesty in right of the Province.
29 (1) Where any property has been seized under this Act, a person, other than the person accused of an offence resulting in the seizure or the person in whose possession the property was when seized, who claims an interest in the property as an owner, mortgagee, lien-holder or holder of any like interest may, within 60 days after the seizure, apply by notice in writing to a judge of the Provincial Court for an order declaring that the person's interest is not affected by the seizure.
(b) the claimant exercised all reasonable care, with respect to the person permitted to obtain the possession of the property, to satisfy the claimant that it was not likely to be used contrary to this Act or the regulations or, where a mortgagee or lien-holder, the claimant exercised reasonable care with respect to the mortgagor or person giving the lien,
(5) The claimant or the Minister may appeal to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from an order of a judge made under this Section and the appeal must be asserted, heard and decided according to the ordinary procedure governing appeals to that Court.
(3) Where anything is seized under this Act and the owner is unknown or cannot be ascertained or cannot be found within three months of the seizure, the Minister may direct that the thing be disposed of in any manner the Minister considers appropriate.
(3) No person shall refuse or fail to comply with any order, visible signal or direction of a conservation officer in uniform given in the course of carrying out the conservation officer's duties and functions.
35 (1) Where there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a vehicle, vessel or equipment was used in the contravention of this Act or the regulations, the owner of the vehicle, vessel or equipment shall, upon the request of a conservation officer and within 48 hours of receiving the request, supply the conservation officer with the name and address of the person who was in charge of the vehicle, vessel or equipment at the time of the contravention.
(2) Where there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a vehicle, vessel or equipment was used in the contravention of this Act or the regulations, the person in charge of the vehicle, vessel or equipment at the time of the alleged contravention shall, upon the request of a conservation officer and within 48 hours of receiving the request, supply the conservation officer with the name and address of the person who was operating the vehicle, vessel or equipment at the time of the contravention.
(4) In any prosecution under this Section, it is a defence if the person can prove that the vehicle, vessel or equipment was being operated at the time of the contravention without the knowledge or consent, either expressed or implied, of the person.
- (i) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and
- (i) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and
(3) Where an offence under this Act is committed or continued on more than one day, the person who committed the offence is liable to be convicted for a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed or continued.
(4) Where a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the offence is also guilty of the offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalties set out in subsection (1), whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted.
38 Where a person is convicted of an offence, the court may, in addition to any punishment imposed and having regard to the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, make an order containing one or more of the following prohibitions, directions or requirements:
(b) directing the person to take any action that the court considers appropriate to remedy or to prevent any adverse effects to biodiversity that results or may result from the commission of the offence;
(c) directing the person to pay to the Minister compensation for the cost, in whole or in part, of any restoration or remedial or preventive action taken by or on behalf of the Minister as a result of the commission of the offence;
(d) directing the person to post a bond or pay into court an amount of money that the court considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring compliance with any prohibition, direction or requirement under this Section.
39 (1) In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent of the accused, whether or not the employee or agent is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, unless the accused establishes that the offence was committed without the knowledge or consent of the accused.
(2) Unless otherwise provided in this Act, no person shall be convicted of an offence under this Act if the person establishes that the person exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
40 An individual over the age of majority who accompanies or assists another individual at the time when the other individual commits an offence contrary to this Act is a party to the offence and is liable to the penalty prescribed for the offence unless the individual proves that the offence was committed without the individual's knowledge and consent.
a certificate purporting to be signed by the Minister or the Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry certifying with respect to the same is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the facts stated in the certificate and of the authority of the person who has signed the certificate, without further proof of appointment or signature.
(3) Subject to subsection (5), a certificate purporting to be the certificate of an analyst stating that the analyst has analyzed or examined any organism, whether living or dead, or any other thing and the results of the analysis or examination are admissible in evidence in any prosecution for an offence under this Act and, in absence of evidence to the contrary, are proof of the statement contained in the certificate without proof of the signature or the official character of the person appearing to have signed the certificate.
(5) No certificate may be received in evidence under this Section unless the party intending to produce it has given, to the party against whom it is intended to be produced, reasonable notice of such intention, together with a copy of the certificate.
42 (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court may, in addition to any penalty imposed, order that any seized thing by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, or any proceeds of its disposition, be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the Province.
(2) Where the court does not order a forfeiture under subsection (1), the seized thing, or the proceeds of its disposition, must be returned to its lawful owner or the person lawfully entitled to it if the possession of the thing would be lawful.
43 Where a fine is imposed on a person convicted of an offence, any seized thing, or any proceeds of its disposition, may be retained until the fine is paid or the thing may be sold in satisfaction of the fine and the proceeds applied, in whole or in part, in payment of the fine.
(2) A document purporting to have been issued by the Minister, certifying the day on which the Minister became aware of evidence of the offence, is admissible without proof of the signature or official character of the individual appearing to have signed the document and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the matter certified.
45 No person affected by this Act or the regulations is entitled to compensation for any restriction, encumbrance or use or the lack of use, of any nature or kind whatsoever, that may result or results from the enactment of this Act or the regulations.
(b) for the purpose of conserving or making sustainable use of biodiversity within a biodiversity management zone, authorizing, restricting or prohibiting the conduct of activities within the biodiversity management zone;
(f) respecting the holding or possession of organisms or other items, including, where the holding or possession of an organism or other item is not restricted, the manner in which it is to be held or possessed;
(l) respecting permits and the permitting process, including applications for permits, the issuance of permits, the suspension or cancellation of permits, the period during which a permit remains valid, the renewal of permits and the transferability of permits;
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