The Power of Prevention: The extent of Environmental Authority in the Context of Local Government
This article attempts to delineate the scope of a municipality’s legal power within the realm of environmental management. Part one of this article looks at the legal position of a municipal government in the Canadian constitutional framework. The authors note that municipalities are creatures of statute and their available powers are tightly prescribed by legislation. Part two of this article is a case study of the City of Toronto's efforts to manage pollution in the Great Lake region, particularly with respect to Lake Ontario. Despite the limits to a municipality’s power, the authors argue that many effective pollution prevention strategies fall within existing municipal authority. The authors conclude that a municipality has the unique and powerful ability to adopt effective source-control bylaws being the source of a significant amount of pollution.