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AEL Advocacy Seeks Intervener Status In Federal Court of Appeal Case About Plastics

AEL Advocacy is seeking permission to intervene in a Federal Court of Appeal case concerning plastics, aiming to highlight the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on wildlife and the environment.

The case is an appeal of a decision of the Federal Court in a lawsuit filed by a group called the “Responsible Plastic Use Coalition”, made up of large plastics manufacturers and distributors. They contest the federal government's decision to designate plastics as “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), which led to the introduction of regulations banning certain single-use plastic products.

In November, the Coalition was successful when the presiding judge ruled in their favour, deeming the government’s action unconstitutional.

Canada generates over four million tonnes of plastic waste annually, with scientific research demonstrating its many adverse impacts on wildlife and the environment. Plastic pollution ensnares and is ingested by thousands of aquatic and terrestrial animals annually, leading to suffocation, starvation, and a myriad of other illnesses and injuries. Moreover, plastic waste from industries such as fishing, which includes abandoned fishing gear known as "ghost gear," plays a significant role in ecosystem degradation, presenting enduring threats to marine life.

Krystal-Anne Roussel, Co-Director and Counsel at AEL Advocacy, underscores the imperative of their intervention, asserting, “Our mission is to ensure that the Federal Court of Appeal understands the profound toll exacted on animals and their habitats by plastic pollution.” AEL Advocacy aims to advocate for an interpretation of CEPA that aligns with its fundamental objective of safeguarding wildlife and their environments.


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