Citizens Guide to Environmental Investigation and Private Prosecution

Appendix G  –  Writing an information


You have evidence that a corporation’s equipment operator is plowing through a fish stream with a D-9 Cat. (Note: Your evidence must include a location where, and a time period during which, the offence was committed.) In this case, the most logical statute to lay charges under is the federal Fisheries Act. The complete title of the act is the Fisheries Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-14. Section 35(1), the act’s applicable section, reads: “No person shall carry on any work or undertaking that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.”

Section 40(1) says that Section 35(1) is an offence. (Note: The offence provisions of an act, such as the Fisheries Act’s Section 40(1), outline which sections are offences. Just because a section says something, does not mean it is illegal to violate it, unless the act specifically defines it as an offence. Look for a section titled “Offence and Punishment” or something similar.)

Therefore, your information should read:

[the company or individual], between the nth day of 1999 and the yth day of 2000, at or near [location of offence], did unlawfully carry out a work or undertaking, to wit, operating a D-9 Cat in a stream in a manner that resulted in the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat, to wit, [name of stream], contrary to Section 35(1) of the Fisheries Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-14, as amended, and did thereby commit an offence contrary to Section 40(1)(a) of that act.

You should include the words “as amended” following the citation of the legislation to take into account any amendments that may have taken place since the act was proclaimed.

An actual information:

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