Conservation and Environmental Law Enforcement Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Apply in early October 2021 for September 2022

Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 2 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 06, 2022
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$3,669.78 per semester*
$9,617.78 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Interpret specific & extensive natural resource & environmental legislation, with particular emphasis on The Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, The Fisheries Act, The Crown Forest Sustainability Act, The Environmental Protection Act & The Public Lands Act
  • Apply and interpret the Canadian justice and legal system including The Constitution, The Charter of Rights, The Provincial Offences Act, The Criminal Code, The Contraventions Act, as well as powers of authority, rules of evidence and case law.
  • Explain the role of legislation and enforcement in supporting environmental and natural resource management principles and objectives in a range of disciplines (land, water, air, forests, fisheries, wildlife, aggregates, etc.). Consider the impact of natural resource inventories.
  • Explain policies and case law related to aboriginal issues.
  • Research, compare and contrast issues and trends from a range of sources, with particular application to managing natural resource and environmental offences. Use ongoing systems to get information.
  • Demonstrate investigative concepts and practices with emphasis on the "facts in issue" principle.
  • Apply investigative skills (memory recall, observation, interpretation) to compliance monitoring, inspection and investigation.
  • Apply taxonomic/classification skills (flora, fauna, human-made chemicals) in the process of investigations or related activities.
  • Apply investigative techniques and forensic skills in the collection and preservation of evidence in accordance with Natural Resource DNA and Forensic Center and other governmental standards.
  • Apply the role of intelligence, analysis identification of program priorities, and emerging issues, in the development of a risk-based approach to compliance planning.
  • Perform audits on information obtained through mandatory industry resource reports.
  • Demonstrate and correctly apply the powers of inspection, search, seizure, arrest, use of force and conflict avoidance, in conducting enforcement related activities.
  • Demonstrate correct judicial procedures in the use of legal documents, (summons, subpoena, search warrant etc.), in the preparation of crown briefs, when going to trial and when presenting evidence.
  • Prepare reports and field notes, record interviews and statements, and document information, in an accurate and timely manner, consistent with government regulations, and established policies and procedures.
  • Work effectively with computer applications using the standard desktop programs.
  • Work effectively as a team member in a variety of challenging work environments, such as foot surveillance and search warrant execution teams, demonstrating effective interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Protect oneself, one's co-workers, the public, and the environment through the safe use and storage of materials and firearms, and competently operate specific tools and equipment.
  • Demonstrate sound judgment in stressful and /or potentially adverse environmental conditions.
  • Effectively manage and resolve conflict with a focus on de-escalating potentially dangerous situations. Demonstrate an understanding of the "Use of Force Continuum".
  • Liaise with stakeholders and resource users to address conservation and enforcement issues and concerns.
  • Use indirect influence to implement compliance promotion projects, to educate and create public awareness of natural resource and environmental legislation.
  • Act in accordance with the code of professional conduct and recognize the impact of an enforcement officer's role.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work progressively within municipal, provincial, and federal government structures, functions and processes.
  • Demonstrate a reasonable level of physical fitness sufficient to meet specific industry standards.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

LAWS 139
Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides students with the ability to recognize and deal with situations that may be encountered in law-enforcement situations. The lab portion will provide students with the techniques that will allow them to complete their duties as peace officers in various types of encounters.

LAWS 133
Units/ Hours: 75

This course exposes students to the legislation that regulates the recreational use of fish and wildlife resources, both federal and provincial. Legislation studied includes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and regulations, Fisheries Act and regulations, and the Migratory Birds Convention Act and regulations. Instruction and practical scenario training will be related to field contact techniques.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of field forensics such as collection, preserving, marking, and handling of evidence, crime scene preservation, casting and comparison of shoe-print and ballistic comparisons. Students will also learn fundamentals of crime scene photography..

Units/ Hours: 15

This course provides a basic introduction to our legal system. Students are introduced to the evolution and creation of law, the court system in Canada as well as basic legal principles and procedures. It provides a foundation for intensified training in the field of law enforcement.

LAWS 114
Units/ Hours: 60

This course introduces students to the concepts of investigation, as well as techniques applied to preliminary, continuing, and follow-up investigations. Basic investigative skills such as observation, note-taking, surveillance, interview techniques, inspection and search will be discussed.

LAWS 205
Units/ Hours: 45

This course deals with regulating the production and discharge of contaminants into the natural environment. Emphasis will be placed on the Environmental Protection Act.

LAWS 300
Units/ Hours: 30

This course covers the legal procedures required of a law-enforcement officer for the commencement of legal proceedings. A variety of legal documents are studied, such as informations, summons, and offence notices. Legislation directing procedures includes the Canadian Constitution, Criminal Code, Provincial Offences Act, Canada Evidence Act, and Contraventions Act. The simple Crown Brief is introduced in this course, along with search and seizure procedures.

LAWS 301
Units/ Hours: 45

This course covers the legal procedures required of a law-enforcement officer for the commencement of legal proceedings. A variety of legal documents are studied, such as informations, summons, and offence notices. Legislation directing procedures includes the Canadian Constitution, Criminal Code, Provincial Offences Act, Canada Evidence Act, and Contraventions Act. Student participation in Investigation Techniques I (LAWS 114) is required as investigations culminate in Procedural Law I mock court. The simple Crown Brief is introduced in this course, along with search and seizure procedures.

LAWS 289
Units/ Hours: 30

Part of most jobs in this field require the ability to write clear and succinct reports with little preparation time. These reports may be read across the province, used and challenged in court proceedings, tribunals, inquests or FOI requests. The focus of this course is on writing these reports using the correct language and format to be used in such documents as well as Minister`s briefing notes and Crown Briefs.

Semester 2

Units/ Hours: 45

This course is designed to strengthen and highlight students' knowledge of and ability to use self-defence techniques used by officers to defend themselves in various types of field encounters.

Units/ Hours: 40

Fall camp provides a continuous period where students are exposed to many field aspects of natural resources law enforcement. Students will develop an awareness of the skills required and move toward a proficiency which enables them to use these skills under actual conditions.

Units/ Hours: 40

In this course, students will be provided the opportunity to actively engage in field activities: the techniques of which were taught during the winter semester.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course exposes students to commercial aspects of fish and wildlife activities and methods of encouraging compliance to regulations. More specifically, the course will include instruction in the following areas: species at risk, invasive and endangered species legislation, commercial baitfish and fishing regulations, trapping regulations and the legislative framework that surrounds commercial activities dealing with these topics.

LAWS 310
Units/ Hours: 45

This course will explore Indigenous perspectives regarding legislation dealing with natural resources, such as the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, Fisheries Act, Public Lands Act and other laws relating to the protection of lands and resources. A focus on Indigenous cultural and historical understanding and current case law decisions will be part of this course, along with the theme of restorative justice.

LAWS 132
Units/ Hours: 75

In this course, techniques and topics used in investigations are studied, including interview techniques, crime scene management, intelligence and GPS mapping applications for enforcement. Students will be required to complete several full investigations using all the skills they have learned, and prepare a case for actual court experience. This course combines with Procedural Law II (LAWS 67) so that students can prosecute their prepared case in moot court.

LAWS 303
Units/ Hours: 30

This course teaches students how to complete legal documents. Students will learn how to compile a comprehensive Crown Brief for Court. They will learn how to compile and execute a Search Warrant. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of court procedures, including testifying in mock courts. They will manage and present evidence in court and apply the rules of evidence. They will also be able to relate the application of legal process to aboriginal issues.

LAWS 304
Units/ Hours: 45

This course covers procedures relating to court appearance and trials and combines with Investigation Techniques II (LAWS 132) to provide the opportunity for students to prosecute or defend a case and present evidence in a moot court situation. Training on preparation of a Crown Brief will be expanded. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the application of legal procedures and courtroom strategies.