FAQs and Fact Sheets

Les ampoules fluocompactes (AFC) contiennent une petite quantité de mercure qui est scellée à l’intérieur du tube en verre. Quand une AFC se brise, le mercure peut se diffuser directement dans l’air sous forme d’une vapeur incolore et inodore ou peut coller à la poudre à l’intérieur de l’ampoule. Une exposition au mercure, même en petites quantités peut entraîner de sérieux problèmes de santé. Le mercure est particulièrement dangereux pour le développement du cerveau du fœtus, des tout-petits et des enfants. Voici ce qu’il faut faire en cas de bris d’une AFC :

Mesures immédiates :

  • Faites sortir les personnes et les animaux de compagnie de la pièce.
  • Assurez-vous qu’aucun enfant ou femme enceinte ne participe au nettoyage.
  • Ouvrez les fenêtre et fermez les portes. Quittez la pièce et laissez l’air circuler pendant au moins 10 à 15 minutes.
  • Fermez le chauffage; la chaleur va faire évaporer le mercure plus rapidement.

Nettoyage des surfaces dures :

  • NE PAS UTILISER UN ASPIRATEUR OU UN BALAI! L’utilisation d’un aspirateur ou d’un balai va faire s’évaporer le mercure plus rapidement.
  • En portant des gants en caoutchouc, ramassez les plus gros fragments à l’aide d’un morceau de carton rigide.
  • Utilisez du papier collant pour ramasser les petits éclats de verre et toute trace de poudre.
  • Essuyez les surfaces dures avec un essuie-tout ou un chiffon humide ou une lingette jetable humide.

Nettoyage d’un tapis ou de la moquette :

  • D’abord ramassez les plus gros morceaux, comme expliqué ci-dessus pour les surfaces dures.
  • SI l’ampoule s’est cassée sur un tapis, envisagez de jeter le tapis. Sinon sortez le tapis dehors, secouez-le et laissez-le s’aérer le plus longtemps possible.
  • Dans le cas de tapis fixé au sol, fermez la porte de la pièce ou isolez l’endroit le plus possible. Ouvrez les fenêtres et les portes donnant sur l’extérieur. Passez l’aspirateur sur le tapis puis retirez le sac de l’aspirateur et, dans la mesure du possible, essuyez l’aspirateur à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur avec un un essuie-tout ou un chiffon humide. Placez le sac de l’aspirateur et l’essuie-tout dans un sac de plastique scellé à l’extérieur.
  • Continuez de faire aérer la pièce pendant plusieurs heures une fois le nettoyage terminé.

Éliminer une AFC brisée :

  • Placez les matériaux utilisés pour le nettoyage et les fragments de verre dans un pot en verre(p. ex. un pot avec un couvercle bien fermé). À défaut, placez le tout dans un sac plastique scellé.
  • Pour éviter que les vapeurs de mercure ne s’échappent, après le nettoyage placez le pot en verre ou le sac en plastique à l’extérieur de la maison et du garage adjacent.
  • Éliminez le pot en verre ou le sac de déchets d’AFC comme déchets dangereux au centre de récupération là où cela existe. Vérifiez auprès des autorités locales, provinciales ou territoriales les exigences en matière d’élimination.
  • Lavez-vous soigneusement les bras et les mains après le nettoyage et après avoir éliminé les déchets.

Conseils supplémentaires :

  • Pour réduire le risque d’exposition au mercure venant d’ampoules cassées, ne pas utiliser d’AFC dans des endroits où elles pourraient se briser facilement (p.ex. les vides sanitaires).
  • Retirez et installez les AFC en tenant seulement la base de l’ampoule afin de ne pas exercer une pression sur le verre qui risquerait de se briser.
  • Entreposez les AFC neuves et usagées dans des contenants comme leur emballage d’origine afin d’éviter de les briser.

Ressources utiles :

Pour de plus amples informations sur le mercure et la manière de le nettoyer et de l’éliminer, consultez les ressources suivantes :

Santé Canada Utilisation sécuritaire des ampoules fluocompactes http://canadiensensante.gc.ca/security-securite/radiation/devices-dispositifs/consumer-consommateur/cfl-afc-fra.php

Environnement Canada. Le mercure dans l’environnement http://www.ec.gc.ca/mercure-mercury/

Connecticut Department of Public Health. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: What to Do if a Bulb Breaks. http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/environmental_health/eoha/pdf/cfl_fact_sheet.pdf (en anglais seulement)

Le site site Earth 911 offre une base de données interrogeable (en fonction des codes postaux) des centres de récupération et de recyclage au Canada, aux États-Unis et à l’international (http://search.earth911.com).

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) contain a small amount of mercury sealed within their glass tubing. If a CFL bulb breaks, mercury can be directly released as an odourless, colourless vapour, and can also stick to the powder on the inside of the bulb. Exposure to even small amounts of mercury can cause serious health problems. It is particularly harmful to the developing brains of fetuses, infants and children.

Here is what to do if a CFL breaks in your home.

Immediate steps:

  • Remove people and pets.
  •  Make sure children and pregnant women are not involved in any cleanup.
  • Open windows and close all doors. Leave the room and let it air out for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heating system. Heat will make the mercury rise into the air more quickly.

Clean up on hard surfaces:

  • DO NOT VACUUM or SWEEP! Vacuuming or sweeping will spread the mercury vapour into the air more quickly.
  • Wearing rubber gloves, scoop up larger glass fragments with stiff cardboard.
  • Use sticky tape to pick up the small glass pieces and any powder.
  • Wipe hard surfaces with a damp paper towel or cloth, or disposable wet wipes.

Clean up on carpets or rugs:

  • First clean up major pieces as described under “hard surfaces,” above.
  • Then, if the bulb has broken on an area rug, consider discarding the entire rug. Otherwise, take the rug outdoors and shake and air it out for as long as is practical.
  • For installed carpet, shut the door to the room or close off the area as much as possible. Open any windows and doors to the outside. Vaccum the rug as usual, then remove the bag and, as much as possible, wipe the vaccum inside and out with a damp paper towel or cloth. Put the bag and paper towel outside in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Continue to air out the room for several hours once the clean up is completed.

Disposing of a broken CFL:

  • Put clean-up materials and glass fragments in a glass container (for example, a jar with a tight-fitting lid). If a glass container is not available, use a sealable plastic bag.
  • To prevent mercury vapour from escaping, place the glass container or bag outside the house and attached garage immediately after clean up.
  • Dispose of the jar or bag of CFL materials as hazardous waste if local facilities exist. Check with your local municipal and provincial/territorial government about disposal requirements.
  • Wash your hands and arms thoroughly after both clean up and disposal.

Additional tips:

  • To reduce the risk of exposure to mercury from broken bulbs, avoid the use of CFLs in areas where they could break easily (e.g., crawl space).
  • Remove and install a CFL by handling only the base of the lamp to prevent pressure on the glass that may cause it to break.
  • Store new and used CFLs in containers that prevent them from breaking, such as in their original packaging.

Useful resources:

For further information about mercury and its cleanup and disposal, please consult the following resources:

Health Canada. The Safety of Compact Fluorescent Lamps.

Environment Canada. Mercury and the Environment.

Connecticut Department of Public Health. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: What to Do if a Bulb Breaks.

The Earth 911 website provides a searchable database (based on postal codes) for disposal and recycling centres in Canada, the US and internationally.

January, 2017

The attached 28-page table (in PDF format) provides a survey of Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial climate change legal provisions. These provisions are found in Canadian legislation intended to address climate change and related subjects, as well as legislation for other purposes. The majority of the research for this survey was conducted on CANLii and reflects search results in all jurisdictions for the following terms: 'climate change', 'global warming', 'greenhouse gas'.

Following the federal legislation, provinces and territories are listed alphabetically. Search terms and useful language are highlighted in yellow. Note that the research took place on October 17 and 24, 2014. As such, it may not capture all climate change provisions or reflect all recent developments.

Last updated: January, 2015

For answers to this and related questions about "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" please see the three-page fact sheet (linked below as a PDF file) prepared by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. It concerns Bill 52, introduced in the Ontario Legislature in December of 2014 and addresses the following questions:

  • What is a SLAPP suit?
  • How would Bill 52 change the civil litigation process?
  • When would a case be dismissed?
  • What Bill 52 will and won't do

(last updated: Januar7, 2015)

Bill-52-Fact-Sheet-CCLA-and-CJFE.pdf

ANSWER: Source Protection Plans are locally drafted, science-based plans that contain various policies intended to protect the quality and quantity of current and future sources of municipal drinking water in Source Protection Areas and Regions across Ontario. The mandatory (and optional) content requirements for Source Protection Plans are set out in the Clean Water Act, 2006 and regulations. There have been numerous opportunities for public review and comment upon draft and proposed Source Protection Plans before the plans were submitted for approval by the Minister of the Environment.

ANALYSIS:

Background: Source Protection Plans The purpose of Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006 (“CWA”) is to protect existing and future sources of drinking water. To achieve this purpose, the CWA establishes a source protection planning process that is locally driven, science-based, and consultative in nature. Download rest of 4-page fact sheet below.

Last updated: December 2013

CWA-FAQ-6.pdf

In addition to the referrals provided in CELA's Lawyer Referral List, the Law Society of Upper Canada provides a referral service to lawyers and paralegals. Requests can be made by phone or on-line.

Description: The Law Society Referral Service provides callers with up to 30 minutes of consultation either by phone or in person at no charge. A Legal Information Officer will receive the call and assess the needs of the client and then provide the name of a lawyer or paralegal who best fits the client’s stated needs. The service is not designed to provide legal advice or second opinions, and any fees should be discussed with the lawyer or paralegal. The service can be reached by calling either 416-947-5255 within the GTA, or toll free 1-855-947-5255 outside the GTA.
(TTY Phone: 416-644-4886)

Le Service de référence du Barreau fournit au public un accès de 30 minutes maximum à une consultation sans frais par téléphone ou en personne. Un agent de l’information juridique reçoit l’appel et évalue les besoins du client avant de fournir le nom d’un avocat ou d’un parajuriste qui peut le mieux répondre aux besoins indiqués par le client. Le service n’est pas conçu pour donner des services juridiques ou une deuxième opinion, et le client doit discuter des frais avec l’avocat ou le parajuriste. Le service est accessible soit en appelant au 416-947-3330 dans le Grand Toronto ou sans frais au 1-800-268-8326 en dehors du Grand Toronto.
(Téléphone ATS : 416-644-4886)

last updated: July, 2013

In addition to providing legal representation, CELA works hard outside of the courtroom through our law reform and public legal education activities to change policies and practices to make it unnecessary for citizens or communities to have to hire a lawyer to seek environmental justice.

Our priority subject areas for law reform and public education include Access to Environmental Justice, Water Sustainability, Pollution and Health, Green Energy, Planning and Sustainability, and Acting Globally.

CELA periodically takes on volunteers and student internships, where students require a work placement as a portion of university or college courses. As with all volunteer applications, we are interested in mentoring highly motivated, self-directed individuals with a strong background in environmental law, academic research, and community development.

Please submit a cover letter and resumé via email to admin @ cela.ca.

For law students and lawyers seeking volunteer work with our legal team, please include the following information:

  • Confirmation that your course work already includes, at a minimum, administrative law.
  • The stage you are at in your legal studies.
  • Your availability – i.e., please note specific start and end dates and # of hours per week.
  • Prior experience with legal or environmental issues.

We aim to review volunteer applications at regular bi-monthly staff meetings. We appreciate your effort in applying but when application volumes are high, we may only respond to those applicants we are interested in taking on as volunteers.

CELA occasionally obtains funding for summer students. In the event that we have an opening, we will post a notice in the News area of this site, likely in late winter or early spring. If we do not have an opening and you are interested in working in the area of social justice and poverty law, please see the Careers at Legal Aid Ontario  webpage showing postings for all LAO community legal clinics. The LAO site may include postings for articling students, counsel, paralegals, community legal workers and administrative assistants. You may also try the Law Society of Upper Canada website for similar postings in the private bar.

Last updated May 2014

As a specialty clinic within Legal Aid Ontario, CELA helps those who otherwise lack the resources to mount a legal challenge against environmental harm in Ontario.

CELA’s summary advice and information services, which are subject to capacity, enable members of the public to access two hours of legal assistance on a particular matter free of cost. While these services are free and a part of CELA’s mandate, the volume of request we receive requires that we set priorities.

To access legal services beyond the allotted two hours or for legal representation, requires that you complete, sign and return our financial eligibility form, available from the CELA articling student at (416) 960 2284 ext. 216 or articling(at)cela.ca.

CELA staff lawyers represent individuals, families or groups in matters concerning environmental harm. We look for cases that include important environmental legal issues that are in the broad public interest.

We do not take on libel or slander cases.

To discuss possible legal representation at CELA, please call (416) 960 2284, ext. 216 or email articling(at)cela.ca.

Last updated March 2013

Inquiries about legal services take place over the telephone, via email, or in the course of a brief interview. Inquiries should be directed to the articling student at (416) 960 2284 ext. 216 or articling(at)cela.ca.

Last updated March, 2013

To obtain an application for legal services you must contact the articling student and undergo a preliminary assessment to determine whether CELA might be able to assist you. If so, the articling student will then provide a financial eligibility form, which you must complete, sign and return. The articling student can be reached at (416) 960 2284 ext. 216 or articling(at)cela.ca.

Last updated March 2013

When you are sent CELA’s application for legal services, you will receive the financial eligibility guidelines that outline the requirements for services by an Ontario Legal Aid Clinic.

Last updated March 2013

In order to receive legal services that require more than the initial two-hour allotment, it is necessary for CELA to assess your financial eligibility for our services, the environmental significance of your case, and the availability of CELA’s staff and resources.

To obtain an application for legal services that require more than two hours, you must contact the articling student and undergo a preliminary assessment to see if CELA might be able to assist you. If so, the articling student will then provide you with a financial eligibility form, which you must complete, sign and return. The articling student can be reached at (416) 960 2284 ext. 216 or articling(at)cela.ca.

Please be aware that because our clinic has only four permanent staff lawyers, we are able to take on only a fraction of the cases for which we receive applications.

Last updated March 2013

A person becomes CELA’s client once they sign a retainer.

Last updated March 2013

CELA determines whether to provide legal services beyond the free, capacity dependent, two-hour allotment at the monthly Legal and Priorities Committee meeting. The decision to provide legal services is based on the financial eligibility of the applicant, the environmental significance of the case, and the availability of CELA’s staff and resources.

Last updated March 2013

A retainer is a contract between a lawyer and their client that specifies the nature of the services and an estimated cost of those services.

At CELA, clients are represented by the staff lawyers specifically named in the retainer. Ontario Legal Aid Clinics are not firms and so it is the individual lawyers who are retained.

A retainer is required upon a decision to act in cases for which CELA lawyers are going on the record as counsel. However, lawyers at CELA may provide summary advice in the absence of a retainer when not acting as the counsel of record.

Retainers may also be used for specific delineated services rather than for general representation in a matter. For example, to draft a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Last updated March 2013 

Client confidentiality and solicitor-client privilege is a keystone of the legal profession and rigorously enforced by the Law Society of Upper Canada Rules of Professional Conduct (See Rule 2.03 (Confidentiality)). Thus, while CELA’s retainer does stipulate that information can be shared with the CELA Board or Legal Aid Ontario, all of CELA’s staff, volunteers and Board members are required to sign confidentiality agreements.

Last updated March 2013

The CELA retainers indicate that information can be shared with the CELA Board or Legal Aid Ontario. However, all of the CELA Board members sign confidentiality agreements.

CELA retainers include the clause: “I also agree that this matter may be discussed at any meeting of CELA or of a Committee of the CELA Board of Directors. I further acknowledge and agree that financial eligibility information may be released to Legal Aid Ontario if requested.”

All Board meetings include the circulation of agendas to the members that incorporate the following reminder: “NOTE: All board members will treat CELA client information and discussions as strictly confidential as per LSUC Rules 2.03 (Confidentiality) and 2.04 (Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest)

Last updated March 2013

Under Rule 2.03 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, it is implied that a lawyer may, unless the client directs otherwise, disclose the client’s affairs to partners and associates in the law firm. In addition, a lawyer has the authority, to the extent necessary, to disclose a client’s affairs to non-legal staff. However, according to the Rule: “this implied authority to disclose places the lawyer under a duty to impress upon associates, employees, and students the importance of non-disclosure (both during their employment and afterwards) and requires the lawyer to take reasonable care to prevent their disclosing or using any information that the lawyer is bound to keep in confidence.”

Last updated March 2013

Yes. Any correspondence between the staff and a person who is not a client includes the following clause: “Please be advised that any correspondence or other communication between us does not mean that the Canadian Environmental Law Association has been retained to act as your lawyer in this matter.”

Last updated March 2013

Answer: Here are examples of financial plans for a large system (Toronto), a small system (Aylmer), and a Northern system (Kapuskasing). For interest, here is the 2013 approved budget for water and wastewater rates and fees in the City of Toronto.

Large systems are those which service populations greater than 100,000 and supply their needs primarily with lakewater. Small systems are defined as those which service a population of 0-10,000 and supply their needs with groundwater. See this presentation by Gary Scandlan at the October 2012 Drinking Water Leadership Summit (full program) for more details on how costs differ between small and large systems. Northern systems are typically small and tend to be more remote from other systems than small systems in southern Ontario.

Last updated December 2012