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e-2758 (Environment)

E-petition
Initiated by Franny Ladell Yakelashek from Victoria, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:
  • The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) is Canada’s main law governing pollution prevention and the management of toxic chemicals;
  • Scientific understanding of environmental and health risks of exposure to toxics and pollution has evolved over the past two decades and CEPA 1999 needs to be updated to address today’s sources of toxic exposure;
  • Too often, vulnerable and marginalized populations bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harm, yet CEPA 1999 lacks provisions to protect vulnerable populations and safeguard against environmental injustice;
  • The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development reviewed CEPA 1999 and made 87 recommendations to strengthen and modernize the act; and
  • The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Health are jointly mandated to “better protect people and the environment from toxins and other pollution, including by strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.”
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 without delay, to ensure (i) better control of toxic substances — notably, banning highly hazardous substances like carcinogens and reproductive toxicants, addressing cumulative effects and requiring substitution with safer alternatives, and disclosure of chemicals in products through better labelling, (ii) enforceable national air and water quality standards, (iii) protection for vulnerable populations, and (iv) recognition of the human right to a healthy environment.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable JONATHAN WILKINSON

The Government of Canada is committed to modernizing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) as set out in the December 2019 mandate letters from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Health. This commitment was reaffirmed in theSeptember 2020 Speech from the Throne.

The Government is considering amendments to CEPA to address issues raised by stakeholders, and during the most recent review of CEPA by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI). The Committee offered 87 recommendations in its 2017 report, “Healthy Environment, Healthy Canadians, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”, to improve and modernize the Act.  In its June 2018 Follow-Up Report, the Government responded to all of the ENVI’s recommendations and committed to working towards legislative amendments in future parliamentary sessions.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

The Government of Canada is committed to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) as set out in the December 2019 mandate letters from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Health. This commitment was reaffirmed in the September 2020 Speech from the Throne.

The Government is considering amendments to CEPA to address issues raised by stakeholders and during the most recent review of CEPA by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI). The Committee offered 87 recommendations in its 2017 report, “Healthy Environment, Healthy Canadians, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”, to improve and modernize the Act. In its June 2018 Follow-Up Report, the Government responded to all of the ENVI Committee’s recommendations and committed to working towards legislative amendments in future parliamentary sessions.

Open for signature
July 23, 2020, at 10:49 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
November 20, 2020, at 10:49 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Laurel Collins (Victoria)
December 4, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00367)
Government response tabled
January 25, 2021
Photo - Laurel Collins
Victoria
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia
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