MPs move initial important update to Canada’s most important environmental regulation in much more than two many years – Ecojustice

Coalition of well being and environment teams rejoice milestone and search to future techniques


Lengthy-awaited amendments to the Canadian Environmental Security Act (CEPA) handed a closing vote in the House of Commons currently. Passage of Monthly bill S-5 marks a sizeable milestone to superior safeguarding people today in Canada and the surroundings from pollution and toxic chemicals. We search ahead to the new provisions coming into into power and get in touch with for them to be implemented to the best specifications.

Bill S-5 is the initially key update to Canada’s cornerstone environmental legislation considering the fact that Parliament previous reformed the regulation in 1999.

Passage of Bill S-5 represents important progress for the next good reasons. 

  • It introduces long-overdue updates for the handle of poisonous substances and harmful chemical compounds, like necessitating that priority be specified to prohibiting the most harmful substances. The monthly bill also updates the framework for assessing and running toxic substances and enhances transparency and accountability.
  • The correct to a wholesome natural environment will be regarded for the initially time below federal legislation. The laws establishes a new duty for the govt to uphold the rules of environmental justice, intergenerational equity, and non-regression — ensuring environmental protections simply cannot be rolled back again. It also demands the federal federal government to look at the cumulative impacts of toxics, and their effects on susceptible populations. 

The federal government released the invoice initially in the Senate final yr. The Senate and Household committees finding out the bill both equally authorised some crucial strengthening amendments. Monthly bill S-5 will now grow to be law just after the Senate assessments the Home of Commons’ amendments. 

Whilst we welcome passage of the bill, we notice that MPs rejected several amendments that would have additional strengthened it. There is additional to do to complete the approach of CEPA modernization, like eradicating barriers to citizen lawsuits when there are violations of the Act, action on air high quality, labelling of dangerous substances in buyer products, and strengthening manage of genetically engineered animals.

Atmosphere and Local weather Transform Minister Steven Guilbeault has indicated that he intends to introduce a 2nd CEPA modernization invoice. It will require to address these exceptional tips for CEPA reform to complement Monthly bill S-5. 

Cassie Barker, Toxics Senior Method Manager, Environmental Defence, mentioned:

“After extra than a 10 years of advocacy, Canada’s cornerstone toxics regulation will quickly have new authorized equipment to better defend us from hazardous substances. However, more action is wanted, and we are eager to see the federal government get to get the job done on the following CEPA invoice. We urge the federal government to supply on its promise to have to have mandatory labelling of dangerous elements, for the reason that we all ought to have the appropriate to know what toxics are in the products and solutions we use just about every day.”

Dr. Elaine MacDonald, Wholesome Communities System Director, Ecojustice, claimed:

“While not a extensive modernization of CEPA, Invoice S-5 introduces lengthy-overdue updates for the manage of poisonous substances and risky chemicals. It also recognizes the right to a healthful atmosphere for the very first time in federal law – a ideal that is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, together with the ideal to lifetime, health, foods, water, and sanitation.”

Jennifer Beeman, Executive Director, Breast Most cancers Action Quebec, reported:

“Bill S-5 introduces some a great deal desired new requirements and instruments, this kind of as the look at checklist, to reign in the prevalent use of toxic chemicals. Even so, the invoice also pushes the framework for action on a range of critical issues, notably the implementation of the correct to a wholesome ecosystem, to advancement soon after the bill’s adoption. The federal government will will need to transfer speedily to reveal that it is severe about tackling our urgent issues of environmental health and fitness injustices because of to harmful air pollution.”

Dr. Melissa Lem, CAPE Board President and family medical doctor, stated:

“Whether it is bronchial asthma, most cancers or reproductive troubles, wellbeing industry experts manage patients struggling the negative wellness effects of polluted environments each working day. This is why very long-awaited reforms to the Canadian Environmental Safety Act (CEPA), and the passage of Invoice S-5 today, are great information for environmental and human well being, and environmental justice. Yet the government must acquire further action on toxics for the health of individuals in Canada—a following CEPA reform invoice can not arrive too before long.”

Lisa Gue, National Coverage Supervisor, David Suzuki Basis, stated:

“Passage of Invoice S-5 marks a big milestone for environmental rights in Canada, inscribing the ideal to a wholesome environment in the Canadian Environmental Security Act. Now the get the job done commences to protect that appropriate and uphold the theory of environmental justice.”

Examine backgrounder on Monthly bill S-5

Sherri Crump

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