CELA: Citizens urge ministers to adopt toxics law changes

CELA: Citizens urge ministers to adopt toxics law changes

Postby Oscar » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:48 am

Citizens across Canada urge ministers to adopt federal toxics law changes

[ https://www.cela.ca/newsevents/citizens ... aw-changes ]

Oct 16 2018

Toronto — The heads of over 30 civil society organizations from across Canada presented the federal ministers of Environment (Hon. Catherine McKenna) and Health (Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor) with draft legislation amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and urged the ministers to introduce the amendments in the Fall 2018 session of Parliament to better protect human health and the environment from toxic substances.

“CEPA has not been amended in two decades, and the government’s June 2018 response to a parliamentary standing committee’s 2017 report on hearings conducted in 2016 on CEPA, raised concerns whether Canadians will see amendments to the law before 2020", said Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).

The amendments presented to the ministers by the groups follow a petition tabled in Parliament earlier this month signed by over 11,000 Canadians urging changes to CEPA, as well as a report by the federal environment commissioner on inadequate toxic substances enforcement under CEPA.

The amendments address five areas of concern with CEPA that were raised during standing committee hearings and reflected in the committee’s report, but not necessarily supported in the government’s June 2018 response to the report. These include: (1) control over endocrine disrupting substances; (2) establishment of enforceable national ambient air quality standards; (3) protection of vulnerable populations from toxic substances; (4) substitution of safer alternatives to toxic substances; and (5) civil enforcement of CEPA by the public in the courts.

“These five issues were recurring concerns identified by civil society witnesses appearing before the standing committee”, said Joe Castrilli, a CELA lawyer, who drafted the amendments.

“Hormone-related cancers and chronic diseases are increasing, especially in younger Canadians. These CEPA amendments would enable modern systematic science to address endocrine disrupting and other toxic substances, and to shift toward healthiest options across the board”, said Dr. Meg Sears, Chair of Prevent Cancer Now.

“Laws controlling toxic substances need to be updated more frequently than once every twenty years. These amendments address overdue issues like civil enforcement of the law’s requirements by the public and provide better opportunities for public involvement in the decision-making process concerning these substances”, said Erica Stahl, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law.

“Establishing enforceable national ambient air quality standards as these amendments propose will contribute to a reduced disease burden for people suffering from respiratory and other ailments caused by air pollution”, said Gordon Dalzell, Chair, Saint John Citizens Coalition for Clean Air.

“A key to protecting vulnerable populations, like pregnant women, children, and workers, from exposure to harmful chemicals is to require industry, with government oversight, to examine, develop, and substitute non-toxic alternatives”, said Rohini Peris, President, Environmental Health Association of Quebec.

“The Government should seize this opportunity to make important and much needed reforms to federal environmental law enacted to protect the environment and human health from toxic substances”, stated Joe Castrilli.

The amendments, and the letter sent to the ministers explaining the rationale for them, may be found on the CELA website:

1) Letter to Hon. Catherine McKenna and Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor
[ https://www.cela.ca/letter-amending-CEPA ]

2) Amendments to CEPA
[ https://www.cela.ca/proposed-ammendments-CEPA ]


For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Fe de Leon, MPH, Senior Researcher Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
Tel: 416-960-2284, ext. 7223 deleonf@cela.ca
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Re: CELA: Citizens urge ministers to adopt toxics law change

Postby Oscar » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:04 pm

LETTER TO MINISTERS: Re: Amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

October 15, 2018
The Hon. Catherine McKenna The Hon. Ginette C. Petitpas Taylor
Minister Minister
Environment and Climate Change Canada Health Canada
200 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard House of Commons
Gatineau, Quebec Ottawa, Ontario
Transmission: ec.ministre-minister.ec@canada.ca hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca
Dear Ministers McKenna and Petitpas Taylor:
Re: Amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

The undersigned organizations attach to this letter selected amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). We have undertaken this work because of the need for sound federal environmental law reform that addresses control of toxic substances, including carcinogens and endocrine disrupting substances, which pose serious risks to the health and well-being of present and future generations of Canadians and the natural world. We also have undertaken this work for the following additional reasons:
1. CEPA is long overdue for reform and further delay that could last years before a Bill is introduced is not in the public interest;
2. The proposed amendments focus on several key areas in major need of reform that were identified by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, including areas the Government appears to have rejected, or remains uncertain about;
3. The proposed amendments can be of assistance in the Government’s on-going work in addressing matters such as the future structure of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) and protecting vulnerable populations; and
4. The proposed reforms are supported by diverse groups across the country.
Many of the undersigned organizations participated in the hearings on review of CEPA that took place throughout 2016 before the Standing Committee. We hoped for timely adoption by the Government of the 2017 recommendations made by the Standing Committee for reforming CEPA that resulted from that process.
Unfortunately, while the Government’s June 2018 response to the Standing Committee made some positive statements about future reform of the law in certain areas, it rejected other key reform proposals. Furthermore, the timeline for bringing amendments forward
as expressed in the Government response appeared very uncertain due to statements contained in the response which suggested: (1) “the Government will work towards legislative amendments as soon as possible in future Parliamentary sessions”; (2) that reforms to the Act on toxic substances, if needed, will be shaped by the outcome of the CMP post 2020 review process, which will continue into at least 2019; and (3) reform proposals may be preceded by a further multi-stakeholder consultation process.
While we strongly support maximizing consultation opportunities, we also support timely action to address long understood but neglected problems with CEPA, a law that has not been significantly amended in two decades.
In this spirit, the undersigned are attaching proposed amendments to CEPA that we trust will expedite getting a robust Government Bill before Parliament much sooner than might otherwise have been the case on issues such as: (1) control over endocrine disrupting substances; (2) protection of vulnerable populations from toxic substances; (3) substitution of safer alternatives for toxic substances; (4) establishment of enforceable national ambient air quality standards; and (5) civil enforcement of CEPA by the public. Each issue noted above was raised by various witnesses appearing before the Standing Committee and supported in the Committee’s 2017 report. The attached amendments simply put into statutory language principles supported by the Committee.
We trust the attached will be of assistance to the Government in moving rapidly to introduce in this session of Parliament a reformed CEPA meeting the environmental health needs of all Canadians.
We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss the proposed amendments if that would also be of assistance.
Yours truly,
Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel
Supporting Organizations
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel
Email: Theresa@cela.ca
Prevent Cancer Now
Meg Sears, PhD, Chair
Email: Meg@PreventCancerNow.ca
Citizens' Network on Waste Management
John Jackson
Email: jjackson@web.ca
Action cancer du sein du Québec [Québec] Jennifer Beeman, Executive Director Email: Jennifer.beeman@acsqc.ca
Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec – Environmental Health Association of Quebec (ASEQ-EHAQ)
Rohini Peris, President
Email: office@aseq-ehaq.ca
West Coast Environmental Law
[British Columbia]
Jessica Clogg, Executive Director and Senior Counsel
Email: Jessica_Clogg@wcel.org
Watershed Sentinel Education Society
Anna Tilman
Email: annatilman@sympatico.ca
Health and Environmental Justice Support International (HEJSupport International)
Dr. Olga Speranskaya, Co-Director
Email: olga.speranskaya@hej-support.org
Nova Scotia Environmental Network
[Nova Scotia]
Sheila Cole Advisor
Email: sheilacole108@yahoo.ca
Environmental and Occupational Work Group,
Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition
Sarah Miller, Co-chair
Email: reachsandbarsarah@gmail.com
Canadian Association of University Teachers /
Association canadienne des professeures et
professeurs d'université
Laura Lozanski, Occupational Health & Safety Officer
Email: lozanski@caut.ca
Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern
Derek Coronado, Coordinator
Email: dcoronado@cogeco.net
Breast Cancer Action Manitoba
Louise Schoenherr, President
Email : kschoenh@mymts.net
Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter, Council of
Elaine Hughes, Chair
Email: tybach.1933@sasktel.net
Friends of the Earth
Beatrice Olivastri, CEO
Georgia Strait Alliance
[British Columbia]
Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director
Email: christianne@georgiastrait.org
Healthy Nail Salon Network
Anne Rochon Ford, Co-Lead
Email: annerf@sympatico.ca
Saint John Citizens Coalition for Clean Air
[New Brunswick]
Gordon W Dalzell, Chairperson
Email: dalmar@nbnet.nb.ca
Environmental Law Centre
Jason Unger, Executive Director
Email: Junger@elc.ab.ca
Ingersoll District Nature Club
Sheila Fleming, President
Email: Sheila.fleming@lawsonresearch.com
MiningWatch Canada
Jamie Kneen, Communications and Outreach
Email: jamie@miningwatch.ca
Ontario Rivers Alliance
Linda Heron, Chair
Email: lindah@ontarioriversalliance.ca
Wallaceburg Advisory Team for a Cleaner Habitat
Kris Lee, Chair
Email: ecowrappin(at)hotmail.com
Windsor on Watch (WOW)
Randy Emerson
Email: remerson3860@gmail.com
Montreal chapter, Council of Canadians
Abdul Pirani, chair
Email: apirani.coc.montreal@gmail.com
Georgian Bay Association
Rupert Kindersley, Executive Director
Email: rkindersley@georgianbay.ca
Ontario Headwaters Institute
Andrew McCammon, Executive Director
Email: andrew@ontarioheadwaters.ca
Provincial Council of Women of Ontario
Edeltraud Neal, President
Email: edeltraud.neal@rogers.com
The Oxford Coalition for Social Justice
Bryan J. Smith, Chair
Email: bryasmit@oxford.net
UFCW 1518
[British Columbia]
Larry Stoffman, Occupational Health and Safety
Email: larrystoffman@gmail.com
WHEN - Women's Healthy Environments Network
Cassie Barker, Executive Director
Email: cassie@womenshealthyenvironments.ca
Workers United Canada Council
Ryan Hayes, Communications and Research
Email: rhayes@workersunitedunion.ca
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
Kim Perrotta MHSc, Executive Director
Email: kim@cape.ca
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)
Michael Roche, Chief Executive Officer
Email: mroche@ohcow.on.ca
James Brophy, PhD
University of Windsor, Sociology Department
Email: jimbrophy@yahoo.com
Margaret Keith, PhD
University of Windsor, Sociology Department
Email: margkeith@yahoo.com
Dr. Gail Krantzberg
Engineering and Public Policy Program
McMaster University
Email: Krantz@mcmaster.ca
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