The Government of Canada to develop a National Strategy for the safe and environmentally sound disposal of lamps containing mercury

News Release

The National Strategy will build on and complement efforts already underway

Ottawa, Ontario – June 26, 2017 – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Canada is committed to protecting the environment and safeguarding the health of Canadians from toxic substances. Mercury remains a risk to Canadian ecosystems and human health which is why the Government of Canada is taking action to address public concerns about the disposal of lamps containing mercury.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, was pleased to see Bill C-238 receive Royal Assent in the Senate. This Private Member’s Bill was put forward by the Member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Darren Fisher, and it requires the Minister to work with provincial and territorial governments to develop a National Strategy to ensure that lamps containing mercury are safely disposed of. This work will be done in consultation with Indigenous Peoples, environmental groups, and industry and will build on efforts by other jurisdictions and industry that are already underway.

In February 2017, the Government published a voluntary Code of Practice designed to encourage retailers, transporters, and recyclers to incorporate best practices in their management of end-of-life mercury-containing lamps, to prevent the release of mercury into the environment.

The Code also supports the objectives of the Minamata Convention, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, which was ratified by Canada on April 7, 2017.


“Our Government is unwavering in its commitment to safeguard the environment and the health of Canadians from the effects of mercury. We will work closely with all interested groups in developing a National Strategy, building on efforts that are already underway.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • The Minamata Convention has been ratified by more than 50 countries and will come into force in August 2017.

  • To meet the requirements of The Convention, Canada published the Export Control List Regulations in 2017, prohibiting the export of mercury, with limited exceptions.

  • In February 2017, as part of the Government of Canada’s approach to reducing mercury emissions into the environment, Environment and Climate Change Canada published the Code of Practice for the Environmentally Sound Management of End-of-life Lamps Containing Mercury.

Associated Links


Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

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