National Pollutant Release Inventory for Canada: final report, chapter 9


Stakeholders on the NPRI advisory committee wish to express their appreciation to Environment Canada for their consultative approach to the NPRI design. The Committee believes that this approach has both increased the acceptance of the inventory, and improved its design. For the same reasons, the Committee is proposing further consultation on the issues it has identified as needing additional work (please see chapter 6).


The Committee recommends a consultation process that would allow stakeholders flexibility in choosing their preferred level and type of participation. This mechanism could accommodate any number of interested stakeholders; if many stakeholders are interested, a workshop could be held; if a few are interested, then a work group conference might be appropriate.

The process would use the following elements:

  1. An NPRI consultation advisory committee, composed of no more than eight stakeholders (with two representatives each from industry, environmental groups/labour/other non-governmental organizations, provincial governments, and the federal government). Its mandate would be limited to advising on the consultation process; it would not debate issues of substance.
  2. A core list of the industry associations, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies with a direct, ongoing interest in the NPRI. This would serve as the source list for participants in the consultation.
  3. A list of companies, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and individuals to be kept informed of NPRI developments and news through regular mailings.
  4. An NPRI consultation work plan describing the issues and timetable for the discussions.

The process would work as follows:

Environment Canada would propose a consultation work plan to the consultation advisory committee. After review, the committee would recommend the appropriate consultation mechanism for each issue, such as a work group, committee, workshop, and so on.

The consultation work plan would then be mailed to both the core list and the information list. Those on the core list would be given the opportunity to register and participate in each consultation. Those on the information list would be asked to contact their representative on the consultation advisory committee, or an association on the core list to which they belong, if they wished to participate.

The consultation advisory committee would examine the stakeholders' responses, propose any changes needed in the process, or adjustments to the number and types of participants. Once the consultation was over, the committee would review the record to ensure that it was conducted to all stakeholders' satisfaction.

The Committee considered, but decided against, proposing formation of a permanent NPRI advisory committee. Given the issues to be discussed and the interests of stakeholders, they were concerned about an imbalance in the participation of the various stakeholder groups. Allowing more flexibility in the choice of participants, and how they take part, would be more efficient and effective than a standing advisory committee.

The Committee recommends that the future approach to consultations be similar to the one used over the past year. The consultation should try to:

  1. identify areas of agreement among stakeholders;
  2. resolve disagreements, and
  3. where agreement is not reached, identify the differing views.
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