Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 annual report for April 2002 to March 2003

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I am pleased to provide Canadians with the Government of Canada's annual report on the administration of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) for the reporting period April 2002 to March 2003.

The goals of the act, which came into force on March 31, 2000, are to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention and to protect the environment, human life, and human health from the risks associated with pollution. With the close collaboration of my colleague, the Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Health, Environment Canada and Health Canada officials are committed to fulfilling our obligations under CEPA 1999.

During the reporting period, Budget 2003 saw the government increase its support of CEPA 1999 programs by allocating $75.0 million over two years to improve the capacity within Environment Canada and Health Canada for meeting CEPA 1999 obligations.

The new resources are expediting the work in numerous programs, from risk assessment and management of toxic substances to compliance promotion and enforcement, as well as monitoring environmental quality and reporting environmental information to the public. This year's accomplishments in areas such as clean air and clean water underscore the value and effectiveness of CEPA 1999 in helping us to accomplish our sustainable development goals.

The report also emphasizes the importance of collaboration with other countries, all government jurisdictions, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Canada's international agenda focused on the global assessment of mercury, a review of the Global Programme of Action to evaluate our progress in protecting the marine environment, and the adoption of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Effective and integrated approaches, policies, and programs supported by strengthened partnerships led to government departments working together across the board to share information. We continued to draw on a growing body of information to generate concrete solutions that address real environmental problems and health challenges, such as circulatory and respiratory diseases.

We continued to engage the United States on transboundary issues and the provinces to achieve more stringent national guidelines on air and water quality. The result is that our policies and, in particular, our CEPA 1999 actions have led to a cleaner environment and better health.

As we continue to expand our scientific understanding of the impacts and risks of chemical substances released into the environment, I am confident that the authorities found in CEPA 1999 will help Canadians in their efforts to protect and conserve their health and environment.

For further information on actions being taken under CEPA 1999, and to find ways to become part of the solution, I encourage all Canadians to consult the CEPA Environmental Registry on Environment Canada's website.


The Honourable David Anderson, M.P., P.C.
Minister of the Environment

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