Interim government response to review of Canadian Environmental Protection Act

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Message from the Ministers

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting human health and the environment for the well-being of all Canadians. In the last Speech from the Throne, the Government committed to “take measures to achieve tangible improvements in our environment, including reduction in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) is the Government's cornerstone legislation for preventing pollution in order to protect Canada's environment and the health of Canadians.

This legislation is strengthened by the requirement that it be reviewed by a Committee of Parliament on a regular basis. During the past year, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development conducted its review and issued its report in May 2007, The Canadian Environmental Protection Act--Five-year Review: Closing the Gaps. During the same period, the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources also reviewed certain aspects of CEPA, and plans to issue its report by the end of October 2007.

As we await the Senate Committee report this fall, we are pleased to provide this interim response to the House of Commons Standing Committee. We acknowledge the thoughtful work of the members of the committee in conducting its review. The committee's recommendations will provide valuable guidance to ensure that CEPA remains modern and effective legislation for protecting the environment and health of Canadians. We also value the reasoned and helpful contributions of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and of the many witnesses who contributed to the reviews from civil society, business, academia and international institutions.

The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment

The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

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