Terms of Reference of the Chemicals Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Council

Chemicals Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Council

1. Background

The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), launched on December 8, 2006, is an important initiative in the Government of Canada's ongoing efforts to assess and manage the potential health and environmental risks from chemicals.

The key goals of the CMP are to significantly strengthen the regime governing new and existing substances; to integrate government activities across federal statutes (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; Canada Consumer Product Safety Act; Food & Drugs Act; and Pest Control Products Act); to establish Government accountability, including enhanced monitoring, surveillance, research, and risk communications to Canadians; and to strengthen industry's role in proactively identifying and safely managing risks associated with chemicals they produce and use. The Government relies on input from multiple sectors including Indigenous organizations, academia, environment and health non-government organizations (NGOs), consumers, industry and the general public in order to implement the CMP successfully and achieve the overall goal of protecting health and the environment for all Canadians.

The second mandate of the Stakeholder Advisory Council (SAC) ended in March 2016. These Terms of Reference have been revised from the second mandate and are being used for the next phase of the CMP, which runs from April 2016 - March 2021.

2. Mandate

SAC is a venue for information and ideas exchange between Government and stakeholders and among different stakeholder groups. SAC provides input on the program implementation of the CMP from a stakeholder perspective. Issues may include risk assessment, risk management, risk communications, monitoring, research, indicators of success, chemical policy, as well as cross-cutting, integrated activities across the CMP. If necessary, SAC may form sub-groups to address topical issues at the request of the Co-Chairs.

3. Purpose

There are two goals of the CMP SAC:

  1. For stakeholders to inform and advise on Government implementation of the CMP and to foster dialogue on issues pertaining to the CMP between stakeholders and Government, and among different stakeholder groups.
  2. For Government to provide stakeholders with information on activities of the CMP which may be shared with their constituencies or members.

SAC is not a decision-making body.

4. Members

SAC will be co-chaired by Directors General of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

SAC will consist of up to 23 members and membership is approved by Co-Chairs. The final list of members will aim to include individuals who encompass the following areas:

  • Indigenous Organizations
  • Consumer Groups
  • Environment Non-Government Organizations
  • Health Non-Government Organizations
  • Industry (including associations, producers, users/retail)

Members will serve for a five-year term. In the event that a member cannot complete the term, either due to resignation or being excused from membership with just cause (for example, failure to attend meetings), the Co-Chairs will bear the responsibility of managing these changes. The Co-Chairs will consider requests for alternate/back-up members (such as, due to an anticipated absence) on a case by case basis. Requests for alternates or back-up members must be received by the Co-Chairs with no less than two weeks' notice.

5. Conduct of SAC Business

Secretariat support will be provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

The Co-Chairs will determine the final meeting agenda, and ensure that members receive all meeting materials as far in advance of the meeting as possible, with a guideline of two weeks so that members can familiarize themselves with the topics to be discussed.

There will be a minimum of two face-to-face meetings a year, with the possibility of additional technical meetings and/or teleconference discussions and email exchanges. In setting meeting dates, the Secretariat will make every attempt to accommodate the availability of as many members as possible. Meetings will be for members only, with exceptions made for observers (as approved by Co-Chairs) and subject matter experts called in to inform discussion on specific issues. Sub-groups to discuss specific issues may be formed and may include participants who are not regular SAC members, with the approval of the Co-Chairs. The following guidelines will apply during SAC meetings:

  • all members of SAC will have equal status during discussions;
  • members will be urged to find common ground rather than engage in positional debates;
  • divergent views will be acknowledged and included in meeting summaries;
  • members may participate in the official language of their choice;
  • all meeting materials will be provided in both official languages; and
  • simultaneous interpretation will be provided when needed.

Members may have an opportunity after two and half years into the mandate to evaluate the structure, processes, and operations of SAC. In addition, the Secretariat will provide a feedback form at each meeting for members to provide comments.

A meeting summary report with action items will be shared with members. The meeting summary report will also be posted on the Chemical Substances Web site. Summaries will be developed by the Secretariat, identifying views by sector where appropriate, but without individual name attributions. Members will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft prior to its posting.

6. Communications

All summary reports of CMP SAC meetings, a list of members, including short biographical descriptions of each, and the SAC Terms of Reference will be posted on the Chemical Substances Web site.

Appendix: Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Members

Members of the CMP SAC are expected to provide advice and input and to participate constructively in a process intended to foster dialogue among stakeholders and with Government representatives. Members may bring issues to the table using the agenda development process and are expected to provide any related materials as far in advance as possible, using a guideline of two weeks' lead time. All members are responsible for bringing the outcomes of SAC back to their constituencies or members.

Co-Chairs

The Co-Chairs of the CMP SAC will chair SAC meetings and hold ultimate responsibility for conduct of meetings by ensuring that members' concerns are addressed where possible, as well as making informed decisions on membership appointments and renewals. The Co-Chairs issue the approval of meeting summary reports.

During SAC meetings, the Co-Chairs will ensure that meetings adhere to the principles outlined in the SAC Terms of Reference, keep time, foster an environment for members to listen and engage in productive discussions with each other and with departmental representatives, manage conflict if necessary, and steer the meeting towards productive results.

Observers

Observers may attend SAC meetings provided they obtain approval from the Co-Chairs at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. The Co-Chairs have the right to deny or refuse any application to observe at their discretion, taking into account venue capacity, meeting balance, or other relevant considerations.

Observers are not expected to participate in member discussions but may provide written comments to the Co-Chairs before or after the meeting. The Co-Chairs may choose to allocate time during SAC meetings for observer participation and input. Observers will not receive meeting documentation.

Certain issues may require closed discussions. In such events, observers will be asked to leave the room. Efforts will be made to identify such items on the agenda in advance of the meeting.

Speakers

Speakers may be invited to present on specific topics, as determined by Co-Chairs.

Secretariat

The Secretariat will be housed at Environment and Climate Change Canada and function as the SAC's main point of contact for members. This includes providing secretarial support, planning meetings, arranging logistics, providing feedback mechanisms for members' comments, ensuring that members receive meeting materials as far in advance as possible, providing note takers, drafting meeting summary reports, and overseeing external communications.

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