ARCHIVED - Memorandum of Understanding on Research and Scientific Advice Between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency Health Canada

Purpose

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to record the agreement on principles and the intent to establish mechanisms that facilitate the exchange of scientific information and advice, and to promote strong working relationships between Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Health Canada (HC).

Background

The DFO, through its scientific programs, provides scientific advice on the effects of man-made and natural physical, chemical and biological impacts on freshwater and marine ecosystems in support of its responsibilities under the Fisheries Act and the Oceans Act for the conservation and protection of freshwater and oceans ecosystems. DFO provides this advice to such regulatory authorities as the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which administers the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), and Environment Canada, which administers Section 36 of the Fisheries Act.

The PCPA establishes the mandate to protect human health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with pest control products, while enabling access to pest management tools, namely, these products and sustainable pest management strategies. The PMRA interacts with Environment Canada directly on regulatory issues related to Section 36 of the Fisheries Act.

Principles

The DFO and the PMRA, in carrying out their respective mandates, will cooperate and support each other, as appropriate.

The DFO and the PMRA will foster strong working relations by establishing mechanisms and links to share scientific information and advice, taking into account constraints imposed by statutory and common law on the sharing of confidential information.

Implementation

Those persons responsible for the administration of this MOU will meet as necessary to ensure that mechanisms for the implementation of this MOU as follows are in place and being utilized effectively.

In accordance with its mandates, the DFO will continue to carry out a program of research and monitoring activities with respect to the impact, presence and fate of pest control products in fish, fish habitat and marine ecosystems and the use of fisheries resources, and will:

  • provide the results and conclusions of these activities to the PMRA in a timely manner;
  • discuss with the PMRA priorities for research and monitoring in these areas, on a regular basis, and as needed; and,
  • provide expertise and scientific advice to the PMRA to help guide the design of research and monitoring programs that are to be undertaken by other parties in relation to the PMRA's regulatory functions.

The PMRA will consider the results and conclusions of DFO research and monitoring programs in its registration decisions, in establishing priorities for re-evaluation and special reviews, during re-evaluation and special reviews and in considering the need for label changes.

The DFO and the PMRA will inform, consult and consider each others' methodology and expertise, as appropriate, in the development of environmental risk assessment methodology, data requirements and test guidelines.

In order that the DFO can fulfill its mandate and in order that the DFO can provide advice on design and implementation of relevant research and monitoring studies in relation to regulatory decision-making by the PMRA, the PMRA will:

  • provide the DFO access to pertinent confidential information supporting pesticide registrations, taking into account constraints imposed by statutory and common law; and,
  • provide the DFO access to information in the databases that the PMRA will establish on pesticide use and releases into the environment, taking into account constraints imposed by statutory and common law.

The PMRA and the DFO will work to strengthen the connections made between research and regulation of pesticides through the use of the established framework for interactions, such as the 5NR (Five Natural Resource Departments) Working Groups. This framework includes the commitment to identify relevant scientific research needs and priorities of all the participating departments, to define their respective roles, to implement action plans and to report results.

The DFO and the PMRA will provide to each other, on request, information to support briefing and correspondence needs of Ministers and senior management.

Accountability

Accountability for the success of this MOU rests with the Executive Director of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Oceans, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The primary points of contact under this MOU, who shall be responsible for its administration, are the Director of the Alternative Strategies and Regulatory Affairs Division, PMRA, HC and the Director of the Environmental Science Branch, DFO.

Terms of the MOU

This MOU will come into effect on the date of the last signature and can be amended at any time by the agreement of both parties.

The DFO and the PMRA will review this MOU after 12 months of signing to determine its adequacy.

Participation in this MOU can be terminated by mutual consent or by one party giving three months written notice.

Signed:

C.A. Franklin
Executive Director
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
M. King
Acting Assistant Deputy Minister
Oceans
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 26, 2001

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