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Speech for

The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment

To the
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

October 25, 2012

Thank you, and good afternoon.

Let me begin by congratulating all of you for having reached yet another milestone. Two years ago, it was the silver anniversary of Responsible Care. This year, you’re marking the golden anniversary of your Association itself.

As you reflect on your achievements today, and look ahead to the next 50 years, the Government of Canada is proud to be part of your celebration. Indeed, the Chemistry Industry Association and Environment Canada enjoy a growing partnership. Together, we’re coming up with sustainable solutions to a number of challenges that face us.

With the introduction of Responsible Care 27 years ago, your association showed Canadians that it was serious about caring for the environment. You became a global leader in the field. And today, Responsible Care remains the gold standard for improving environmental performance in the chemical industry.

At last count, I understand that 55 chemical industry associations in 60 countries around the world are implementing your program. And Responsible Care continues to solicit interest from countries in Asia and Africa. Yours is clearly a global success story.

Of course, your Association is also a key partner in the Government’s Chemicals Management Program.

Since we launched the Chemicals Management Plan in 2006, for example, you’ve played an active role in the Stakeholder Advisory Council. By reaching out to your own partners, you’ve made our collective approach that much stronger.

To date, the Plan is helping us protect Canadians and the environment through the responsible use of a range of chemicals -- from Bisphenol A (BPA) to Isoprene to many others even more difficult to pronounce…

Now, with your collaboration, we’re developing a new, targeted approach to information-gathering under the Chemicals Management Plan. Ultimately, this will enhance our ability to assess and responsibly manage chemicals. At the same time, it will help the industry.

We got off to a good start in the first phase of our work. And, as we move forward, examining additional chemicals, we’ll continue to build on the lessons we’ve learned.

Your Association is also partnering with us around the issue of air quality. For the past four years, for example, you’ve taken a leading role in helping to develop a new Air Quality Management System for Canada. Your advice and constructive input have certainly been both relevant and useful.

Your leadership in working with governments and other stakeholders is helping us find a way to reduce air pollution. All this to say, the collaboration between governments and industry on chemicals is truly a breath of fresh air.

Also, I am proud to say that, using the sector-by-sector approach, the Harper Government has already taken action on Canada’s two largest sources of emissions--electricity and transportation.

We’ve published regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector. We have new standards for light-duty vehicles with even more stringent regulations on the way for the 2017 model year and beyond.  

With all these efforts, we’re already halfway toward meeting our 2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions under the Copenhagen Accord.

In closing, let me again offer my congratulations on your achievements. They have played, and will continue to play, a valuable role in protecting Canadians and the environment from potentially harmful chemicals.

Through our shared commitment, we will work hard to ensure present and future generations can enjoy clean air and clean water.

Thank you.

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