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Canada Welcomes Global, Legally Binding Agreement to Control Mercury

OTTAWA, Ont. -- January 23, 2013 -- Environment Minister Peter Kent issued the following statement highlighting Canada's positive role in the successful negotiations of the Intergovernmental Committee on mercury in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The fifth and final session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on mercury was successful in finalizing the text of a global, legally binding agreement to prevent mercury emissions and releases under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

“Canada welcomes the new treaty as it will help reduce the long-range transport of mercury, especially to Canada’s Arctic. These changes will further protect the health of all Canadians, and our environment, from risks posed by foreign sources of mercury. Over 95% of the man-made mercury pollution deposited in Canada comes from foreign sources and tends to accumulate in the Canadian Arctic.

“Canada has reduced its domestic mercury emissions by almost 90% over the past 30 years. Our government is working to strengthen rules to further prohibit the manufacture and import of most mercury-containing products in Canada with an aim to severely restrict mercury-containing products in the Canadian market.

“I would like to thank Canada’s team of negotiators who were influential in ensuring strong treaty text which, for the first time, includes binding compliance measures.

“To be known as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the treaty will be ready for signature at a special UNEP meeting in Japan in October.”

For more information, please contact:

Adam Sweet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

Environment Canada’s Twitter page: twitter.com/environmentca

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