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The CEPA 1999 Review Process

CEPA 1999 came into force on March 31, 2000 following an extensive Parliamentary Review of the "original" 1988 CEPA. As a result of that process, Parliament decided that the Act and its administration should be reviewed every five years. As of March 31, 2005, CEPA 1999 stood referred for Parliamentary Review. In April 2006, the work of the CEPA 1999 Review was referred to two Parliamentary Committees, one from each House of Parliament:

An Issues Paper was prepared to support the deliberations of both committees. In May 2007, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development presented its report, "The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 - Five- Year Review: Closing the Gaps", to the House of Commons. The Government tabled its interim response to the House of Commons report on October 17, 2007.

The Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources extended its Review timeline with the intent of presenting its final report by October 31, 2007. However, due to the prorogation of Parliament in September 2007, the Committee further extended its Review timeline to present its final report by February 29, 2008 followed by another extension to March 31, 2008. On March 4, 2008 the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources released its report on the review of The Canadian Environmental  Protection Act (1999, c. 33) Rx: Strengthen and Apply Diligently The Government will table a final consolidated response to both committee reports after reviewing the recommendations of the Senate Standing Committee.

The Phases of the Review

The CEPA 1999 Parliamentary Review will consist of four main phases

2004-2005Phase 1 - Preparations for Parliamentary Review
2006-2008 (completed)Phase 2 - Review of Act by Parliamentary Committee(s)
Each Parliamentary Committee has up to one year to table a final report of their findings with Parliament unless otherwise instructed. The one-year period commences when the Committee begins the Review. The Committee may request a time extension.
2007 -& 2008 (in progress)Phase 3 - Government response
The Government has a maximum of 120 calendar days to table a response to the House of Common's Committee Report, and a maximum of 150 calendar days to table a response to the Senate Committee Report, if requested.
2008 -& 2009 (estimated)

Phase 4 - Bill phase if required:

  • House
    • First Reading
    • Second Reading
    • Committee Phase
    • Report Stage
    • Third Reading
  • Approval by House of Commons
  • Senate
    • First Reading
    • Second Reading
    • Committee Phase, Report Stage
    • Third Reading, Approval
2009 (estimated)Royal Assent and Proclamation of amended or new CEPA if required
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