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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2004 to March 2005

11. Miscellaneous Matters

The Act sets out general authorities or conditions for disclosure of information, general regulation-making provisions, regulations regarding cost recovery, use of economic instruments (deposit/refund systems and tradable unit systems), requirements governing publication of various CEPA 1999 instruments, boards of review, and review of the Act by Parliament every five years.

11.1 Economic Instruments

There were no new economic instruments introduced under CEPA 1999 during 2004-05.

11.2 CEPA Review

CEPA 1999 stipulates that a Parliamentary Committee must review the provisions and operations of the Act every five years after it comes into force. The Parliamentary Committee will conduct a review of the Act beginning sometime after March 31, 2005. The Committee will have up to one year to complete the review from the time it is initiated, but may be granted an extension. Their recommendations will then be provided to Parliament, and the government will have 120 days to respond. The drafting and consultations on any required revisions to the Act will follow.

In order to prepare for the parliamentary review, a number of activities were undertaken by Environment Canada and Health Canada during 2004-05 to identify issues of potential interest regarding the legislative framework of CEPA 1999, hear the views about CEPA 1999 by relevant health and environment sector stakeholders and other governments, and evaluate the progress made on CEPA 1999 implementation to date.

As a first step in the process to prepare for the parliamentary review, Environment Canada and Health Canada conducted an internal analysis of the departments' experience over the last four years of implementing CEPA 1999. This assessment included consideration of the issues and views that were brought to the departments' attention by various stakeholders and government officials during these last four years. The departments also analyzed their perspectives on how environmental management and the related protection of human health in Canada need to evolve. This led to the preparation of a consultation document entitled Scoping the Issues: Preparation for the Parliamentary Review of CEPA 1999.

This consultation document was developed as background for a series of planned workshops and was also posted on the CEPA Registry to allow for a separate written consultation process. The public stakeholder workshops were held in late January and early February 2005 in six cities across Canada (Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Yellowknife, and Vancouver).

Existing mechanisms were then used to engage interested parties, such as federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and Aboriginal groups. For example, a subcommittee of the CCME is the primary mechanism being used for identifying provincial/territorial issues with respect to CEPA 1999. Regular updates on activities were also provided to the CEPA 1999 National Advisory Committee.

Given the number of external stakeholders that were expected to take an interest in the review process and the complexity of the issues, a multistakeholder advisory committee was established to help guide the departments in developing useful background documents for the discussion process and in preparing for public workshops. The advisory committee included representatives of environmental and health non-governmental organizations, industry, labour, other federal departments, provincial governments, and Aboriginal organizations.

Over 1500 organizations, associations, networks, groups, and individuals with an interest in CEPA 1999 were directly contacted about the public engagement opportunities and were given information on how to get involved. These participants were affiliated with a broad cross-section of interests, including all levels of government, Aboriginal groups, industry, business, the natural resource sectors (e.g., farming, fisheries, and forestry), environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), labour, public health and consumer groups, and individual members of the Canadian public.

Participation ranged from 44 in Halifax to a high of 141 in Toronto for the sessions (see Table 14).

Table 14: Public Participation during the Cross-Canada Workshops
SectorHalifaxTorontoMontrealEdmontonYellowknifeVancouver
Aboriginal013224
Agriculture032301
ENGOs9201013315
Federal677659
Health3132210
Industry4271719630
Media010000
Municipal2183315
Other073000
Prov. / Terr.1428512
Research030000
University200101

In general, stakeholders indicated that CEPA 1999 should not undergo major changes at this time. Rather, the emphasis was placed on how the departments implement the Act. However, it was proposed that a small number of amendments may need to be considered to address specific concerns. The scoping document and a summary report of the workshops are available on the CEPA 1999 Review website located on the CEPA Environmental Registry.

Thirty-two detailed submissions were received from a wide range of interest groups and organizations, including academia, First Nations, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, and industry (see Table 15).

Table 15: Scoping Paper Comments from the Public*
OrganizationsTotal of comments received
Academia3
First Nations1
Municipalities4
ENGOs13
Industry11
Total32

* These comments were received electronically

In addition to this public engagement process, independent departmental evaluations of the implementation of the Act were initiated. These evaluations have provided an important complement to the issues identified internally and by stakeholders. Among other things, the evaluations have considered whether:

  • mandatory obligations are being met and progress is being made in realizing the Act's intended outcomes;
  • issues and programs are being managed in an effective and cost-efficient manner;
  • progress is being measured and reported, defensible priorities have been established, and performance measurement data and priority setting are being used in decision-making; and
  • appropriate staff and resources are in place.

The Environment Canada evaluation was posted on the CEPA Registry.

Based on these preparatory activities, Environment Canada and Health Canada are expected to provide information on the issues that the departments believe would benefit from consideration during the review.

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