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ARCHIVED - What's Happening With the CEPA Review?

An Update from the CEPA Office

September 15, 1994

1. Issue Elaboration Papers

The following Issue Elaboration Papers are complete and have been forwarded to the House of Commons Standing Committee for their use:

  • Sustainable Development
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem Approach
  • Coastal Zone Management in Canada
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Strategic Options

These papers are also currently being prepared for wider distribution and will be forwarded to all our identified stakeholders this week. Within a few weeks, these papers, as well as other relevant documents prepared in the CEPA Office, will be available electronically through our Bulletin Board System(BBS) or on our conference on the Web Network. You will be advised as soon as these systems are fully operational.

2. Activities of the Standing Committee

We have been advised that the Committee plans to reconvene on September 19,1994. For the first few weeks, they will be conducting their activities in the Headquarters area and in November will be meeting with the CCME Ministers at their annual gathering in Bathurst, New Brunswick. They may also travel to other regions of the country later in the review process.

To date, sixty(60) requests have been received by the Committee from individuals/organizations who wish to present submissions on the CEPA Review. Forty (40) of these are from Ontario. Regional personnel are now canvassing their respective areas to determine possible areas for regional Committee sessions. Further updates will be provided as the Committee schedule is finalized.

3. Federal/Provincial Harmonization Initiative

Lead representatives from all CCME jurisdictions (except PEI) held their first meeting in Winnipeg, August 29-31,1994. The objectives of the meeting were to: familiarize Lead Representatives with the concept of interest based negotiations; establish the ground rules for the negotiations; and review the first draft of the general provisions of the Environmental Management Framework Agreement and the first four functional definitions (monitoring; environmental assessment, licensing and approvals; enforcement and international agreements). The Lead Representatives Committee (LRC) provided extensive comments on the general provisions of the Agreement and that document has been extensively revised by Manitoba. The September 8 version is now being reviewed by each jurisdiction in preparation for the next LRC meeting being held in Ottawa, September 13-16,1994. Also, extensive comments were provided on the definitions for environmental assessment, licensing and approvals and monitoring and these definitions have been revised by CCME for the next LRC meeting.

All jurisdictions are working on their expectations and positions regarding the identified functional areas and these documents are being submitted for discussion at the Ottawa meeting. Janet Bax is continuing to involve the DOE Harmonization Working Group through consultations on all documents and discussions on all issues. Details on the Harmonization Process are available from the Working Group members.

4. Departmental Position Paper

In response to the Standing Committee's request for advice on how to deal with the issues identified in the "Issues Overview Paper", a departmental position paper is currently being prepared. The intent of the paper is to provide guidance on what a renewed CEPA should look like. We, and Health Canada, as administrators of the Act, have undergone an extended learning process since CEPA came into force and it is to be expected that our two departments would have first hand knowledge of the Act, its strengths and weaknesses. Input to this initiative will be widely solicited in the near future.

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