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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2001 to March 2002
- 1. Administration
- 2. Public Participation
- 3. Information Gathering, Objectives, Guidelines, and Codes of Practice
- 4. Pollution Prevention
- 5. Controlling Toxic Substances
- 6. Animate Products of Biotechnology
- 7. Controlling Pollution and Managing Wastes
- 8. Environmental Emergencies
- 9. Government Operations, Federal and Aboriginal Land
- 10. Enforcement
- 11. Miscellaneous Matters
- National Library of Canada cataloguing in publication data
2. Public Participation
Public participation in matters related to CEPA 1999 is an integral part of the success of the Act. Part 2 outlines participation requirements under the Act, such as the establishment of an environmental registry. Related provisions are also covered such as "whistleblower protection," allowing an individual who is at least 18 years of age and a resident of Canada to request an investigation of an alleged offence, and reiterating the common law and the Quebec Civil Code right to seek compensation through civil action for loss or damage as a result of an alleged violation of the Act or regulations.
The Act requires the establishment of an Environmental Registry to facilitate public access to information relating to the Act, such as proposed administrative and equivalency agreements, regulations, and Ministerial notices.
Since the launch of the Environmental Registry on March 31, 2000, ongoing efforts have been made to increase its reliability and user friendliness. The database structure was updated to a more robust operating system to accommodate growth and facilitate use, and the search function was refined. The content and structure of the Registry continue to evolve as new documents are added and improvements are identified and implemented. Registry users are invited, on an ongoing basis, to comment and make suggestions.
To date, statistics indicate that the information found on the Registry is used not only by the public, but by the department itself. In its second year of operation, the Registry has seen a twofold increase in site usage; there were twice as many users (approximately 160 000) and double the number of hits (approximately 6.5 million). At the end of March 2002, there were almost 15 000 visitors per month, averaging 480 hits per day.
The success of the Registry is the result of a team effort involving staff across Environment Canada and Health Canada. Since the launch, a network of headquarters and regional contacts has alerted the Registry office to relevant documents and public participation opportunities. This support has significantly increased the efficiency and timeliness of the information-gathering process.
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