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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2003 to March 2004

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, whistleblower protection and the right to seek damages.

2.1 Environmental Registry

Since the launch of the Environmental Registry on March 31, 2000, Environment Canada has made efforts to increase the Registry's reliability and user friendliness. In 2003-04, the database structure was updated to a more robust operating system to accommodate growth and facilitate use. As well, the search function was improved, and various sections were refined in response to user input. The content and structure of the Registry continue to evolve as new documents are added and improvements implemented. Registry users are invited to comment and make suggestions on an ongoing basis.

As part of Environment Canada's efforts to improve information services to Canadians, web access and inquiries about the Registry have been monitored and evaluated. To date, the usage reports suggest that the information found on the Registry is useful not only to the public, but to the Department itself. In its fourth year of operation, the Registry's trend for increased utilization continued, with more site usage than ever before. The total number of visits per month nearly doubled from April 2003 to March 2004, and there was an overall increase of 77% more visitors for this fiscal year than the previous year.

Figure 1 : Number of Environmental Registry Users
Number of Environmental Registry Users

In comparison with the previous fiscal year, the CEPA Registry office received twice as many requests for information from the public, industry, students and Environment Canada employees, underlining the importance of the information-gathering process as well as reinforcing the Registry's role as a key instrument in meeting the commitment under CEPA 1999 to public participation.

CEPA Environmental Registry

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