Issues in Our Communities

Your Environment

Clean Air

The quality of the air we breathe is a major concern today and while progress is being made to improve air quality, we still have a lot to do and everyone (individuals, communities and governments) has a role to play. Doing your bit for clean air is simple, and there are plenty of different ideas that involve the home, transportation, school and the community.

For more information, please visit Environment Canada's Air website section or conduct one of two following searches of the Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (CPPIC) database.

  1. Conduct a keyword search of the CPPIC database using the search term clean air.
  2. Conduct a sector search by choosing the category "Other Services" and then selecting the sector "Private Households". On the "Sector Search – Criteria" page choose air or emissions from the "Substance/Issue" drop down menu and then follow the instructions to further refine your search.

Climate Change

Climate change is a change in the "average weather" that a given region experiences. Average weather includes all the features we associate with the weather such as temperature, wind patterns and precipitation. Climate change is more than a warming trend. Increasing temperatures will lead to changes in many aspects of weather, such as wind patterns, the amount and type of precipitation, and the types and frequency of severe weather events that may be expected to occur in an area. Such climate change could have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social and economic consequences.

A natural system known as the "greenhouse effect" regulates the temperature on earth. Human activities have resulted in the release of significant quantities of greenhouse gases, which remain in the atmosphere for long periods of time. This intensifies the natural greenhouse effect.

For more information, please visit Environment Canada's Climate Change website section, or conduct a sector search of the CPPIC database. Conduct a sector search by choosing the category "Other Services" and then selecting the sector "Private Households". On the "Sector Search – Criteria" page, choose climate change from the "Substance/Issue" drop down menu and then follow the instructions to further refine your search.


Toxic Substances

There are many definitions of toxic, but under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), a substance is deemed to be toxic if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that:

  1. have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;
  2. constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or
  3. constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health. (Section 64).

Part 5 of CEPA 1999 focuses on understanding and reducing the risks posed by new and existing substances by providing the authority to determine which of these substances should be evaluated to determine whether they are "toxic", and, if appropriate, the authority to implement preventive or control measures to relevant aspects of the substance life cycle. Environment Canada shares with Health Canada the task of conducting risk assessments as well as the management associated with toxic substances.

Substances that are determined to be "toxic" under CEPA 1999 are recommended for addition to the List of Toxic Substances (Schedule 1) of the Act. Preventive or control actions such as regulations, guidelines or codes of practice, are then considered for any aspect of the substance's life cycle from the research and development stage through manufacture, use, storage, transport and ultimate disposal or recycling.

For more information, please visit Environment Canada's Management of Toxic Substances website section, or conduct a keyword search of the CPPIC database.