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ARCHIVED - CEPA - Annual Report for the Period April 1993 to March 1994

Minister's Message

I am pleased to present this fifth annual report on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to Parliament. The past year has been a particularly busy one in environmental protection. Under CEPA in 1993-94, Environment Canada:

  • completed assessments of all 44 substances on the first Priority Substances List and made great headway in developing the second;
  • brought one new regulation into force, made major revisions to one regulation and continued work on several other regulatory initiatives;
  • reviewed all 25 CEPA regulations, taking action to eliminate any duplication;
  • began negotiations on amendments to the London Convention on ocean dumping aimed at strengthening safeguards of the marine environment;
  • contributed to major international research on controlling and cleaning up marine oil spills; and
  • maintained an active inspection program for compliance with CEPA regulations throughout Canada.

CEPA was passed six years ago to respond to a number of concerns: the need to control toxic substances, the need to prevent harm to the environment, the lack of coherence among federal laws, and the inadequacy of enforcement. Since then, much has changed. Our understanding of the importance of sustainable development and biodiversity has increased dramatically. A strong commitment to link environmental health with human health has emerged. Many new international agreements must be considered to advance global action.

Perhaps most importantly, we see a growing desire throughout Canada and the world to move from simply controlling or cleaning up pollution to preventing it in the first place. CEPA recognizes the need for preventive measures and, clearly, the objective of working with key stakeholders for pollution prevention as a national goal goes beyond existing laws and regulations. But we can do more. We know now that we must consider the entire ecosystem when we address issues of air, land, water and living organisms.

This report is the last before the CEPA Parliamentary Review, during which the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development will encourage Canadians to reflect on CEPA's accomplishments and to look ahead to CEPA's greater potential. Canadians are demanding more say on environmental protection. The Minister of Health and I, who share responsibility for CEPA, believe that the review process will give Canadians an opportunity to voice their opinions on current environmental protection issues. We are confident that the fruit of this process will be a better Act and a healthier environment.

Sheila Copps
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of the Environment

Minister's Message
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