Changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – CEPA Webinar Series 2020-21

Webinar Series

CELA recently conducted a series of webinars focused on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), our country’s main environmental legislation used to evaluate and manage substances. In this webinar series, we explored how CEPA can be strengthened to protect vulnerable communities, including children, women of childbearing age, workers, people of low income, and Indigenous communities from toxic exposures, using improved, modern approaches to advance prevention strategies from hazardous substances.

 

Webinar #1: Timely Change and Need: Justifying and Adopting Environmental Rights in Canadian Environmental Law

This webinar was originally aired on Thursday Nov 5, 2020
The speakers highlighted the importance of advancing environmental rights in Canada by reviewing what it means to protect Canadians from environmental pollution and what other jurisdictions are doing on environmental rights, and identifying opportunities in the review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to include obligations on environmental rights. Presenters included: Ryan Chawner, CELA Law Intern; Lisa Gue, David Suzuki Foundation and Elaine MacDonald, Ecojustice.

The full recording is available below.  The slidedecks are also available for download.
Ryan Chawner, CELA – Recognizing the Right to a Healthy Environment in Canada.pptx
Elaine MacDonald, Ecojustice – Recognizing the Right to a Healthy Environment_ Why CEPA and Why Now.pptx
Lisa Gue, David Suzuki Foundation – Environmental Rights in CEPA.pptx

Webinar #2: Are Vulnerable Populations Protected from Hazardous Chemicals in Canada? Why a New Approach is Needed

This webinar was originally aired on Thursday Nov 12, 2020
In this webinar presenters explored the challenges facing workers who handle hazardous chemicals in their workplaces, and the barriers to adopting the use of safer products in these workplaces. Nail salon workers are highlighted as a case study. The webinar discussed why the Canadian Environmental Protection Act should recognize vulnerable populations and prioritize informed substitution strategies for hazardous chemicals, rather than exposures. The Substitution Principle is illustrated with the examples of PFAS, perchloroethylene and PBDEs.
Presenters included: Anne Rochon Ford, Nail Salon Workers Project (an initiative of the Parkdale-Queen West Community Health Centre) and Beverley Thorpe, Consultant to Clean Production Action.

The full recording is available below.  The slidedecks are also available for download.
Anne Rochon Ford – Are Vulnerable Populations Protected from Hazardous Chemicals in Canada_ The Case of Nail Salon Workers
Beverley Thorpe – Why the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) needs to adopt the Substitution Principle to help protect vulnerable populations

Webinar #3:  How can modern science intercept environmental contributors to chronic diseases? Gaps and solutions for chemical regulation

The final webinar of the series on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) focused on limitations of the current regulatory approaches, and outlines amendments to CEPA to protect vulnerable groups. Current methods fail to assess and prevent chronic conditions associated with disruption of biological signals (e.g., endocrine disruption), that direct development and affect the state of health. Meg Sears PhD, of Prevent Cancer Now will highlight some key health impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals on vulnerable groups including children and the developing fetus, and analyse of points of failure of the current assessment approaches. Prevention of toxicant exposures and the escalating trends of chronic diseases rests in closing these gaps and modernizing Canada’s environmental laws, to recognise and protect vulnerable groups from hazardous chemicals.

The full recording is available below.  The slide deck is also available for download.
Meg Sears – Science to Intercept Environmental Contributors to Chronic Diseases

 

Webinar #4: Are Canada’s Environmental Laws up to the Challenge?  Protecting Communities, their Rights and the Environment from the Threats of Biotechnology

This webinar originally aired on Friday, January 22, 2021

 

 

 


CELA collaborated with Nature Canada on this webinar.

For over 20 years, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) has been used to evaluate and manage genetically engineered animals and other products of biotechnology. In this webinar, we exploree how CEPA has performed, and whether it is protecting nature and communities exposed to products of biotechnology, particularly Indigenous people and their rights. With recent advances in genetic engineering, such as CRISPR, as well as more products of biotechnology entering the Canadian marketplace, an assessment of CEPA’s effectiveness is long overdue. In the September 2020 Throne Speech, the federal government made a commitment to “modernize” CEPA.  This webinar will highlight the recent example of AquAdvantage Salmon and the changes needed to better regulate future proposals to manufacture or import new GE animals.

The full recording is available below.  The slidedecks are also available for download.
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network – CEPA Webinar #4 – CBAN
Charlie Greg Sark, Professor, University of Prince Edward Island – CEPA Webinar #4 – Charlie Sark
Hugh Benevides,  Advisor (CEPA Reform), Nature Canada – CEPA Webinar #4 – Nature Canada
Elaine MacDonald, Senior Scientist, Ecojustice – CEPA Webinar #4 – Ecojustice

Webinar #5: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Perspectives on Bill C-28 and the Proposed Changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)

During this webinar, participants learned about the key changes proposed in Bill C-28 and what further changes to CEPA are required to protect the environment and the health of Canadians.

The full recording is available below.  All of the presenters slide decks are available here.

CELA is pleased to recognize the support it receives for the webinar series from MakeWay – Dragonfly Fund, Canadian Environmental Law Association’s Healthy Great Lakes Program, Canadian Environmental Law Foundation and Legal Aid Ontario.

For more information, contact: Fe de Leon, MPH, Researcher and Paralegal, Canadian Environmental Law Association at deleonf@cela.ca or at 416-960-2284 ext 7223