Law Reform: Reforming the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) is the cornerstone of Canada’s regulatory system for protecting the environment. At CELA, our  primary focus on issues addressed by CEPA is the regulation of toxic substances. CEPA requires that all substances used in Canada be assessed for environmental and human health impacts. 

First enacted in 1988, then revised in 1999, Section 343 of CEPA, 1999 requires a periodic review by Parliament. The current review commenced in 2016 culminating in a report in 2017 from the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. A government response to this review was published in 2018.  More than two years later, a Throne Speech commitment describes the federal government’s intent to proceed with CEPA revisions during 2021, now proposed in Bill C-28, about which CELA has significant concerns. CELA will continue to prepare extensive analyses about how CEPA can be improved. Below are collections of these detailed and summary materials, followed by a historical collection of our work during the 1990s review that culminated in CEPA, 1999.  

The Mazinaw Rock, Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario.
Photo credit: Ariana Kaminski

Reforming CEPA, 1999 - What's needed?

Publications, Presentations

From CELA's History - The First CEPA Review