Wednesdays – September 21, October 12, 19, and 26, 2022
1:00 – 2:15 pm ET
(2:00-3:15pm Atlantic, 12:00-1:15pm Central, 11:00am-12:15pm Mountain, 10:00-11:15am Pacific)
The Canadian Government has introduced Bill S-5, an Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), into the House of Commons. CEPA regulates everything from the most dangerous pollutants, to plastic manufactured items, to genetically engineered animals.
The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Nature Canada invite you to a webinar series discussing CEPA reform and the need to significantly strengthen the Act. We hope that the webinar series will generate discussion and encourage others to engage in the CEPA reform process.
Registration is required for each webinar, please see individual links for each webinar below.
Webinar 1: The Problem
This webinar aired on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The recording is below.
Dr. Miriam Diamond, University of Toronto
Dr. Mark Winfield, York University
Webinar 2: The Fix
This webinar aired on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The recording is below.
Click here to access Senator Rosa Galvez’ slide deck.
Click here to access Joseph Castrilli’s slide deck.
Click here to access Hugh Benevides’ slide deck.
Click here to access the opening and closing slides.
CELA-Nature Canada will be joined by Senator Rosa Galvez, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; Joseph Castrilli, Counsel, CELA; and Hugh Benevides, Advisor, Nature Canada to share the highlights of the parliamentary process on Bill S-5 as well as the solutions needed to address and strengthen Bill S-5 as it heads into the House of Commons.
Webinar 3: CEPA and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
This webinar aired on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. The recording is below.
Click here to access Senator Mary Jane McCallum’s speaking notes.
Click here to access Joshua McNeely’s slide deck.
Click here to access Mike Perry’s slide deck.
Click here to access the opening and closing slides.
The webinar also featured speaker Sylvia Plain from Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Great Lakes Canoe Journey. Sylvia did not have a slide deck.
This webinar focused on CEPA and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. You’ll learn about the importance of cooperation and consultation with Indigenous people, how Indigenous communities are impacted by pollution and chemicals, and the connections between the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the review of the CEPA.
Webinar 4: CEPA and Vulnerable Populations, Electromagnetic Frequency and Biotechnology
This webinar aired on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. The recording is below.
Click here to access Heather Fast’s slide deck.
Click here to access Meg Sears’ slide deck.
Click here to access Mark Butler’s slide deck.
Click here to access the opening and closing slide deck.
Heather Fast is a Policy Advocacy Director with the Manitoba Eco-Network. Prior to joining the staff, Heather was a member of the Board of Manitoba Eco-Network. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute and teaches Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law. She was called to the Bar in 2014. Healther will share her perspectives on the importance of Bill S-5 and vulnerable populations.
With Prevent Cancer Now, Meg Sears champions healthy, sustainable choices by individuals, and on behalf of the public by governments – choices based on rigorous science, via laws, policy and regulation. At the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, she focuses on information and methods to link environmental exposures to health. Mark Butler was formerly Policy Director with Ecology Action Centre and first became engaged in biotechnology issues as a result of the world’s first genetically engineered food animal, an Atlantic salmon, being raised in Prince Edward Island.
Mark Butler was formerly Policy Director with Ecology Action Centre and first became engaged in biotechnology issues as a result of the world’s first genetically engineered food animal, an Atlantic salmon, being raised in Prince Edward Island.
Background on CEPA and Bill S-5
The Canadian government is at a critical phase in reforming the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). CEPA is Canada’s main environmental legislation and addresses a range of pollution matters including evaluation and management of toxic substances, biotechnology products in the Canadian market, pollution prevention, ocean dumping, and public engagement in the decision-making process.
Bill S-5 (Amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act) was introduced in the House of Commons in September 2022. The Senate completed its review and amendments of the Bill in June of this year. Bill S-5 remains largely unchanged from the bill that was first introduced in the Senate in the Spring of 2022, with a few exceptions to specific proposals on the right to a healthy environment, and evaluation and management of biotechnology products. The new Bill contains no proposals to strengthen the management of toxic substances, particularly for carcinogens and endocrine disrupting substances and there are no changes that require the Government to institute mandatory pollution prevention and consideration of safe alternatives.
Robust changes to CEPA are urgently needed during the upcoming parliamentary process if CEPA is to be protective of the environment and health in the coming years. This four-part webinar series will take place between September to October and will demonstrate the need for the following amendments to CEPA:
- Apply the precautionary principle and preventative measures through mandatory pollution prevention on toxic substances including cancer-causing substances and endocrine disrupting substances,
- Improve enforcement tools in CEPA to support the proposals for the right to a healthy environment,
- Strengthen requirements to consider the impacts of toxic substances on vulnerable groups and the environment
- Overhaul evaluation and transparency of decisions made on Biotechnology products,
- Add evaluation of Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMF),
- Establish National Air Quality Standards, and
- Improve public participation and the National Pollutant Release Inventory.
CELA and Nature Canada want you to engage in the upcoming parliamentary process. The webinars will highlight where your support and voices can be added during the parliamentary process in the coming weeks.
For more information on CEPA, click here to visit the law reform page.
For more information, contact: Fe de Leon, MPH, Researcher and Paralegal, Canadian Environmental Law Association at email@example.com or at 416-960-2284 ext 7223