Re: Bill S-5, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act
David Suzuki Foundation and partners
Authored by: Lisa Gue, Jane E. McArthur, Elaine MacDonald, Jennifer Beeman, Cassie Barker
Partners: Environmental Defence, EcoJustice, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Breast Cancer Action Quebec
Organizations Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Breast Cancer Action Quebec, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment present to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development their submission on Bill S-5, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act.
This brief outlines their comments on key features of Bill S-5 and provides recommendations for improvements.
Strengthening CEPA to support a substantive right to a healthy environment
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, a cornerstone pollution-prevention law, is out of date. Government has committed to modernizing it to better protect people and the environment. Complementing and reinforcing other important CEPA reforms, applying a human rights lens to the process for regulating toxic chemicals represents an essential paradigm shift that will modernize and strengthen Canada’s approach to environmental protection.
Recommendations for strengthening Bill C-28, updating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
On April 13, 2021, the federal government introduced Bill C-28, proposed updates to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. CEPA provides the legislative framework for federal action to protect human health and the environment from pollution and toxics, but the law has not been significantly amended for more than two decades.