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Giving Canadians the “Right” to a Healthy Environment

I spoke on October 31 on Bill S-5 Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act  which originated in the Senate. This legislation would make significant changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). CEPA has not had any major modifications since it was passed in 1999, and many aspects of this bill would have major impacts on the lives of Canadians and on industry, especially as they relate to certain substances and materials.

There are some elements of the bill that I can support, and others that concern me, including the rather vague commitment to the “rights” of Canadians to live in a healthy environment, and moving some infractions from civil law to criminal law. There are some good ideas in principle here, but what do they mean? We do not want to rush this discussion at risk of losing clarity.

Transcript

Read the Official Hansard Transcript of my remarks