Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Reform

Tell the government we need a commitment to introduce a significantly stronger bill to reform the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and work to pass this bill by Summer 2022!

CEPA (the Canadian Environmental Protection Act) was initially enacted in 1988. It was last updated in 1999.

This overarching law – Canada’s cornerstone environmental legislation – governing pollution and toxics is outdated and is inadequate to deal with today’s sources of pollution and toxic chemicals. 

Today’s environmental health realities must be reflected in legislation.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s 2017 review of CEPA led to a list of 87 recommendations to strengthen CEPA. Those, and other recommendations, are still not law.

The previous government’s introduction of Bill C-28 was moving us in the right direction. The first reading of Bill C-28, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act, was hailed as an essential first step. Health and environmental groups welcomed the introduction of Bill C-28!

But the bill died on the order paper with the election call.

The Liberal government election platform included a commitment to “Pass a strengthened Canadian Environmental Protection Act to protect everyone, including people most vulnerable to harm from toxic substances and those living in communities where exposure is high.”

And, although Bill C-28 is a good first step towards CEPA modernization, it needs strengthening before becoming law

A coalition of environmental and health organizations outlined in a briefing note some of what needs to be improved to provide better health and environmental protections.

CAPE is committed to and ready to work with the government to implement the strongest measures for environmental health protection and justice in Canada in our aim for healthy people and a healthy planet.

Now, we are asking for your help to see a strengthened CEPA passed into law!

There are many steps yet to come before Bill C-28 can become law. So we need to press for commitments to introduce a significantly stronger bill to reform the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and work to pass this bill by Summer 2022. 

There are several ways you can press for CEPA reform and get the message out to decision-makers:

Strong legal protections can begin to address the health realities of today and prevent ill health and disease in the future. 

Bill C-28 to reform CEPA is a good step forward in advancing the right to a healthy environment; necessary amendments will further strengthen it.

Health professionals have a vital role in writing the CEPA story’s happy ending, using scientific knowledge and experience!

If you would like more information or want support for your efforts to make CEPA Reform a priority, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jane McArthur, Toxics Campaign Director, at


Additional CAPE Resources on CEPA and Bill C-28:

Government Briefings and Communications:

Media and Public Engagement:



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