Let’s get an election promise to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) through the rapid reintroduction of an improved Bill C-28!
This overarching law governing pollution and toxics is outdated and is inadequate to deal with today’s sources of pollution and toxic chemicals.
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.
An Act to amend CEPA was introduced on April 13, 2021. 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!
Although Bill C-28 is a good first step towards CEPA modernization, it needs strengthening before becoming law. This briefing note outlines what needs to be improved to provide better health and environmental protections.
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 strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act through the rapid reintroduction of Bill C-28 and supporting it as a legislative priority!
There are a number of ways you can press for CEPA reform and get the message out to decision-makers:
- Send your MP and election candidates an email asking them to make CEPA a priority in the lead-up to the election (we’ve drafted an email you can use if you want.
- Meet directly with your MP and election candidates and give them the message that CEPA reform matters (here’s some content to help you in your meeting).
- Write an OpEd or send a Letter to the Editor of your local paper highlighting the importance of CEPA (Informed Opinions offers a great selection of resources on how to do this with a list of Editor’s emails).
- Join with people in your community to organize a 100 Debates for the Environment event with local election candidates.
- Talk to your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and ensure they know the importance of a government commitment to reform CEPA.
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; amendments will further strengthen it.
Health professionals have a vital role to play in writing the CEPA story’s happy ending, using scientific knowledge and their experience!
If you would like more information or want support for your efforts to make CEPA Reform a priority, please contact Jane McArthur, Toxics Campaign Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional CAPE Resources on CEPA and Bill C-28:
Government Briefings and Communications:
- CAPE, as a member of the newly formed Coalition for Action on Toxics in 2017, wrote to Parliament and issued a statement on the need for CEPA reform.
- This briefing note, “Modernizing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act — Canada’s pollution and toxics law“, provides background and details on CEPA and Bill C-28 (updated August 2021).
- The briefing note, “Women’s health and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,” outlines disproportionate health impacts of toxics and pollution by women
- In a joint letter, we asked for prioritizing Bill C-28 on the House agenda.
- A follow-up letter with recommended amendments to Bill C-28 was sent.
Media and Public Engagement:
- OpEd: For a healthier, more equitable present and future, it’s time to bring CEPA into the 21st century
- OpEd: Think adverse environmental effects affect people equally? Ask these women
- CAPE joined other health and environmental groups welcoming Bill C-28 to modernize CEPA
- CAPE participated in the Ecojustice Webinar on the Right to a Healthy Environment in CEPA Reform
- CAPE Blog Post: Why the legal right to a healthy environment matters to our day-to-day realities
- Guest column: Everyone should have legal right to healthy environment
- Opinion: Health Workers must help write a happy ending to CEPA Reform