Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Reform

Let’s get an election promise to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) through the rapid reintroduction of an improved Bill C-28!


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

This overarching law governing pollution and toxics is outdated and is inadequate to deal with today’s sources of pollution and toxic chemicals.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:

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


Additional CAPE Resources on CEPA and Bill C-28:

Government Briefings and Communications:

Media and Public Engagement:



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