Want to influence our federal government? Here's one way to make an attempt.

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
October 26th, 2016

The Candian Environmental Protection Act is under review by a committee of the House of Commons.  Citizens are invited to comment — in the form of written “briefs.”  There are guidelines for these briefs, accessible via a link in the material pasted in below. 

Are you worried about foxes guarding hen-houses in terms of our environmental protection?  (Foxes are fine and lovely creatures, but not for the purpose of guarding hen-houses.) Do you think too much is left to “voluntary compliance” with ineffective guidelines?  Do you think we are unwittingly ingesting too many chemicals deemed  “safe” but which have cumulative effects damaging to our health and our economy?  Do you think Canada has effective enforcement of environmenal legislation?  Is our environmental legislation good enough to protect our economy and our society into the long-term future, or does it currently pander too much to the get-rich-quick-by-using-it-all-up-as-fast-as-possible school of economic thought?

Citizens now have an opportunity to comment; your editor suggests that comments and suggestions using and citing reliable data from respected sources have a much better chance of being taken seriously by the review committee than mere ranting unsupported by evidence.  Of course, mentioning the Precautionary Principle may help, too. And following the guidelines.

Here’s the announcement from the government:         

Environment Committee Seeks Input from Stakeholders for its Review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development is currently engaged in a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA).

Any interested group or individual is welcome to submit a written brief for the Committee’s consideration. Based on testimony received to date, the Committee has identified the following non-exhaustive list of themes that stakeholders may wish to address in their written briefs; however, the Committee welcomes written briefs on any matter related to CEPA.

  • The Chemicals Management Plan – Assessment (hazard- vs. risk-based approach, consideration of alternatives, setting persistence and bioaccumulation triggers, etc.);
  • Risk management, including pollution prevention planning and virtual elimination;
  • Integrating environmental justice into assessments and management of substances, and public participation in CEPA;
  • The respective roles of CEPA and other federal Acts and programs for managing substances, pesticides, food, drugs, etc.;
  • Monitoring;
  • The National Pollutant Release Inventory;
  • Air Quality and Drinking Water Standards;
  • Animate Products of Biotechnology;
  • Government Operations on Federal and Aboriginal Land; and
  • Enforcement.

Stakeholders wishing to submit a written brief should refer to the Guide for Submitting Briefs to House of Commons Committees, noting in particular that briefs should not normally exceed ten pages in length. Briefs may be submitted to the Clerk of the Committee at envi@parl.gc.ca by December 1, 2016. Briefs submitted after the deadline will be considered only if time permits.

The Committee wishes to thank all groups and individuals who take the time to share their knowledge and thoughts to help develop recommendations to the government in relation to this important piece of environmental legislation.

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