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This enactment amends the Department of Health Act to require the Minister of Health to conduct a review of drinking water standards in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and, if appropriate, to make recommendations for amendments to national guidelines respecting drinking water.
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Whereas it is essential that drinking water in Canada be of the highest quality;
Whereas the Government of Canada recognizes that national guidelines respecting drinking water are required to ensure such quality;
Whereas the main responsibility of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water is to protect the quality of drinking water in Canada, including by developing and maintaining national guidelines;
And whereas the Minister of Health acknowledges the need for the national guidelines to be in keeping with the highest international standards respecting drinking water;
1996, C. 8
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1 The Department of Health Act is amended by adding the following after section 5:
Definition of member country
5.1 (1) In this section, member country means a country that is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or a subdivision of such a country.
Annual review of standards in member countries
(2) The Minister shall, within three months after the end of each calendar year, conduct a review of the standards respecting drinking water in member countries in the previous calendar year and prepare a report on the review.
(3) If the Minister is of the opinion that standards respecting drinking water in a member country provide for a higher level of water quality than the guidelines respecting drinking water in Canada and that it would be in the best interests of Canadians that those guidelines be amended accordingly, the Minister shall include recommendations for the amendments in the report prepared under subsection (2).
Tabling of report
(4) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the report is completed.
Publication of report
(5) The Minister shall publish the report on the Department’s website within 30 days after the day on which the report is laid before each House of Parliament.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons