C-28 43rd Parliament, 2nd session September 23, 2020, to August 15, 2021

An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, to make related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and to repeal the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act
Short title: Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act
Bill type
House Government Bill

Summary

Current status
At second reading in the House of Commons
Latest activity
Introduction and first reading on April 13, 2021 (House of Commons)

Progress

End of stage activity
Introduction and first reading, April 13, 2021
Chamber sittings
Sitting date Debates (Hansard)
April 13, 2021
Second reading
No activity
Consideration in committee
Not reached
Report stage
Not reached
Third reading
Not reached

Senate

First reading
Not reached
Second reading
Not reached
Third reading
Not reached

Details

Recorded votes

House of Commons

There are currently no recorded votes for this bill.

Senate

To view the complete list of standing votes that have taken place in the Senate, please refer to the Votes page of the Senate of Canada website.

Speaker's rulings and statements

There are currently no Speaker's rulings and statements.

Major speeches at second reading

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About

Legislative summary

A legislative summary is currently being prepared for this bill by the Parliamentary Information and Research Service of the Library of Parliament. Meanwhile, the following executive summary is available.

On 13 April 2021, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change introduced Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, to make related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and to repeal the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act (Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act), in the House of Commons and it was given first reading.

Bill C-28 amends the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to, among other things,
(a) recognize that every individual in Canada has a right to a healthy environment as provided under that Act;
(b) provide that the Government of Canada must protect that right as provided under that Act, and, in doing so, may balance that right with relevant factors;
(c) require the development of an implementation framework that sets out how that right will be considered in the administration of that Act, and require that research, studies or monitoring activities be conducted to support the Government of Canada in protecting that right;
(d) authorize the Minister of the Environment to add to the Domestic Substances List certain substances that were in commerce in Canada and subject to the Food and Drugs Act between January 1, 1987 and September 13, 2001, and provide that any substance may be deleted from the List when it is no longer in commerce in Canada;
(e) require that the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health develop a plan that specifies the substances to which those Ministers are satisfied priority should be given in assessing whether they are toxic or capable of becoming toxic;
(f) provide that any person may request that those Ministers assess a substance;
(g) require the Minister of the Environment to compile a list of substances that that Minister and the Minister of Health have reason to suspect are capable of becoming toxic or that have been determined to be capable of becoming toxic;
(h) require that, when those Ministers conduct or interpret the results of certain assessments — or conduct or interpret the results of a review of decisions of certain governments — in order to determine whether a substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic, they consider available information on whether there is a vulnerable population in relation to the substance and on the cumulative effects that may result from exposure to the substance in combination with exposure to other substances;
(i) provide that certain substances be classified as substances that pose the highest risk based on, among other things, their properties or characteristics;
(j) require that those Ministers give priority to the total, partial or conditional prohibition of activities in relation to toxic substances that are specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, or to the total, partial or conditional prohibition of releases of those substances into the environment, when regulations or instruments respecting preventive or control actions in relation to those substances are developed;
(k) expand certain regulation-making, information-gathering and pollution prevention powers under that Act, including by adding a reference to products that may release substances into the environment;
(l) allow the risks associated with certain toxic substances to be managed by preventive or control actions taken under any other Act of Parliament, and the obligations under sections 91 and 92 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to be the responsibility of whoever of the Minister of the Environment or the Minister of Health is best placed to fulfil them;
(m) expand the powers of the Minister of the Environment to vary either the contents of a significant new activity notice with respect to a substance not on the Domestic Substances List or the contents of the List itself with respect to a substance on the List that is subject to the significant new activities provisions of that Act;
(n) extend the requirement, to notify persons of the obligation to comply with the significant new activity provisions of that Act when a substance that is subject to those provisions is transferred to them, so that it applies with respect to substances on the Domestic Substances List, and authorize that Minister to limit by class the persons who are required to be notified of the obligation when a substance that is subject to those provisions is transferred to them; and
(o) require that confidentiality requests made under section 313 of the Act be accompanied by reasons, and to allow the Minister of the Environment to disclose the explicit chemical or biological name of a substance or the explicit biological name of a living organism in certain circumstances.
The enactment also makes related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act to enable the assessment and management of risks to the environment associated with foods, drugs, cosmetics and devices by, among other things,
(a) prohibiting persons from conducting certain activities in respect of a drug unless the Minister of Health has conducted an assessment of the risks to the environment presented by certain substances contained in that drug;
(b) enabling the Minister of Health to take measures in respect of the risks to the environment that a drug may present throughout its life cycle; and
(c) providing the Governor in Council with supporting regulation-making authorities.
Finally, the enactment repeals the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act.

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