The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomes the federal government’s tabling of legislation to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) today. We are pleased to see a legislative recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment in the preamble of the Act, in keeping with our U.N.–recognized Responsible Care® initiative.
“CEPA 99 and the legislated risk-based approach to Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan represent the global gold standard for protecting the environment and ensuring public confidence in the chemistries essential for our everyday lives. This Bill offers a well-balanced approach to addressing identified shortcomings in the current legislation while preserving the essential, risk-based approach to the regulation of chemicals in the Canadian economy,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.
For more than 35 years, Canada’s chemistry sector has led the journey towards safe, responsible, and sustainable chemical manufacturing through its U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, Responsible Care. Founded in Canada in 1985, Responsible Care is now practiced in 73 countries and by 96 of the 100 largest chemical producers in the world.
Through Responsible Care, CIAC member-companies strive to “do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing.” They innovate for safer and greener products and processes, and work to continuously improve their environmental, health and safety performance. This is why CIAC worked with leading environment NGOs in 2018 to deliver a joint statement of CEPA recommendations to the Minister. In this statement, the parties recognized the importance of environmental, societal and governance (ESG) initiatives like Responsible Care in safeguarding the right to a healthy environment.
“We share the government’s concerns about vulnerable populations; previous risk assessments have directly dealt with this issue,” said Mr. Masterson. “We support the need to maintain the science and risk-based framework for CEPA and CMP that relies on a weight-of-evidence approach to risk assessments and risk management, bolstered by precaution where appropriate.”
CIAC looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government to modernize CEPA and to ensure it preserves a science and risk–based approach.