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Bill S-5 Which Updates the Canadian Environmental Protection Act Has Passed Into Law 

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The Scuba News Canada published an article from Ecojustice in June 2023 :: “The House of Commons passed Bill S-5, which updates the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) for the first time in 20+ years.” This bill has now passed the senate and is law.

“”I can’t quite believe I’m writing this. After nearly 10 years of hard work, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) is being modernized. 

As Canada’s cornerstone environmental law, CEPA is meant to protect the public from dangerous chemicals and toxic pollution, but it hadn’t been updated in 20+ years. Meanwhile, the day-to-day threat to people’s health — in the form of ‘forever chemicals’ linked to cancer — escalated. 

Last year I spoke to committees in both the Senate and House of Commons about Bill S-5, which aims to modernize CEPA. Today, I’m thrilled to tell you that Bill S-5 has passed into law. 

While Bill S-5 is not a magic cure-all, it does introduce some important changes such as greater control of toxic substances. It also recognizes the right to a healthy environment for the first time ever in federal law. 

And we couldn’t have done it without you. 

More than 31,000 Ecojustice supporters lent their voices to this campaign, calling on political leaders and keeping CEPA reform alive — even after the 2021 federal election almost saw it off. This is your victory. 

Will you join us in celebrating, by giving what you can, so that we’re able to build on this success? 


I want to be honest with you. Life for people in Canada won’t change overnight — nor will Bill S-5 save those already suffering the health impacts of CEPA’s failures. That’s why Ecojustice is in it for the long-haul. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we’ll continue using the law to secure a safer environment for everyone. 

Law reform is slow-moving work and moments like these don’t come around often. So take a second to savour the news: We made it.”” 

With gratitude,
Dr. Elaine MacDonald,
Healthy Communities program director, Ecojustice

Reproduced from Ecojustice Newsletter


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