For companies struggling with Canadian environmental compliance such as the:

  • myriad reporting and permitting duties under Canada’s Chemical Management Plan,
  • expanding scope of the NPRI and its uncertain interaction with provincial emissions registries;
  • vagaries over the overlapping jurisdictions of Environment Canada and Health Canada or the Pest Management Regulatory Agency; or
  • increased biotechnology regulation;

stakeholder input is currently being sought regarding CEPA by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.  In light of the broadly identified mandate of the current federal government, this may be a good time for impacted business sectors to ensure their concerns are received.  The deadline is December 1st, 2016.  Further information on the review process is  below:



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 [email protected] by December 1, 2016. Briefs submitted after the deadline will be considered only if time permits.


Jonathan D. Cocker heads Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of the firm's Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations. Mr. Cocker was recently appointed the first Sustainability Officer of the International Bar Association Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications including recent publications in the Environment and Climate Change Law Review, Detritus – the Official Journal of the International Waste Working Group, Chemical Watch, Circular Economy: Global Perspectives published by Springer, and in the upcoming Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation. Mr. Cocker maintains a blog focused upon international resource recovery issues at