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Provincial ministers adopt strategic vision for water

A Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment media release states, “(At a meeting in Kingston on October 29), federal, provincial and territorial Ministers (of the Environment) approved in principle two major initiatives designed to reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfills, and adopted a Canada-Wide vision for water.”

WATER

“Ministers endorsed a Canada-wide strategic vision for water, which outlines how CCME will help ensure that Canadians have access to clean, safe and sufficient water to meet their needs in ways that also maintain the integrity of ecosystems.”

“Consistent with the Canada-wide strategic vision for water, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further collaborative efforts to address a number of issues including nutrient loading in Canadian waters, the valuation of water-based natural capital, and developing a better understanding of groundwater resources and management.”

“Ministers also supported a Canada-wide water efficiency labeling program, agreed to earlier this year by the Council of the Federation. Water efficiency labeling supports the conservation and wise use of water under CCME’s Strategic Directions for Water by providing consumers with information on the water efficiency of appliances and fixtures such as toilets, shower heads and taps.”

WASTE

“The Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) encourages producers to take responsibility for the life cycle of their product, including the post-consumer stage. EPR shifts the financial and physical burden of waste management away from taxpayers and municipalities and assigns it to individual brand owners, manufacturers or first importers.”

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

“Ministers affirmed their commitment to reducing federal-provincial duplication in environmental assessment while ensuring high environmental standards are met.”

“Ministers also committed to work for advances in the near term, as well as through the five year review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act set to beginin 2010.”

The media release is at http://www.scics.gc.ca/cinfo09/830973004_e.html.

Their backgrounder on ‘Setting Strategic Directions for Water’ is at http://www.scics.gc.ca/cinfo09/830973004_a1e.html.

We will be reviewing and assessing these announcements.