Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Issue 24 - Evidence for February 19, 2002


OTTAWA, Tuesday, February 19, 2002

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources met this day at 5:55 p.m. to examine such issues as may arise from time to time relating to energy, the environment and natural resources, including the continuation and completion of the study on Nuclear Reactor Safety.

Senator Nicholas W. Taylor (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: The minister will arrive shortly. We have a budget that might be discussed and voted until the minister returns.

Senator Adams: Should this budget discussion be in camera?

The Chairman: It is usually in camera but since the cameras are here, this would be a chance to see how open and democratic the Senate is.

You all have a copy of the budget before you. We split the budget into two parts, the first being the budget for legislation. We will do if first. The budget is for $26,000 between now and the end of March. That amount is to cover mainly researchers and working lunches.

The trip that we are making next week to the U.S. to study their energy and electrical thing in California was already approved in a previous budget. This budget is our food and PR work between now and the end of March. It is about $26,000. Are there any questions on that?

Senator Christensen: Why do we need the additional? Do we have a shortfall?

The Chairman: That is a very good question. It is a typo. It should be to the end of next year. This amount is for the entire year for the meetings on legislation.

Senator Christensen: This is to March 31, 2003?

The Chairman: Yes.

Senator Christensen: That makes a difference.

The Chairman: Yes, it makes more sense. We split the budget between travel and legislation. The legislative budget is just what we spend for witnesses.

Senator Banks: Pursuing that same question, I am not sure that is right because professional services for expert researcher, item number 0401, is $10,000 in the $26,000 total budget. It is also $10,000 of the $39,500 in the first part of the second budget. Are they two different things?

The Chairman: You are talking about the $10,000? That is only for 20 days scattered throughout the year.

Senator Banks: Then what is the $10,000 amount in the other budget totalling the $26,000? It is also marked as being for professional services, expert researchers? It has ``communications consultant, 20 days.'' That same item is in both budgets, is it not?

The Chairman: You are saying that there are two readings. I understand from the clerk that one is for 20 days for communications and the other is for the expert researcher.

Senator Banks: In the small budget, the second item listed under number 1, says ``professional services — 0401 — communications consultant — 20 days. That is also number 1 in the larger budget, communications consultant, 20 days. Are they different?

The Chairman: Yes. We use the communication consultant in the short budget for releases on hearings we are conducting on bills, and we use the PR budget for the travels and special studies we do.

Senator Banks: In the aggregate, do we have 40 days of communications?

The Chairman: Yes.

Senator Banks: Thank you.

Senator Watt: I have a question about the same budget we are dealing with here. Is March 31, 2003, the correct date?

The Chairman: There is a misprint. It is the next fiscal year. We are not going to spend $26,000.

Senator Watt: We are a long way from the year 2003.

The Chairman: The budget is from March 31, 2002, to March 31, 2003. It is for next year.

Senator Watt: Are we dealing with it now?

The Chairman: Yes. We try to get the budget out of the way before the end of March.

Senator Watt: I would have thought this amount of $26,000 would carry us up to March because we are not even in March yet.

The Chairman: No. We are okay.

Mr. Thompson: My understanding is that the Internal Economy Committee will begin hearings on allotments for the next fiscal year, which runs April 1, 2002, until March 31, 2003. The current fiscal year is almost concluded.

The Chairman: Normally we would not have looked at this for another week or so. I was just trying to make use of our time while waiting for the minister, and I thought the $26,000 amount was a nice easy one for next year.

Do I have a motion, provided it is changed to March 31, 2003, fiscal year ending? Is there a motion for acceptance?

Senator Christensen: I have one more question. Number 2 is lunches. We also have lunches in the other one and they are 20 in both cases and each $300. I am sorry, 15 in one and 20 in another. Is that for travel and the other not?

Mr. Thompson: Yes.

Senator Christensen: That is fine.

The Chairman: Do we have a motion on the short budget?

Senator Buchanan: I so move.

The Chairman: Is everyone in favour?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: The minister has now arrived. Minister Anderson, I gather you want to make a short statement to the committee and then we will have questions for you about what has happened in the last year.

Hon. David Anderson, Minister of the Environment: Honourable senators, I would be delighted if you would question me. I have a statement than I will try to keep brief. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and I am available for whatever needs to be done, however long it takes, and I can come back if necessary. I am at your disposal.

Honourable senators, it is a pleasure to appear before you, as always. This time I will be discussing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, or CEPA 1999. When I appeared before the committee in August of 1999, it would have been safe to say there was no love lost for the CEPA bill. Groups at one end were saying that it was toothless, weak and would not protect the environment; at the other end, critics were saying it was so rigorous it would scare off investment in Canada and have a deleterious effect. Experience has shown that the sincere but frequently extreme voices on both sides got it wrong, as they so often do. We have found that the new CEPA is among the most advanced pieces of legislation in the developed world for the environment, and today I want to highlight the progress we have made under CEPA since it was approved and signed into law.

CEPA has proved to be a powerful and effective law that has enabled government to take action on clean air, clean water, and protect the environment and the health of Canadians. It has given us new tools that encourage innovation and environmental protection measures, new levers for environmental management in shared jurisdictions, and new opportunities for partnership with industry to put in place policies and programs to prevent pollution.

We have completed a comparative analysis with similar legislative frameworks with the seven OECD countries and the European Union, and the analysis shows that Canada is, perhaps, in the best position in taking a comprehensive approach to examine all of the substances in use in its domestic commerce. This is a huge challenge for the government. There are 23,000 such substances and we, of course, are working closely with experts from around the world as well as within our own country. The legislation commits me to meeting a deadline of September 2006 for categorizing these 23,000 substances as set out in the bill, and this is a challenge to which I will later refer.

[Translation]

Since September 11, it is very hard to look at any legislation or ministerial mandate without wondering how they protect Canadians not only from ecological accidents but also from intentional acts of terror.

I am glad to say that the CEPA contains tools that will serve or could serve to contribute to intervention and emergency intervention activities. Here are a few examples: follow-up mechanisms for the movement of dangerous waste entering or exiting Canada; a regulation on emergency measures for toxic substances, if there is reason to believe that there must be immediate control over the manufacture, import, sale or use of those substances because they pose considerable danger for the environment or human life or health; the power to force businesses to elaborate and implement environmental emergency plans for toxic substances and the power to establish regulations concerning prevention, the capacity to intervene, and clean-up measures.

As for the implementation of the legislation in the broad sense of the term, I would like to emphasize a few specific examples that illustrate how it has already borne fruit with regard to monitoring vehicle emissions, trans-border pollution and toxic substances.

The new Canadian Environmental Protection Act provides that when a substance is considered to be toxic, the legal instruments to prevent or monitor the pollution it may cause must be established within the 2 years, and implemented within the 18 months which follow.

The CEPA includes a broad range of instruments to this end in pollution prevention plans, environmental emergency plans, courses on environmental practice, guidelines on environmental bureaus and, of course, regulations.

Transportation is the greatest cause of atmospheric pollution in Canada. It contributes 70 per cent of all NOx emissions which are the precursor to smog. This has a direct and major influence on the health and well-being of all Canadian men and women.

Last February, using the new powers provided by the CEPA to control vehicle and motor emissions, I initiated a 10- year action plan that will considerably reduce the emissions from those sources. Our 10-year plan will address all types of vehicles, including automobiles, light utility vehicles, recreational and work vehicles, agricultural equipment and construction equipment. It will guarantee the establishment of new, strict emission standards and will impose tests and testing of cars, trucks and motors manufactured or sold in Canada to ensure they meet the standards concerning low- emission vehicles.

[English]

Regulations under CEPA were used to set a limit of 30 parts per million for sulphur content in gasoline starting on January 1 of 2005. That will be a significant decrease from the average levels in 2000 of some 300 parts per million: 300 parts down to 30 parts.

Further, these regulations call for an average sulphur level in gasoline to be 150 parts per million starting on July 1 of this year. I also published the draft regulation in December that will ensure that sulphur content in diesel fuel for on- road diesel is reduced to 15 parts per million — half that of gasoline — by June of 2006, down from today's average of 320 parts per million.

CEPA also gives the government the authority to control emissions from small engines such as those found in snow blowers, portable generators, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, weed trimmers and chain saws. Previous to CEPA, I did not have that power. Those sources are often overlooked. They are, however, important. They are responsible for some 20 per cent of air emissions stemming from gasoline and diesel powered engines.

According to the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board, using a commercial chain saw for two hours produces the same amount of smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions as driving a 1995 model car about 400 kilometres.

Air contaminants, however, are generated on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Therefore, in December of 2000, shortly before the change of administration in the United States, I signed the Ozone Annex with the United States. That is a very important historic agreement that will significantly reduce smog-causing pollutants on both sides of the border and bring cleaner air to millions of Canadians and Americans in the eastern half of the continent. This agreement calls for measures that will reduce Canadian year-round emissions of nitrous oxides, a key component of smog, by 44 per cent by the year 2010 — eight years hence.

On the American side, the reduction in NOx is projected to be approximately 36 per cent year-round.

CEPA has helped us take further action internationally. For example, last year, Canada was the first country — and I am very proud of this — to both sign and ratify the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This global agreement proposes to reduce and largely eliminate emissions of 12 persistent organic pollutants — or POPs — known as ``the dirty dozen,'' a group that includes PCBs, DDT, dioxins and furans. Fortunately, ``the dirty dozen'' have, for all intents and purposes, been eliminated in Canada.

The POP agreement is a remarkable example of what can be achieved when parties come together and work together. In this instance, our partners included the provinces, Aboriginal peoples, industry and NGOs. Northern Aboriginal populations went even further to describe the government's approach to the POPs agreement as a model for their own involvement on other health and environmental issues.

[Translation]

The CEPA guarantees that all provinces will meet their commitments under the appendix on ozone. In this respect, I wish to continue working with the Ontario government and Ontario businesses to help them respect their commitments to decrease the pollution due to power plants and other NOx producers. They must do more than they have already made provision for and I will continue to follow Ontario's progress.

However, let me assure you that if discussions were to fail, we can count on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to have our international obligations respected. The cross-Canada standards to set higher national emission pollution limits is another tool available to the government. They allowed us to establish partnerships with the provinces and territories for a broad range of environmental matters. The Government of Canada is doing its share to implement cross-Canada standards on particulates and ozone and we are using the CEPA to this end.

We declared that particulates are toxic and that designation gives us access to the whole range of tools under the CEPA. I indicated my intent to declare that the precursors creating particulates and ozone are also toxic because they threaten human health. The government took steps in 2001 under the CEPA to protect our water and our aquatic ecosystems.

The plan to include chloride salts in Appendix 1 of the CEPA after in-depth scientific evaluations is meant to protect freshwater as well as freshwater plants and animals from excessive exposure to chloride salts.

In June 2002, together with the Minister of Health, I also published the conclusions of four scientific evaluations on substances affecting the quality of our aquatic environment. I am now taking steps to set up control and prevention instruments centred on municipal sewer effluents to guarantee the efficient management of those substances. The management of municipal effluents first of all reduces their negative effect on the environment and human health. However, they also provide ongoing protection to the aquatic environment that has to cope with multiple uses of the marine and freshwater environments for leisure, tourism and commercial fisheries.

The provinces and territories clearly have a major role to play to preserve the quality of our water and marine environment in Canada. Thanks to the CEPA, we have a lot flexibility to come up with the pollution management tools and undertakings, including the possibility of working closely with the provinces and territories, to find the best solutions for risk management.

[English]

I said earlier I would return to a broader discussion of CEPA. The best law in the world would be ineffective without tools and resources to implement and enforce it. When CEPA received Royal Assent, I announced $72 million in new funding to help implement the act. That includes funds to accelerate the characterization, screening and assessment of new and existing substances, as well as to manage toxic substances.

Recognizing the need for more resources to enforce the current and new regulations under CEPA, our government allocated another $40 million over five years in budget 2000 for enforcement and $9 million ongoing. There is strong recognition of the critical importance of enforcement as a base for ensuring adequate environmental health protection.

The staff complement has gone from 72 pollution enforcement officers in 1998-99, to 95 such officers in 2000-01 — an increase of 32 per cent. As well, we will add four more intelligence officers to the current six to work with law enforcement and customs agents to track and stop organized environmental criminal activities such as the smuggling of ozone-depleting substances.

We also have environmental protection alternative measures, which can assist in our environmental enforcement efforts. That is a negotiated agreement that returns the violator to compliance, diverting the parties away from costly court processes after the charge has been laid. In September, we issued the first of these against an exploration company in Calgary. Rather than go through the legal process, they made a $30,000 contribution to an environmental damages fund. They agreed to train their employees appropriately and submitted an article for publication in an environmental magazine describing the case and its outcome. Again, that was an alternative to the court system.

Turning to information on the public right to know, the national pollutant release inventory is now mandatory. In light of this new provision, we enhanced the NPRI — the National Pollutant Release Inventory — to make it even more effective and we have launched a process to require industry to report on seven common air pollutants. This increases the number of reporting facilities from some 2,100 to some 7,000. The effect of this is powerful. The United States Environmental Protection Agency regards this approach as its most useful regulatory tool, which resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in those pollutants as a result of the reporting process. The very fact that people report is important in encouraging them to reduce the amounts.

What is the workload? Assessing the risks to our environment, enacting additional provisions and regulations to manage hazardous waste in a comprehensive manner, requiring the development and implementation of pollution prevention plans for dichloromethane and acrylonitrile, two substances that were declared toxic based on their potential to cause harm to the environment as well as to human health. These pollution prevention plans are the first of several planned for other substances on the priority substances list.

We are developing controlled programs and policies to fully capitalize on the vast powers available to us under the act, as well as voluntary measures that complement our statutory initiative. I am watching with particular interest as work proceeds on the development of successors to our voluntary measures program, known as ARET. It has reduced emissions of toxic substances by about 26,000 tonnes since this program was launched in 1994, and that has been a success. On the other hand, it has been justifiably criticized for, among other things, the lack of a verification regime. We wish to correct that.

We have released a framework for environmental performance agreements that sets the criteria that voluntary agreements must meet. These include public consultation, reporting, and verification of results. This was proposed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development and we are following through on her advice.

Voluntary initiatives can be effective complements to government action when used appropriately but we will need industry to work closely with us as we move through the challenging exercise of categorizing 23,000 substances. Both industry and government have much to lose if Canadians do not see an effective and realistic program that delivers results. If we look to other jurisdictions, we begin to see what the future could look like.

In the United States, for example, the Performance Track Program challenges industry leaders to set targets for pollution prevention, land conservation and product stewardship. Our use of disciplined, voluntary programs must continually evolve to motivate leading practices and comprehensive environmental management.

In our first year, our priority was to begin implementation of the new provisions of CEPA 1999. We are now focussing on what can be achieved for the rest of the decade and well into the next. The record shows that the department is ready and able to implement the new legislation and other new legislation such as the proposed Species at Risk Act, which your committee will consider shortly.

Like CEPA, the Species at Risk Act, or SARA, is a complex piece of legislation that will provide the government with many new powers and responsibilities. Critics are now saying many of the same things they said about CEPA about two and one-half years ago. However, just as the operation of CEPA has shown those critics to be wrong two and one-half years ago, I look forward to the day two and one-half years hence, when I come before this same group of senators and I am able to tell you that the detractors of SARA were wrong as well.

[Translation]

The House of Commons is examining Bill C-5 as we speak. During the coming weeks, it will hear evidence reflecting this country's diverse points of view. It must be said that there are differing opinions within my own party.

The Senate will then have to examine Bill C-5. I am not entirely satisfied with some amendments suggested by the House of Commons committee and I would like to take a few minutes to explain why.

During the debate in committee, some asked for a stronger bill whose implementation would seek results by imposing automatic prohibitions.

The first objective of the Species at Risk Act was to provide to Canadians living in a rural environment a way to cooperate with the government to protect the species and their habitats.

The second objective was that the provinces and territories, with their jurisdictions, would protect the wildlife and their habitat and have enough space to do so pursuant to their commitments made under the pancanadian agreement for the protection of species at risk.

Because of those two factors, Bill C-5 won the informed support of Canadians living in rural environments as well as that of the provincial and territorial governments. There is no doubt that their cooperation will have the most impact on the effective protection of wildlife for a very long time to come.

Overuse of automatic prohibitions and forceful implementation of the legislation with a view to protecting critical habitats is not the best way to try to influence the way humans use the land and behave where nature is involved. That kind of undertaking can only arouse suspicion and perhaps even opposition in the ranks of those who live in rural areas and whom we actually most need as our partners.

In the long term, that kind of coercion will inevitably turn against us. Everyone agrees that it is possible to get better results if private owners consider that the Species at Risk Act will help them by providing the scientific expertise and the appropriate incentives to better protect our species. We really need those people's cooperation.

[English]

I should like to repeat this point. I cannot stress how important I believe it is to have rural people comfortable with the legislation to the largest possible degree. I know it is easy to say that laws should be strong, but what are laws for? Laws are to be effective. That is surely the test — not whether they are strong or whether they are weak on some abstract scale of measurements or punishment or criminal sanctions — namely, whether they work. To get laws protecting species in rural areas working, you must have rural people who are supportive. I just told you the numbers for our protection officers — namely, 95. How do you spread that across the whole of Canada? If we can get people everywhere — trappers, fishermen, loggers, ranchers and farmers — saying, ``We have always wanted to protect endangered species. They make our life interesting here in rural Canada. We will cooperate because the law is not threatening,'' then we will have achieved something.

This is a philosophical difference I have with some members of the house committee and I fully respect their approach. Everyone is motivated by the best of intentions. However, for me, legislation that creates fear in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories or the Yukon in Northern Canada is wrong. I will go into that at some length because I feel with great passion that that is the crux of this legislation, making it user-friendly to rural people.

With respect to the territories and provinces, how can we possibly have effective legislation if we can only intervene at the point of endangerment and they have responsibility for wildlife up to that point? We must have working relationships based on confidence, trust and goodwill. It is not enough to say the federal government must force other jurisdictions against their will. We must lead other jurisdictions, which I believe we are doing and the results recently have been positive.

The Chairman: Mr. Minister, if I may, we asked you to talk about CEPA. We will be looking at Bill C-5 later. That is not to try to stop you from speaking on SARA, and we want to hear from you again on it. Right now, however, CEPA is the main target we want you discuss.

Mr. Anderson: I apologize, but, again, the parallel with CEPA is there.

The Chairman: Nice to see an exuberant minister.

Mr. Anderson: CEPA was criticized for the same reason, and it has turned out to be effective. I have trespassed into an area that I should have probably left, but I do appreciate your indulgence because I certainly will be back here soon, I hope, to discuss SARA.

Regarding the CEPA legislation, we obviously have challenges, but we have had some success and made some progress. I believe we are on track to meeting the demands of the legislation: to categorize the 23,000 substances by 2006. However, categorization is simply a preliminary look at those substances to see if they cause harm to the environment or human health.

To determine whether future action is required, we must go much further to see if those categorized substances are released in the environment in amounts that harm human health and the environment. If so, we then have to develop risk management measures within 24 months from the declaration of toxicity — again, a requirement of the act. I expect a number of substances in the coming months will fall into that timeline and it will be a challenge for the department and the whole regulatory system to meet those timelines. It is not just a question of spending more money. I wish to stress that. It is also a question of what our priorities are and how quickly we can move.

However, may I end by reminding you that the whole process under CEPA is putting us out in front internationally, and yet Canada accounts for less than 2 per cent of the world's chemical industry output. We have a difficult task, but the government is determined to press on with it. Your efforts and the efforts of all the members of Parliament that were put into CEPA 1999 have given us an act of which we can be proud. I look forward to coming back to the committee to report further in two years. Certainly, I will come back earlier than that to discuss issues such as climate change, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and, of course, the SARA legislation.

The Chairman: Before I open the floor to the committee, I will remind the members that the motion we made was adopted in the Senate in September 1999. It said the committee majority recommends that the Minister of the Environment meet each autumn with the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to exchange information and views, and discuss progress on the legislation. I was wrong when I talked about cross-examination before. This is more of a friendly exchange. Although spring is here and the tulips are not quite up, this is the fall meeting. We are just a little late. I will start off the questioning.

You mandated the amount of sulphur in diesel fuel and gasoline. In doing that, what is your argument for or against mandating the use of ethanol in ordinary car gasoline?

Mr. Anderson: I will ask Dr. Stemshorn and my deputy, Mr. Nymark, for comment on where we stand on that. We have declared an objective of increasing five-fold the amount of ethanol used in the gasoline stream in Canada. With respect to the measures taken to achieve that, I will have to rely on them for advice. Certainly, on the sulphur issue, we mandated that because the automobile industry regarded it as critical to be able to put in place the third stage, catalytic converters on cars. In addition, if we did not do that and Americans did it in certain jurisdictions, came to Canada, and found they did not have clean fuel, it could have a major impact on the rubber-tire tourism trade. We must recognize that there was a certain amount of self-interest in what we did.

The debate was successful in regard to industry. It has not yet concluded, but we do expect to meet that target at the end of June of this year for 250 parts and meet it at the very end of 2004 for 30 parts. Mr. Nymark will add something on the ethanol regulation and the mandating of ethanol use.

Mr. Alan Nymark, Deputy Minister, Environment Canada: We have taken action in the government's climate change policy in the National Action Plan 2000 when there were incentives provided for that, and we have under review whether we should go beyond those measures at this time.

The Chairman: They are mandating it now in a number of U.S. states, so the excuse about sulphur is intriguing to me. Maybe you thought the pressure you were putting on the big gasoline refineries was enough by taking the sulphur out and you did not want to give them a whole bale of hay, just a forkful at a time. I would hope that the mandating of ethanol is just around the corner.

Mr. Anderson: We do have as a government objective increasing five-fold the amount of ethanol in the gasoline stream. Whether we mandate it by similar methods to the sulphur, I cannot answer at this time, but I will take this as a representation that you would like to see a major increase of ethanol in the gasoline stream.

The Chairman: I would like to see methanol mandated.

Senator Christensen: During the hearings on Bill C-32, a number of recommendations came out from that committee, both from majority and minority reports. From the northern point of view, there were concerns about contamination of the food chain — country foods in particular. One recommendation was that the environment minister and the health minister develop a system of continuous, widespread testing of country foods to ensure human. Has that taken place? Have those studies started?

Mr. Anderson: We have a project, led by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, involving our department, Health Canada, the territorial governments and various Aboriginal groups in the North to address the issue under our Northern Contaminants Program. Health advisories restricting consumption of certain species in certain areas have been issued over time. We have had, for example, most recently in the Mackenzie Valley, restrictions on the consumption of fish due to mercury levels being elevated. We try hard to carry out the communications to northerners on a regular basis through the northern contaminants committees, our partners, the governments of the territories, et cetera.

We are involved in the development of the Country Food Program led by Health Canada. We believe we are working towards the objective outlined to you some two and one-half years ago — in other words, having effective analysis and quick communication of the information to Aboriginal people in the north. The biggest concern was that it took so long to get results once they sent the samples south for the analysis. It was weeks before they would receive the analysis results, and frequently by then it was irrelevant.

Senator Christensen: I believe also that the intent was that not only were people to be notified of toxic chemicals that would be in those foods, but also a remedy or solution, a determination of where those toxic chemicals where coming from and how that could be alleviated in the long term.

Mr. Anderson: With respect to the long-term or persistent organic pollutants, Canada took the lead in the international protocol that was signed in Stockholm. I signed it a year ago. We were also the first nation to ratify this. We are spending a fair amount of money internationally — mostly in equatorial countries — to reduce the use of DDT and therefore to reduce the persistent organic pollutants in the atmosphere coming up into northern Canada.

The response I have had internationally on this is interesting. Many countries — African countries particularly — but also some elsewhere, Latin American and Asian, have said, ``Remember, a large number of people die from malaria annually, and that is why we use it.'' We will have to develop substitutes, and there are substitutes. We will also have to develop training programs to reduce the incidents of malaria by use of things other than drugs. For instance, the use of simple mosquito netting can be a major help in certain areas. They do not need to use the chemicals as they have in the past. It is a difficult issue, but we are making some progress on it and I believe that that will continue.

We do not yet have the ratification by enough countries to bring this protocol into law, but we hope that will occur. On the diplomatic side we are pressing for greater ratification and greater contribution from other countries, particularly other countries with northern populations — I am thinking of the United States of American — to assist us financially. Indeed, we are having a reasonable response.

Senator Christensen: Another issue that concerned the committee was the inclusion of the worlds ``cost effective'' in the definition of the precautionary principles because of the very high costs for cleanups in the north. Have there been any environmental problems as a result of the inclusion of the phrase ``cost effective''? Has it precluded the costs or the cleaning up of any issues?

Mr. Anderson: ``Cost effective'' gets worked into the system after there has been a decision that there is a problem. You then start analyzing the possibilities of handling it and that is where cost-effective issues come forward. The federal regulatory policy that governs implementation of all federal law is in fact consistent with using the precautionary principle and the concept of cost effectiveness. There are some situations that I am sure we are all well aware of where risk occurs for financial reasons. It would be nice to have every automobile in Canada with tires that have not exceeded 10,000 kilometres. We know that is not the case. It is a cost factor for individual Canadians. We know there are probably accidents or fatalities that occur as a result of not having adequate money to do everything.

Similarly, in this, when we come across measures that are not cost effective, it is a matter of practicality. We know some situations will exist where the precautionary principle leads you to extraordinary expenditure with very little potential gain. That is where the ``cost-effective'' principle would be used.

Senator Christensen: Have there been incidents since the act came into effect where that has created a problem in the north?

Mr. Anderson: None of which we are aware.

Senator Kenny: Can we talk about compliance and enforcement? Can you explain to the committee or elaborate further on the voluntary measures you were talking about? How do they work? How do you persuade people to get involved with them? What sort of communications program do you have, and how do you count them?

Mr. Anderson: The primary approach with industry is to recognize that, in large part, industry is well aware of concerns over their own products and is very keen to ensure such concerns are minimized by a variety of means. This is one of the approaches that we take.

If you have a company, for example, which has a good compliance record, you would be much more willing to talk about voluntary compliance. That would be one criterion. If you are dealing with a companies that have a high level of public openness in terms of compliance, companies that print information about problems in their annual reports or in their company newsletters, you would be much more willing to consider a voluntary approach.

The policy framework for environmental performance was issued last summer, and that defines the criteria companies must meet with respect to public consultation, reporting and verification of results. We have an NGO/ industry group that advises, and we have the recommendations of the Auditor General in this regard. For example, we have a new agreement with the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds — VOCs. That includes at least Ontario and Alberta. It includes Industry Canada and Environment Canada as partners with the producers' association.

We also will be having similar agreements with the auto parts producers organization and the vehicle producers organization. Again, it cannot be done everywhere, but where you find responsible industrial organizations and responsible companies, it is generally pretty effective to use a voluntary approach where possible.

Senator Kenny: The voluntary approach is appealing. Logically, it is more sensible to take a voluntary approach before pursing things legally. I was more curious to get some measure of the resources you allocate to communicate with these folks and what sort of resources you have to determine whether they are compliant. Is it simply published in the Canada Gazette and you count on them to read it, or do you advertise or write them letters? How does it work?

Dr. Barry Stemshorn, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Service, Environment Canada: The voluntary programs are largely communicated through the industry in a range of meetings and stakeholders negotiations. When we strike an agreement, it is publicized on our web site. An example of that would be the MOUs with the various vehicle manufacturers for low emissions vehicles or the one the minister mentioned with the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association. They are made known to the public so people are aware of them and can comment on them.

They are not subject to the enforcement action. The resources that we mentioned under enforcement are used for dealing with non-compliance situations, so it is a bit of a different track, but it is certainly an incentive.

In having voluntary compliance, you keep away from the command and control process. These things work as a ``carrot-and-stick'' approach, and we have a spectrum of tools. I am not sure if I am answering your question adequately in terms of resources for publicizing.

Mr. Nymark: You indicated the Canada Gazette, which suggests that you may have been thinking that voluntary codes are actually formal instruments to deal with measures under CEPA. They are not. Under CEPA, a formal instrument does not include voluntary measures. Voluntary measures are complementary to any guidelines or regulatory action that you might take under CEPA. It is a complementary set of instruments.

We have a great deal of experience under the Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics Program, ARET. There was a significant reduction of toxic materials as a result of that, but there was also a great deal of criticism of the program from the point of view of the Commissioner on Sustainable Development, as well as environmental and other groups.

A group called the ``New Directions Group'' has been formed. This group is a coalition of industry and other groups. They established a set of principles by which we should develop voluntary schemes, including verification of results achieved. In the last year, we have been discussing with this coalition a way of replacing the ARET system. We want to keep the value of that scheme, especially by strengthening the verification side. Once we achieve a consensus on a substitute program for ARET, we will look at engaging industry and other groups in information dissemination as well as recognition of results achieved. We are at the threshold of broadening our voluntary initiatives, but these are only complements to formal CEPA instruments.

Dr. Stemshorn: The minister mentioned the National Pollutant Release Inventory, NPRI, which is currently a mandatory program whereby industries report to us emissions released. We publish that on Web sites where you can look up by your postal code what is released in your neighbourhood.

The new version of ARET that is being designed — the voluntary program — would use this same reporting system as a basis for communicating to Canadians emissions releases under the new program and the reductions resulting from it. That would be a way of communicating to Canadians the impacts of these programs.

Senator Kenny: The criticism I hear is great bill, no muscle. I am happy when you talk about voluntary approaches. I am happy when you talk about persuading people first. You quantified the ``teeth'' end when you said 72 to 75 protection officers, then you said you increased the number of intelligence officers from six to ten. Is that right?

Mr. Anderson: Yes.

Senator Kenny: Can you give the committee some sense of what sort of muscle you have in terms of voluntary compliance? How much of the Government of Canada's resources go into explaining this legislation, persuading Canadians to follow this legislation, and measuring whether they follow it or not?

How many thousands or millions of dollars do you spend doing that? How many people are involved in it? Do you have the capacity to educate, persuade, and then measure that you are getting the results? I am not hearing anything very definitive back from you in that regard.

Dr. Stemshorn: I do not have hard numbers for all the dimensions that you mentioned. However, I could mention that we are currently spending about one-half a million dollars to run the ARET program and its successor. We would like to increase that, but this will be competing with other priorities as we work through our budgets for the next year.

That is only this one particular voluntary program. There are a number of other pieces including advertising in various publications and memoranda of understanding that we negotiate with industries. I do not have the numbers in hand to speak to you at this point.

Senator Kenny: Can someone inform the committee at some point as to what resources you put into communicating, educating, measuring and enforcing the bill? It is a hugely complex piece of legislation that affects so many people, and I have the impression that while it is a good piece of legislation, you folks do not have enough resources to communicate it and to see that it is happening.

The Chairman: Would the witnesses write a letter to the committee elaborating on these questions? We are on your side, and we suspect that you are not getting enough light, so we would like to receive a letter.

Mr. Anderson: Generally we do not get everything we ask for. That is certainly true with the number of enforcement officers who do tremendous work. That said, we will certainly provide, as the chairman has suggested, the financial breakdown of the communications side.

Senator Kenny: As well as evaluation and measurement? Mr. Nymark said earlier that there was a reduction. Can we quantify that? How do you know?

Senator Cochrane: Senator Kenny has taken the wind out of my sails in regard to my question on the voluntary approach. I know you have good intentions, Mr. Minister, with your confidence, trust and goodwill in various companies to uphold these environmental protection items. However, are you only relying on responsible companies and openness in regard to companies? What about the companies that are not open? What about the companies that are irresponsible? How are you assessing those? Is there any assessment of those companies?

You did say there is a lack of verification of some of the results that you have already indicated. I would like to know what the irresponsible companies are doing, and how have you assessed them.

Mr. Anderson: We do have remarkable levels of compliance with companies. Not all are that tight. When we turn to the regulations, we generally find that 90 per cent of them comply and it is done effectively by the companies themselves. Thus, we devote our attention to a relatively small number of companies. These are the companies about which we have concerns.

The Commissioner of Environmental and Sustainable Development reported in 1999 that we had to develop more rigorous requirements for managing our voluntary initiatives; we believe we have done that. However, where that is not successful we then turn to the standard process of enforcement. I will ask Dr. Stemshorn once more to comment on the figures on the enforcement.

Where we have had particular concerns in the corporate sector, Dr. Stemshorn, where are we spending our enforcement time?

Dr. Stemshorn: An annual enforcement plan is developed and published on our Web site, the CEPA registry. This details the plan for the year.

We set out priorities based on the intelligence that comes from our intelligence officers and from our managers and other staff who have insight into the industry. An example of an area of focus in the past year is ozone depleating substances. We are aware, through our intelligence community, of challenges and smuggling operations that had been going on. Illicit ozone-depleting substances for recharging refrigeration systems can be sold in the U.S. for quite a profit. That was an area of considerable activity over the past year, as an example.

Senator Cochrane: I am interested in a response to Senator Kenny's questions. We need to put some ``teeth'' into this and so we need those answers. I do not feel that there has been enough groundwork done and there is not enough evidence to show that the results are significant.

What about the situation in Walkerton in respect of their water? I am sure that you will probably say that it is a provincial matter, but there must be something that CEPA has control over as well. What can we do for these Canadians who are sceptical, especially after what has happened?

Mr. Anderson: The Walkerton Report — the first one as you indicated in your question — essentially referred to the provincial government responsibilities.

However, we are using CEPA to protect the water quality from chemical contamination or toxics in both ground water and surface water. Many of the substances that we regulate would otherwise find their way into the water systems, ground or surface, thereby causing difficulty.

We have worked with the provinces and the territories on a series of guidelines for water in Canada, of which there are approximately 300. This work is headed up by Health Canada. Some 80 of those guidelines pertain to drinking water standards. We work heavily on the science side, and use CEPA in respect of many of the toxic substances that might otherwise make their way into water systems.

With respect to the next stage for Walkerton, we are awaiting the second aspect of Mr. Justice O'Connor's report. We expect that it will be more comprehensive and that it will deal more fully with the federal role and whether there should be changes made to ensure a more seamless system.

We are waiting for that report with considerable interest, and my hope is that we will be able to respond quickly to it. Directly, we have waited for the report before embarking on any constitutional changes that might offend provinces or territories. It is easy to suggest changes to a system, but it is sometimes more difficult to show that the changes to the system will result in more effective management. Simply passing federal laws will not have much effect if the same levels of training, supervision and oversight that we saw at Walkerton continue. We have to make the laws more effective.

We are essentially waiting for that second report for any change of original role that we have had. The first report did not suggest that any change was necessary, therefore we will wait for the second report to see if it suggests that changes are necessary.

The Chairman: We had Bill S-18 before us, which was presented by Senator Grafstein. The bill basically asked that the drinking water be put under the Food and Drug Act, using the old argument that the Province of Ontario governs water from the tap, and the federal government governs water from the bottle. I have received a firestorm of letters from the provinces complaining that it interferes with their right to poison people and that water is their business. You mentioned that you are looking at wastewater and, of course, wastewater is where this comes from — it is surface runoff into the water systems.

You also mentioned that you are waiting for the second report, but is the approach of putting drinking water under the Food and Drug Act reasonable?

Mr. Anderson: We have a close contact with the provinces under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, CCME, and we work on standards through them. The firestorm of letters and e-mails that you have received probably have been repeated to me.

There is a considerable concern. I might add that the public is by no means convinced that simply transferring drinking water to the federal jurisdiction will make it better. We assume, perhaps, in Ottawa that that is the view out there. Yet, not everyone believes that we are the best custodians of something that, of course, is very local in its management.

We have the issue of the Food and Drug Act and the proposal of Senator Grafstein. I would not like to become too involved in judging the merits or otherwise of this matter. However, it is important not to create a constitutional problem along with a water management problem.

I would hesitate, with a number of provinces, to go nose-to-nose to argue jurisdiction. While we would argue, nothing would get done in the practical sense to deal with wastewater and with drinking water.

Our approach has been through CCME, and it has proved to be a reasonably useful body in handling joint actions. At this stage, I will pass on the issue of Bill S-18, and I do not know where it stands.

The Chairman: It is before the Senate awaiting the report of the committee and third reading. It has been delayed, possibly for the reasons that you mentioned.

Mr. Anderson: I will then pull the ultimate copout by saying, in deference to senators, that I would not dream of offering an opinion if you are now considering it. However, Bill S-18 raises a constitutional issue. I am sure honourable senators will be considering this matter quite closely. Sometimes the federal government does tend to mean ``one size fits all,'' and sometimes regionalization means that we can experiment and have improvements by more flexible local or provincial governments.

When Bill S-18 comes before the House, we will look at it carefully, if indeed you send it to us.

Senator Banks: I am tempted to rise to the defence of Senator Grafstein's bill, but I will not. I should like to ask you two questions. They are both related to your comments to us.

The first relates to the Kyoto agreement, which is coming down the road at us at 90 miles per hour. I am from Alberta, and there are some well-known persons in Alberta who are not enthusiastic about signing the Kyoto agreement. That is not a surprise to you, who are, on the other hand, a well-known champion of this agreement. The government has made it clear for a long time that it will, when it is prudent and possible to do so, sign the Kyoto agreement and ask that it be ratified.

Has CEPA, in respect of those emissions that you mentioned, been running parallel along the lines that you want us to take on Kyoto? Since we have known about Kyoto and about the new regulations in CEPA for so long, can we assume they are running along two parallel tracks at the moment?

In the same respect, and assuming that CEPA and Kyoto cannot be spoken about in the same breath, will President Bush's announcement last week about what America will do affect the Canadian government's view and your view in respect to our signing Kyoto. How can we be comfortable with the idea of signing if the Americans are clearly, as they have said, not going to sign? Are you completely comfortable that we will be okay in that respect?

Mr. Anderson: On the first question, first let me set the parameters. The Prime Minister has said that he wishes to ratify Kyoto. He has said that that is his target and aim. He has also said that we would not make such a decision until we have had appropriate consultation with the provinces and territories as well as the industries concerned and indeed Canadians generally.

That is still the clear position. I repeat it from time to time. Sometimes the media focus on the first three words and sometimes the second with a headline that the minister has changed his mind.

There is no change to that overall policy. The consultations must be meaningful. You cannot announce beforehand what you will do, and then go to consultations and say, ``This is what we will do, and we will consult.'' You must have a recognition and respect for the other side. That means, of course, waiting until appropriate consultations have been completed before that final decision is made.

There is no time limit in the sense that while the Prime Minister mentioned in mid-2001 that this year would be an appropriate year to sign. We want to ensure that these are realistic discussion. We will not allow them to spin out forever, but we want them to be realistic. People can put their minds at rest about inadequacy of process. The Prime Minister has made it clear that the process will be adequate.

What can CEPA do? We must look at that as possible vehicles for regulatory action to support Kyoto goals. The area where it could be used would be with respect to a domestic emissions trading system. There would be real potential for using CEPA and also for some of the targeted measures, which are the specific measures, regulations, incentives and taxes required in various sectors of the economy. For example, we could increase the amount of ethanol used in gasoline. We could use CEPA under those circumstances. My belief is that we will be using CEPA and a large number of other pieces of legislation and measures when we come to the possible signing.

The second important point you have raised is the American position. I welcome President Bush's position. This is the re-engagement of the United States after one year on the sidelines on the issue of climate change. He has made a number of proposals that are very positive. There are many energy conservation proposals in his plan. There is also an emphasis on new technology and expanding existing technology and technology transfers overseas, which I believe are very positive. He has also spoken of domestic trading, which is important. I just mentioned it for Canada.

We want to cooperate as closely as we can with the United States. Well before the announcement of his plan, I was stressing the importance that the two plans — the Kyoto and the U.S. plan — work in a cooperative manner and not be contradictory or at cross purposes. It is quite possible to work within the American plan.

The really important item with which we are wrestling is clean energy exports. For example, Alberta has increased emissions — no question about it. However, much of the increase in emissions has been to reduce emissions in the United States by a greater amount. If that is the case, the global atmosphere is benefited because overall less is going up in the atmosphere.

People note that the United States is outside Kyoto as if that were somehow a magic bar and that meant that all their greenhouse gases are funnelled off to another planet. It does not work that way. Regardless of whether they are in Kyoto, they are in the same atmosphere and on the same planet as we and every other Kyoto signatory are. We think it is important to take this into account.

Let me give another example — perhaps I will try a more neutral item. It is one in which Senator Buchanan might be interested. The gas pumped from the Sable Island field goes about 90 per cent to the northeastern United States. Virtually all that gas is burnt in that area. Not every cubic metre of gas has replaced coal, but it has replaced a certain amount of coal that was previously used for power generation. Thus, we have the New England governors as some of the most vigorous champions of climate change measures. They have already started.

How have they started? They reduced Canadian gas, and they have reduced their emissions. In Canada, Premier Buchanan and Premier Hamm have taken up this point recently. They know that the emissions in Nova Scotia have increased. There has been exploration. There has been development of a new field. There has been the development of new pipelines. There is pumping of gas through the pipeline. All of this increases emissions. Nova Scotia gets the deficit; New England gets the benefit. People are saying that we cannot count that overall benefit to the New England- Maritime area. A line is there. For heaven's sake, surely we can arrange methods, as we have in so many other ways, of ignoring the border when it becomes an impediment to common sense.

The issue of clean energy exports is an important one. It is not a make-or-break issue. It is not being described that way.

I will talk about achieving those goals, and the get off the microphone.

Senator Banks: I do not want to you get off it.

Mr. Anderson: To achieve them, senator, we arranged for an informal meeting in Calgary — a great place to have such an informal meeting — of international delegates who are doubtful about clean energy exports and whose governments had expressed negative remarks about it. There was quite a lot of interest.

That informal meeting reported to the Marrakesh Conference of the Parties to the protocol. The report received a favourable response. Based on that, a formal meeting will take place in Vancouver. We are again promoting this. As it is a formal meeting of the committee of the Conference of Parties, it will formally report in November at Delhi at the COP8 — the Conference of Parties, number 8 that follows Marrakesh.

We are hopeful that the common sense position that we have will go forward. I have spent some time talking about it because there are people who say that we must reduce Alberta's emissions and restrict it from any further development of gas fields. To do so, if that gas is being used to substitute for higher greenhouse gas emissions of Virginia coal, is folly in terms of climate change.

Senator Banks: I agree.

Mr. Anderson: We must keep working on that issue. That is one aspect that we have not yet regulated. I believe it will be possible to work comfortably under a North American and Kyoto approach.

Senator Banks: I want to ensure that I understand what you are saying. We are selling a non-renewable resource — and gas is a perfect example — that, in global terms, results in an improvement in the situation. The countries that use the gas, as opposed those that supply it, get the entire benefit of it. Are you suggesting that it is likely that we will be able to get back some of that benefit to Sable Island and Alberta for having sold that gas that allows the United States to reduce emissions?

Mr. Anderson: That is our intention and the logic of our contention.

Senator Banks: Do we have a shot at that?

Mr. Anderson: I believe the logic gives us a shot at that. It would be worthwhile even if we only got back enough credit to offset the emissions of the clay development of Sable Island and the pipeline and the pumping. Even if we reduced that to zero so that developing that field would not give a deficit to Nova Scotia, or at least said it was a wash — even that would be a step in the right direction. That makes common sense.

Sometimes at international meetings, in the debate and the enthusiasm for points of view, common sense is lost. However, I am hopeful that the meeting in Vancouver will put us on the way to achieving that objective.

I cannot give you any better indication of success than that at this time. However, I was surprised that the informal meeting in Calgary came up with such a positive response, and I was somewhat surprised that my international colleagues at Marrakesh were willing to accept the Canadian position — at least to the point of putting it on the table for a formal committee meeting.

Senator Banks: I wish you very good luck and I hope that you will come back and tell us that it worked perfectly, that everyone agreed and that common sense prevailed.

The Chairman: I might remind Senator Banks that at our meeting with OPEC it was mentioned that Russia is exporting natural gas so that they can have nuclear energy replacement. The situations are nearly the same except that their source is nuclear energy. France is exporting nuclear energy while we are exporting gas. The argument in both cases is that we are reducing the amount that is going into the atmosphere.

Senator Buchanan: I want to congratulate the minister on his great knowledge of the pluses and minuses between the Atlantic provinces and the New England states. It is incredible. You are right on. I also want to congratulate Senator Banks for raising the matter in general to allow the minister to be specific about Nova Scotia and Sable Island gas.

During the 13 years that I was Premier of Nova Scotia, I learned that the New England states take a bigger interest in what is going on environmentally in Canada than does any other part of Canada or the United States. We signed agreements with the New England states the 1980s on the very topic we are discussing here this evening. That illustrates that, as usual, the East — and Nova Scotia in particular — is moving ahead, as we have for years, and we will continue to do so.

The Chairman: With regard to genetically modified foods, are you taking part in the debate between the ministry of health and the ministry of agriculture? They are indirectly tied to the environment.

Mr. Anderson: The latest genetically modified concern is the so-called ``enviro-pigs,'' the genetically modified pigs from a university research facility that were turned into chicken feed. The chicken feed was consumed and 12 million eggs resulted. Of course, this is a major concern. A research facility was not secure. I understand that it was an error made by a graduate student or some other person working in the facility who simply put the wrong animals in the wrong place, and they wound up in the food chain for the agricultural sector.

I have been assured by Health Canada that there is absolutely no health risk, although I do not have the scientific background to confirm that for you. However, they have given me every assurance that there is no health risk.

That shows that we must be particularly careful with research facilities, be they at universities or elsewhere. That was an error. Changing systems does not appear to be appropriate, at least until we have had a look at the efforts of the university itself. The university has promised a very careful analysis and investigation, which is currently taking place.

It would be inappropriate for me to comment on exactly what happened, other than to say that that investigation will take place at the university level. The federal government will be watching it closely. That will be probably be done by Agriculture Canada and Health Canada more than Environment Canada.

The Chairman: I was inquiring about the larger issue of genetically modified plants being used and how they affect the environment.

Mr. Anderson: We obviously have continuing concern on this. We want to ensure that a genetically modified plant does not become an invasive species because it is tougher or more vigorous. We want to ensure that there is control of spread of seeds or plants. There are those who say that genetic modification should be eliminated. To those we can only say that in our view, given the amount of genetically modified agricultural produce now coming out, it is not possible to reverse that at this time.

Second, we want to ensure that it is possible to have transportation systems that do not result in destroying a very efficient system in Canada. We want to protect the environment against invasive species. Most of the work is done by Agriculture and Agri-foods Canada. Our concern is the possible replacement of something human-made by a natural species. The other possibility is restriction on genetic diversity, which could conceivably result from too much reliance on genetic modification.

Mr. Nymark: CEPA is largely a safety net for other federal acts in terms of the standards for regulatory activity having to do with biotechnology. Last September, five federal acts met the standards established by CEPA and were listed in an annex to CEPA. However, three areas were not: One was the Food and Drugs Act, the second had to do with transgenic animals, and the third had to do with transgenic fish. Until there are regulatory regimes in place, the Minister of the Environment does remain accountable for activity in those areas, but the intention is to follow the lead of both Health Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the case of animals and have the CFIA develop the regulatory regime for transgenic animals. They have the expertise in the field as well as biotechnology expertise. We are encouraging them to move into the area to develop the regulatory activity.

Senator Banks: My question is semi-rhetorical question. I shuddered slightly when you said that genetically modified food has arrived at the point that it can no longer be reversed. Does that cause you any concern?

Mr. Anderson: It is correct in this regard: As there is no indication of any health risk, the possibility of the commercial systems reversing to something other than genetically modified seed is just very unlikely. It is unrealistic to demand that when there is no indication of any health risk.

They are planting genetically modified crops for a reason. Generally, it is a higher yield. However, we must also remember that given global population increases, we have major concerns about increasing yields worldwide and preventing agriculture from moving more and more into areas of marginal land that will provide little in the way of sustenance for human populations. In other words, improving yield on existing land worldwide is an objective, as we see the world population dramatically increasing.

I feel that to attempt to reverse by fiat of government what has happened in the agricultural community of Canada would be extremely difficult in the absence of any clear health reason or environmental reason. Farmers make their decisions not carelessly and not reluctantly. They are a shrewd crowd. They have decided this is the way to go. You would have to give them pretty good reasons for not doing it. I do not have them and I am not giving any value judgment on whether we would want to do it in the absence of that. I am simply saying that it is now very widespread. It is somewhat simplistic to say just return to where we were and ignore the improved yields that genetically modified foods have provided.

The Chairman: I wish to thank Minister Anderson, Mr. Nymark and Dr. Stemshorn. As you know, when SARA comes forward we will be back to you at least once, maybe twice, to shepherd that through. Thank you very much for appearing.

The committee meets again Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Did honourable senators wish to talk about the Thursday morning meeting?

Senator Kenny: I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if on behalf of the committee you could extend our best wishes to the deputy chair, who has suffered an injury.

The Chairman: That is a very good point because CEPA and the appearance of CEPA each year before the committee is largely due to Senator Spivak.

Senator Kenny: Senator Spivak wishes she were here, Mr. Minister.

The Chairman: We thought of a closed-circuit TV set-up, but knowing the questions she would have to ask we did not think we could afford the whole evening. She will be back perhaps for our hearings on SARA.

We extend our regrets for that. Thank you again.

To committee members, 9:00 in the morning we will be considering Bill C-39. We might look at some clauses of Bill C-33, as well as the budget.

The committee adjourned.