Environmental concerns and impacts cross physical and political boundaries. While federal, provincial, and territorial governments have legislative authority enabling them to regulate matters respecting the environment, they have recognized the need to work co-operatively on environmental matters. The increasing complexity of environmental issues, their inter-jurisdictional and international scope, and the need for consistent approaches across the country have all led to increased intergovernmental cooperation. This collaborative approach is at the heart of all CCME activity.
Canada-wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization
On January 29, 1998, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) - with the exception of Quebec - signed the Canada-wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization, designed to lead to improved cooperation and better environmental protection across Canada.
CCME is addressing a broad range of issues associated with the completion of provincial/territorial and federal environmental assessments (EA) in Canada, including process inefficiencies, overlapping mandates and responsibilities, lack of timeliness, differing criteria trigerring EAs, and a need to look to broad strategic regional EAs.
Five Year Review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
In November 2003 ministers agreed that CCME would serve as the forum for provincial-territorial input into the five-year review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The provincial-territorial views were provided to the federal ministers of Environment and Health in March 2005.
Health and Environment
In 2003 ministers of health and environment agreed to collaborate on health and environment issues through the creation of a federal-provincial-territorial Committee on Health and Environment (CHE).
As a result of this long-term collaborative work by environment and health departments, in 2006 deputy ministers approved the Children's Health Principles and in 2009 CHE completed a National Strategic Framework on Children's Environmental Health.
The National Strategic Framework on Children's Environmental Health provides overall principles and goals. In general, the Strategic Framework can be applied by all sectors of society in Canada to protect children's health from environmental hazards according to identified needs and priorities. More specifically, it is intended that this Strategic Framework be used by jurisdictions in Canada to stimulate discussion and to facilitate focused action on current and future children's environmental health concerns.
Agreement on Internal Trade Notifications
Under the Environmental Chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade, notice of new environmental measures which may affect internal trade are circulated through the CCME Secretariat to all jurisdictions. Copies of any AIT notification filed with CCME may be retrieved here.