Monday, January 2, 2012

Democratic Detox

Do you know about Canada's Office of the Auditor General's (OAG) Petition process?
I learned about it at work and I'm amazed that I didn't know about this before!

Basically, anyone with an environmental concern that falls under federal responsibility can ask questions to the ministry responsible, and receive a response from them.

As explained on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada's website:

"The petitions process was established by Parliament to make sure Canadians can get answers from federal ministers on specific environmental and sustainable development issues that involve federal jurisdiction. In addition to providing information to petitioners, petitions have prompted such action by federal departments as new environmental projects, follow-up on alleged violations, and changes or clarifications in policies and practices. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development reports annually to Parliament on the petitions process."

It's pretty interesting to look through the catalogue of previous petitions and read them and the responses from the government.

Here is one I am keeping an eye on; the responses have not yet been posted.

Petition: 310
Issue(s): Human and environmental health, and toxic substances
Petitioner(s): Suzuki Foundation and RĂ©seau des femmes en environnement
Summary: The petitioners allege that endocrine disrupting chemicals are used in cosmetic products in Canada. They are concerned about the consequences this may have on the health of humans and on the environment. The petitioners ask Health Canada how it interprets and enforces the Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetics Regulations with respect to these substances. They also ask Environment Canada how it monitors the release of endocrine disrupting chemicals into the environment.
Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Environment Canada, Health Canada

 If you would like more information on how to submit a petition, here's a short video describing the process. The form and more information can be found on the OAG website.

No comments:

Post a Comment