Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Plastic : Possible appeal of the Court's decision

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The federal Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, has maintain a hard line on banning single-use plastic.


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Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault assures that he will not back down despite the Federal Court's decision to invalidate a decree that listed plastic items as toxic.

Steven Guilbeault said he was a little stunned by this decision. He assured in an interview on the show En direct avec Patrice Roy that the government would probably challenge the decision in the Federal Court of Appeal. If we have to go to the Supreme Court, we will, he added.

Honestly, both the experts from the Ministry of the Environment and the lawyers at the Ministry of Justice were very surprised by this decision of the Federal Court. And, with all respect, we do not share the opinion of [the] Federal Court judge, he declared.

In her decision rendered Thursday, Judge Angela Furlanetto points out that the federal government's decree includes plastic products whose toxicity has not been proven, such as contact lenses.

Even if the statement that all plastic manufactured items are likely to become plastic pollutants is taken literally, the elements of which provided by the Governor in Council did not allow the conclusion that all articles manufactured from plastic were toxic, wrote Justice Furlanetto.

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilièvre, welcomes this decision and wishes to further advocate recycling.

There is no no proof that these products are dangerous either for families or for the environment. The common sense solution is recycling. , he said Friday at a press conference in Cambridge, Ontario.

Steven Guilbeault maintains that with or without a federal decree, the industry has decided to abandon single-use plastic for a while now.

Generally speaking, the industry has already turned the corner, there are still a few laggards, but I can hardly see a company saying: "Ah, a federal judge has just suspend the application of the regulation, I will start making plastic straws again."

A quote from Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of the Environment

Municipalities have already banned the use of single plastic on their territory . This is the case in Montreal, where such regulations were introduced in March 2023.

According to Steven Guilbeault, the federal decree was a way of following up on this type of initiative by creating a federal standard. Ottawa first adopted a decree in April 2021 that added manufactured plastic substances to the toxic products included in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Then, in June 2022, a regulation was issued banning six plastic items: grocery bags, utensils, takeout food, straws, coffee stirrers and beverage wrap rings. /p>Open in full screen mode

Plastic straws are among the items prohibited by federal jurisdiction.

The head of the Climate-Energy campaign at Greenpeace Canada, Patrick Bonin, maintains that the federal government must maintain a hard line.

If we are serious about the climate fight, the protection of biodiversity, the fight against plastic, we must regulate this industry. And this is already happening in several places across the planet, such as in Europe and in many other countries.

A quote from Patrick Bonin, head of the Climate-Energy campaign at Greenpeace Canada

The Federal Court's decision follows a lawsuit filed by the Coalition for responsible use of plastic. The group includes around thirty companies, including Dow Chemicals, Imperial Oil and Nova Chemicals.

Saskatchewan and Alberta also joined the suit, declaring the federal order unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Alberta Premier , Danielle Smith, welcomed the Federal Court's decision and wrote on X that the province had won again.

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In an interview, Steven Guilbeault assured that, despite the resistance to his policies, he wanted to continue in the same direction.

We must continue to move forward despite these lobbies and despite the obstacles that we will find on the road.

A quote from Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of the Environment

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Listen to the interview that Steven Guilbeault gave to Véronique Prince on the show En direct avec Patrice Roy.

The Federal Court's decision comes the same week as the third negotiation meeting for the future international treaty against plastic pollution.

Representatives of 175 countries, including Canada, are meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi, Kenya, until November 19 to discuss the terms of this international agreement.

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A demonstration took place in Nairobi, in Kenya on November 11 to call for a ban on plastic in anticipation of the opening of negotiations for the international treaty on November 13.

A first version of around thirty pages was made public in September. The participating countries have committed to reaching an agreement by the end of next year.

It is Canada that will be the host of the next meeting which will be held in April in Ottawa. Negotiations must conclude in South Korea at the end of 2024.

According to Federal Minister Steven Guilbeault, this initiative is a sign that the green shift will continue.

You would have to think that we are on another planet to think that we are going to go back and that we are going to return to the use of plastic straws and these single-use plastics that we cannot recycle, he believes.

With information from Julie-Anne Lapointe

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