Nature Canada

Keep Wild Species Wild

Genetically engineered organisms can have unintended impacts on wild species and ecosystems that could change Nature forever.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) outlines how the federal government regulates toxic chemicals as well as other polluting materials. Despite its importance, the government has failed to significantly update CEPA since 1999 (that’s over two decades ago!) and has not kept pace with the dramatic developments in the field of genetic engineering. 

About the Campaign

Genetic pollution is real and irreversible. Once a genetically engineered organism successfully reproduces with a wild counterpart, these new genes will spread throughout the population — increasing over time and changing nature forever.

In Canada, already at-risk populations of Atlantic Salmon could be outcompeted for food, or if interbreeding were to occur, be fundamentally changed. Ultimately, impacting the livelihoods of hundreds of Canadians and disrupting ecosystems forever.

Nature Canada brought together Indigenous Peoples, scientists, anglers, and conservationists to develop recommended changes to CEPA to keep wild species wild. We are actively working to ensure these recommendations, such as improved public transparency and alignment with Indigenous rights, make it into the Act.

Close up picture of Atlantic Salmon.

Our Work to Date

Earlier this year, Nature Canada’s petition calling for an update of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) received hundreds of signatures from concerned Canadians. 

On April 13, 2021, the Canadian Government introduced Bill C-28, an act to amend CEPA. Unfortunately, it did not contain the changes we were seeking. In turn, Nature Canada created a list of recommended changes for Bill C-28 (view French) that would ensure CEPA truly protected nature and Indigenous Peoples’ rights from the unintended consequences of genetic engineering. 

Despite the Government’s commitment to review some of the regulations on genetically engineered animals (including salmon) on April 15, when Parliament rose for the summer, Bill C-28 had not made it to the second reading. 

Our work isn’t over. Whether parliament resumes in September or a federal election is called, Nature Canada will be working hard to ensure CEPA is modernized. 

Colorful Spawning Salmon swimming in river
Close up picture of Atlantic Salmon.

About the Campaign

Genetic pollution is real and irreversible. Once a genetically engineered organism successfully reproduces with a wild counterpart, these new genes will spread throughout the population — increasing over time and changing nature forever.

In Canada, already at-risk populations of Atlantic Salmon could be outcompeted for food, or if interbreeding were to occur, be fundamentally changed. Ultimately, impacting the livelihoods of hundreds of Canadians and disrupting ecosystems forever.

Nature Canada brought together Indigenous Peoples, scientists, anglers, and conservationists to develop recommended changes to CEPA to keep wild species wild. We are actively working to ensure these recommendations, such as improved public transparency and alignment with Indigenous rights, make it into the Act.

Colorful Spawning Salmon swimming in river

Our Work to Date

Earlier this year, Nature Canada’s petition calling for an update of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) received hundreds of signatures from concerned Canadians. 

On April 13, 2021, the Canadian Government introduced Bill C-28, an act to amend CEPA. Unfortunately, it did not contain the changes we were seeking. In turn, Nature Canada created a list of recommended changes for Bill C-28 (view French) that would ensure CEPA truly protected nature and Indigenous Peoples’ rights from the unintended consequences of genetic engineering. 

Despite the Government’s commitment to review some of the regulations on genetically engineered animals (including salmon) on April 15, when Parliament rose for the summer, Bill C-28 had not made it to the second reading. 

Our work isn’t over. Whether parliament resumes in September or a federal election is called, Nature Canada will be working hard to ensure CEPA is modernized. 

How You Can Help

Add your voice to keep wild species wild.

Join our online community to receive the latest updates about our efforts to ensure the Canadian Environmental Protection Act prioritizes safety, conservation and transparency above all.

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.

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