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About The Council
The Ontario government has set clear goals for protecting the water that Ontarians drink and is committed to implementing all of the recommendations in the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry.
On May 23, 2002, Justice O’Connor, in the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry, made six recommendations regarding an “advisory council on standards”. Specifically, Recommendation 25 states that “In setting drinking water standards for Ontario, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change should be advised by an Advisory Council on Standards”.
In recommending an advisory council on standards, Justice O’Connor noted that:
The Safe Drinking Water Act was promulgated in 2002, and on May 12, 2004, The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks announced the establishment of the “Advisory Council on Drinking-Water Quality and Testing Standards” (Council). Enabled under Section 4 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, the Council is “to consider issues relating to standards for drinking-water quality and testing and to make recommendations to the Minister” [of the Environment, Conservation and Parks], which are to be “taken into consideration in establishing and revising standards under this Act for drinking-water quality and testing.”
The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks appoints members to the Council from key professional fields representing a cross-section of academia, industry and municipalities, with expertise in the areas of microbiology, toxicology, engineering, utility operations, public health, and others with a record of interest and accomplishment related to drinking water. They are active in their areas of knowledge and bring their current and direct experience to the Council.
On June 10, 2004, the Council held its inaugural meeting. The Minister of the Environment [and Climate Change] was in attendance and asked the Council to focus on the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry Recommendations that were directed to the Council:
At that time, The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change also asked the Council to provide advice on the Drinking-Water Systems Regulation, O. Reg. 170/03, with respect to appropriate requirements for small water systems, and particularly private ones; and on the Wells Regulation, O. Reg. 903, with respect to disinfection requirements.
The broad mandate of the Council is to provide advice and make recommendations to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on drinking water quality and testing standards, as well as other drinking water matters. The role of the Council includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following core activities:
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