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What’s the purpose of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy?

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy outlines federal government action to create a sustainable economy, protect the environment and enhance Canadians’ well-being for the next 3 years. Its main intent is to define our environmental sustainability goals and targets and promote coordinated action across government to achieve them. The strategy also aims to make environmental decision making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.

What is the role of other levels of government in implementing the strategy?

While the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy focuses on the federal actions, it acknowledges that the Government of Canada cannot achieve sustainable development alone. Partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations and Canadian citizens will all play an essential role in helping meet sustainability objectives in Canada.

What is the difference between the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy?

Canada is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at home and abroad. The Prime Minister has appointed the Minister of Children, Families and Social Development to lead Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and the development of a whole-of-society 2030 Agenda national strategy, in collaboration with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, municipalities, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders.

The 2019 to 2022 FSDS is a key element of Canada’s response to the 2030 Agenda. It sets out what the Government of Canada will do over a 3-year period to support 12 environmentally-focused SDGs. In defining federal environmental sustainability commitments and actions, it will contribute to the broader whole-of-society 2030 Agenda National Strategy, which will aim to accelerate progress on all 17 SDGs and all three dimensions of sustainable development including social, environmental, and economic.

While the FSDS and the National Strategy are different, they will reinforce each other. The FSDS will continue to support Canada’s overall response to the 2030 Agenda from an environmental sustainability perspective, and contribute at the federal level to the broader whole-of-society implementation of the SDGs.

What is the objective of the 120-day consultation period for the draft strategy, who must be consulted, and what will you do with the feedback?

The objective of the public consultation process is to support transparency and gather concrete ideas and feedback from stakeholders and the public on what they want to see in the final strategy.

As part of the public consultation that closed on April 2, 2019, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change also provided the draft strategy to:

·  the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

·  the Sustainable Development Advisory Council

·  the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament

Canadians submitted more than 300 comments on the draft 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. Environment and Climate Change Canada reviewed and considered all comments in revising the strategy. Comments were also shared with other federal departments and agencies that contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Our consultation report summarizes what we heard.

Who makes up the Sustainable Development Advisory Council?

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change chairs the Sustainable Development Advisory Council. The council includes 1 representative from each province and territory and 3 from each of the following:
·  Indigenous peoples
·  environmental non-governmental organizations
·  business organizations
·  organizations representative of labour

How is the final 2019 to 2022 strategy different from the consultation draft?

Comments from partners, stakeholders and individual Canadians during public consultations played an important role in shaping our strategy. While the final strategy maintains the 13 aspirational goals set out in the consultation draft, it also reflects important changes that respond to comments from Canadians. These include:

  • stronger targets, including on greenhouse gas emissions and waste from federal operations, adaptation to climate change in federal operations, health of national parks, sustainable agriculture and air quality
  • new targets in areas such as zero-emission vehicle sales and growing Canada’s clean technology exports
  • a revised Sustainable Food chapter that reflect efforts to promote an innovative and competitive agri-food sector and help Canadians make healthy food choices 
  • a broader suite of performance measures and clearer linkages between targets, indicators and action plans