2015 Progress Report of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

2015 Progress Report of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
2015 Progress Report
of the Federal Sustainable
Development Strategy
Cat. No.: En1-46E-PDF
ISBN: 1925–8402
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MINISTER’S
MESSAGE
It is with great pleasure that I present the 2015 Progress Report of the Federal Sustainable
Development Strategy (FSDS) to Parliament and Canadians.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability as required by the Federal Sustainable
Development Act, this report provides information about the progress made under the
2013–2016 FSDS to further sustainable development in Canada.
This report offers us a snapshot of what we know today based on the best available scientific
evidence. It also helps us see the sustainable development challenges ahead as we focus on
Canada’s contributions to the global sustainable goals of our time.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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TABLE OF
CONTENTS
Minister’s Message.......................................................................................................................1
Executive Summary.....................................................................................................................3
Introduction.................................................................................................................................12
Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality..............................................................................13
Maintaining Water Quality and Availability..................................................................................35
Protecting Nature and Canadians..............................................................................................67
Shrinking the Environmental Footprint— Beginning with Government.......................................98
Behind the Scenes...................................................................................................................112
Annex A Clean Air Agenda.....................................................................................................116
Annex B List of Departments and Agencies..........................................................................121
Annex C List of Abbreviations................................................................................................123
Annex D Data Considerations and Notes..............................................................................126
Annex E Supplementary References.....................................................................................142
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY
The 2015 Progress Report of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy presents
information on how the federal government is implementing the 2013–2016 Federal Sustainable
Development Strategy (FSDS), including progress toward its goals and targets. Together with
the FSDS, it supports the purpose of the Federal Sustainable Development Act by making
environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.
This executive summary provides a high-level view as of 2015 of progress on each of the
2013–2016 FSDS goals and targets. The balance of the report provides additional information
on the goals and targets.
2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND AIR QUALITY
GOAL 1
Climate Change—In order to mitigate
the effects of climate change, reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels
and adapt to unavoidable impacts.
As of 2013, Canada’s anthropogenic GHG emissions
were 23 Mt carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq)
below 2005 levels. The Government of Canada
continued to pursue a sector-by-sector approach
to regulating GHG emissions. It also continued to
help Canadians and businesses decrease their
GHG emissions through actions such as supporting
the development and deployment of innovative
clean technologies.
Over the past five years, understanding about
adaptation has improved and progress has been
made through broadened engagement and policies,
plans and practices to increase resilience to
climate change.
Target 1.1
Climate Change Mitigation—Relative to
2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total
GHG emissions 17% by 2020.
Target 1.2
Climate Change Adaptation—Facilitate
reduced vulnerability of individuals,
communities, regions and economic sectors
to the impacts of climate change through the
development and provision of information
and tools.
As of 2013, Canada’s GHG emissions level was
3.1% below the 2005 level of 749 Mt CO2 eq.
The federal government continued to develop
and share scientific knowledge and tools to help
provinces and territories, communities, sectors
and individual Canadians manage climate risks.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
GOAL 2
Air Pollution—Minimize the threat to air
quality so that the air Canadians breathe is
clean and supports healthy ecosystems.
Many threats to air quality have been reduced: the
outdoor concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2),
nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) and peak concentrations of ground-level
ozone (O3) have decreased substantially over the
past two decades.
National annual average concentrations of O3 and
annual average and peak concentrations of fine
particulate matter (PM2.5)—the main components of
smog—have remained relatively stable since 2000.
Target 2.1
Outdoor Air Pollutants—Improve outdoor
air quality by ensuring compliance with
new or amended regulated emission limits
by 2020 and thus reducing emissions
of air pollutants in support of Air Quality
Management System (AQMS) objectives.
Target 2.2
Indoor Air Quality—Help protect the health
of Canadians by providing health-based
guidance and tools to support actions to
better manage indoor air quality.
Some improvements are evident. New and amended
regulations for air pollutants have contributed to
continued decreases in emission levels of four key
air pollutants: emissions of sulphur oxides (SO x),
nitrogen oxides (NO x), volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) were 28% to
63% lower in 2013 than in 1990.
The federal government continued to develop
guidelines, mitigation measures, product standards
and communication initiatives on indoor air quality.
The indoor air health risk assessment for NO2 was
completed and formed the basis of the Residential
Indoor Air Quality Guideline for NO2 published in
August 2015.
The government also completed health risk
assessments to support the development of draft
Indoor Air Reference Level determinations for
certain VOCs.
MAINTAINING WATER QUALITY AND AVAILABILITY
GOAL 3
Water Quality and Water Quantity—
Protect and enhance water so that it is
clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and
supports healthy ecosystems.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Over the past decade, freshwater quality and
quantity in Canadian rivers has remained
generally stable.
In terms of drinking water quality, most boil water
advisories were issued as precautionary measures
during equipment maintenance or repair rather than
due to detection of pathogens in treated water.
2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Target 3.1
On-reserve First Nations Water and
Wastewater Systems—Increase the
percentage of on-reserve First Nations water
systems with low risk ratings from 27% to
50% by 2015. Increase the percentage
of on-reserve First Nations wastewater
systems with low risk ratings from 35% to
70% by 2015.
Progress Statements
The percentage of on-reserve First Nations drinking
water systems with low risk ratings increased from
27% in 2009–2011 to 57% in 2014–2015.
Forty-eight percent of on-reserve First Nations
wastewater systems had low risk ratings in
2014–2015 compared with 38% in 2009–2011.
Target 3.2
Drinking Water Quality—Help protect the
health of Canadians by developing up to
15 water quality guidelines/guidance
documents by 2016.
Between 2013 and 2015, 10 new or updated drinking
water quality guidelines/guidance documents were
approved by provinces and territories, on track to
achieve 15 by 2016.
Target 3.3
Great Lakes—Canadian Areas of
Concern—Take federal actions to restore
beneficial uses for delisting five Canadian
Areas of Concern (AOC) and to reduce the
number of impaired beneficial uses in the
remaining AOC by 25% by 2018.
Since 2010, no AOC have been delisted. However,
a 2014 assessment revealed that ongoing action
by the federal government and its partners has
decreased the number of beneficial uses considered
“impaired” by 33% (from 120 to 80) since each AOC
was initially assessed.
Target 3.4
Great Lakes—Contribute to the
restoration and protection of the
Great Lakes by developing and gaining
bi‑national acceptance of objectives for
the management of nutrients in Lake Erie
by 2016 and for the other Great Lakes
as required.
Target 3.5
St. Lawrence River—Take federal actions
to reduce pollutants in order to improve
water quality, conserve biodiversity and
ensure beneficial uses in the St. Lawrence
River by 2016.
Target 3.6
Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian
Bay—Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of
phosphorus loadings to Lake Simcoe by
2017, which will support the Province of
Ontario’s target to reduce phosphorus inputs
into Lake Simcoe to 44 000 kg/year by 2045.
Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus
loadings to south-eastern Georgian Bay
watersheds by 2017.
In 2014, representatives of Canada, the U.S.,
Ontario and the eight Great Lakes States agreed to
develop phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie
by spring 2016. Public consultations were held
in summer 2015 on a 40% reduction target for
Lake Erie.
Phosphorus levels at the majority of water quality
monitoring stations along the St. Lawrence River
exceeded water quality guidelines more than 50%
of the time during the period 2010–2012. Nitrogen
levels exceeded water quality guidelines more than
50% of the time at only one site.
Phosphorus reduction projects completed by
March 2015 under the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern
Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund are preventing
approximately 4040 kg of phosphorus per year
from entering the Lake Simcoe watershed.
Similarly, stewardship projects are preventing an
estimated 124 kg of phosphorus per year from reaching
South-eastern Georgian Bay and its tributary rivers.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Target 3.7
Lake Winnipeg Basin—By 2017, reduce
phosphorus inputs to water bodies in the
Lake Winnipeg Basin, in support of the
Province of Manitoba’s overall plan to
reduce phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg by
50% to pre-1990 levels.
Target 3.8
Marine Pollution—Releases of Harmful
Pollutants—Protect the marine environment
by an annual 5% reduction in the number of
releases of harmful pollutants in the marine
environment by vessels identified during
pollution patrol from 2013–2016.
Target 3.9
Marine Pollution—Disposal at Sea—
Ensure that permitted disposal at sea is
sustainable, such that 85% of disposal site
monitoring events do not identify the need
for site management action (such as site
closure) from 2013–2016.
Target 3.10
Agri-environmental Performance Metrics—
Achieve a value between 81 and 100 on
each of the Water Quality and Soil Quality
Agri-Environmental Performance Metrics by
March 31, 2030.
Target 3.11
Wastewater and Industrial Effluent—
Reduce risks associated with effluent from
wastewater (sewage) and industrial sectors
by 2020.
Target 3.12
Water Resource Management—Facilitate
sustainable water resource management
through the collection of data and the
development and dissemination of
knowledge from 2013–2016.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Progress Statements
As of March 2015, stewardship projects supported by the
Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund were preventing
an estimated 14 800 kg of phosphorus per year from
entering Lake Winnipeg and its tributary rivers.
Phosphorus levels in Lake Winnipeg were 100%
higher in 2013 than pre-1990: 0.1 milligrams of
phosphorus per litre compared with 0.05.
With a 70% increase in patrol hours from 2009–2010,
44 spills by identified vessels were detected in fiscal
year 2013–2014 compared with 21 in 2009–2010,
an average annual increase of 20%.
Since 2004, the proportion of permitted disposal at sea
sites requiring no management action has exceeded
the 85% performance target, indicating that Canada’s
ocean disposal sites are being used sustainably.
In 2013–2014, the government completed monitoring
projects at 11 ocean disposal sites, or 12% of
actively used sites.
The Soil Quality Agri-Environmental Performance
Metric rose from 66 in 1981 to 77 in 2006 as farm
management improved. Meanwhile, the Water
Quality Agri-Environmental Performance Metric
declined from 94 in 1981 to 78 in 2006.
Regulatory compliance reduces the risks of effluent
released to the environment in rivers. The indicators
measuring the quality of metal mining and pulp and
paper effluent show stable or improved regulatory
compliance.
Provincial and territorial government clients rated the
Government of Canada’s hydrometric program 8 out
of 10 on a performance satisfaction survey of their
data dissemination.
2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
PROTECTING NATURE AND CANADIANS
GOAL 4
Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems,
Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting
Canadians—Resilient ecosystems with
healthy wildlife populations so Canadians
can enjoy benefits from natural spaces,
resources and ecological services for
generations to come.
Target 4.1
Species at Risk—By 2020, populations
of species at risk listed under federal law
exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery
strategies and management plans.
Target 4.2
Migratory Birds—Improve the proportion
of migratory bird species that meet their
population goals.
Target 4.3
Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat
Stewardship—Contribute to the proposed
national target so that by 2020, at least 17%
of terrestrial areas and inland water are
conserved through networks of protected
areas and other effective area-based
conservation measures.
Target 4.4
Improving the Health of National Parks—
Improve the condition of at least one
Ecological Integrity Indicator in 20 national
parks by 2015.
Target 4.5
Marine Ecosystems—By 2020, 10% of
coastal and marine areas are conserved
through networks of protected areas and
other effective area-based conservation
measures.
In 2010, 77% of Canadian wild species assessed
in the General Status of Wildlife Species in Canada
report were ranked “secure.” The number of
protected areas and the total area protected in
Canada continued to grow.
Of the 307 species at risk that had final recovery
strategies or management plans as of May 2015,
112 had population-oriented goals reassessed.
Of these 112 species, 43 (38%) showed
population trends consistent with the goals of
the recovery strategies.
Baseline information indicates that more than
half of managed migratory bird species regularly
found in Canada have population sizes within an
acceptable range.
10.3% of Canada’s terrestrial area (land and freshwater)
is protected as of the end of 2014, and this percentage is
expected to continue to increase.
As of 2015, 80 700 square kilometres (km2) of habitat
for waterfowl had been secured since 1990 and as of
2014, 1836 km2 habitat for species at risk has been
secured since 2000.
As of March 2015, management actions have resulted
in improvements to at least one indicator of ecological
integrity in 20 national parks.
From 1990 to 2014, protected coastal and marine areas
increased from 0.32% of Canada’s marine territory to
0.9%.
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2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Target 4.6
Invasive Alien Species—By 2020,
pathways of invasive alien species
introductions are identified, and risk-based
intervention or management plans are in
place for priority pathways and species.
Progress Statements
No new invasive species were found to have become
established in Canada in 2012 and 2013.
The federal government is conducting pathway and
species risk assessments, including assessments of
weeds for potential quarantine and assessments of
aquatic species for potential regulations.
The government has developed risk-impact matrices for
five groups of high-priority pathogens and completed
an assessment of the risk posed by the invasive
Phytophthora ramorum (commonly known as sudden
oak death disease) to various Canadian tree species
such as oak and larch.
Target 4.7
Environmental Disasters, Incidents and
Emergencies—Environmental disasters,
incidents and emergencies are prevented or
their impacts mitigated.
As of March 2015, 86% of federal institutions have
assessed their strategic emergency plan and taken
actions to address risks related to their area of
responsibility.
Of the 2449 facilities that implemented environmental
emergency plans in 2014–2015, 21 had environmental
emergencies (0.9%).
Target 4.8
Chemicals Management—Reduce risks to
Canadians and impacts on the environment
and human health posed by releases of
harmful substances.
The government is making progress in reducing
environmental and health risks posed by releases of
harmful substances:
• As of 2013, mercury, lead and cadmium
emissions to air have been reduced to about
10% of 1990 levels (emission reductions of 88%,
90% and 90% respectively).
• Monitoring and surveillance of harmful
substances in the environment shows that
concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl
ethers (PBDEs) in fish and sediment are
decreasing, and that perfluorooctane sulfonate
(PFOS) levels in water and in fish tissue are
within guidelines for water quality and fish
health, though in some areas they exceed safe
levels for wildlife eating those fish.
• As of March 31, 2014, 100% of new substances
notifications received have been assessed under
the Chemicals Management Plan.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
GOAL 5
Biological Resources—Efficient economic
and ecological use of resources—Production
and consumption of biological resources are
sustainable.
Target 5.1
Sustainable Fisheries—Improve the
management and conservation of
major stocks.
Target 5.2
Sustainable Aquaculture—By 2020, all
aquaculture in Canada is managed under
a science-based regime that promotes
the sustainable use of aquatic resources
(including marine, freshwater and landbased) in ways that conserve biodiversity.
Target 5.3
Sustainable Forest Management—
Contribute to the proposed national target
so that by 2020, continued progress is
made on the sustainable management of
Canada’s forests.
Target 5.4
Sustainable Agriculture—By 2020,
agricultural working landscapes provide
a stable or improved level of biodiversity and
habitat capacity.
From 1990 to 2013, annual timber harvest has
been in the range of 47% to 85% of Canada’s
wood supply, and 48% of major fish stocks were
considered healthy in 2014, an increase from
46% in 2011.
In 2014, 99% of 155 major fish stocks were
harvested at sustainable levels, an increase from
90% in 2011.
Integrated Management of Aquaculture Plans have
been completed for British Columbia finfish and
shellfish. The Plan for freshwater species is currently
in development. National aquaculture science
programs are in place to inform other regulatory
processes under the Fisheries Act (for example,
the Aquaculture Activities Regulations).
Through its participation on advisory boards and
committees, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
provides scientific expertise to stakeholders on how
to address challenges related to maintaining the
sustainability of forest ecosystems. In 2013–2014,
77 NRCan representatives sat on disturbances
advisory boards and committees, up from 73 in
the previous reporting period.
As of 2013–2014, more than 85% of ranges in the
Community Pastures Program were rated good
or excellent in terms of their capacity to support
biodiversity and provide habitat for wildlife.
Ninety-five percent of farms have taken action on
their Environmental Farm Plan to improve agrienvironmental risk assessment and risk mitigation.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
SHRINKING THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT—BEGINNING
WITH GOVERNMENT
GOAL 6
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and
Energy—Reduce the carbon footprint and
energy consumption of federal operations.
Target 6.1
GHG Emissions Reduction—The
Government of Canada will reduce GHG
emissions from its buildings and fleet by
17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Overall GHG emissions from federal operations have
been reduced since 2005.
Responsible departments and agencies continue
to work toward achieving their own GHG emissions
reduction targets in support of the overall federal
target of 17% by 2020–2021.
In fiscal year 2013–2014, responsible departments
and agencies have reduced GHG emissions from
their buildings and fleets by 2.5%, relative to fiscal
year 2005–2006.
GOAL 7
Waste and Asset Management—Reduce
waste generated and minimize the
environmental impacts of assets throughout
their life cycle.
Target 7.1
Real Property Environmental
Performance—As of April 1, 2014, and
pursuant to departmental Real Property
Sustainability Frameworks, an industryrecognized level of high environmental
performance will be achieved in Government
of Canada real property projects and
operations.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
The government has made progress on waste and
asset management: 37 of 54 real property projects and
existing Crown-owned buildings have achieved a high
level of environmental performance, 85% of SMART
green procurement targets have been achieved
(or are on track to be achieved), and 100% of FSDS
departments have developed an approach to maintain
and improve the sustainability of workplace policies
and practices.
Federal real property custodians continue to
integrate environmental performance considerations
into real property decision-making, supporting
the government’s pursuit of its GHG emissions
reduction, waste and asset management, and water
management targets, as well as utility cost savings.
To date, 37 of 54 real property projects and
existing Crown-owned buildings and 26 of 36 new
construction and major renovation projects have
achieved an industry-recognized level of high
environmental performance since 2012–2013.
2013–2016 FSDS Goals and Targets
Progress Statements
Target 7.2
Green Procurement—As of April 1, 2014,
the Government of Canada will continue
to take action to embed environmental
considerations into public procurement, in
accordance with the federal Policy on Green
Procurement.
The federal government continues to make progress
on implementing the Policy on Green Procurement;
for example, more than 14 600 specialists in
procurement and/or materiel management have
completed training over the last three years.
Target 7.3
Sustainable Workplace Operations—
As of April 1, 2015, the Government of
Canada will update and adopt policies and
practices to improve the sustainability of its
workplace operations.
In addition, in 2013–2014, 96% of the 26 FSDS
departments included support or contribution
towards green procurement as an element in
the performance evaluations of those managing
procurement and materiel management.
The government has reduced the environmental
impact of the federal workplace in a number of key
areas. From 2011–2014, the federal government
donated over 369 000 computers, laptops, monitors
and printers to Computers for Schools (CFS) and
increased the average ratio of employees to printing
units from 4:1 to 8.5:1 (shedding an estimated
27 500 units).
In addition, over 2 years, annual paper consumption
dropped by about 540 million sheets, and the use of
20 000 toner cartridges was eliminated, saving the
government approximately $4.5 million.
Target 7.4
Greening Services to Clients—By March 31,
2015, departments will establish SMART
targets to reduce the environmental impact
of their services to clients.
GOAL 8
As this is a new and optional target, data is not
yet available to provide a measure of progress.
Water Management—Improve water
management in federal operations.
The government has added a new commitment
to improve the management of water in its real
property operations.
Target 8.1
Water Management—As of April 1, 2014,
the Government of Canada will take further
action to improve water management within
its real property portfolio.
All 15 custodial FSDS departments and agencies
are making strides to improve water management in
their real property operations and to identify priority
areas for action.
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INTRODUCTION
The Federal Sustainable Development Act (the Act) requires the Minister of Environment and
Climate Change to table a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) every three years
that makes environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.
The Act also requires the Minister to table a report before Parliament every three years on the
federal government’s progress in implementing the FSDS.
Together, the FSDS and the Progress Report provide a whole-of-government view of progress
towards environmental sustainability.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
ADDRESSING
CLIMATE CHANGE
AND AIR QUALITY
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Addressing Climate Change
and Air Quality
Greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere are increasing, trapping more
heat and changing our climate. A wide range of impacts are under way: shrinking Arctic sea ice,
thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, increased risks of severe weather, including heat waves,
floods and droughts. These effects pose increasing global risks to human health and safety,
the economy, infrastructure, and wildlife.
GOAL 1: CLIMATE CHANGE
In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce GHG emission levels and adapt to
unavoidable impacts.
Progress Statements
As of 2013, Canada’s anthropogenic GHG emissions were 23 Mt carbon dioxide equivalent
(CO2 eq) below 2005 levels. The Government of Canada continued to pursue a sectorby-sector approach to regulating GHG emissions. It also continued to help Canadians
and businesses decrease their GHG emissions through actions such as supporting the
development and deployment of innovative clean technologies.
Over the past five years, understanding about adaptation has improved and progress has
been made through broadened engagement and policies, plans and practices to increase
resilience to climate change.
Remaining Challenges
In 2009, the Government of Canada committed under the Copenhagen Accord to reduce
Canada’s GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
The Government has committed to work with provincial and territorial leaders to develop
a pan-Canadian framework for addressing climate change. At the 21st session of the
Conference of Parties, the Government joined other countries in committing to limit global
average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit
the increase to 1.5 degrees.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
What we know
Canada’s total GHG emissions level in 2013 was 726 Mt CO2 eq, or 3.1% (23 Mt CO2 eq) below
the 2005 level of 749 Mt CO2 eq (see Figure 1). This change was driven by decreases in emissions
from the electricity generation sector and from emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries.
The steep decline between 2008 and 2009 was partly due to the global economic downturn.
Canada’s level of emissions intensity, or GHG emissions per unit of gross domestic product, was
14% lower in 2013 than in 2005, while GHG emissions per capita decreased from 23.2 tonnes
in 2005 to 20.7 tonnes in 2013. These improvements are attributable to factors such as more
efficient industrial processes, a shift to a more service-based economy, and reductions in the
emissions associated with energy generation-for example, due to fuel-switching from coal and oil
to lower-emitting sources like natural gas and non-emitting sources such as hydro, wind and solar.
Learn more: visit the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) website.
Figure 1: National greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 2005 to 2013
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION
Climate change is a global problem that requires sustained action by all, including individuals,
businesses and governments at all levels and in all countries. Mitigating climate change means
reducing our emissions of GHGs and other climate-warming pollutants such as black carbon.
Canada is working alongside other countries to advance international efforts to combat climate
change. Within Canada, the federal government is committed to providing national leadership
on climate change mitigation, working with provinces and territories to price carbon, reduce our
GHG emissions, and meet our international commitments.
Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation
Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total GHG emissions 17% by 2020.
Progress Statement
As of 2013, Canada’s GHG emissions level was 3.1% below the 2005 level of 749 Mt CO2 eq.
What we know
The world reached a historic milestone in December 2015 with the adoption of the Paris
Agreement, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.
The agreement commits Canada and 194 other countries to limit global average temperature
rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.
Parties to the Paris Agreement will establish national GHG emissions reduction targets,
update them every five years, and take action to achieve them. The agreement also includes
commitments to strengthen climate change adaptation, provide support to developing countries,
and regularly assess and report on progress.
Meeting Canada’s international commitments requires action by all levels of government. The
federal government is committed to working with provinces and territories to develop a new
pan–Canadian climate change framework that will include national GHG emissions reduction
targets based on the best economic and scientific analysis.
Within this common framework, the federal government will support provinces and territories
in designing and implementing climate change policies that reflect their unique circumstances,
including carbon pricing policies.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government has worked to mitigate climate change through international collaboration,
regulatory initiatives, voluntary initiatives within the rail, marine and aviation sectors, and
investments to advance the development and use of clean technology.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Working with international organizations and partners
Canada continues to work with its global partners to address climate change. For example,
Canada played an active and positive role in negotiating the Paris Agreement under the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Canada also participates in other international organizations and initiatives that are helping to
reduce global GHG emissions. For example:
•• Canada is a founding partner and major financial contributor to the Climate and Clean
Air Coalition (CCAC), an international, voluntary initiative aimed at reducing short-lived
climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as black carbon. Since 2012, the CCAC has launched
11 sector-based and cross-cutting initiatives to reduce SLCP emissions in the near term,
including reducing black carbon emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines and
mitigating SLCPs from the municipal solid waste sector. In 2015, the federal government
contributed $35 million to reduce SLCPs, of which $25 million will help to reduce SLCPs
through mitigation actions with key partner countries, including through projects to reduce
black carbon emissions to benefit the Arctic.
••
Canada chaired the Arctic Council in 2013–2015. Under Canada’s chairmanship, the Arctic
Council took action on SLCPs through the Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and
Methane. The Task Force secured an agreement by Arctic States and participating Observer
States to take enhanced, ambitious, national and collective action to accelerate the decline
in overall black carbon emissions and significantly reduce overall methane emissions.
One way in which Canada helps to advance global efforts to address climate change is by
supporting mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, including through climate finance.
For example:
••
In 2014, Canada pledged $300 million to the Green Climate Fund, a global fund
that provides support to developing countries to reduce their GHG emissions and to adapt
to the impacts of climate change. This funding builds on Canada’s previous investment of
$1.2 billion under the Fast-Start Financing Initiative that has supported adaptation, clean
energy, and sustainable forestry and agriculture projects in more than 65 developing
countries to date.
••
In 2015, Canada committed to contribute $150 million to the G7 African Renewable Energy
Initiative, a plan to bring 10 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy to the continent by 2020
and scale that up to 300 GW by 2030. Improving access to affordable energy services can
play an important role in relieving poverty and tackling climate change.
••
Also in 2015, the federal government pledged a contribution of $50 million to the G7 Initiative
on Climate Risk Insurance to help people in developing countries protect themselves against
the economic consequences of more intense and increasingly frequent natural catastrophes
like severe flooding, droughts or heavy storms. Canada also participates in the Caribbean
Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. Since its inception in 2007, the Facility has made
13 payouts totalling approximately US$38 million to 8 member governments for hurricanes,
earthquakes and excess rainfall.
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Working with North American partners
Canada works with the U.S. and other North American partners to reduce GHG emissions and
promote clean energy. For example:
••
Canada and the U.S. are cooperating on reducing GHG and air pollutant emissions in the oil
and gas sector.
••
Canada participates in the Canada–U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue (CED). The Third CED
Report to Leaders (2014) noted that the CED has supported over 50 initiatives advancing
joint research and development of clean energy technologies in the areas of carbon capture
and storage, electricity grid, marine energy, advanced biofuels and bioenergy, advanced
transportation, advanced buildings and communities, and energy efficiency.
••
Canada collaborated with the U.S. on energy efficiency and alternative transportation fuels
projects to support market development and broader international efforts. These included
strengthening ENERGY STAR labelling for equipment and appliances, accelerating the
adoption of the ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management Systems in industry, and
supporting the deployment of natural gas vehicles.
••
The federal government and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working with
stakeholders to develop a Canada–U.S. Voluntary Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas
Emissions from Locomotives.
••
Canada collaborates with the U.S. through the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)
to facilitate more aligned approaches to regulation. Under the RCC, Natural Resources
Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy have published a Regulatory Partnership
Statement and Annual Work Plan as part of a commitment to better align Canadian and
U.S. energy efficiency standards and foster greater cross-border natural gas vehicle
deployment by aligning existing codes and standards.
The federal government has worked with North American and other partners to address the
world’s most potent GHGs: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFC emissions are expected to
increase substantially in the next 10 to 15 years if left unchecked. In 2015, support rose for a
phase-down of HFCs with four amendment proposals under the Montreal Protocol, including
the North American Proposal. Domestically, the federal government published a Notice of
Intent in December 2014 to regulate the manufacture and import of HFCs used in commercial
refrigeration systems, foam-blowing agents, vehicle air-conditioning units and consumer aerosols.
Clean energy
Canada has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the G7 and one of the cleanest in the
world, with over three quarters of its electricity supply emitting no GHGs. Canada has taken
action to further enhance the sustainability of its energy system, including through regulation
and investment in clean technologies.
In 2012, Canada published regulations that apply strict emission limits to coal-fired generation,
effectively banning construction of new traditional coal-fired electricity generation units and
requiring the phase-out of existing coal-fired units without carbon capture and storage. The
Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations,
which came into effect on July 1, 2015, sets a stringent performance standard for new and existing
coal-fired electricity generating units and units that have reached the end of their economic life.
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These regulations encourage utilities to transition towards lower emitting technologies, such as
high-efficiency natural gas power plants, coal-fired power plants equipped with carbon capture
and storage technology, and renewable energy.
To improve industrial productivity and competitiveness, Canada was the first country in the world
to adopt the ISO 50001 energy management standard for industry, which establishes an energy
management framework for all types of organizations. Companies implementing the standard
have reported a drop in energy use of up to 20%, saving them money and improving their ability
to compete in global markets.
The federal government has implemented programs that support the development and
deployment of clean energy technologies. For example:
••
The federal government continued its investment in the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative,
providing $268 million over five years (2011–2016) to support research, development and
demonstration projects to produce and use energy in a cleaner and more efficient way.
A total of 300 projects together leverage over $215 million for clean energy research,
including private sector investments.
••
The ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program supports Indigenous
and northern communities in meeting community energy needs and reducing GHG
emissions through the integration of proven renewable energy and energy efficiency
technologies into community buildings.
••
The $1.4 billion ecoENERGY for Renewable Power and the $330 million Wind Power
Production Incentive programs supported the production of up to 15 terawatt-hours of
renewable electricity in fiscal year 2015–2016.
••
The ecoENERGY Efficiency program collectively contributed over 36 petajoules of energy
savings in 2014–2015, exceeding its commitment of 25–32 petajoules as a result of higher
than anticipated program activity uptake. This program supported training workshops on
energy–efficient products and practices for over 900 individuals in the buildings sector,
345 in the housing sector, and over 1800 in the industrial sector.
••
Under the Marine Renewable Energy Enabling Measures program, the government is
developing policy options for administering tidal, current and wave energy projects in the
federal offshore.
The federal government has also supported climate change mitigation and clean energy by
funding Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a foundation operating at
arm’s length from government. In 2014, 66 projects funded by SDTC that were completed
that year provided GHG emissions reductions of 4.5 megatonnes, the equivalent of taking
525 000 homes off the grid.
Transportation
In the transportation sector, a number of key initiatives have laid the groundwork for substantial
and ongoing progress. They include regulatory initiatives, voluntary approaches, and investment
in research and development.
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The federal government continues to develop and implement regulations to limit GHG emissions
from the transportation sector.
••
In March 2013, the federal government published the final Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine
Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. These regulations establish mandatory GHG
emission standards for new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines beginning with the
2014 model year, aligned with those in the U.S. The regulations will reduce GHG emissions
from 2018 model year heavy-duty vehicles by up to 23%.
••
In 2014, the government published a Notice of Intent to develop regulations to further reduce
GHGs for the post-2018 model year for on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. Building
on existing regulations, the federal government published the final Regulations Amending
the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in 2014.
These regulations support actions to reduce GHG emissions from new cars and light trucks,
for 2017 model year vehicles and beyond.
The government also promotes the adoption of energy-efficient practices and clean
technologies for transportation.
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••
The ecoENERGY Efficiency for Vehicles program aims to reduce energy use and emissions
from transportation in Canada. It offers fuel–efficient driver training, provides energy information
to vehicle consumers, and encourages freight companies to make their operations as energy–
efficient as possible. Over 189 000 fleet and novice drivers received training in 2014–2015,
and it is expected that the overall five-year transportation target will be achieved, based on
the current rates of driver participation.
••
In 2015, the SmartWay Transport Partnership program had over 32 000 trucks registered
(representing over 25% of all on-road freight activity in Canada). Participation in SmartWay,
which is increasingly requested by manufacturers and retailers, helps Canadian freight
companies reduce fuel costs and transport goods in the most efficient way possible. It also
helps them gain access to business from over 255 North American companies who require that
the fleets they hire are participating in SmartWay to maximize efficiency in their supply chains.
••
The government launched the ecoENERGY for Alternative Fuels program in April 2011 to help
advance the deployment of natural gas in transportation by supporting education and outreach
efforts as well as much-needed codes and standards. The program activities represent the
federal government’s contribution to implementing recommendations from the multi-stakeholder
2010 Natural Gas Use in the Canadian Transportation Sector Deployment Roadmap.
••
The ecoENERGY for Biofuels program is a nine-year program that will invest close to $1 billion
by 2017 in operating incentives to producers of renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel
in support of the Renewable Fuels Regulations. In March 2015, the program had 21 active
contribution agreements, representing a built production capacity of over 1800 million litres
of ethanol and over 210 million litres of biodiesel. Beyond ecoENERGY for Biofuels, the
government is exploring advanced biofuels such as bio-jet fuel that have the potential to
reduce GHGs from a life-cycle perspective.
••
Through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, federal, provincial, and
territorial governments approved the Mobile Sources Working Group’s (MSWG) action plan
(September 2013) to address emissions from the transportation sector. The action plan builds
on the existing range of policy and regulatory initiatives across governments that are aimed
at reducing air pollutant and GHG emissions from the mobile sources sector, and outlines the
basis of the MSWG’s work over the next three years.
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••
Testing and evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies by the ecoTECHNOLOGY for
Vehicles program (eTV) supports the development of vehicle regulations, codes and
standards. The eTV is a five-year (2011–2016), $38 million clean transportation initiative
that aims to facilitate the safe and timely introduction of fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle
technologies in Canada. In 2014–2015, the eTV program delivered 16 testing and evaluation
activities to support the development of advanced technology vehicle codes, protocols,
guidelines and related instruments.
••
In the marine sector, the Shore Power Technology for Ports contribution program
($27.2 million) supports projects that provide an alternative to running diesel auxiliary
engines. This helps to reduce air emissions, particulates and GHGs from marine vessels,
while supporting the competitiveness of Canadian ports. Recent accomplishments include
three contribution agreements for the Port of Halifax, the Port of Montreal and BC Ferries;
and negotiation of two additional agreements with Port Metro Vancouver.
••
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has provided important research results to industry
to enable greater use of aluminum in vehicles, which directly impacts fuel efficiency. For
example, NRCan developed a novel shear test method that enables the computational
design of lightweight vehicle structures.
•• To ensure that the technologies needed for emission reductions are safe and that they
provide their intended environmental benefits in Canada, the government has initiated
several evaluation and testing projects to examine the performance or safety of new clean
transportation technologies: for example, natural gas use in marine vessels, emissions
measurement for aircraft, alternative fuels for trains and aircraft, the safety of electric vehicles.
The federal government works with the Canadian rail industry to encourage voluntary emission
reductions from the Canadian rail sector. The 2013 Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program
Report noted that the rail industry is achieving positive results.
The government also works with the Canadian aviation industry to improve the GHG intensity
of aviation. An Action Plan sets an ambitious target to improve the fuel efficiency of Canadian
air carriers by an average of 2% per year until 2020, from a 2005 baseline. The 2013 Annual
Report prepared under the Action Plan was released in December 2014 and reported that
between 2005 and 2013, the domestic aviation sector realized a 1.2% average annual (or an
8.7% cumulative annual) improvement in fuel efficiency.
At the International Civil Aviation Organization, work focuses on measures such as the
development of a CO2 emissions standard for new aircraft and a global market-based measure
for consideration by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Assembly in 2016. This effort
should support the international civil aviation sector’s aspirational goal of carbon-neutral growth
by 2020.
Work is also under way at the International Maritime Organization on measures to improve
the energy efficiency of international maritime shipping. Progress has included the adoption
of the Energy Efficiency Design Index, which requires ships above 400 gross tonnage (GT)
built after 2015 to comply with increasingly stringent efficiency standards, as well as the Ship
Energy Efficiency Management Plan, which requires ships above 400 GT to monitor their
energy efficiency.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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Other sectors
In addition to energy and transportation, the federal government is taking action to reduce GHG
emissions from other sectors such as agriculture, mining and buildings.
For example, the government has extended the terms and conditions of the $5.4M per year
Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP) for five years beginning April 1, 2016. The
program helps Canadian farmers improve access to practices that reduce GHGs. For example,
under the current program, researchers at McGill University were awarded close to $2 million to
determine the effects on nitrous oxide, CO2 and methane emissions, and carbon sequestration in
relation to different irrigation and drainage management practices on horticultural crop production
in Eastern Canada. The University of Guelph received almost $3 million under the AGGP to study
GHG mitigation strategies in feeding, manure management and cropping systems.
In the mining sector, the government continued to make progress through the Green Mining
Initiative, which supports sustainable mining practices as well as the development and
commercialization of green mining technologies. For example, a ventilation-on-demand
demonstration project was completed at a Sudbury nickel mine site. This project helped
reduce the mine’s energy usage, results that could be replicated in other mines.
In the building sector, the ecoENERGY Efficiency for Buildings program provides technical, policy
and financial support to National Research Council Canada to upgrade the 2011 National Energy
Code of Canada for Buildings. The updated code will be published in 2015 to ensure improved
minimum performance for new buildings, which will make up 25% of the building stock in 2020.
Meanwhile, five provinces and one charter city, representing 69% of projected new floor space in
Canada, have adopted the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, while the other provinces
and two territories are currently examining its adoption (or the adoption of an equivalent code).
In August 2013, NRCan launched the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Tool for
Buildings, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and adapted for the Canadian
context. As of the end of fiscal year 2014–2015, over 10 500 Canadian buildings representing
17% of floor space were registered with the tool to save money and attract higher rents.
In the residential sector, the ecoENERGY Efficiency for Housing program provides advice to
homeowners on the best retrofits to save energy on their homes and is a means for homebuyers
to recognize more energy-efficient homes. In 2014–2015, over 17 000 EnerGuide, ENERGY
STAR and R-2000 labelled new homes were built in Canada, saving owners on their energy costs.
This brought the total number of efficient new homes that have been built since the initiatives’
inception to over 70 000. ENERGY STAR qualified homes and R-2000 homes consume on
average 20 to 50% less energy than typical homes. Additionally, over 65 000 EnerGuide home
evaluations were undertaken in 2014–2015. Since the inception of the program, 1 in 20 homes
in Canada have benefited from an evaluation.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for climate change may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: Environment
and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) (lead), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Atlantic
Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED),
Department of Finance Canada (FIN), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Indigenous and Northern Affairs
Canada (INAC), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Natural Resources
Canada (NRCan), Transport Canada (TC), and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
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CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Canada’s climate is changing, and the impacts have been observed across the country and around
the globe. This includes effects on air quality from the changing climate. The economic impacts
of these changes are difficult to assess, but are likely significant. Even if GHG emissions stopped
increasing today, the climate would continue to change. As a result, adaptation is a necessary
complement to global measures to reduce GHG emissions. It involves making adjustments in our
decisions, activities and thinking because of observed or expected changes in climate.
Canada is still at an early stage of integrating climate change impacts into decision-making and
implementing adaptation measures. The federal government will work to provide support for
provincial, territorial and local governments, public health officials, civil society, and individual
Canadians to share knowledge about climate change and its impacts, build awareness about
the need to reduce GHGs, and provide information about adaptation measures.
Target 1.2: Climate Change Adaptation
Facilitate reduced vulnerability of individuals, communities, regions and economic sectors
to the impacts of climate change through the development and provision of information
and tools.
Progress Statement
The federal government continued to develop and share scientific knowledge and tools
to help provinces and territories, communities, sectors and individual Canadians manage
climate risks.
What we know
Adaptation indicators can be as diverse as climate change impacts, spanning a range of health
and economic outcomes. While the federal government continues to work toward a meaningful
summative indicator of adaptation, several departmental indicators associated with programs under
the Clean Air Agenda Adaptation Theme provide a snapshot of progress to date. For example:
••
Community-based Heat Alert and Response Systems (HARS) have been established in
at-risk communities across Canada. Provincial HARS are operational or in development
in Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario, in addition to existing HARS in British Columbia’s Lower
Mainland region and in Quebec.
••
Health Canada funded 59 community-based research, vulnerability assessment and
adaptation projects in First Nations and Inuit communities in Northern Canada between
2012–2013 and 2015–2016.
••
By 2014–2015, NRCan had released 83 new knowledge products and leveraged more than
$11 million in non-federal funding through the national Adaptation Platform.
•• Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Program funded 40 community and territorial projects in 2013–2014 to help individuals and
communities in Canada’s north reduce their vulnerability to climate change. Eighteen of the
projects supported 25 Indigenous and northern communities.
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••
The Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative, led by INAC and the Standards
Council of Canada, supported the completion of four standards for northern infrastructure in
2014–2015, with a fifth expected to be completed in 2015–2016.
Learn more: see the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies of the listed responsible
departments and agencies for this Target.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Health Canada expanded efforts to develop community-based HARS in at-risk communities
with the development of provincial-level systems, such as the system in Manitoba. Existing
community-level partnerships in Ontario have been merged under a new initiative to establish a
province-wide consistent approach to HARS, to be fully operational by 2016. Establishment of
a provincial system in Alberta is also under way, with a pilot project launched in 2014. The
system is expected to be operational by 2016.
Through the national Adaptation Platform, the federal government facilitates the development
and exchange of knowledge and tools on themes such as coastal management, mining and
energy. In 2014–2015, the platform delivered more new products to help Canadians adapt to
a changing climate, including the national-scale assessment Canada in a Changing Climate:
Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation. The government is also modelling the impacts
of climate change on forests and the forest sector, developing adaptation tools and tracking
indicators of forest change.
The federal government funds projects to support Indigenous and northern communities in
planning for adaptation measures and making decisions to protect community health and safety.
The government also provides up to $500 000 per year (between 2012–2013 and 2015–2016)
to each territorial government to support communities in managing climate risks. Federal
funding helps individuals and communities build capacity in climate change and health research
as well as in adaptation planning in areas such as food security, traditional harvesting and
medicine, safe route accessibility, and emergency preparedness.
The Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative is supporting pan-Northern consultation,
decision-making and technical expert committees engaged in the development of infrastructure
standards to consider impacts on the thermosyphons, community drainage, permafrost on existing
foundations and snow loading on roofs. All four standards were completed in 2014–2015 and are
available to the public on the Canadian Standards Association Group website. A fifth standard is
currently under development which will be completed in 2015–2016. This initiative also engages
with stakeholders, partners and collaborators to share climate change geoscience expertise
and tools on northern infrastructure requirements and constraints, enabling stakeholders with
knowledge to make informed decisions relating to climate change.
Through the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative, the federal government is addressing
transportation challenges in the North related to permafrost degradation and Arctic marine
shipping in partnership with territorial and provincial governments, university researchers, the
private sector, and others. This initiative is designed to improve understanding of climate impacts
on transportation throughout the North and to facilitate better and more integrated transportation
planning and adaptation measures. For example, it includes a multi-year project to investigate
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techniques for constructing and operating a new public highway in a permafrost environment in
northern Canada. In addition, Transport Canada (TC) and NRCan are co-leading an assessment
of climate risks and adaptation practices for the Canadian transportation sector.
The federal government is using Inuit Traditional Knowledge and advanced spatial modelling
with remote sensing techniques to develop detailed ecological maps and predict how plants
and animals might respond to different climate change scenarios. In 2014–2015, this work
was expanded to include three additional national parks (Vuntut, Tuktut Nogait and Auyuittuq).
Mapping for two other northern national parks (Sirmilik and Quttinirpaaq) will be completed
in 2015–2016.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and
agencies respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies:
ECCC (lead), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Health Canada (HC), INAC, NRCan,
Parks Canada (PC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Standards Council of Canada
(SCC–CCN), TC.
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AIR POLLUTION
Pollutants from domestic and international sources negatively affect air quality. Poor air quality
can have a significant impact on human health, the environment and our economy.
Elevated air pollutant levels can cause significant damage to the environment, buildings and
infrastructure. For example, ozone can damage trees, crops and other vegetation, leading
to reduced harvest yields, extinction of sensitive plants and reduced wildlife populations as
a result of lower production of seeds and fruits. It can also damage materials such as rubber
and plastics.
GOAL 2: AIR POLLUTION
Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports
healthy ecosystems.
Progress Statements
Many threats to air quality have been reduced: the outdoor concentrations of sulphur dioxide
(SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and peak concentrations
of ground-level ozone (O3) have decreased substantially over the past two decades.
National annual average concentrations of O3 and annual average and peak concentrations
of fine particulate matter (PM2.5)—the main components of smog—have remained relatively
stable since 2000.
Remaining Challenges
National annual average O3 and PM2.5 concentrations have shown little change since 2000.
Continued collaborative work with provinces and territories is needed to set stringent air
quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives that lead to cleaner air and
healthier communities.
Outdoor air pollution continues to harm the health of Canadians, leading to higher medical
costs, reduced productivity and quality of life, and premature death.
Air quality in homes and other buildings can be compromised by chemical and biological
contaminants, some of which have serious health effects. For example, radon, a naturally
occurring radioactive gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Ongoing
work is needed to ensure that all Canadians have access to information on indoor air
contaminants, their impact on health, and how to reduce them.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
What we know
National average outdoor concentrations of PM2.5, O3, SO2, NO2 and VOCs are indicators for
this goal.
Outdoor average concentrations of most major air pollutants were lower in 2013 than in 1999
(or 2000 for PM2.5). The exceptions were average and peak PM2.5 concentrations and average
O3 concentration where there was little change.
The annual average concentration of PM2.5 in ambient air in Canada in 2013 was 16% higher
than in 2012, while the annual peak (98th percentile) 24-hours concentration was 6% higher than
in 2012. Both average and annual peak concentrations were below the 2015 standards, and no
significant increasing or decreasing trend was detected (see Figure 2).
In 2013, the annual average concentration of O3 in ambient air in Canada was 2% lower than
the 2012 value, and the annual peak (fourth-highest) eight-hour O3 concentration was 7% lower.
A trend was not detected in the annual average concentrations between 1999 and 2013. From
1999 to 2013, peak concentrations of O3 decreased by 0.8 parts per billion per year on average
(see Figure 3).
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Figure 2: Fine particulate matter concentrations, Canada, 2000 to 2013
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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Figure 3: Ozone concentrations, Canada, 1999 to 2013
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OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS
Air pollution problems such as smog and acid rain result from the presence and interactions
among various air pollutants in the atmosphere. These air pollutants are released through
natural processes and human activities such as transportation (for example, cars and trucks),
the burning of fuels for electricity and heat production, industrial processes, and the use of
certain products (for example, paints and solvents). Pollutant levels are influenced by many
factors, such as proximity to local emissions sources, weather conditions, and winds that carry
air pollutants over long distances.
Exposure to air pollution has been linked to a number of adverse effects on health such as
onset or worsening of breathing difficulty, development of chronic lung disease, heart attacks
and strokes. These health effects contribute to lost productivity, increased visits to doctors and
emergency rooms, increased hospital admissions, and premature mortality.
Target 2.1: Outdoor Air Pollutants
Improve outdoor air quality by ensuring compliance with new or amended regulated
emission limits by 2020 and thus reducing emissions of air pollutants in support of Air
Quality Management System (AQMS) objectives.
Progress Statements
Some improvements are evident. New and amended regulations for air pollutants have
contributed to continued decreases in emission levels of four key air pollutants: emissions
of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and
carbon monoxide (CO) were 28% to 63% lower in 2013 than in 1990.
What we know
Except for ammonia (NH3) and PM2.5 emissions, which were 22% and 5% higher than in 1990
respectively, emission levels of key air pollutants were 28% to 63% lower in 2013 than in 1990
(see Figure 4).
The Air Health Indicator (AHI) provides an overview of the public health impacts attributable to
outdoor air pollution in Canada. Figure 5 shows the proportion of deaths from heart- and lungrelated diseases (cardiopulmonary mortality) attributable to exposure to O3 and PM2.5.
For short-term exposure during the warm season from April to September, the O3 component
of the AHI model indicates a slight increasing trend since 1990 and suggests that about 5% of
cardiopulmonary mortalities were attributable to ozone exposure overall at the national
level. The PM2.5 component of the AHI suggests neither an increasing nor decreasing trend
between 2001 and 2010. About 1% of cardiopulmonary mortalities could be attributable to
PM2.5 exposure. It should be noted that the adverse health impacts of long-term exposure
are in general greater than those of short-term exposure.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
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Figure 4: Air pollutant emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2013
Figure 5: Cardiopulmonary mortality risk attributable to air pollutants, Canada,
1990 to 2010
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Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government is taking action to improve outdoor air quality through collaborative and
regulatory initiatives informed by science-based information and tools.
Collaborative initiatives
The federal government continues to work collaboratively with provinces, territories and
stakeholders, including industry and non-governmental organizations, to implement the Air
Quality Management System (AQMS). A comprehensive approach developed in collaboration
with these stakeholders, the AQMS delivers air quality benefits for all Canadians by establishing
base-level industrial emissions requirements for industrial sectors and equipment types, and
new outdoor air quality standards to drive further air quality improvements across the country.
As part of implementing the AQMS, in 2013 the federal government established new Canadian
Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5 and O3 (the major components of smog) for 2015,
which become more stringent in 2020. These standards are more stringent and comprehensive
than the previous Canada-wide Standards for these pollutants.
The federal government continued to collaborate with provinces and territories to implement the
Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) with the goal of providing 80% of the Canadian population with
access to this information. As of March 2015, the AQHI was available to 23.1 million Canadians
(69% of the population) in 10 provinces and 1 territory, representing an increase of 4% over
2013–2014. The service expanded to 5 additional locations and is now available at 84 locations
across Canada. The AQHI is a communications tool that helps the public make decisions to
protect their health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution and adjusting their activities
during periods when health risks are elevated.
The government also continued to conduct scientific research to monitor and model air
quality, characterize air pollutants, and assess impacts on health. This research contributed to
approximately 450 journal articles over the past 4 years.
The government also worked with its international partners to address harmful transboundary
air pollution. For example, under the Canada–U.S. Air Quality Agreement, Canada and the
U.S. completed joint scientific and technical analyses to assess the transboundary transport of
particulate matter (PM). Canada also continued to work with the U.S. and other international
partners to address PM and other air pollutants under the Gothenburg Protocol to the
Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.
Regulatory initiatives
The federal government has developed regulatory and other instruments to address air pollution
from various sources:
••
The proposed Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations were published in June 2014 for
public comment and will establish nationally consistent industrial emission requirements
for industrial boilers and heaters, stationary spark-ignition engines, and kilns at cement
manufacturing facilities. These regulations are projected to result in health benefits valued
at approximately $9.1 billion over the next 20 years.
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••
The federal government published draft codes of practice for public comment for the
asphalt, aluminum and iron, steel and ilmenite sectors on the Canadian Environmental
Protection Act, 1999 Environmental Registry website.
••
Final Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and
Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations were published in July 2015 to establish more stringent
air pollutant emission standards for light vehicles for the 2017 and later model years, and
to lower sulphur limits for gasoline. Once fully phased in, these standards are expected to
reduce smog-forming air pollutants from new vehicles by approximately 80% compared to
the previous standards and reduce the allowable average sulphur content of gasoline by
nearly 70%.
••
Amendments made to the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations in February
2013 make it mandatory for heavy-duty engines of the 2014 and later model years to
monitor emission-related components via on-board diagnostic systems.
••
The federal government continued to engage within the International Maritime Organization
to address air pollutant emissions from maritime shipping through the development of new
international standards, as well as through the implementation of an Emission Control
Area (ECA). The ECA applies to North American coastal waters south of 60° latitude out to
200 nautical miles and requires vessels to burn low–sulphur marine fuels or apply alternative
compliance options that achieve similar emission reductions. The ECA also requires new
vessels constructed after January 1, 2016, to comply with NOx emission standards that are
achievable with advanced engine and after-treatment technologies or use of alternative
fuels. These measures reduce SOx emissions by 96%, PM by 67% and NOx by 28% in 2020.
••
A sulphur limit of 1000 milligrams per kilogram (0.1%) for the production, import or sale of
diesel fuel for use in large marine vessels took effect on June 1, 2014, and a sulphur limit
of 0.1% for the use of diesel fuel in marine vessels took effect on January 1, 2015. These
requirements enable the implementation of the North American ECA domestically.
••
The federal government is collaborating with international partners to reduce air pollutant
emissions from aviation. Transport Canada participates through the International Civil
Aviation Organization in developing a non-volatile particulate matter standard for
aircraft engines. The federal government is also working with the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration to eliminate lead in piston aircraft fuel.
••
The Fleet Averaging Regulatory Regime was developed to reduce sulphur oxides emissions
from Canadian vessels operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. It is
supported by amendments made in May 2013 to the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous
Chemicals Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2011.
••
The federal government is developing new air pollutant emission regulations under the
Railway Safety Act that will align with existing U.S. standards. Through the 2011–2015
Memorandum of Understanding between the federal government and the Railway
Association of Canada, Canadian railways are encouraged to continue to voluntarily
conform to U.S. emissions standards until Canadian regulations are introduced.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and
agencies respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and
agencies: ECCC (lead), AAFC, ACOA, CED, FIN, HC, TC, WD.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Clean air is essential for good health, and this is especially true when it comes to indoor
air. Canadians spend close to 90% of their time inside: at home, at work and in recreational
environments. A lack of ventilation-especially in air-tight buildings—is a key factor in the quality
of indoor air.
Indoor air pollutants include chemical pollutants such as gases and particles from combustion
appliances, tobacco smoke, household and personal care products, building materials, radon,
and outdoor air. They can also include biological contaminants such as mould and house
dust mites.
Radon is of particular concern: as a naturally occurring radioactive gas that cannot be seen,
smelled or tasted, it can get into homes undetected. It is the second leading cause of lung
cancer after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. When radon
escapes from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted to low concentrations and is of
no concern to health. However, when radon enters an enclosed space, like a home, it can
accumulate to high levels and become a health hazard.
Target 2.2: Indoor Air Quality
Help protect the health of Canadians by providing health-based guidance and tools to
support actions to better manage indoor air quality.
Progress Statements
The federal government continued to develop guidelines, mitigation measures, product
standards and communication initiatives on indoor air quality.
The indoor air health risk assessment for NO2 was completed and formed the basis of the
Residential Indoor Air Quality Guideline for NO2 published in August 2015.
The government also completed health risk assessments to support the development of
draft Indoor Air Reference Level determinations for certain VOCs.
What we know
Health Canada completed an indoor air health risk assessment for nitrogen dioxide that
formed the basis of the Residential Indoor Air Quality Guideline for nitrogen dioxide. The
Department also completed health risk assessments to support the development of draft
Indoor Air Reference Level determinations for certain volatile organic compounds.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Scientific research, outreach and education efforts by the federal government provide
Canadians with the necessary health-based guidance to reduce exposure to indoor
air pollutants.
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The National Radon Program has been broadened to include work with private industry
and stakeholders to assess and validate new radon mitigation technologies and to ensure
Canadians have access to tools and services to address their health risk from indoor radon
exposure. For example, HC conducted a field study of 50 homes to evaluate the efficacy of
active soil depressurization radon mitigation systems with indoor mounted fans and side-wall
discharge in Canadian climatic conditions.
Radon-related provisions were also included in building codes and are being promoted and
adopted by the provinces and territories. New radon mitigation resources were developed along
with communication products for Canadians to use in identifying and reducing radon exposure in
their homes. Specifically, HC is encouraging provinces and territories to adopt the radon-related
provisions to the 2010 National Building Code that require engineers, architects and builders to
consider radon protection measures in the design of new buildings and include new prescriptive
measures on providing a rough-in for a radon mitigation system.
The federal government also conducted public opinion research and surveyed households in 2013
to gain insight into Canadians’ knowledge, awareness, attitudes and behaviours regarding radon.
This research also helped evaluate the effectiveness of the National Radon Program over the last
five years and supported the design of a national radon outreach campaign. Canada’s second
National Radon Action Month, November 2014, part of a collaborative, multi-stakeholder radon
outreach campaign, successfully raised awareness about the risks and health impacts of radon
exposure as well as reduction strategies. The federal government also developed fact sheets
to accompany residential indoor air quality guidelines that are designed to help reduce risk of
exposure. They include information for public health professionals on health effects and sources
of pollutants in Canadian homes and how to reduce personal exposures.
HC continued to test federal buildings for radon levels, including public buildings in First Nations
communities. Since the program began in 2007, 17 500 buildings have been tested for radon to
ensure the health and safety of Canadians and to demonstrate the importance of testing radon
levels and reducing them where the Canadian Guideline is exceeded.
A process for creating voluntary consensus-based standards was initiated to address
emissions from composite wood materials. These standards will focus on VOC emissions and
be developed through the Canadian Standards Association and a multi-stakeholder group
comprising government, industry and non-governmental organizations.
Finally, a Code of Practice for 2-Butanone, Oxime (Butanone Oxime) was published in June
2014 outlining specific information for labels of interior and dual–use consumer alkyd paint and
coating products in order to help reduce inhalation exposure to these substances.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found on their websites and in their
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies:
HC (lead), NRC, Statistics Canada (StatCan).
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MAINTAINING
WATER QUALITY
AND AVAILABILITY
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35
Maintaining Water Quality
and Availability
Clean and abundant freshwater is fundamental to human health, the environment and the economy.
Canada is a water-rich country, with an estimated 7% of the world’s renewable freshwater supply.
However, about 60% of the supply flows northward, while most of the population is located in
southern regions. Changes in temperature, rainfall and snowfall can cause water quantities in rivers,
lakes and reservoirs to rise and fall throughout the year, resulting in flooding or water shortages.
In Canada, natural resource sectors such as thermal power generation, agriculture, oil and
gas, and mining account for an estimated 86% of total water use. Water is also used for
manufacturing and municipal purposes (for example, drinking water).
Water quality degradation affects both aquatic life and human uses of water. For example, higher
concentrations of nutrients may result in uncontrolled plant growth and reduce the amount of
dissolved oxygen available for fish and other aquatic animals. They can also foster the growth of
algae, some of which can cause health effects in humans and animals. Degraded water quality
can also undermine economic activities such as fisheries, tourism and agriculture.
GOAL 3: WATER QUALITY AND WATER QUANTITY
Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and
supports healthy ecosystems.
Progress Statements
Over the past decade, freshwater quality and quantity in Canadian rivers has remained
generally stable.
In terms of drinking water quality, most boil water advisories were issued as precautionary
measures during equipment maintenance or repair rather than due to detection of
pathogens in treated water.
Remaining Challenges
High levels of phosphorus and nitrogen from sources such as industry, agriculture and urban
development continue to affect ecosystems in Canada’s lakes and rivers—for example, in
the Great Lakes, Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay, Lake Winnipeg, and the
St. Lawrence River. These nutrients support algal blooms that can affect water quality, create
toxins, deprive aquatic life of oxygen and result in shifts of species in the food web.
There were 44 releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by identified vessels
in 2013–2014, which exceeds the target of 17 releases per year by 2017. Marine pollution
harms ocean creatures, ecosystems and resources.
While the agri-environmental performance index on soil quality improved between 1981 and
2006, the water quality agri-environmental performance index declined. This suggests that
farming operations in Canada are likely having a greater impact on water quality than in the past.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
What we know
Overall, national freshwater quality remained relatively stable between 2003–2005 and
2010–2012. In general, freshwater quality in Canadian rivers is fair to good. However,
there are regional water quality issues, particularly near city centres, and in agricultural
areas (see Figure 6).
Between 2002 and 2011, water quantity in Canada’s drainage regions generally remained at
normal levels. Higher-than-normal water quantity was observed in three drainage regions in
2011, a particularly wet year across the south-central prairies. In the same year, 18 drainage
regions were classified as having normal water quantity, and 1 had lower-than-normal water
quantity (see Figure 7).
In 2013, 74% of boil water advisories for which data were available were issued on a precautionary
basis due to problems with drinking water equipment or processes. By contrast, 8% of boil water
advisories were issued due to detection of E. coli in drinking water, and 18% were related to
other microbiological water quality parameters, such as the detection of total coliform bacteria or
unacceptable turbidity levels (see Figure 8).
To date, six provinces and territories and five First Nations regions have fully implemented or
are currently preparing to implement the water advisories system.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Figure 6: National freshwater quality indicator, Canada, change between
2003–2005 and 2010–2012
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Figure 7: Water quantity in Canada’s drainage regions, 2002 to 2011
Figure 8: Causes of boil water advisories, Canada, 2010 to 2013
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
ON-RESERVE FIRST NATIONS WATER
AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
As with all communities, health in First Nations communities relies on effective water and
wastewater treatment and the identification in a timely manner of potential public health risks
from drinking water. On reserve lands, First Nations communities own, operate and manage
their drinking water and wastewater systems.
The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act came into force on November 1, 2013, enabling the
federal government to develop, in partnership with First Nations, enforceable federal regulations
to ensure access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water, the effective treatment of wastewater,
and the protection of sources of drinking water on First Nations lands.
Target 3.1: On-reserve First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems
Increase the percentage of on-reserve First Nations water systems with low risk ratings
from 27% to 50% by 2015. Increase the percentage of on-reserve First Nations wastewater
systems with low risk ratings from 35% to 70% by 2015.
Progress Statements
The percentage of on-reserve First Nations drinking water systems with low risk ratings
increased from 27% in 2009–2011 to 57% in 2014–2015.
Forty-eight percent of on-reserve First Nations wastewater systems had low risk ratings in
2014–2015 compared with 38% in 2009–2011.
What we know
Water and wastewater system risk ratings are based on overall risk associated with system
management and operation and take into account an extensive set of factors that could lead
to problems with drinking water and wastewater systems. A high-risk system might produce
water or wastewater of equal quality to that of a low-risk system but might not be capable of
responding adequately in the event of a problem. A risk rating is a measure of overall system
risk, not of drinking water or wastewater safety or quality.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 9: Risk ratings for inspected INAC-funded First Nations water and wastewater
systems, Canada, from the National Assessment to 2014–2015
*Data on the number of medium- and high-risk systems for 2014–2015 were not publicly available at the time of production
of this report.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Building on approximately $3 billion in investments between 2006 and 2014 to support First Nations
communities in managing their drinking water and wastewater systems, the federal government
continues to provide financial assistance to First Nations for the planning, procurement, design,
construction, upgrade, renovation, decommissioning, operation and maintenance of water and
wastewater systems on reserves, and the provision of drinking water monitoring.
The government is also delivering on its commitment to address drinking water and wastewater
issues by extending the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (FNWWAP) with
further investments. For example, water treatment plants were recently completed, upgraded
or expanded in the Tallcree South Reserve, Black River First Nation, the Halalt and Penelakut
First Nations and Buctouche First Nation communities.
In addition, annual performance inspections are carried out on federally funded systems using
pre-defined criteria to assign an overall risk rating to each system. Inspection results form the
basis of local action plans to address deficiencies and to help prioritize risk mitigation activities.
The federal government provides support to First Nations community members involved in
water–related activities such as monitoring and reporting on drinking water quality. In 2013–2014,
as in previous years, all First Nations communities had access to trained personnel to sample
and test quality of their drinking water at the tap. These community members, known as the
Community-Based Water Monitors, are trained by Environmental Health Officers.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
As a result of enhanced First Nations capacity to monitor drinking water quality, the
frequency of monitoring drinking water quality at the tap has increased. Since 2012–2013,
approximately 53% of on-reserve public distribution systems met the weekly testing monitoring
frequency recommended by the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ).
These monitoring rates exclude communities in British Columbia as well as communities
in Saskatchewan where environmental public health services have been transferred to a
First Nations community.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments respecting
their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments: INAC (lead), HC.
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DRINKING WATER QUALITY
Safe drinking water is essential to the life and health of all Canadians. Contamination of drinking
water can result in illness. The federal government works collaboratively with the provinces and
territories to develop the GCDWQ, which are used by all jurisdictions in Canada as the basis for
their drinking water quality requirements. The development of new or updated guidelines allows
jurisdictions to keep up with constantly evolving science.
Target 3.2: Drinking Water Quality
Help protect the health of Canadians by developing up to 15 water quality guidelines/
guidance documents by 2016.
Progress Statement
Between 2013 and 2015, 10 new or updated drinking water quality guidelines/guidance
documents were approved by provinces and territories, on track to achieve 15 by 2016.
What we know
Health Canada developed 10 new or updated final drinking water quality guidelines/guidance
documents that have been approved by provinces and territories—for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite,
1,2-dichloroethane, selenium, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, tetrachloroethylene and boil
water advisories—and is on track to meet the government’s 2013–2016 target.
While an average of 5 guidelines/guidance documents are approved each year, at any given
time Health Canada is working on 20 to 30 risk assessments, a process that involves multiple
partners and stakeholders.
Learn more: visit the Health Canada website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government continues to provide expert advice to water programs nationally. Health
Canada also continues to work with the provinces and territories to establish the GCDWQ and
with national and international standard-setting organizations to develop health-based standards
for materials that come into contact with drinking water. These activities are intended to help
manage potential risks to the health of Canadians associated with water quality.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the department respecting the FSDS
commitment for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.
Responsible department: HC.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
GREAT LAKES—CANADIAN AREAS OF CONCERN
The Great Lakes are a vast shared resource representing a significant portion of the world’s
freshwater. In addition to sustaining a rich variety of plants and animals, these lakes are
fundamental to the well-being of Canadians and Americans, both as a direct source of drinking
water and as a foundation for billions of dollars in economic activity.
The Great Lakes basin is Canada’s most populated region, supporting 9 of Canada’s 20 largest
cities. This large population and associated industrial, agricultural and urban development place
a strain on the lakes’ capacity to support viable ecosystems.
The Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) identifies 43 Areas of Concern
(AOCs) across the Great Lakes. Of these, 26 are entirely in American waters, 12 are entirely in
Canadian waters, and 5 are shared by both countries. All Canadian AOCs have a Remedial Action
Plan to guide restoration and protection efforts targeting specific beneficial uses.
Target 3.3: Great Lakes—Canadian Areas of Concern
Take federal actions to restore beneficial uses for delisting of five Canadian Areas of Concern
(AOC) and to reduce the number of impaired beneficial uses in the remaining AOC by
25% by 2018.
Progress Statements
Since 2010, no AOC have been delisted. However, a 2014 assessment revealed that ongoing
action by the federal government and its partners has decreased the number of beneficial uses
considered “impaired” by 33% (from 120 to 80) since each AOC was initially assessed.
What we know
Environmental quality in Canada’s 17 Great Lakes AOCs has improved since the restoration
program began in 1987. Three Canadian sites have been assessed as fully restored and have
been removed from the list: Collingwood Harbour (delisted in 1994), Severn Sound (2003) and
Wheatley Harbour (2010). The Spanish Harbour and Jackfish Bay AOCs were designated as
“AOCs in Recovery” when all actions were deemed to have been completed (in 1999 and 2011,
respectively). These areas require time for the environment to recover naturally (see Figure 10).
Considerable progress has been made toward restoring most of the remaining Great Lakes
AOCs, as reflected in the decreased number of impaired beneficial uses (measures of the
environmental, human health or economic impact of poor water quality) observed.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 10: Progress on Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern, 1987 to 2014
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Canada and the U.S. negotiated an amended GLWQA in 2012, which came into force on
February 12, 2013. The 2012 GLWQA establishes a shared vision, common objectives
and specific commitments to address shared environmental issues (AOCs, lake-wide
management, chemicals of mutual concern, invasive species, discharges from vessels
and climate change impacts).
To ensure the delivery of federal commitments expressed in the GLWQA, the federal
government continues to implement the Great Lakes Ecosystem Initiative, which supports
coordinating efforts to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of
the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. Other federal government programs, such as the Chemicals
Management Plan, also contribute to meeting the objectives of the GLWQA.
On December 18, 2014, the governments of Canada and Ontario renewed their commitment
to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes by signing the Canada–Ontario Agreement
on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health, 2014. This five-year agreement commits
Canada and Ontario to take action to address algal blooms; complete actions to clean up
historical AOCs; help prevent aquatic invasive species from entering the lakes; protect the
lakes from harmful pollutants; conserve important fish and wildlife habitats; and strengthen
collaboration within the Great Lakes community.
The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund also supports projects that improve water quality;
rehabilitate and protect fish and wildlife habitat; and research and develop contaminated
sediment management plans in AOCs. This fund received a $1.5 million contribution in 2014 to
support 27 projects in the Canadian Great Lakes AOCs.
A public-private partnership has been established to fund the clean-up of Randle Reef
(Hamilton Harbour), the largest contaminated site in the Canadian Great Lakes waters. The site
contains sediment contaminated with persistent toxic chemicals and heavy metals, which were
deposited over a long period of time from industrial operations that are no longer active. This
will improve water quality and reduce contaminant levels in aquatic organisms, making it safer
to consume fish caught in the harbour. It will also remove current restrictions on navigation and
generate economic returns through the creation of valuable port lands.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments respecting
their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (lead), DFO, NRCan.
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GREAT LAKES
Phosphorus and nitrogen are essential plant nutrients; however, when levels in water are too
high, aquatic plant growth can become excessive and harmful.
High nutrient levels can lead to toxic algal blooms that can affect the health of animals and
humans. Recognizing this, the Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement supports
objectives for offshore phosphorus levels to control algal growth and, as a result, the structure
of the lakes’ food webs.
Target 3.4: Great Lakes
Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes by developing and gaining
binational acceptance of objectives for the management of nutrients in Lake Erie by 2016
and for the other Great Lakes as required.
Progress Statements
In 2014, representatives of Canada, the U.S., Ontario, and the eight Great Lakes States
agreed to develop phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie by spring 2016. Public
consultations were held in summer 2015 on a 40% reduction target for Lake Erie.
What we know
Phosphorus levels remain an issue in the open waters of three of the four Canadian Great
Lakes. Between 1970 and 2010, phosphorus levels declined in the central portions of lakes
Huron and Ontario, in Georgian Bay, and in the eastern and western basins of Lake Erie.
Levels have not changed in Lake Superior or in the central basin of Lake Erie (see Figure 11).
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Figure 11: Status and trends of phosphorus levels in the open waters of the Canadian
Great Lakes, 1970–2010
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Canada is taking action in support of the GLWQA by implementing targeted activities, such as
the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative, that address the problem of harmful algal blooms. The federal
government continues to track phosphorus levels and ensure that governments and citizens remain
aware of this important aspect of the environmental condition of the Great Lakes.
In December 2014, the governments of Canada and Ontario signed the Canada–Ontario
Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health. This agreement is an
important mechanism for ensuring the coordinated and cooperative efforts of the provincial
and federal governments in addressing conservation issues in the Great Lakes basin.
Further to this, in December 2014, representatives of Canada, U.S., Ontario, and the eight
Great Lakes States agreed to develop phosphorus reduction targets for Lake Erie by spring
2016, in accordance with the commitment of the GLWQA. Throughout the summer of 2015,
the Government of Canada held consultations and sought feedback from the public that will
inform the final targets and the development of phosphorus reduction plans.
Through annual investments of $8 million, the federal government continues to support scientific
research and monitoring, lend expertise to partnered projects, consult stakeholders and engage
communities, and participate in Great Lakes restoration and clean-up initiatives.
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Investments were made over 2012–2016 ($16 million) in the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative to
better understand and address issues related to nearshore water quality and aquatic ecosystem
health, including toxic and nuisance algae. While currently focused on Lake Erie, this initiative
will produce science and policy approaches that will be transferrable to other Great Lakes and
elsewhere in Canada.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments respecting
their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments: ECCC (lead), DFO.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
The St. Lawrence River links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the world’s
most important commercial waterways. It is a complex ecosystem of lakes and freshwater
reaches, a long estuary and a gulf with marine features. It includes many different habitats and
is home to a diverse collection of plants, fish and animals.
Phosphorus and nitrogen from human activity enter the St. Lawrence River through municipal
and industrial wastewaters, agricultural runoff, and air pollution. Phosphorus continues to be a
concern for water quality.
Target 3.5: St. Lawrence River
Take federal actions to reduce pollutants to improve water quality, conservation biodiversity
and ensure beneficial uses in the St. Lawrence River by 2016.
Progress Statements
Phosphorus levels at the majority of water quality monitoring stations along the
St. Lawrence River exceeded water quality guidelines more than 50% of the time during
the period 2010–2012. Nitrogen levels exceeded water quality guidelines more than
50% of the time at only one site.
What we know
Phosphorus levels at the majority of water quality monitoring stations along the St. Lawrence
River exceeded water quality guidelines more than 50% of the time between 2010 and 2012.
Nitrogen levels exceeded water quality guidelines more than 50% of the time only at the mouth
of the Yamaska River for the same period (see Figure 12).
Higher phosphorus and nitrogen levels are found at stations next to agricultural areas along the
south shore of the river between the estuary of the Richelieu River and Bécancour.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 12: Phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the St. Lawrence River
for the 2010–2012 period
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Between 1988 and 2014, the Government of Canada invested $383 million in projects and
concrete actions to clean up the water, protect wildlife and flora, create and restore wetlands
and habitats, develop new river access sites, reduce the impact of agricultural activities, and
support sustainable management of navigation.
Building on past progress, the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011–2026 aims to conserve and
enhance the St. Lawrence through ongoing strong collaboration and pooling of resources
and expertise of the governments of Canada and Quebec. Under this Action Plan, the two
governments are working together to implement about 50 projects in three priority areas:
the conservation of biodiversity; the sustainable use of the St. Lawrence (for example, for
recreation); and the improvement of water quality.
A mapping of wetlands and other habitats has been carried out to slow the loss and alteration
of habitats that threaten biodiversity. This mapping will promote better planning and better land
use, as well as sustainable management of habitats in southern Quebec. In addition, given
that the increasing presence of contaminants in discharged wastewater represents a source of
concern, a project aimed at documenting the impacts of the discharge of pharmaceuticals sheds
light on their impact on the environment and on human health. Also, the Priority Intervention
Zone and Community Interaction initiatives funded under the Action Plan support collaborative
efforts and projects aimed at conserving and improving the St. Lawrence ecosystem.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
In 2015, the Navigation Coordination Committee, comprising representatives of the marine
industry, environmental stakeholders, governments and the public, updated the Sustainable
Navigation Strategy for the St. Lawrence. The strategy was first established in 2004 to help
the maritime transportation sectors and pleasure boaters use the river in a responsible and
sustainable manner.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting
its FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: ECCC.
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LAKE SIMCOE AND SOUTH-EASTERN GEORGIAN BAY
Lake Simcoe is the largest lake in southern Ontario outside of the Great Lakes system. Located
north of Toronto, the lake is a major recreational and agricultural area and supplies drinking
water to eight municipalities. Rapidly increasing population growth, urban development and
more intensive agriculture have resulted in higher-than-normal phosphorus levels in Lake
Simcoe. This is causing oxygen levels in the lake to drop, affecting fish and wildlife populations
and overall water quality. Scientists estimate that the annual phosphorus load going into the
lake has more than doubled since the major settlement and land clearing that took place in
the 1800s.
South-eastern Georgian Bay is a major recreational area that supports a significant tourism
industry and includes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization–
designated Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. Water quality and ecosystem health in parts of
South-eastern Georgian Bay are under threat due to shoreline development, excessive inputs
of phosphorus, and nuisance and toxic algae growth.
Target 3.6: Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay
Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to Lake Simcoe by 2017, which will
support the Province of Ontario’s target to reduce phosphorus inputs into Lake Simcoe to
44 000 kg/year by 2045. Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to Southeastern Georgian Bay watersheds by 2017.
Progress Statements
Phosphorus reduction projects completed by March 2015 under the Lake Simcoe/Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund are preventing approximately 4040 kg of phosphorus
per year from entering the Lake Simcoe watershed.
Similarly, stewardship projects were preventing an estimated 124 kg of phosphorus per year
from reaching South-eastern Georgian Bay and its tributary rivers.
What we know
As of March 2015, stewardship projects supported by the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern
Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund were preventing an estimated 4040 kilograms of phosphorus per
year from reaching Lake Simcoe and its tributary rivers. Similarly, stewardship projects were
preventing an estimated 124 kg of phosphorus per year from reaching South-eastern Georgian
Bay and its tributary rivers.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
In January 2013, the Government of Canada announced the $29 million extension (2012–2017)
to the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund, building on the previous
fund’s success. The fund provides financial and technical support for priority projects aimed at
reducing phosphorus inputs, conserving aquatic habitat and species, and enhancing research
and monitoring capacity essential to the restoration of the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern
Georgian Bay basin watersheds.
The geographic scope of the work has been expanded to include the adjacent drainage
basins emptying into south-eastern Georgian Bay, including the watersheds and bays of
Nottawasaga Valley, Severn Sound, and the targeted coastal regions west of Highway 400/69
north of Port Severn to the French River.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting
the FSDS commitment for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: ECCC.
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LAKE WINNIPEG BASIN
Lake Winnipeg is Canada’s sixth-largest freshwater lake and supports a large commercial
fishery and a recreational tourism industry. The lake is composed of a large, deeper North
Basin and a smaller, shallower South Basin. Its water naturally contains moderate nutrient
concentrations and plant growth.
Phosphorus and nitrogen in Lake Winnipeg have been affected by a range of human activities,
including agriculture, the draining of wetlands, and growing cities. A century of agricultural and
urban development on the Prairies and two decades of high water flows in the Red River have
increased the nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the lake to the point where algal
growth is approximately 500% greater than it was prior to European settlement.
The federal and Manitoba governments and other partners are working closely to more fully
understand the relationships between phosphorus and nitrogen levels and nuisance algal
growth in Lake Winnipeg, as well as the impacts of the recent arrival of zebra mussels on
the lake.
While this work continues, citizens, scientists, and domestic and international partners are being
engaged to reduce phosphorus pollution by supporting stewardship projects such as erecting
fencing to prevent livestock from entering lakes and rivers, stabilizing river banks and lake
shorelines, restoring wetlands and planting native shrubs, plants and trees.
Target 3.7: Lake Winnipeg Basin
By 2017, reduce phosphorus inputs to water bodies in the Lake Winnipeg basin, in support
of the Province of Manitoba’s overall plan to reduce phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg by 50% to
pre-1990 levels.
Progress Statements
As of March 2015, stewardship projects supported by the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship
Fund were preventing an estimated 14 800 kilograms of phosphorus per year from entering
Lake Winnipeg and its tributary rivers.
Phosphorus levels in Lake Winnipeg were 100% higher in 2013 than pre-1990: 0.1 milligrams
of phosphorus per litre compared with 0.05.
What we know
As of March 2015, stewardship projects supported by the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship
Fund were preventing an estimated 14 800 kilograms of phosphorus per year from entering
Lake Winnipeg and its tributary rivers. Annual phosphorus reductions increased by more than
8300 kg between Phase I of the fund (April 2008–March 2012) and Phase II (April 2012–
March 2015). In 2013, phosphorus levels in Lake Winnipeg’s North and South Basins and
Narrows were above water quality guidelines for the protection of freshwater plants and animals
most of the time. Nitrogen levels in each basin were generally below water quality guidelines.
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Phosphorus and nitrogen levels were consistently above water quality guidelines for the protection
of freshwater plants and animals in the Red River, and always below the guidelines in the Winnipeg
River. Just over 44% of phosphorus samples in the Saskatchewan River were above the guidelines
for 2011 to 2013, while nitrogen samples were always below (see Figure 13).
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Figure 13: Status of phosphorus and nitrogen levels in Lake Winnipeg,
Canada, 2013; and in three tributary rivers, Canada, 2011–2013
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government works closely with the province of Manitoba and other partners to more
fully understand the relationships between phosphorus and nitrogen levels and nuisance algal
growth in Lake Winnipeg. At the same time, water managers work to reduce human sources of
nitrogen and phosphorus in the drainage basin.
The Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund supports on-the-ground projects in areas known
to have the most influence on water quality in Lake Winnipeg, such as the Red and Assiniboine
River basin and the Winnipeg River basin. $5.4 million in grants and contributions have been
allocated through the fund to promote stewardship, protect water resources and reduce nutrients.
Funded projects include wetland restoration, agricultural water retention projects and pilot projects
demonstrating innovative wastewater treatment technology. Since 2013, the fund has leveraged
an additional $11.5 million from other funders to support 47 stakeholder-driven projects to reduce
nutrient loads in Lake Winnipeg and its basin. It has also provided $1.1 million in targeted support
to the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium and the University of Manitoba.
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Thirteen scientific research and monitoring projects have been conducted since 2012 in the
Lake Winnipeg basin to bridge current knowledge gaps related to the lake’s ecology and nutrient
cycling, and to track the sources and transport of nutrients throughout the lake and its basin.
These activities inform watershed and nutrient management decision-making and complement
actions under way by the Province of Manitoba, other provincial and state jurisdictions, and the
federal government.
The federal government continues to conduct research and monitor water quality in Lake
Winnipeg and its basin. This information helps the Canadian public and stakeholders across the
watershed make informed decisions about how to improve water quality in Lake Winnipeg. For
example, the government monitors water quality in the Lake of the Woods, which contributes
approximately 6% of the total phosphorus load through the Winnipeg River System.
Federal efforts also focus on domestic and international transboundary water quality issues
through work with other governments (federal, provincial and state). For example, the Prairie
Provinces Water Board, which represents Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is developing
water quality objectives for waterways that eventually drain into Lake Winnipeg.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting the
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategy. Responsible department: ECCC.
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MARINE POLLUTION—RELEASES OF
HARMFUL POLLUTANTS
Canada has the world’s longest coastline, stretching 243 000 kilometres along the Pacific, Arctic
and Atlantic oceans as well as the Great Lakes. It also has some of the most difficult waters
to navigate due to extreme conditions, strong currents and very cold water. Marine activity is
increasing in Canada: between 2002 and 2012, total cargo tonnage handled by Canada’s port
systems increased by 1.5% per year.
Target 3.8: Marine Pollution—Releases of Harmful Pollutants
Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of
harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol
from 2013–2016.
Progress Statement
With a 70% increase in patrol hours from 2009–2010, 44 spills by identified vessels were
detected in fiscal year 2013–2014 compared with 21 in 2009–2010, an average annual
increase of 20%.
What we know
More frequent patrols to monitor and detect pollution from ships resulted in over 97% more vessels
being monitored in 2013–2014 than in the previous year. On the West Coast, 1000 surveillance
hours per year has already been achieved, exceeding initial plans to increase surveillance hours
from 500 to 700 hours in the first three years, then to 1200 hours in 2016–2017 and beyond.
In 2013–2014, the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) detected 214 marine pollution
incidents through 3877 pollution patrol hours. Of these, 44 were detected from identified
vessels, an increase from the 21 spills detected from identified vessels in 2009–2010.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
As part of the World-Class Tanker Safety System, additional funding was announced in 2014 for
the NASP to increase the number of flights targeted at monitoring and detecting pollution from
ships in Canada’s waters. Evidence gathered by the NASP is used to enforce the provisions of
Canadian legislation applicable to illegal discharges from ships.
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In 2013 and 2014, other measures were taken to prevent spills, to clean them up quickly if they
did occur, and to make sure polluters pay. These measures responded to the recommendations
of the independent Tanker Safety Expert Panel and on other studies, as well as input from
provincial governments, Indigenous groups and marine stakeholders from across Canada.
Measures included:
••
Enacting the Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act to strengthen the current
requirements and increase oversight for pollution prevention and response at oil handling
facilities.
••
Increasing foreign tanker inspections; 100% of foreign tankers are inspected on their first
visit to Canadian waters, and annually thereafter.
••
Implementing an Incident Command System—an internationally accepted emergency
management system—to more effectively respond to marine incidents.
••
Modernizing Canada’s Marine Navigation System to enable more accurate and real-time
marine safety information to be shared with mariners to minimize the potential for accidents.
••
Tailoring Area Response Planning to a region’s particular conditions in four higher-traffic
areas (the southern portion of British Columbia; Saint John and the Bay of Fundy, New
Brunswick; Port Hawkesbury and the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia; and St. Lawrence River
[Montréal to Anticosti Island], Quebec). Best practices from these four areas will be used
to refine Area Response Planning and allow the federal government to consider options for
implementing this approach in other locations across Canada.
••
Supporting scientific research on a range of petroleum products, such as diluted bitumen,
and response measures. As well, the federal government is providing up to $20 million
to Ocean Networks Canada’s Smart Oceans initiative to transform oceanographic data
into navigational information that will help vessel operators and others avoid navigational
hazards and prevent marine accidents.
••
Supporting Indigenous communities so that they can participate in marine emergency
preparedness and response planning around their communities.
••
Allowing alternative response measures; the government will expand the toolkit for spill
responses by removing the legislative prohibitions around the use of such measures when
there would be a net environmental benefit.
••
Strengthening the “polluter pay” principle by allowing Canada’s domestic Ship-source Oil
Pollution Fund (SOPF) to provide an unlimited amount of compensation for clean-up costs
and damages from oil pollution. Should this compensation exceed the amount available in
the SOPF, the Government of Canada will ensure that the SOPF is topped up through a levy
paid by industry.
In addition, TC has strong and effective ballast water requirements and has ratified an
international convention that will further reduce the risk of aquatic species invasions by ships.
See Target 4.6 for more information.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting the
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategy. Responsible department: TC.
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MARINE POLLUTION—DISPOSAL AT SEA
Canada regulates disposal at sea through a permit system under the Canadian Environmental
Protection Act, 1999. “Disposal at sea” is defined as the discarding of approved material (via a
permit) from a ship, aircraft, platform or other structure at sea. It is illegal without a permit and
without managing the material discarded at these sites to prevent marine pollution.
Target 3.9: Marine Pollution—Disposal at Sea
Ensure that permitted disposal at sea is sustainable, such that 85% of disposal site
monitoring events do not identify the need for site management action (such as site closure)
from 2013–2016.
Progress Statements
Since 2004, the proportion of permitted disposal at sea sites requiring no management
action has exceeded the 85% performance target, indicating that Canada’s ocean disposal
sites are being used sustainably.
In 2013–2014, the government completed monitoring projects at 11 ocean disposal sites,
or 12% of actively used sites.
What we know
A management action is a change to how the waste is managed at a disposal site; it can include
changes to timing of disposal, the mechanism by which the waste is deposited at the site, any
changes to the site boundaries or even the closing of a site. Management actions have been
required only five times since 2004: once in each of 2005, 2011 and 2012, and twice in 2013.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government continues to monitor representative disposal at sea sites and to
verify that permit conditions are being met so that disposal of waste at sea is sustainable.
In 2012–2013, monitoring projects were completed at 11 ocean disposal sites nationally
(12% of actively used sites).
The federal government also continues to participate in development of international guidance
materials, such as guidance on dredged material assessment and best practices for disposal of
offshore mining wastes. In 2012–2013, guidance was completed on the assessment of carbon
dioxide (CO2) streams for sub–seabed geological storage, and on Action Levels (levels of
concern) for fish waste.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting its
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategies. Responsible department: ECCC.
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AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE METRICS
Farming in Canada has changed significantly in recent decades in response to market demand
and new technologies. Agricultural producers and the public have also become more aware of
the pressures that agriculture places on the environment.
Target 3.10: Agri-Environmental Performance Metrics
Achieve a value between 81–100 on each of the Water Quality and Soil Quality
Agri-Environmental Performance Metrics by March 31, 2030.
Progress Statement
The Soil Quality Agri-Environmental Performance Metric rose from 66 in 1981 to 77 in
2006 as farm management improved. Meanwhile, the Water Quality Agri-Environmental
Performance Metric declined from 94 in 1981 to 78 in 2006.
What we know
The shift towards larger, more intensive operations has led to increased awareness of the
fundamental links between agriculture and the environment. Recognition that protecting soil
quality helps farms produce high-quality crops and the importance of sound farm management
for reducing surface and groundwater contamination is growing.
The agri-environmental performance indices for soil and water quality focus on how farming
affects the environment. A rating of 81 to100 on the agri-environmental performance indices
means that, overall, Canadian farming is working in a manner that protects the environment.
The soil quality agri-environmental performance index combines information about the risk of
soil loss, soil contamination by trace elements, the buildup of salt and the reduction in organic
matter in the soil.
The water quality agri-environmental performance index combines information about potential
water contamination by nitrogen and phosphorus, bacteria and pesticides from farming operations.
Between 1981 and 2006, changes to how farms are managed have helped improve the soil
quality agri-environmental performance index in Canada’s farming regions. Index results are
good, and increasing toward the desired level. While still rated as good, the water quality
agri-environmental performance index has declined from the desired level (see Figure 14).
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 14: Agri–environmental performance indices for soil and water quality
in Canada, 1981 to 2006
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, the federal government supports
farmers through agri-environmental risk assessment and planning, and by providing expertise,
information and incentives to increase the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices at the
farm and landscape levels.
Up to $204 million in cost-shared funding provided through the federal, provincial and
territorial Growing Forward 2 agricultural policy framework is helping agricultural producers
and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. This initiative
will help farmers systematically assess priority environmental risks, plan effective mitigation
activities and increase adoption of sustainable agricultural practices such as farmyard runoff
controls and erosion control structures. For example:
••
Manitoba’s conservation districts will receive funding through Manitoba’s Growing Assurance
initiative to work with farmers on projects that will improve water quality, support climate
change adaptation and preserve wildlife habitat.
••
Through the Canada-Quebec Growing Forward 2 agreement, funding has been granted
to carry out works on land to control water erosion, particularly during snowmelt, reduce
agricultural non-point source pollution and conserve biodiversity.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments respecting their
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategies. Responsible departments: AAFC (lead), ECCC.
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WASTEWATER AND INDUSTRIAL EFFLUENT
Each year, over 150 billion litres of untreated and undertreated wastewater (sewage) is
dumped into Canadian waterways. The federal government, in collaboration with the provinces,
territories and engaged municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and other
interested parties, established the country’s first national standards for wastewater treatment—
the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER). These regulations reduce threats to
fish, fish habitat and human health from fish consumption posed by wastewater.
The federal government also manages risks to the environment and human health from
the discharge of industrial effluents using Fisheries Act regulations such as the Metal
Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) and the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER).
Environmental effects monitoring helps ensure that risks to fish, fish habitat and human health
from fish consumption posed by these effluents are understood.
Target 3.11: Wastewater and Industrial Effluent
Reduce risks associated with effluent from wastewater (sewage) and industrial sectors
by 2020.
Progress Statements
Regulatory compliance reduces the risks of effluent released to the environment in rivers.
The indicators measuring the quality of metal mining and pulp and paper effluent show
stable or improved regulatory compliance.
What we know
Since 1985, effluent quality of industrial facilities regulated under the Fisheries Act has
substantially improved (see figures 15 and 16).
In 2013, the metal mining sector reported over 99% compliance with authorized limits for metals,
cyanide and pH and close to 98% compliance for total suspended solids (TSS). The percentage
of self-reported test results that met authorized limits for acute lethality has remained above
95% since 2005.
For the pulp and paper sector, 96.2%, 99.9% and 99.8% of effluent samples for toxicity tests
on fish, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and TSS respectively met regulatory requirements.
In 2012–2013, enforcement officers issued 61 written warnings under MMER as well as
11 directions and 30 written warnings under PPER. There were 22 written warnings issued
under MMER in 2013–2014. Environment Canada and Climate Change will continue to
conduct inspections to verify compliance and take enforcement actions where necessary.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 15: Percentage of regulatory data submitted by metal mines that did not exceed
authorized limits, Canada, 2003 to 2013
Figure 16: Percentage of regulatory tests passed by pulp and paper mills, Canada,
1985 to 2013 (selected years)
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Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government has undertaken a number of regulatory and other initiatives to reduce
the risks associated with effluent from sewage and industrial uses.
In 2013–2014, the government began to administer the WSER through activities and initiatives
such as putting in place a Web-based reporting system to collect data and reports required under
the regulations, and promoting compliance by developing and disseminating information about
regulatory requirements. To reduce duplication and administrative burden, the government is also
negotiating agreements with provinces and Yukon for the WSER. An equivalency agreement with
Yukon and administrative agreements with New Brunswick and Saskatchewan are currently in
place, and discussions with other interested provinces are ongoing.
The federal government supports implementation of the PPER and MMER through continued
verification of compliance with regulatory limits and by communicating with regulatees
concerning environmental-effects monitoring requirements.
The federal government consulted industry, environmental stakeholders and Indigenous
organizations as part of the 10-year review of the MMER. Proposed changes to the regulations
include revising existing limits as well as adding new substances, requirements or, potentially,
other mining sectors.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting the
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategy. Responsible department: ECCC.
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WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Water resource management is necessary in order to reconcile the competing needs of various
users, satisfy basic needs, enable economic development, sustain the natural environment
and support recreational activities. Decision-makers use water level, flow and sediment data to
resolve issues related to sustainable use, infrastructure planning and water apportionment, and
to keep Canadians safe.
Target 3.12: Water Resource Management
Facilitate sustainable water resource management through the collection of data and the
development and dissemination of knowledge from 2013–2016.
Progress Statement
Provincial and territorial government clients rated the Government of Canada’s hydrometric
program 8 out of 10 on a performance satisfaction survey of their data dissemination.
What we know
Provincial and territorial government partners rated the Government of Canada’s hydrometric
program highly. The National Hydrometric Program collects, interprets and disseminates
national surface water quantity data that are vital for water management.
Learn more: visit the Water Survey of Canada website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government continues to work both domestically and internationally to support water
resource management and to advance and communicate water management knowledge.
The government continues to support the International Joint Commission (IJC) as it implements
an updated water regulation plan for Lake Superior. The government also provides expertise
to support the IJC’s Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee, which
was established to coordinate and conduct needed monitoring, modelling and evaluation of the
regulation plans for the outflows from Lake Superior and Lake Ontario.
On the East Coast, the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative provides $1.2 million in funding annually
to ecosystem-based projects that address shared federal-provincial priorities, including water
quality, throughout the four Atlantic provinces. The majority of projects help enhance water
quality and watersheds through collaborative initiatives such as identifying and addressing
threats to water resources, conducting water quality monitoring and research, and developing
ecosystem management tools and management plans.
The federal government also launched an initiative under the National Conservation Plan
to enhance collaboration, facilitate research and improve knowledge-sharing to support
conservation and sustainable development in the transboundary Gulf of Maine. This initiative
helps address common federal, provincial and stakeholder priorities, including water quality and
sustainable water resource management.
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Ongoing efforts to improve groundwater management have included holding a national
workshop on emerging groundwater issues of national interest and providing stakeholders
with access to tools and methods to assess groundwater resources through the Groundwater
Information Network.
Regional initiatives have included collaborating with the Okanagan Basin Water Board and
the Province of British Columbia to install four new monitoring wells, and with First Nations
communities to characterize and disseminate information on the health of the Salish Sea
ecosystem. The federal government also continues to work with the Province of Alberta
and local stakeholders to implement the Joint Canada–Alberta Implementation Plan for
Oil Sands Monitoring.
The National Hydrometric Program provides critical water level and flow information to
Canadians through a federal, provincial and territorial cost-shared network that includes
approximately 2750 hydrometric stations. Between May 2012 and October 2014, the number of
stations transmitting data in near real time increased by approximately 70 per year. Information
collected under the National Hydrometric Program helps provincial and territorial emergency
management organizations keep Canadians safe when flooding is a risk.
In 2015, Statistics Canada released new biennial estimates on water use in manufacturing,
thermal-electric power, mining, drinking water treatment plants and agricultural irrigation.
Updated estimates on household behaviour with regard to water consumption and conservation
were also released. These data are used to track water usage in multiple sectors and to provide
an economy-wide perspective on water use.
The federal government passed the Transboundary Waters Protection Act in 2013 to protect
Canadian waters within federal jurisdiction from bulk water removals. This act created new
powers for inspection and enforcement, introduced new penalties for violations, and expanded
protection to rivers and streams that cross borders.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (lead),
NRCan, StatCan, WD.
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PROTECTING
NATURE AND
CANADIANS
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Protecting Nature and Canadians
Conserving Canada’s landscapes and seascapes and protecting its wild species are essential
to environmental, social and economic well-being. Wild species face a range of threats, such as
pollution, overexploitation, incidental loss due to resource harvesting, and most importantly, the
loss, fragmentation and degradation of their habitat. They also face indirect impacts from human
activities, such as stresses caused by invasive species, new diseases and climate change.
Habitat loss caused by human activity is the leading cause of biodiversity loss in Canada and
around the world.
GOAL 4: CONSERVING AND RESTORING ECOSYSTEMS, WILDLIFE AND
HABITAT, AND PROTECTING CANADIANS
Resilient ecosystems with healthy wildlife populations so Canadians can enjoy benefits from
natural spaces, resources and ecological services for generations to come.
Progress Statements
In 2010, 77% of Canadian wild species assessed in the General Status of Wildlife Species
in Canada report were ranked ’’secure.’’ The number of protected areas and the total area
protected in Canada continued to grow.
Remaining Challenges
Canada’s wild species continue to face threats that include habitat loss and fragmentation,
invasive species, and the effects of climate change. Of the over 8500 species considered in
the 2010 General Status Report, 12% were considered “at risk” or “may be at risk.”
While 57% of managed migratory bird species have population sizes within an acceptable
range, 43% do not. The proportion of species with acceptable population sizes varies
between ecological groups—for example, only 18% of grassland bird species and 28% of
aerial insectivores have acceptable population sizes.
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2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
What we know
Of more than 8500 wild species assessed in 2010, 77% were ranked “secure,” 12% were
ranked “at risk” or “may be at risk,” and the remaining 11% were considered “sensitive.” The
proportion of species ranked “secure” ranged from 57% in Nunavut to 78% in New Brunswick
(see Figure 17).
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Figure 17: General status ranks of wild species in Canada, 2010
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SPECIES AT RISK
Some wildlife species in Canada have experienced serious population declines as a result of
habitat reduction and other pressures. Species at risk or those that may become at risk can be
protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
Target 4.1: Species at risk
By 2020, populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are
consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.
Progress Statements
Of the 307 species at risk that had final recovery strategies or management plans as
of May 2015, 112 had population-oriented goals reassessed. Of these 112 species,
43 (38%) showed population trends consistent with the goals of the recovery strategies.
What we know
While not all species at risk have been identified, as of February 2015, 521 animal and plant
species in Canada were classified as “Endangered,” “Threatened,” or of “Special Concern”
under Schedule 1 of SARA.
Of the 307 species at risk that had final recovery strategies or management plans as of
May 2015, about one third (112 species) had population-oriented goals reassessed. Of these,
38% (43 species) had current population trends that are consistent with the goals laid out in
the recovery strategies, and 40 (36%) showed trends that are inconsistent with goals. Another
9 (8%) had both some indication of improvement and some indication of decline. For the
remaining 20 species (18%), there are insufficient data to determine trends.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
A range of federal initiatives and funding continue to support this target. Funding announced in
2014 under the National Conservation Plan supports the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP)
and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk while introducing, as a preventive measure, new
funding for species that are not at risk.
The federal government continued to work with others to conserve species at risk and help them
recover. For example:
••
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Recovery strategies have been developed for 266 species, including the Greater SageGrouse, Woodland Caribou (Boreal population, Atlantic-Gaspésie population and Southern
Mountain population), rare plant species in the Garry Oak ecosystem, and aquatic species
such as the North Atlantic Right Whale, Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic Region), and a
number of freshwater mussels occurring in southern Ontario watersheds.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
••
The government is implementing multi-species action plans in national parks and other
protected heritage places that involve stakeholders, partners and visitors and foster support
for the protection and recovery of species at risk.
••
Investment in the Species at Risk Stream of the HSP ($12.6 million in 2014–2015) funded
104 new projects and continued previous funding to 72 multi-year projects across Canada
to help protect species at risk by fostering stewardship measures. In 2015, these projects
will leverage an additional $52.6 million from other partners, leading to a total investment
of $65.2 million. Meanwhile, investment in the HSP’s Prevention Stream ($2.6 million in
2014–2015) is funding 81 new projects to prevent other priority species beyond those
listed under SARA from becoming a conservation concern. These projects will leverage an
additional $5.7 million from other partners, leading to a total investment of $8.3 million.
••
The first captive breeding and rearing program for the Greater Sage-Grouse involves
a partnership of the federal government ($2 million) with Alberta ($2 million) and the
Calgary Zoo ($1.1 million). Launched in 2014, the program will run for 5 to 10 years.
••
The federal government is collaborating with Saskatchewan to conserve species at risk by
promoting cost-effective land stewardship practices to landowners. The South of the Divide
(SoD) Stewardship in Action initiative and the SoD Action Plan complement other regional
plans by outlining detailed approaches for implementing pre-existing SARA recovery
strategies and management plans for species at risk in the SoD area.
••
The federal government is collaborating with the Government of Ontario to support best
management practices that promote the protection of species at risk and habitats on privately
owned Ontario farms. The government is also collaborating with Ontario to provide science
that supports harmonized management and recovery planning of freshwater aquatic species.
••
The federal government worked with the Nelson River Sturgeon Board to develop
a Lake Sturgeon conservation plan in Manitoba, set up public awareness tours of the
Jenpeg Sturgeon Rearing Facility, and establish a Sturgeon Aquarium Program in
multiple public schools.
••
The federal government is collaborating with the Government of Alberta and stakeholders
to conserve Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Alberta. For example, the government is working
with the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (also known as Cows and Fish) to
raise awareness and implement conservation actions. Collaboration with the Government of
Alberta has included developing and implementing a communication and education strategy
to accompany provincial fishing regulation changes that came into force when Westslope
Cutthroat Trout was listed under SARA in 2013.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and
agencies respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and
agencies: ECCC (lead), DFO, National Defence (DND), PC.
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MIGRATORY BIRDS
Sustainable and responsible waterfowl hunting contributes to tourism, provides food and
maintains traditions. Bird watching is a popular activity for many in backyards, neighbourhoods
and natural habitats. Birds also provide ecological benefits by controlling insect and rodent
populations, dispersing seeds and pollinating plants. These “ecosystem services” contribute
to our economy and our well-being.
Human activities have heavily influenced Canada’s bird populations, helping some species
while hindering others. Because birds are sensitive to environmental changes, changes in
their populations can reflect broader shifts in ecosystem health and the state of biodiversity.
Target 4.2: Migratory Birds
Improve the proportion of migratory bird species that meet their population goals.
Progress Statement
Baseline information indicates that more than half of managed migratory bird species
regularly found in Canada have population sizes within an acceptable range.
What we know
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of 368 managed migratory bird species regularly found in Canada
had population sizes within an acceptable range in 2013. The proportion of species with
acceptable population sizes varies between ecological groups. For example, while most
waterfowl (67%) and forest bird species (63%) were within acceptable ranges, only 18% of
grassland birds and 28% of aerial insectivores (birds that catch insects while in flight) had
acceptable population levels.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Canada works with the U.S. and Mexico on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.
This agreement was established to conserve bird populations by restoring wetlands,
associated uplands and other key habitats, and to engage other bird conservation groups. In
Canada, the integration of conservation efforts currently under way for waterfowl, landbirds,
shorebirds and waterbirds supports this objective. In 2013 and 2014, 25 Bird Conservation
Region strategies were completed and published, with ongoing discussions to further
implement conservation measures.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the federal department respecting the
FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategy. Responsible department: ECCC.
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TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS AND
HABITAT CONSERVATION
Canada’s natural spaces are a vital component of our culture, well-being, heritage, economy
and future. They are also of global importance—approximately 30% of the world’s boreal forest
and 20% of freshwater resources are in Canada.
Natural areas provide a variety of ecosystem services. For example, lakes and rivers provide
drinking water and energy, while forests and wetlands store GHGs, produce oxygen and
regulate flooding. Protecting natural areas is crucial to maintaining these ecosystem services
as well as conserving biodiversity.
Target 4.3: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat Stewardship
Contribute to the proposed national target so that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas
and inland water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective
area-based conservation measures.
Progress Statement
10.3% of Canada’s terrestrial area (land and freshwater) is protected as of the end of 2014,
and this percentage is expected to continue to increase.
As of 2015, 80 700 square kilometres (km2) of habitat for waterfowl had been secured since
1990 and as of 2014, 1836 km2 habitat for species at risk had been secured since 2000.
What we know
As of the end of 2014, 10.3% (1 026 682 km2) of Canada’s terrestrial area (land and freshwater)
has been recognized as protected. Terrestrial area protected has increased by almost 8% in the
last 5 years, and close to 90% in the last 20 years. In 2014, federal jurisdictions protected a total
terrestrial area of 468 322 km2 (see Figure 18).
As of 2015, approximately 80 700 km2 of habitat for waterfowl had been secured in Canada
through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, a more than four–fold increase over
the last 10 years. The largest increase (from 34 000 to 70 400 km2) occurred in 2008, mainly as
a result of habitat secured in the Western Boreal Forest region through Crown designation.
The area secured for species at risk has also increased steadily since inception of the HSP in
2000–2001. As of March 31, 2014, 1836 km2 of Canadian habitat had been secured, benefiting
up to 603 species assessed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern by the
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 18: Trends in proportion of terrestrial area protected, Canada, 1990 to 2014
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Conserving biodiversity is critical to the long-term health, prosperity and security of Canadians.
A number of initiatives by the federal government, including participation in international and
domestic fora, advance the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and habitat. For example:
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••
The federal government provided leadership in the United Nations Convention on Biological
Diversity and the development of a new set of domestic biodiversity targets. The government
also hosted meetings between August 2013 and February 2015 to advance implementation
of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna work plan.
••
In 2014–2015, as part of the National Conservation Plan, the federal government renewed
the Natural Areas Conservation Program for another five years, investing an additional
$100 million. These investments help non-governmental organizations such as the Nature
Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada secure and protect ecologically
significant land in southern Canada. As of the end of December 2014, over 3900 km2 had
been conserved, providing habitat for at least 173 species at risk and many other species.
••
The federal government established the Qausuittuq National Park, formally protecting
under the Canada National Parks Act 11 008 km2 of northern Bathurst Island, Nunavut, and
ensuring that this magnificent part of Canada can continue to be enjoyed for generations.
The park protects key wildlife habitat including travel routes, calving grounds and wintering
grounds for Peary caribou; it is also a significant area for muskoxen. Archaeological studies
have found evidence of human use on Bathurst Island dating back 4500 years.
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On July 31, 2015, the federal government signed separate agreements with the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador and the Innu Nation to create the Akami-uapishku-KakKasuakMealy Mountains National Park Reserve. The park, 10 700 km2 in size, will protect a nationally
significant example of the East Coast Boreal Natural Region, including important habitat for
the threatened Mealy Mountains caribou herd, as well as for wolves, black bear, martens
and other wildlife species. The landscape is also of great cultural significance to Indigenous
peoples. The park will provide unique Indigenous cultural experiences as well as outdoor
recreational activities such as canoeing, backcountry camping and hiking.
••
A total of 79.1 km2 of land has been committed to Rouge National Urban Park, making it one
of the largest urban parks in the world. The park will protect the Rouge’s natural ecosystems,
cultural landscapes and native wildlife, including large tracts of Class 1 farmland, the rarest
and most fertile in the country. It will also help connect Canadians with nature, culture
and agriculture.
••
The Ecological Gifts Program supports donations of ecologically sensitive land for
conservation and provides tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial
interest in land to a qualified recipient who, in turn, ensures that the land’s biodiversity
and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity. In 2014, the federal government
increased the ’’carry-forward’’ for donations to allow donors to claim large gifts for up to
10 years. As of June 2015, over 1159 ecological gifts of land valued at over $736 million
have been donated through this program, protecting over 1700 km2 of wildlife habitat across
Canada.
••
Using population goals set through the tri-national partnership (Canada, U.S. and Mexico)
of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and the national suite of
Bird Conservation Region plans for all species, the challenges for both declining and overabundant species are being addressed. Federal investments in NAWMP include $3.4 million
in 2014 to support 16 new projects across Canada over the next 3 years. Undertaken in
partnership with organizations such as the Nature Trust of B.C., Ducks Unlimited Canada
and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, these projects help to protect wetlands and
restore wetland habitats.
••
Statistics Canada, Environment Canada and Climate Change, and other departments
continue to develop and apply models for social, cultural and economic valuation of
ecosystem services to support decision-making. Among other impacts, new Statistics
Canada investments of $380 000 per year in the environmental statistics program will allow
the annual release of estimates of changes in land cover and land use. Further investment
will also allow for annual estimates of Canada’s renewable freshwater resources. This
information will provide insight about the changing potential of Canada’s natural capital and
on its capacity to generate ecosystem goods and services.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (lead),
FIN, ISED, PC, StatCan.
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HEALTH OF NATIONAL PARKS
The federal government works to restore Canada’s ecosystems by addressing priority ecological
integrity issues in national parks, while providing opportunities for Canadians to connect with
nature, and for stakeholders and partners, including Indigenous partners, to work collaboratively.
Target 4.4: Improving the Health of National Parks
Improve the condition of at least one Ecological Integrity Indicator in 20 national parks by 2015.
Progress Statement
As of March 2015, management actions have resulted in improvements to at least
one indicator of ecological integrity in 20 national parks.
What we know
As of March 2015, management actions have resulted in improvements to at least 1 indicator
of ecological integrity in 20 national parks. Parks Canada (PC) also continues to monitor the
ecological integrity of national parks. As of 2013, the percentage of assessed ecosystems in
good or fair condition remains high at 91%.
Learn more: visit the Parks Canada website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government continues to invest in and support the health of Canada’s national
parks. Through its Conservation and Restoration program, PC is undertaking priority ecosystem
restoration projects to improve ecological integrity in key areas such as restoring the health and
connectivity of aquatic ecosystems, restoring wildlife corridors, reintroducing species at risk,
controlling and removing invasive species, and managing hyperabundant wildlife populations.
Projects include:
••
The construction of at least four wildlife crossings and approximately 6.5 km of fencing along
Highway 93 South in Kootenay National Park to minimize human-wildlife collisions along the
busy highway (an investment of $9.6 million).
••
An innovative and highly collaborative monitoring and restoration program for endangered
inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon to both restore a self–sustaining salmon population
in Fundy National Park and provide opportunities for Canadians to connect to this iconic
species (an investment of $2.6 million).
PC also continues to reintroduce fire as a natural ecosystem process: in 2014–2015, there were
23 prescribed burns in 12 national parks, covering 5448 ha.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the responsible federal agency
respecting the FSDS commitment for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: PC.
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MARINE ECOSYSTEMS
Canada’s vast marine territory is important domestically and globally. Its varied ecosystems
support an extensive diversity and abundance of marine life, contribute significantly to the
Canadian economy, and offer enormous potential for future economic, social and cultural
benefits.
Well-designed and well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective areabased conservation measures form a key element of integrated ocean management that
supports healthy, productive and resilient ecosystems.
Target 4.5: Marine Ecosystems
By 2020, 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved through networks of protected
areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
Progress Statement
From 1990 to 2014, protected coastal and marine areas increased from 0.32% of Canada’s
marine territory to 0.9%.
What we know
MPAs are key management tools that help improve the health, integrity and productivity of our
marine ecosystems. Canada is establishing a national network of MPAs with the primary goal of
protecting marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features. As of the end of
2014, 0.9% (51 572 km2) of Canada’s marine territory has been recognized as protected. MPA
networks will ultimately be developed for each of Canada’s 13 marine bioregions.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government supports marine ecosystems through research, knowledge-sharing and
investments in conservation.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is leading the development of MPA networks in five
priority bioregions: the Pacific Northern Shelf; Western Arctic; Newfoundland–Labrador Shelves;
Scotian Shelf; and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. These MPA networks are being developed in
collaboration with ECCC, PC, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous groups, industry
and non-governmental organizations, as well as other interested parties.
DFO has also made progress towards establishing new individual MPAs. Most notably, in June
2015 the Department released proposed regulations for public comment that would establish
the proposed Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs MPA.
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The federal government is also working to establish new national marine conservation areas.
For example, the government focused its efforts on concluding three feasibility assessments
in the unrepresented marine regions of Lancaster Sound in Nunavut, Strait of Georgia in
British Columbia, and Magdalen Shallows in Quebec. In addition, the Lake Superior National
Marine Conservation Area Act received royal assent in June 2015. Ultimately, the Act will lead
to the formal protection under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act of the
Lake Superior Marine Conservation Area, the world’s largest freshwater MPA.
Collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations, and coastal
communities through the Integrated Oceans Management (IOM) process helps to integrate
marine conservation measures and ensure the sustainable long-term human use of the ocean.
As reported in Canada’s 5th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, published
in March 2014, the federal government led the development of IOM plans in five Large Oceans
Management Areas; four are currently being implemented.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: DFO (lead),
ECCC, PC.
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INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES
Invasive alien species are a significant threat to biodiversity. In their new ecosystems, these
species become predators, competitors, parasites, hybridizers, and diseases for native and
domesticated plants and animals. Their impact on native ecosystems, habitats and species is
severe and often irreversible. They can also have costly impacts on economic sectors such as
forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture.
Target 4.6: Invasive Alien Species
By 2020, pathways of invasive alien species introductions are identified, and risk-based
intervention or management plans are in place for priority pathways and species.
Progress Statements
No new invasive species were found to have become established in Canada in 2012 and 2013.
The federal government is conducting pathway and species risk assessments, including
assessments of weeds for potential quarantine and assessments of aquatic species for
potential regulations.
The government has developed risk-impact matrices for five groups of high-priority pathogens
and completed an assessment of the risk posed by the invasive Phytophthora ramorum
(commonly known as sudden oak death disease) to various Canadian tree species such
as oak and larch.
What we know
More alien species are being introduced into Canada with the increasing trade and travel that
accompany globalization. Pathways of introduction include ships’ ballast water, recreational
boating, and the aquarium, pet and horticultural trades. Alien species can also enter Canada as
“hitchhikers” on commodities such as wood products and ornamental plants, or as stowaways
on various modes of transportation.
The federal government may regulate alien species if a risk analysis shows they are potentially
invasive and that regulation is likely to be effective. As of the end of 2013, 248 species are
federally regulated but not established in Canada, including 2 that were first regulated in 2012
and 15 first regulated in 2013. None of these species were found to have been established in
Canada since January 2012.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
With key responsibilities for international import and export and inter-provincial trade, the federal
government has a primary role in creating the regulatory framework to ensure the prevention
and detection of, and rapid response to, invasive alien species. This includes a wide range of
measures, including:
••
Researching early intervention in the event of a spruce budworm outbreak, as well as
related reporting to clients and stakeholders.
••
Providing expertise on the impacts of the spread of Emerald Ash Borer to Manitoba, Ontario
and Quebec, as members of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers.
••
Developing risk-impact matrices for five groups of high-priority pathogens and completing a
risk assessment of the invasive Phytophthora ramorum (commonly known as sudden oak
death disease) to various Canadian tree species such as oak and larch.
••
Enacting the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations in May 2015. These new federal
regulations provide tools that can be used by federal and provincial governments to respond
to new invasions and control the spread of established aquatic invasive species. They
include prohibitions on the import, possession, transport and/or release of listed species,
such as Asian carps and zebra mussels.
••
Continuing to implement the Invasive Plants Policy under the Plant Protection Act, which
aims to control the importation and domestic movement of pest plants in Canada and
provides a list of pest plants that are prohibited in Canada.
••
Continuing to conduct pathway and species risk assessments, including assessments
of weeds for potential quarantine as pest plants and assessments of aquatic species for
potential regulation.
•• Continuing to survey and conduct monitoring and inspection activities for regulated pests
to support early detection, regulatory action and program verification.
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Continuing to increase public awareness, meet with stakeholders and provide access to
information about invasive alien species and actions to prevent their introduction and spread.
••
Collaborating with provincial and territorial ministers responsible for conservation, wildlife
and biodiversity to fight invasive alien species in Canada.
••
Continuing to collaborate and foster international cooperation—especially with key trading
partners—to ensure that international standards and processes reflect Canadian interests.
••
Ensuring that 100% of all overseas vessels are inspected and compliant with applicable
ballast water regulations prior to entering the Seaways under a joint Canada–U.S. ballast
water inspection program, as well as inspecting international ships arriving at coastal ports.
••
Continuing to align TC’s ballast water policy and regulations with the International
Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.
••
Working to ensure compatibility of its ballast water policy, regulations, research and
enforcement actions with those of the U.S. through annual meetings of the authorities
responsible for vessel discharges under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
••
Continuing work through DFO and the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network on
science for monitoring aquatic invasive species and developing strategies to prevent and
mitigate impacts.
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Initiatives to protect the Great Lakes from the effects of invasive alien species include:
••
Comprehensive programming to prevent establishment of Asian carps, in close cooperation
with the Province of Ontario and U.S. federal and state agencies; and
••
Ongoing work with the U.S. to deliver the world’s largest aquatic invasive species control
program, which is suppressing invasive sea lampreys and protecting fish and fisheries.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (lead),
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), DFO,
NRCan, TC.
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ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, INCIDENTS
AND EMERGENCIES
Environmental disasters, incidents and emergencies are events that threaten the environment
as well as those that endanger human health. They include natural events such as forest fires,
earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and ice storms. They also include accidents related to industrial
operations: for example, transportation-related accidents that release hazardous substances.
Target 4.7: Environmental Disasters, Incidents and Emergencies
Environmental disasters, incidents and emergencies are prevented or their impacts
mitigated.
Progress Statements
As of March 2015, 86% of federal institutions have assessed their strategic emergency plan
and taken actions to address risks related to their area of responsibility.
Of the 2449 facilities that implemented environmental emergency (E2) plans in 2014–2015,
21 had environmental emergencies (0.9%).
What we know
Between April 2012 and March 2015, fewer than 1% of facilities with E2 plans (as required by
the federal Environmental Emergency Regulations) reported environmental emergencies.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government undertakes a range of activities and makes investments to prevent and
reduce the impacts of environmental emergencies within Canada. For example, the government
established the National Disaster Mitigation Program in April 2015. The Program addresses
rising flood risks and costs, and will build the foundation for future investments that could reduce
or negate the effects of flood events. The federal government also invested in 20 new science
and technology projects in 2014 as part of an approximately $14.5 million allocation under the
Canadian Safety and Security Program. This initiative will support investments in science and
technology projects that will strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, prepare
for, respond to and recover from natural disasters, serious accidents, crime and terrorism.
The government also continued to establish and implement regulations and conduct oversight
to prevent and respond to incidents, ensure preparedness and determine liabilities arising
from incidents.
••
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When certain criteria and thresholds are met under the Environmental Emergency Regulations,
companies are required to prepare E2 plans for the possibility of controlled, planned, or
accidental releases of hazardous substances listed in the regulations and report emergency
releases that occur. As of March 2015, approximately 2852 individuals and organizations
were required to prepare E2 plans. The majority had E2 plans in place.
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••
Amendments made in June 2014 to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, the
Railway Safety Management System Regulations and the Transportation Information
Regulations will help build a stronger safety culture among railway companies, strengthen
requirements for rail tank cars and other means of containment, and help reduce the risk of
accidents.
Amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986, the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987,
and the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations were announced in August 2014 in support
of alerting Canadians to imminent threats to life. The amendments make participation in the
National Public Alerting System mandatory for radio and television broadcasters, cable and
satellite companies, and video-on-demand services by March 31, 2015, and for campus,
community and Native broadcasters by March 31, 2016.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is the primary federal government department
responsible for emergency management in First Nations communities. Its Emergency
Management Assistance Program enables funding and coordination assistance to First Nations
on reserve lands in the event of emergencies like fires and floods, often through arrangements
with provincial and territorial governments for the delivery of emergency management services
to First Nations. From 2013 to 2015, INAC allocated close to $239 million for emergency
management, of which 70% was for response and recovery activities. The federal government
has since created a new single window for First Nations to secure funding for emergency costs,
provided $19.1 million to facilitate negotiation of agreements with provinces and territories
and support emergency preparedness activities, and obtained an additional $29.33 million
of sustainable funding to cover annual response and recovery costs. These concrete actions
improve emergency management on reserve lands and support stronger and more resilient
First Nation communities while contributing to reducing the risks of environmental disasters,
incidents and emergencies, and safeguarding residents.
Federal government planning that supports resource development includes initiatives such as
the following.
••
Strengthening pipeline safety through the Pipeline Safety Act, which received royal assent
on June 18, 2015. The Act builds on the principles of incident prevention, preparedness
and response, and liability and compensation. The Act introduces absolute liability for all
National Energy Board (NEB) regulated companies operating pipelines, including $1 billion for
companies operating major oil pipelines; authorizing the NEB to order reimbursement of any
reasonable cleanup costs incurred by governments or individuals; and authorizes the NEB to
take control of incident response and cleanup in exceptional circumstances if a company is
unable or unwilling to do so.
••
Building on preliminary research led by NRCan under the World Class Tanker Safety System
initiative, TC and ECCC are undertaking additional research on new petroleum products in a
number of marine environments and identifying a range of response measures.
••
Participating regularly in the development and revision of federal government Emergency
Management Plans such as the Interagency Volcanic Event Notification Protocol, Atlantic
Canada Tsunami Protocol, Earthquake Contingency Plan, Earthquake Response Protocol,
Flood Plan, and Satellite Imagery Acquisition Plan.
••
Communicating earthquake and space weather information on websites, Twitter and the
Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System, and delivering information to the Public Safety
Government Operations Centre, critical infrastructure operators and media outlets.
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••
Partnering with the Government of New Brunswick and others to implement the
SmartATLANTIC buoy project in Saint John, New Brunswick, which will improve the
efficiency, safety and environmental stewardship of marine transportation in the Bay of
Fundy. In line with measures already taken to strengthen Canada’s existing robust marine
safety system, this project will help to further modernize Canada’s marine navigation system
by providing accurate and real-time meteorological/hydrological data for use in producing
high-resolution forecasts of weather and sea conditions and for scientific research.
••
Collaborating with provincial and industry partners in May 2014 to validate the renewed
Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan in the largest-ever national-level full-scale nuclear
emergency response exercise in Canada.
••
Continuing to monitor environmental radiation across Canada and in the world in support of
Canada’s nuclear emergency response capabilities and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty obligations.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (co–lead),
Public Safety Canada (PS) (co–lead), AAFC, DFO, HC, INAC, ISED, National Energy Board
(NEB), NRCan, PC, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), TC.
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CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT
Toxic substances released into the environment are known to have harmful effects on human
health, wildlife and biological diversity. Toxic metals and organic pollutants can be inhaled or
deposited onto soil and into water, where they can enter the food chain and accumulate in the
body tissues of living organisms. Some of these substances can also be transported over great
distances by air.
Target 4.8: Chemicals Management
Reduce risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment and human health posed by
releases of harmful substances.
Progress Statements
The government is making progress in reducing environmental and health risks posed by
releases of harmful substances:
As of 2013, mercury, lead and cadmium emissions to air have been reduced to about
10% of 1990 levels (emission reductions of 88%, 90% and 90% respectively).
Monitoring and surveillance of harmful substances in the environment shows that
concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in fish and sediment are
decreasing, and that perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) levels in water and in fish tissue are
within guidelines for water quality and fish health, though in some areas they exceed safe
levels for wildlife eating those fish.
As of March 31, 2014, 100% of new substances notifications received have been assessed
under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
What we know
Reductions in mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) emissions to air are mainly due to
reduced emissions from industrial sources (see Figure 19).
Releases of Hg, Pb and Cd to water decreased by 45%, 50% and 44% respectively between
2003 and 2013. These reductions are mainly due to reduced releases from wastewater
treatment plants and from some industrial sources.
ECCC conducted sediment sampling in nine drainage regions between 2009 and 2014. Of
the nine, six were found to have levels of pentaBDE that exceeded the Federal Environmental
Quality Guidelines (numerical limits established under the CMP to protect aquatic ecosystems),
and two had levels of decaBDE that exceeded the guidelines. Concentrations above the
guidelines indicate that further evaluation may be required.
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Information included in three Reports on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in
Canada (2007–2009, 2009–2011, 2012–2013) is helping to establish an understanding of health
risk factors, detect emerging trends in risk factors and exposures, advance health surveillance
and research, and assess the effectiveness of actions by government and others in Canada.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Figure 19: Releases of heavy metal to air and water, Canada, 1990 to 2013 (air)
and 2003 to 2013 (water)
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Since the launch of the CMP in 2006, the federal government has conducted risk assessments
for approximately 2700 existing substances and 3000 new substances. Of the 97 substances
(or groups of substances) found to be harmful to the environment and/or human health since 2006,
80% are of health concern, 16% are of ecological concern and 4% are both. The government
has developed, or is in the process of developing, risk management actions for approximately
360 of the 2700 individual existing substances noted above.
The government is making progress toward the objectives of the second phase of the CMP.
Key deliverables include updating the second phase of the Domestic Substances List Inventory,
continuing to conduct approximately 500 pre-market evaluations on new substances per year
and manage risk when required, prioritizing the Revised In-Commerce List, and continuing
environmental and health monitoring, surveillance and research programs.
The federal government continues to initiate the re–evaluation of every registered pesticide
on a 15-year cycle as per the requirement of the Pest Control Products Act. Pesticides are
re-evaluated to ensure that their uses continue to be acceptable under today’s modern
standards of health and environmental protection.
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In January 2013, the federal government published the final Prohibition of Certain Toxic
Substances Regulations, 2012. These regulations prohibit the manufacture, use, sale, offer for
sale or import of certain toxic substances, such as benzenamine, N-phenylreaction products
with styrene and 2,4,4-trimethylpentene, and short-chain chlorinated alkanes.
To reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment, the federal government published
the Products Containing Mercury Regulations on November 19, 2014. These regulations are
the first of their kind in Canada and prohibit the manufacture and importation of most mercurycontaining products.
Other federal activities and investments to manage chemicals include the following:
••
Health Canada worked with the Assembly of First Nations to implement the First Nations
Biomonitoring Initiative survey. The survey was a national survey (conducted in 2011 and
released in June 2013), which indicated that exposure levels for approximately 15% of the
chemicals studied were higher for the First Nations population than for the general Canadian
adult population.
••
Promoting compliance to 9325 facilities by increasing regulatees’ awareness and understanding
of requirements related to key risk management instruments. These mainly include regulations,
codes of practice, pollution prevention plans, and guidelines under the Canadian Environmental
Protection Act, 1999, and the Fisheries Act. A pilot compliance-rate campaign that included the
identified regulated community across Canada using tetrachloroethylene (PERC) resulted in
100% of PERC dry cleaners in Canada being aware of the Dry Cleaning Regulations.
••
Continuing the work of the 15-year Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) to
reduce environmental and human health risks from known federal contaminated sites.
Under FCSAP in 2014–2015, 368 remediation projects and 322 assessment projects were
undertaken. This included initiating cleanup work for 21 sites of the Distant Early Warning
Line (announced in 2014). The associated $575 million investment is the largest to date
made for an environmental remediation project by the federal government. A 25-year
monitoring program of the sites is also under way.
••
Engaging northerners and scientists in research and monitoring of long-range contaminants
persisting in the Canadian Arctic environment and building up in the food chain. The data
generated by the Northern Contaminants Program is used to assess ecosystem and human
health. The assessments are used to address the issues of safety and security of traditional/
country foods that are central to the health and traditional lifestyles of northerners and
northern communities.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: ECCC (co-lead), HC (co-lead),
AAFC, Correctional Service Canada (CSC), DFO, DND, INAC, ISED, NRC, PC, PSPC, Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), TC.
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BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
While forests, fish and agricultural products are renewable resources, inadequate ecosystem
management can contribute to their depletion and threaten the viability of the sectors that
depend on them. Lack of attention to the sustainable management of these resources can also
threaten the biodiversity and environmental well-being of Canada’s oceans, lakes, wetlands,
rivers, grasslands and forests.
GOAL 5: BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
Efficient economic and ecological use of resources—Production and consumption of
biological resources are sustainable.
Progress Statements
From 1990 to 2013, annual timber harvest has been in the range of 47% to 85% of Canada’s
wood supply, and 48% of major fish stocks were considered healthy in 2014, an increase
from 46% in 2011.
Remaining Challenges
More intensive agriculture and aquaculture, in response to growing demand, continues to
put pressure on the environment.
Although 74 major fish stocks (48% of the total) were considered healthy in 2014, 16 (10%)
were in the ’’critical’’ category. Stocks in the critical zone have a level of productivity that may
result in serious harm to the resource.
What we know
Between 1990 and 2013, timber harvests in Canada ranged from 47% to 85% of the estimated
Canadian supply of industrial roundwood (wood supply). Canada’s wood supply has remained
relatively stable since 1990 at an average of 239 million cubic metres (see Figure 20).
Of the 131 fish stocks with a known status in 2014, 75 stocks were in the healthy category, and
16 stocks were in the critical zone. Knowledge about the state of the stocks has improved; with
11 fewer stocks in the unknown category since 2011 (see Figure 21). It can take many years for
biological systems to respond to changes in management.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
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Figure 20: Wood supply and annual harvest of industrial roundwood, Canada, 1990 to 2013
Figure 21: Status of major fish stocks, Canada, 2011 to 2014
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SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES
The federal government works to secure the future of our wild capture fisheries through sustainable
and responsible fisheries management that is science-based, applies the precautionary approach,
and addresses ecosystem considerations using risk analysis and assessment.
While conservation remains the top priority, the federal government also supports an economically
prosperous fishery, working to improve its competitiveness by investing in conservation measures
and activities, and by adjusting the balance of harvesting with that of resource capacity in order to
provide more stable employment, particularly in coastal communities.
Target 5.1: Sustainable Fisheries
Improve the management and conservation of major stocks.
Progress Statement
In 2014, 99% of 155 major fish stocks were harvested at sustainable levels, an increase
from 90% in 2011.
What we know
In 2014, for 67 major fish stocks (43% of 155 stocks assessed), there was sufficient historical
information to set the harvest level using the mathematically based removal reference, while the
harvest levels for an additional 86 stocks (55%) were set using other scientific approaches. Two
stocks (1%) were harvested above approved levels.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government delivers an integrated fisheries program that contributes to sustainable
wealth for Canadians through the development and implementation of Integrated Fisheries
Management Plans (IFMP). These plans provide science-based information on the stock
status, current management issues and objectives, enforcement and compliance measures,
and strategies for a particular species in a given region. In 2013, IFMPs were developed for the
Canadian Atlantic Herring, the Canadian Atlantic Swordfish and Other Tunas, and for ShrimpScotian Shelf. These are in addition to the growing list of evergreen or multi-year IFMPs that
currently exist for other stocks.
In addition, the federal government supports a range of complementary initiatives. At the
national level, DFO continues to elaborate and implement the suite of policies under the
Sustainable Fisheries Framework, such as the multi-year initiative to develop a risk-based
national catch monitoring policy.
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On a regional basis, targeted initiatives are under way. For example, under the second round of
the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program, the Fraser Valley Watersheds
Coalition will receive up to $124 000 to restore salmon habitat in channels of the natural floodplain
of the Vedder River. The project will benefit Coho, Chum and Pink salmon, as well as Steelhead
and Cut-throat trout.
On the East Coast, incomes were increased through the lobster sustainability program in
Newfoundland (specifically in Fortune Bay, the southwest coast and the west coast), which
promoted voluntary reductions of lobster traps and retirement of lobster licences. The program,
which concluded in 2014, permanently removed 105 000 lobster traps from the fishery (a 36%
reduction) and 266 lobster licenses (a 24% reduction).
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the responsible federal department
respecting its FSDS commitments may be found in its Departmental Sustainable Development
Strategy. Responsible department: DFO.
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SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE
Aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry with roots that go back to 1865 when oyster production
began in Prince Edward Island. The environmental impact of the industry has grown as well,
and efforts are being made to address issues such as the use of wild fish as feed, the escape of
cultured fish and their pathogens, the use of pharmaceuticals, and the release of untreated waste.
Target 5.2: Sustainable Aquaculture
By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that
promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (including marine, freshwater and landbased) in ways that conserve biodiversity.
Progress Statements
Integrated Management of Aquaculture Plans have been completed for British Columbia
finfish and shellfish. The Plan for freshwater species is currently in development. National
aquaculture science programs are in place to inform other regulatory processes under the
Fisheries Act (for example, the Aquaculture Activities Regulations).
What we know
The entire Canadian aquaculture sector (100%) is managed under the science-based
environmental framework of the Fisheries Act and its associated regulations.
From 2011 to 2013, the compliance rate of aquaculture operations with Fisheries Act regulations
was over 99% each year. This percentage is based on the total number of charges issued
divided by the total number of aquaculture sites checked. Ensuring aquaculture operators meet
environmental protection standards helps protect our aquatic environment and conserve marine
resources for future generations.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
In renewing the Sustainable Aquaculture Program (SAP) with $54 million over five years
(2013–2018), the federal government is further improving the regulatory system for the
aquaculture sector in Canada under the Fisheries Act. This investment is targeted for three
key initiatives:
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••
Continuing support for regulatory aquaculture science ($6.5 million a year,
of which $5.4 million will directly support science and research activities);
••
Building on existing work on aquaculture regulatory reform and governance
($2.9 million a year);
••
Improving public reporting on the environmental and economic performance
of Canada’s aquaculture sector ($1.4 million a year).
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Improvements to the regulatory system include:
••
The new Aquaculture Activities Regulations, which came into force in July 2015. These
regulations clarify conditions under which aquaculture operators may treat their fish for
disease and parasites as well as deposit organic matter under sections 35 and 36 of the
Fisheries Act.
••
Amendment of Fisheries Act regulations to address barriers to industry growth while
safeguarding the environment. Currently, the aquaculture industry is subject to the following
wild capture fisheries regulations: Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985; Maritime Provinces
Fishery Regulations; and Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993. Amendments to each of these
regulations will be brought forward to address aquaculture’s unique regulatory requirements.
Aspects of the Fishery (General) Regulations, Management of Contaminated Fisheries
Regulations and Pacific Aquaculture Regulations will also be amended to address specific
operational issues and streamline authorities.
••
Ongoing bilateral cooperation with the U.S. under the Regulatory Cooperation Council’s
Joint Forward Plan to improve cooperation in environmental management of the aquaculture
sector and identify potential areas for regulatory alignment.
The federal government also continues to deliver three key national programs that
support aquaculture:
••
The National Aquatic Animal Health Program, which aims to protect Canadian aquaculture
and wild fisheries from diseases in order to maintain competitive access to seafood trade
markets;
••
The Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program, a federal food-safety program that protects
Canadians from the health risks associated with the consumption of contaminated bivalve
molluscan shellfish (for example, mussels, oysters, clams); and
••
The Introductions and Transfers program, which evaluates the risk of introducing or
transferring live fish and shellfish within a particular province, between provinces, or into
Canada from other countries, and issues approval and licenses.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the responsible federal department
respecting its FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: DFO.
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SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
Canada’s forest sector, which includes forestry and logging, pulp and paper, and wood product
manufacturing, accounted for about 1% of Canada’s total gross domestic product in 2013.
The federal government is working to maintain a vibrant forest economy while protecting the
health of forested lands and maximizing their many environmental and social benefits.
Target 5.3: Sustainable Forest Management
Contribute to the proposed national target so that by 2020, continued progress is made on
the sustainable management of Canada’s forests.
Progress Statements
Through its participation on advisory boards and committees, NRCan provides scientific
expertise to stakeholders on how to address challenges related to maintaining the sustainability
of forest ecosystems. In 2013–2014, 77 NRCan representatives sat on disturbances advisory
boards and committees, up from 73 in the previous reporting period.
What we know
The Canadian Forest Service participates on advisory boards and committees involving
governments, industry and non-governmental organizations, providing scientific knowledge
on forest ecosystems. In 2013–2014, 77 NRCan representatives sat on disturbances advisory
boards and committees, compared with 73 in the previous reporting period. As this indicator
fluctuates annually, through its representation on 123 forest ecosystem advisory boards and
committees, NRCan was within 5% of its target of participating in 128 such organizations
in 2013–2014.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Through participation in over 120 forest-ecosystem advisory boards and committees, the federal
government provides scientific expertise to stakeholders on how to address challenges related to
maintaining the sustainability of forest ecosystems.
The government also helps address national forest sector issues: for example, through the
development of a tracking system to enable reporting on the effects of climate change on
Canada’s forests, an adaptation toolkit and resources (including maps, databases, web
applications and synthesis reports) and an integrated assessment of the impacts of climate
change on Canada’s forests and forest sector are also under way.
In 2013, the federal government produced a series of 11 papers synthesizing the available
scientific research on the impacts of human development, resource use and climate change
on Canada’s boreal zone. The papers will be publicly available by the end of 2015 on the
NRCan website.
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The federal government also invested in two key initiatives to support sustainable
forest management:
••
$24 million in FPInnovations, Canada’s national industry-led forest research organization.
As a result of this 2014–2015 investment, FPInnovations will undertake research to develop
new products and increase the value of products created from Canadian wood fibre,
supporting jobs and economic prosperity.
••
The first-ever Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings
in Canada by FPInnovations was launched in 2014. Increasing the number of tall wood
buildings is a priority for the economic growth opportunity identified by Canada’s forest
industry and expands the range of choice in high-rise construction materials.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the responsible federal department
respecting the FSDS commitment for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: NRCan.
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SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
In recent decades, agriculture has undergone significant changes in response to evolving
market demands and new production technologies.
Target 5.4: Sustainable Agriculture
By 2020, agricultural working landscapes provide a stable or improved level of biodiversity
and habitat capacity.
Progress Statements
As of 2013–2014, more than 85% of ranges in the Community Pastures Program were rated
good or excellent in terms of their capacity to support biodiversity and provide habitat for
wildlife.
Ninety-five percent of farms have taken action on their Environmental Farm Plan to improve
agri-environmental risk assessment and risk mitigation.
What we know
The number of farms in Canada has decreased, while the average farm size has increased.
More specifically, both crop area as a proportion of farmland and the number of head of
livestock have increased over this time. Coupled with these changes is an increased awareness
among producers and the public of the pressures that agricultural production places on the
environment. The federal government continues to work toward indicators of wildlife habitat
capacity on farmland and environmental farm planning on agricultural land.
Learn more: visit the CESI website.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The federal government continues to play a key role in agricultural science and research. For
example, it maintains key critical sources of information and knowledge within the National
Biological Collections. These collections include the Canadian National Collection of Insects—
Arachnids and Nematodes; National Mycological Herbarium; Canadian Collection of Fungal
Cultures; AAFC National Collection of Vascular Plants; Plant Gene Resources of Canada;
Canadian Animal Genetic Resources; and Canadian Plant Virus Collection. The material and
information contained in these collections enable public and private research that benefits the
economy and trade, food and agriculture, public health and safety, monitoring of invasive alien
species, and national security. These collections are also the foundation for essential research
and development activities that help the agricultural sector adapt to changes resulting from
natural challenges, such as changes in climate, pests and diseases.
Through cost-shared programs under the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2
agricultural policy framework, provinces and territories have the flexibility to design programs
that address their environmental priorities. Programming under this five-year framework
helps farmers assess environmental risks, plan mitigation activities and increase adoption of
sustainable practices at farm and landscape levels.
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Extension practices and incentive programs can encourage the voluntary participation of
landowners in implementing land management practices that favour wildlife, such as conserving
riparian areas, adopting conservation tillage, managing woodlands, implementing rotation
grazing, converting marginal cropland to permanent cover, and conserving natural remaining
habitats. For example, Saskatchewan’s Farm Stewardship Program, with an annual budget
of $4.6 million (2013–2018), provides assistance to eligible producers to help implement
sustainable farming practices.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of the responsible federal department
respecting the FSDS commitments for this target may be found in its Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy. Responsible department: AAFC.
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SHRINKING THE
ENVIRONMENTAL
FOOTPRINT—
BEGINNING WITH
GOVERNMENT
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Shrinking the Environmental Footprint—
Beginning with Government
The Government of Canada has a broad mandate to provide services to Canadians at home
and abroad. Its extensive operational presence consists of more than 30 000 buildings owned or
leased, in excess of 16 000 on-road vehicles, and over 250 000 employees.
GOAL 6: GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND ENERGY
Reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of federal operations.
Progress Statements
Overall GHG emissions from federal operations have been reduced since 2005.
Responsible departments and agencies continue to work toward achieving their own GHG
emissions reduction targets in support of the overall federal target of 17% by 2020–2021.
Remaining Challenges
There are various opportunities for reducing energy use in existing buildings. However,
unlike vehicles and other equipment where newer technology and frequent turnover can
have a significant contribution in reducing energy consumption, projects to reduce energy
consumption in federal real property typically have longer time frames, involve more
stakeholders and require greater resources.
What we know
Federal operations consume a considerable amount of energy—to heat and cool facilities, to
fuel vehicles and equipment, and to power the daily activities of the federal workforce. This
energy consumption is tied to the release of direct and indirect GHG emissions and to overall
GHG emissions from sources not under direct control by the government such as leased
facilities, business travel and employee commuting.
Reducing GHG emissions generated by federal facilities and fleets remains the core focus of
this goal. Responsible departments and agencies are working to reduce emissions associated
with the energy used in federal buildings and fleets as well as to support activities that reduce
indirect emissions. A target has been established to address significant sources of emissions
where the government has the capacity and operational control to effect change.
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GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REDUCTION
Departments and agencies subject to the GHG emissions reduction target have quantified
their base-year emissions levels for 2005–2006 using the Federal Greenhouse Gas Tracking
Protocol, a common standard for federal organizations based on internationally accepted
principles. The aggregate of these emissions for the base year is 1391 kilotonnes (kt) in
units CO2 eq. Energy-related emissions represent approximately 97% of the GHG emissions
produced by Crown-owned buildings and fleets of 15 federal departments and agencies.
The accounting method for emissions associated with electricity use excludes ongoing
improvements to the emissions intensity of electricity from provincial power grids (“greening of
the grid”). This approach differentiates emission reductions resulting from departmental efforts
to reduce energy consumption from those accruing from the “greening of the grid.”
Target 6.1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
The Government of Canada will reduce GHG emissions from its buildings and fleet by
17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Progress Statement
In fiscal year 2013–2014, responsible departments and agencies have reduced GHG
emissions from their buildings and fleets by 2.5%, relative to fiscal year 2005–2006.
What we know
As of March 2014, the 15 responsible departments and agencies reduced annual GHG emissions
from their buildings and fleet by 2.5%, relative to fiscal year 2005–2006. This represents a
34 kt CO2 eq decrease from base-year emission levels and is comparatively smaller than
the 6% and 5% reductions observed in the previous two years.
Custodian departments responsible for managing the energy use of their buildings indicated
that weather variations from year to year had a considerable impact on the heating and cooling
demands of their buildings. Across Canada, the winter of 2013–2014 was longer and colder
than previous years (especially 2005–2006, against which the target has been set), which
largely explains the higher-than-anticipated emissions reported by many departments.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Beginning in fiscal year 2011–2012, all 15 departments established separate targets and plans to
reduce GHG emissions below base-year levels to support achievement of the government-wide
target in 2020–2021. These targets and plans are tailored to departmental circumstances and
identify emissions reduction activities within the operational control and ability of departments.
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Federal facilities
Emissions from facilities account for 91% of emissions covered by the federal GHG target.
Departments responsible for reducing GHG emissions from their Crown-owned facilities
have identified a wide range of measures to reduce energy consumption and improve energy
efficiency, such as energy audits, energy efficiency upgrades and facility retrofits. Actions
such as upgrading lighting systems with efficient light sources, fixtures and controls have
provided additional benefits beyond reducing energy use, such as improvements to the visual
environment of the workspace.
Several departments have included recommissioning and continuous building optimizations in
their plans to help building control systems meet both operational and efficiency needs. Many
departments have incorporated energy efficiency into their governance practices, established
energy management capacity, and incorporated employee engagement strategies and energy
awareness training.
Others generate renewable power on-site, or have purchased renewable power generated from
low-impact wind, solar or biomass. These initiatives help to reduce the amount of traditional
electricity consumed, further reducing emissions from purchased electricity.
Federal fleet
The federal fleet represents roughly one tenth of targeted emissions. Over half are associated
with on-road vehicles, while the balance is associated with marine vessels, aircraft and other
mobile equipment owned by federal departments.
Departments have reviewed their vehicle purchases, composition and deployment (fleet
rationalization) to contribute to a more efficient government fleet. Since 2005–2006,
departments and agencies subject to this target have reduced the number of on-road vehicles
by about 1200. Other measures include implementing regular maintenance schedules, antiidling campaigns and eco-driver training.
For instance, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reduced GHG emissions by 26% from fiscal
year 2005–2006, clearly exceeding its 17% GHG target. CRA reduced the size of its fleet,
from 90 to 67 vehicles over the same period, using a centralized fleet management model
and focusing on the “greening” and right-sizing of its fleet with the continued use of hybrid
vehicle technologies, as well as the reduction in engine size and number of cylinders where
operationally feasible. CRA also implemented initiatives such as reallocating under-utilized
vehicles across the agency, stringent tracking of vehicle kilometres driven to ensure optimal
usage, and training and communicating best practices to fleet managers and drivers.
Technological advancements in the automotive industry are also helping the government to
green its fleet, as older vehicles are replaced by more fuel-efficient models.
Detailed information about departmental plans and performance on this target may be found in
the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies:
AAFC, CBSA, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA),† DFO, DND, ECCC, Employment and Social
Development Canada (ESDC),† HC,† INAC,† Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
(IRCC),† ISED,† NRCan, PC, PSPC, TC († denotes departments and agencies reporting GHG
emissions from fleet only).
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WASTE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT
A broad range of government operations are covered by this goal, including the management of
buildings and the federal fleet, as well as an array of federally procured goods and services.
The goal includes the following Targets:
7.1: Improving the environmental performance of federal real property;
7.2: Incorporating environmental considerations in procurement and implementing the federal
Policy on Green Procurement; and
7.3: Improving the sustainability of federal workplace operations.
A fourth operational target, Target 7.4: Greening Services to Clients, was introduced in
2013–2016, which focuses on measures by departments to reduce the environmental impact
of the services to their clients.
GOAL 7: WASTE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT
Reduce waste generated and minimize the environmental impacts of assets throughout their
life cycle.
Progress Statement
The government has made progress on waste and asset management: 37 of 54 real
property projects and existing Crown-owned buildings have achieved a high level of
environmental performance, 85% of SMART green procurement targets have been achieved
(or are on track to be achieved), and 100% of FSDS departments have developed an
approach to maintain and improve the sustainability of workplace policies and practices.
Remaining Challenge
While most departments and agencies have made considerable progress under this goal, there
remain some target areas in which improvement is still expected from a few departments.
This is especially true in the area of printer rationalization and green procurement.
What we know
All 26 FSDS departments have established three Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant
and Time-bound (SMART) green procurement targets; 85% of these targets have been
achieved or are on track to be achieved. One hundred percent (100%) of FSDS departments
have developed an approach to maintain and improve the sustainability of workplace policies
and practices.
Since 2012–2013, 37 out of 54 real property projects and existing Crown-owned buildings have
achieved a high level of environmental performance.
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REAL PROPERTY ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE
This target focuses on approaches to integrating environmental decision-making in the
management of real-property energy, material, waste and water. Federal real property includes
office buildings, labs, research facilities, combined spaces, storage buildings, warehouses,
coast guard and military bases, recreational and heritage buildings, as well as many other types
of buildings owned or leased by the federal government. Improving the sustainability of real
property represents a large and promising opportunity to reduce emissions, improve energy and
resource efficiency, and save on operational and maintenance costs.
Recognizing that departments have different operational mandates and resource requirements,
the FSDS requires departments to develop a Real Property Sustainability Framework (RPSF)
that outlines their approach to implementing the Real Property (7.1) and Water Management
(8.1) targets. The RPSF is a continuation of the green building strategic frameworks that
departments got under way in FSDS 2010–2013 to manage the environmental performance
of real property projects and existing buildings.
Target 7.1: Real Property Environmental Performance
As of April 1, 2014, and pursuant to departmental Real Property Sustainability Frameworks,
an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance will be achieved in
Government of Canada real property projects and operations.
Progress Statements
Federal real property custodians continue to integrate environmental performance
considerations into real property decision-making, supporting the government’s pursuit
of its GHG emissions reduction, waste and asset management, and water management
targets, as well as utility cost savings.
To date, 37 of 54 real property projects and existing Crown-owned buildings and 26 of
36 new construction and major renovation projects have achieved an industry-recognized
level of high environmental performance since 2012–2013.
What we know
Of the existing Crown-owned buildings (over 1000 m2) and new lease or lease renewal projects
(over 1000 m2) where the Crown is the major lessee, 707 out of 2560 have been assessed since
2011–2012 for their environmental performance using an industry-recognized assessment tool.
Of the new construction, build-to-lease projects and major renovations projects, 26 out of 36 have
achieved an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance since 2012–2013.
Eleven out of 18 fit-up and refit projects have achieved an industry-recognized level of high
environmental performance since 2012–2013.
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Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Custodial departments strive to achieve a high level of environmental performance for their real
property projects and existing buildings. To rate a building’s performance, federal departments
use industry-recognized assessment and validation tools, such as the Canada Green Building
Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Building Owners and Managers
Association Building Environmental Standards and Green Globes.
Fourteen FSDS departments and agencies for which this target applies have updated their
RPSF, which defines their organization’s approach to managing the environmental performance
of new construction, build-to-lease projects, major renovations, operations and maintenance
of existing Crown-owned buildings, and new lease or lease renewal projects. Additionally, six
departments have incorporated environmental consideration clauses into the performance
evaluations of real-property managers and functional heads responsible for new construction,
leases or existing building operations.
An example of departmental efforts to improve real-property performance is NRCan’s Canmet
MATERIALS Laboratory, located in Hamilton, Ontario. The lab, a Private Public Partnership
between NRCan, McMaster Innovation Park and McMaster University, was certified LEED
Platinum in October 2013. This building uses both passive and active sustainable technologies
such as geothermal heating and cooling, radiating in-floor heating, photovoltaic cells, solar
walls, solar shades, and light-reflecting materials. With all of its energy saving and sustainable
design features, the lab is designed to reduce energy consumption by up to 70%.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: AAFC, CBSA, DFO, DND,
ECCC, HC, INAC, ISED, NRCan, PC, Canadian Heritage (PCH), PHAC, PSPC, TC, Veterans
Affairs Canada (VAC).
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GREEN PROCUREMENT
The federal government is a significant purchaser of goods and services, spending billions of dollars
annually to provide services to Canadians. To protect the environment and support sustainable
development, the federal government established the Policy on Green Procurement in 2006
and has since required that all departments identified in Section 2 of the Financial Administration
Act (including all 26 departments bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act) integrate
environmental performance considerations into their procurement decision-making processes.
Departments and agencies have identified specific targets to reduce the environmental impacts
of goods and services that they use or procure, such as information technology and audio-visual
equipment, vehicles, office furniture, printers and paper, and business travel.
Target 7.2: Green procurement
As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will continue to take action to embed
environmental considerations into public procurement, in accordance with the federal
Policy on Green Procurement.
Progress Statements
The federal government continues to make progress on implementing the Policy on Green
Procurement; for example, more than 14 600 specialists in procurement and/or materiel
management have completed training over the last 3 years.
In addition, in 2013–2014, 96% of the 26 FSDS departments included support or contribution
towards green procurement as an element in the performance evaluations of those managing
procurement and materiel management.
What we know
Over 14 600 specialists in procurement and/or materiel management across government have
completed the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course in the last 3 years.
And as of 2013–2014, 26 FSDS departments (96%) have included support or contribution
towards green procurement in the performance evaluations of managers and functional heads
of procurement and materiel management.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
The government continues to incorporate environmental considerations into its procurement
instruments for use by all government departments and agencies. Over 30 goods and services
categories have green procurement plans in place. Green procurement plans outline the key
environmental impacts for a given good or service and the procurement actions that can be
taken to mitigate these impacts. The environmental categories assessed include GHGs and
air contaminants, energy and water efficiency, ozone-depleting substances, waste, reuse and
recycling, hazardous waste, and toxic and hazardous chemicals and substances. The resulting
green scorecards identify environmental considerations taken into account in the procurement
decision-making process for each good or service, as well as future plans for incorporating
environmental criteria in federal government purchases.
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Under Target 7.2, departments and agencies have identified specific targets to reduce the
environmental impacts of goods and services that they use or procure, such as information
technology and audio-visual equipment, vehicles, office furniture, printers and paper, and
business travel. Six departments have introduced a business travel target to reduce emissions
from business-related air travel by a minimum of 25% by 2020–2021. The baseline fiscal year
for these departmental targets varies from 2005–2006 to 2008–2009. These six departments
have reduced their emissions from business travel by an average of 52.5% (29 459 t CO2 eq)
since 2008–2009.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: AAFC, ACOA, CBSA, CED,
CRA, GAC, DFO, Department of Justice Canada (JUS), DND, ECCC, ESDC, FIN, HC, INAC,
ISED, IRCC, NRCan, PC, PCH, PHAC, PS, PSPC, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS),
TC, VAC, WD.
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SUSTAINABLE WORKPLACE OPERATIONS
The sustainable workplace operations target in the 2013–2016 FSDS consolidates several
similar targets from the 2010–2013 FSDS: printer rationalization, paper consumption reduction,
greening meetings, and e-waste. It also includes new implementation strategies associated
with information technology, fleet management, office waste, employee engagement and other
corporate policies and practices, which represent activities already under way in departments.
The target requires departments to develop an approach on implementing this target in line with
their operational environment and available resources.
Target 7.3: Sustainable Workplace Operations
As of April 1, 2015, the Government of Canada will update and adopt policies and practices
to improve the sustainability of its workplace operations.
Progress Statements
The government has reduced the environmental impact of the federal workplace in a number
of key areas. From 2011 to 2014, the federal government donated over 369 000 computers,
laptops, monitors and printers to Computers for Schools (CFS), and increased the average
ratio of employees to printing units from 4:1 to 8.5:1 (shedding an estimated 27 500 units).
In addition, over 2 years, annual paper consumption dropped by about 540 million
sheets, and the use of 20 000 toner cartridges was eliminated, saving the government
approximately $4.5 million.
What we know
All 26 FSDS departments and agencies have an approach in place to maintain or improve the
sustainability of workplace policies and practices. Many departments have implemented their
own sustainability strategy, in addition to the FSDS.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Departments and agencies have undertaken actions to continuously improve workplace
operations, such as engaging employees in reducing energy and material consumption,
reducing waste, and reusing and recycling material and assets to divert waste from landfills.
For instance, the Defence Environmental Strategy (DES), along with the FSDS, provides
National Defence with the direction it needs to continue to evolve as an environmentally
responsible and sustainable organization. The DES effectively integrates and employs best
practices through life-cycle management into workplace activities and operations at an
organizational level in support of a sustainable modern military. The intent is to inform its
personnel on the environmental program and its relevance to Defence activities; to motivate
personnel to integrate environmental considerations into their activities by highlighting what
others are doing; and to show results.
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All FSDS departments and agencies follow the Government of Canada’s E-Waste Strategy,
which was launched in February 2010. It aims to prevent improper e-waste disposal and its
associated negative impacts on human health, the environment and information security by
emphasizing reuse and, where reuse is not possible, environmentally sound recycling. All
26 FSDS departments and agencies reuse or recycle their surplus electronic and electrical
equipment in an environmentally sound and secure manner where feasible.
From 2011–2014, the federal government donated over 369 000 computers, laptops, monitors
and printers to CFS, a computer reuse program led by Innovation, Science and Economic
Development Canada. The majority of the equipment was refurbished and reused in Canadian
schools, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit learning organizations. Equipment that could
not be reused or refurbished was sent for environmentally sound recycling using provincial
electronic waste recycling programs.
Internal paper consumption per employee also showed a positive trend. As of the end of fiscal
year 2013–2014, 22 of the 26 FSDS departments (85%) had reduced paper consumption
per office employee by at least 20% compared with their departmental baseline years. By
the numbers, this means that over 2 fiscal years, annual paper consumption by all FSDS
departments dropped by an estimated 540 million sheets (2700 tonnes).
In response to the green meetings target established under the 2010–2013 FSDS, 25 of
the 26 FSDS departments and agencies have adopted a green meetings guide to reduce
the environmental impacts associated with organizational meetings or events. Leading
departments have taken steps to embed the culture of green meetings within their organizations
by disseminating the guide via targeted Web communications activities, such as national
sustainable development events.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: AAFC, INAC, ACOA, CBSA,
CED, IRCC, CRA, GAC, DFO, DND, ECCC, ESDC, FIN, HC, ISED, JUS, NRCan, PC, PCH,
PHAC, PS, PSPC, TC, TBS, VAC, WD.
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GREENING SERVICES TO CLIENTS
The objective of this target is to allow departments with a significant role in delivering services to
internal and external clients to demonstrate their actions to minimize the environmental impact
of these services.
Target 7.4: Greening Services to Clients
By March 31, 2015, departments will establish SMART targets to reduce the environmental
impact of their services to clients.
Progress Statement
As this is a new and optional target, data is not yet available to provide a measure of progress.
What we know
Three FSDS departments have established targets to reduce the environmental impact of their
services to clients.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Several departments have examined how they serve their clients and implemented strategies to
reduce the environmental impact of their services.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitment for this target may be found in their Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: Optional for all departments
and agencies subject to the FSDS.
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WATER MANAGEMENT
The 2013–2016 FSDS was the first to include a goal and target on water management in
federal government operations. This new goal and target was established to demonstrate
how the government’s own operations are contributing to the wider water goal outlined under
Theme II (Maintaining Water Quality and Availability).
GOAL 8: WATER MANAGEMENT
Improve water management in federal operations.
Progress Statement
The government has added a new commitment to improve the management of water in its
real property operations.
Remaining Challenges
It is expected that federal efforts to improve management of water across the federal
real property portfolio will proceed in small, manageable steps through further integration
of environmental considerations in decision–making and greater understanding and
measurement of water consumption.
What we know
This new goal is intended to increase the awareness of water usage across departments and to
raise the capacity of custodial departments to monitor and manage their water resources more
effectively in the future to realize water and cost savings. Custodial departments are required to
outline their approaches to implement water conservation and management measures and are
encouraged to take steps to improve the availability of data on the consumption of potable water.
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WATER MANAGEMENT
The target for water management emphasizes the importance of implementing actions to improve
a department’s ability to measure water use. This information assists departmental decision-making
and future government-wide actions related to water management in federal real-property operations.
Target 8.1: Water Management
As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will take further action to improve water
management within its real property portfolio.
Progress Statement
All 15 custodial FSDS departments and agencies are making strides to improve water
management in their real property operations and identify priority areas for action.
What we know
Of applicable FSDS departments and agencies, 13 (87%) have established an approach to
improving water management in their real property operations. For 2015–2016, 7 departments
have indicated that 11 196 893 m² (16%) of floor space of planned new Crown-owned construction
and major renovation projects will include water metering.
Activity under the 2013–2016 FSDS
Government-wide water consumption measurement and tracking mechanisms and water
conservation targets continue to be medium- and longer-term objectives. However, the range
in the scope of objectives may vary due to the diverse nature of federal-real property facilities
and operations, shared responsibilities for real property management across government, and
variability of information management systems.
Increasing the metering of water usage for both existing and new facilities is critical for better
water management within government operations. Increased metering and monitoring through
potable water audits allow organizations to identify leaks, anticipate repairs and assess water
efficiency measures in order to inform operational improvements and targeted investments.
The conservation of potable water can be improved by using lower-quality water to flush toilets,
for washing, and for uses in building operations (such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
and landscape irrigation. Several custodial departments have implemented water conservation
through the introduction of technology, or new processes or designs, and by encouraging building
occupants to be water conscious.
Management of stormwater run-off is another important element to improve the overall
management of water. Managing stormwater run-off can minimize impacts to the natural
hydrology from facilities and associated grounds.
Detailed information about the plans and performance of federal departments and agencies
respecting their FSDS commitments for this target may be found in their Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategies. Responsible departments and agencies: AAFC, CBSA,
DFO, DND, ECCC, HC, INAC, ISED, NRCan, PC, PCH, PHAC, PSPC, TC, VAC.
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BEHIND
THE SCENES
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ABOUT THE CONTENTS
The Executive Summary provides high-level snapshots as of 2015 of the progress of the
implementation of the 2013–2016 Strategy. The goals and targets presented in the report
were included in the 2013–2016 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that was tabled
in Parliament in November 2013; they will remain in effect until the next FSDS is tabled in
Parliament.
Subsequent sections provide contextual information about the challenges being addressed—as
well as those remaining—to support a fair and balanced presentation of the extent and nature
of progress made. Links throughout the report ensure that readers can access further detail
and updates as these become available. Annex D of this report also sets out notes and data
considerations that supplement the information provided by the indicators.
For specific information about the programming contributions and financial commitments made
by the 33 participating federal departments and agencies toward their commitments in the
2013–2016 FSDS, readers are also encouraged to explore the departmental websites of FSDS
departments and agencies. Departments report annually on their progress under the FSDS
through Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies. These reports provide the most
detailed and current information on what departments have taken on and what they have done
to support the implementation of the 2013–2016 FSDS.
What We Know: Indicator Updates
This progress report presents the federal government’s progress in implementing the FSDS as
shown by the indicators of the 2013–2016 FSDS. To put the indicator results into context, it should
be noted that while federal actions contribute to the achieving environmental outcomes, many
other factors also play a role, including time. In some cases, results of initiatives may quickly
become evident, while in other cases considerable time may be required for the environment to
recover from a particular state or respond to specific efforts.
The indicators used to track progress were identified over the course of the development of the
2013–2016 FSDS. Many are part of the suite of indicators provided by the Canadian Environmental
Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program; others are drawn from departmental performance
reporting. In a few cases, interim indicators are presented to provide some meaningful information
about targets while the development of more comprehensive indicators is still under way (for example,
the indicators concerning climate change adaptation).
While specific notes on data considerations are provided in Annex D, some broad principles and
issues about the data sources and methods used by CESI are provided below for additional
context about the results reported.
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CESI indicators are developed using scientifically recognized and valid methodology. The data
used to calculate indicators are credible, robust and of high quality; they originate from a variety
of sources.
In most cases, the data collected are subject to rigorous data quality assurance and quality
control processes and are also reviewed and validated by experts. Nevertheless, detailed and
robust data are not always readily available to develop “state-of-the-art” indicators—sometimes
proxy or representative data sources must be used even though they do not permit an
assessment of the full area under examination.
There is often a time lag between the last year of data available and the year of publication of
the indicators. The time lag is due to several important but time-consuming operations such as
verification of data, databases compilation, data analysis and reporting. The indicators are then
developed, validated, and material is drafted. The indicators then undergo a thorough technical
review before final approval and publication. Indicator values may also be influenced over time
by one or more factors, including economic conditions, natural variation, weather and global
developments.
Each CESI indicator is accompanied by a data sources and methods (DSM) document that
includes the rationale for the indicator, a description of methods used to develop it, the spatial
and temporal coverage of the data, and caveats and limitations. The DSM provides users of the
data and indicators with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the information
presented.
The performance measures related to the greening of government operations, established
over the course of the development of the 2010–2013 FSDS and the 2013–2016 FSDS, are
drawn from the information contained in the Theme IV section of the Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy (DSDS) Supplementary Information Table in annual departmental
reports. Where there are common indicators specified, the data are aggregated to indicate
government-wide progress. In other cases, such as for green procurement, unique departmental
mandates and activities lead to varying departmental performance measures, which do not
allow for compilation of government-wide results.
Assessing progress on greening government operations relies on either measuring the
outcome or a proxy for an outcome. For example, the federal government measures the
overall federal achievement in reducing GHG emissions from data supplied by departments
using a standardized methodology, while other indicators require departments to demonstrate
the implementation or completion of specific activities that will contribute to reducing the
government’s environmental footprint (for example, that departments have a plan in place to
deal with electronic and electrical surplus equipment).
For greening government operations, 26 departments and agencies are responsible for
gathering the data and performance information and reporting on the applicable performance
measures outlined in the DSDS Supplementary Information Table. These data allow the
government to aggregate the information and prepare a complete, accurate and balanced
account of overall progress by the government in reducing its environmental footprint.
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Who Was Involved
Under the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the Sustainable Development Office
(SDO) is responsible for providing the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with a
Progress Report every three years for tabling in both Chambers of Parliament. The SDO
led the development of this report, working with the information provided by the 33 FSDS
departments and agencies; however, specific departmental contributions to progress under
the 2013–2016 FSDS are fully presented on the websites of departments listed in Annex B.
For more information about how the FSDS departments and agencies support FSDS
implementation and monitoring, please see the FSDS Management Framework.
A Word about Timing
While much of the report was completed over the summer of 2015, more recent data has been
included where possible. Readers are encouraged to consult the CESI website for the most
up-to-date information on environmental sustainability indicators included in the CESI suite as it
becomes available.
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Annex A Clean Air Agenda
As a legislated and permanent framework for reporting on federal initiatives supporting sustainable
development, the FSDS provides the vehicle for public reporting on the overall progress of the
Clean Air Agenda (CAA) at a government-wide level. Individual CAA departments also report
annually through their DSDS on the specific CAA activities for which they are responsible. The
CAA programming is integrated into the implementation strategies of the 2013–2016 FSDS.
The CAA (which expires on March 31, 2016) represents collaborative efforts within the federal
government and with other jurisdictions to realize health, economic and environmental benefits
for Canadians. These initiatives were organized as follows:
••
Theme: Clean Air Regulatory Agenda (CARA) seeks to reduce GHG and air pollutant
emissions by supporting regulatory actions in the industrial, transport, and consumer
and commercial products sectors. CARA also supports other important air quality efforts,
including the development of codes and standards for indoor and outdoor air quality.
••
Theme: Clean Energy seeks to improve environmental performance by advancing clean
electricity and cleaner energy production, increasing the use of alternative fuels, and
improving end-use energy efficiencies.
••
Theme: Clean Transportation aims to reduce GHG and air pollutant emissions from the
transportation sector through the development of transportation sector regulations and nextgeneration clean transportation initiatives.
••
Theme: Adaptation helps Canadians adapt to the challenges of climate change. These
initiatives seek to reduce risk to communities, industry, infrastructure, and the health and
safety of Canadians while realizing economic benefits and maintaining competitiveness from
innovations responding to climate change.
••
Theme: International Actions support the Government of Canada’s broad efforts to
reduce GHG and air pollutant emissions and address climate change by participating in
international partnerships and negotiations, and by helping to ensure that international
obligations are met.
The federal partners are: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans
Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Health Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada,
National Research Council Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, Public Health
Agency of Canada, Standards Council of Canada, and Transport Canada. For more information
regarding the CAA, see the Departmental Sustainable Developments Strategies for these
federal partners.
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CLEAN AIR AGENDA 2012–2014—Spending by Department and Theme
2012–2013
CLEAN AIR AGENDA PROGRAMMING
by Department and Theme
2013–2014
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
ADAPTATION
29.82
27.35
35.04
32.31
CLEAN AIR REGULATORY AGENDA
122.86
99.13
114.54
96.06
CLEAN ENERGY
109.51
85.75
105.99
101.42
CLEAN TRANSPORTATION
27.32
20.43
37.44
25.78
INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
11.84
9.62
10.66
9.66
301.35
242.28
303.67
265.23
8.48
8.24
8.72
8.57
107.32
84.11
98.86
83.76
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
3.57
3.40
5.18
4.91
Global Affairs Canada
2.03
0.96
0.70
0.70
Health Canada
31.46
28.03
31.25
25.83
Summary by CAA Theme
Theme Total
Summary by CAA Department
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada
1.80
1.80
1.80
1.80
114.55
91.07
115.44
109.92
Parks Canada Agency
0.51
0.47
0.52
0.51
Public Health Agency of Canada
3.10
2.60
2.20
1.80
Standards Council of Canada
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
Transport Canada
28.03
21.10
38.50
26.93
301.35
242.28
303.67
265.23
Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program for Aboriginals
and Northerners
4.36
4.30
4.60
4.65
Integrating Adaptation into Codes and Standards for
Northern Infrastructure
0.19
0.17
0.19
0.17
3.93
3.77
3.93
3.75
5.76
4.87
5.78
4.94
Analysis in Support of Regulations
5.47
3.65
5.82
4.20
Atmospheric Pollutants Policy
3.04
1.87
2.95
2.01
Atmospheric Research, Monitoring and Modelling
18.21
13.27
18.41
13.29
Compliance Promotion and Enforcement
6.72
4.87
6.68
5.32
National Research Council Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Department Total
By Individual Department
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
ADAPTATION
CLEAN ENERGY
ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities
Environment and Climate Change Canada
ADAPTATION
Climate Change Prediction and Scenarios Program
CLEAN AIR REGULATORY AGENDA
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2012–2013
CLEAN AIR AGENDA PROGRAMMING
by Department and Theme
2013–2014
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Consumer and Commercial Products Regulations
2.06
1.45
1.20
1.02
Cross–Cutting Analysis
3.13
2.68
3.13
2.19
Cross–Cutting Data Collection and Reporting
3.02
1.55
3.05
2.19
Data Collection and Reporting for Atmospheric Pollutants
8.48
7.54
8.46
7.97
Data Collection and Reporting for Greenhouse Gases
7.63
5.73
7.71
5.37
Electricity Regulations
2.69
1.92
1.38
1.67
Emissions–Intensive Trade–Exposed Regulations
7.13
4.44
3.51
4.51
Greenhouse Gas Policy
4.60
3.91
4.60
4.25
Health and Environmental Impacts of Air Pollutants
2.91
3.19
3.14
2.88
Oil and Gas Regulations
6.24
5.34
3.13
4.69
Oil Sands Science
2.84
2.80
2.84
2.88
Science Integration, Accountability and Benefits of Action
0.87
0.38
0.78
0.36
Transportation Regulations
8.56
8.74
8.49
7.74
2.39
1.30
2.08
1.13
Engagement and Alignment with U.S.
(U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue)
0.70
0.47
0.85
0.67
International Climate Change Obligations
0.34
0.31
0.34
0.33
International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations
4.53
3.83
4.53
4.15
3.57
3.40
5.18
4.91
International Climate Change Obligations
0.61
0.61
0.69
0.69
International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations
1.42
0.35
0.01
0.01
Climate Change and Health Adaptation for
Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities
2.32
2.06
2.11
2.13
Heat Alert and Response Systems (Heat Resiliency Program)
1.68
1.97
1.68
1.98
Atmospheric Pollutants Policy
5.18
4.31
5.18
4.31
Atmospheric Research, Monitoring and Modelling
5.92
4.61
5.92
3.75
Data Collection and Reporting for Atmospheric Pollutants
2.68
2.45
2.68
2.97
Health and Environmental Impacts of Air Pollutants
2.62
2.05
2.62
2.19
Indoor Air Quality Management—Biological and
Chemical Contaminants
1.86
2.09
1.86
2.01
CLEAN TRANSPORTATION
Marine Sector Regulatory Initiative
INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
ADAPTATION
Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program
Global Affairs Canada
INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
Health Canada
ADAPTATION
CLEAN AIR REGULATORY AGENDA
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2012–2013
CLEAN AIR AGENDA PROGRAMMING
by Department and Theme
2013–2014
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Indoor Air Quality Management—Radioactive Contaminants
6.10
6.69
6.10
5.01
Science Integration, Accountability and Benefits of Action
3.10
1.80
3.10
1.48
1.80
1.80
1.80
1.80
Forest Disturbances Science and Application
(Canadian Forest Service)
0.99
0.92
0.99
0.93
Climate Change Geoscience and Adaptation
(Minerals and Metals Sector)
0.25
0.25
0.25
0.25
Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate
(Earth Sciences Sector)
3.49
3.87
7.90
7.26
Clean Energy Policy
2.33
1.86
2.33
1.94
ecoENERGY for Alternative Fuels
0.57
0.39
0.57
0.64
ecoENERGY Efficiency
38.00
37.83
37.59
34.83
ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative
63.87
41.60
60.76
59.81
Marine Renewable Energy Enabling Measures
0.81
0.30
0.81
0.45
1.15
1.07
1.15
0.95
International Participation/Negotiations
in Climate Change
1.11
1.08
1.11
0.98
Forestry Carbon Policy and Monitoring
1.98
1.90
1.98
1.88
0.51
0.47
0.52
0.51
3.10
2.60
2.20
1.80
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
National Research Council Canada
CLEAN AIR REGULATORY AGENDA
Indoor Air Quality Strategies and Solutions
Natural Resources Canada
ADAPTATION
Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate
CLEAN ENERGY
INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
Engagement and Alignment with U.S.
(U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue)
International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations
Parks Canada Agency
ADAPTATION
Understanding Climate-Driven Ecological Changes in
Canada’s North
Public Health Agency of Canada
ADAPTATION
Preventative Public Health Systems and Adaptation to a
Changing Climate
Standards Council of Canada
ADAPTATION
Integrating Adaptation into Codes and Standards for
Northern Infrastructure
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2012–2013
CLEAN AIR AGENDA PROGRAMMING
by Department and Theme
2013–2014
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
Planned
Spending
($ million)
Actual
Spending
($ million)
3.10*
1.97
3.14
2.28
Aviation Sector Regulatory Initiative
2.97
2.54
2.77
2.51
Marine Sector Regulatory Initiative
4.81
4.48
4.32
4.16
Rail Sector Regulatory Initiative
4.03
2.34
3.55
3.00
Support for Vehicle GHG Emissions Regulations
2.26
2.15
2.06
1.90
ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles II Initiative
8.25
6.49
8.56
7.61
Gateway Carbon Footprint Initiative
0.41
0.19
0.39
0.14
Shore Power Technology for Ports Program
0.49
0.43
10.98
4.96
1.71**
0.51
2.73
0.37
Transport Canada
ADAPTATION
Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative*
CLEAN TRANSPORTATION
Truck Reservation System Program**
(Figures are rounded.)
Notes:
Figures exclude those accommodation costs that are supported by Public Services and Procurement Canada.
* The planned spending was adjusted to $2.56 million to account for the 2012–2013 approved re-profile of $0.54 million to
future fiscal years.
** The planned spending was adjusted to $0.92 million to account for the 2012–2013 approved re-profile of $0.73 million to
future fiscal years.
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Annex B List of Departments
and Agencies
The Federal Sustainable Development Act requires the following departments and agencies
to table sustainable development strategies.
1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
2. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
3. Canada Border Services Agency
4. Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
5. Canada Revenue Agency
6. Canadian Heritage
7. Department of Finance Canada
8. Department of Justice Canada
9. Employment and Social Development Canada
10.Environment and Climate Change Canada
11.Fisheries and Oceans Canada
12.Global Affairs Canada
13.Health Canada
14.Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
15.Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
16.Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
17.National Defence
18.Natural Resources Canada
19.Parks Canada
20.Public Health Agency of Canada
21.Public Safety Canada
22.Public Services and Procurement Canada
23.Transport Canada
24.Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
25.Veterans Affairs Canada
26.Western Economic Diversification Canada
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While not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the following organizations
have contributed implementation strategies to the 2013–2016 Federal Sustainable
Development Strategy.
1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency
2. Correctional Service Canada
3. National Energy Board
4. National Research Council Canada
5. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
6. Standards Council of Canada
7. Statistics Canada
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Annex C List of Abbreviations
AHI: Air Health Indicator
AOC: Areas of Concern
AQHI: Air Quality Health Index
AQMS: Air Quality Management System
BOD: Biochemical oxygen demand
CAA: Clean Air Agenda [Annex A]
CARA: Clean Air Regulatory Agenda [Annex A]
CBD: Convention on Biological Diversity [Annex D]
CCAC: Climate and Clean Air Coalition
Cd: Cadmium
CESI: Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators
CFS: Computers for Schools
CHMS: Canadian Health Measures Survey
CMP: Chemicals Management Plan
CO: Carbon monoxide
CO2: Carbon dioxide
CO2 eq: Carbon dioxide equivalent
DPR: Departmental Performance Report
DSM: Data sources and methods
DSDS: Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
E2 Plan: Environmental Emergency Plan
ECA: Emission Control Area
eTV: ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles Program
FCSAP: Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan
FEQG: Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines
FSDS: Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
GHG: Greenhouse gas
GLWQA: Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
GWP: Global Warming Potential [Annex D]
HARS: Heat Alert and Response System
HFC: Hydrofluorocarbon
HSP: Habitat Stewardship Program
ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization
IFMP: Integrated Fisheries Management Plans
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IJC: International Joint Commission
IOM: Integrated Oceans Management
kg: Kilogram(s)
km2: Square kilometres
kt: Kilotonne
LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
MPA: Marine Protected Area
m2: Square metres
Mt: Megatonne
MSWG: Mobile Sources Working Group
NASP: National Aerial Surveillance Program
NAWMP: North American Waterfowl Management Plan
NH3: Ammonia
NIR: National Inventory Report
NO2: Nitrogen dioxide
NOX: Nitrogen oxide
O3: Ozone
Pb: Lead
PBDE: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
PERC: Tetrachloroethylene
PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonate
PM2.5: Fine particulate matter
PPER: Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations
RCC: Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council
RPSF: Real Property Sustainability Framework
SARA: Species at Risk Act
SDO: Sustainable Development Office
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time–bound
SO2: Sulphur dioxide
SoD: South of the Divide
SOPF : Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund
SOX: Sulfur oxide
STDC: Sustainable Development Technology Canada
TSS: Total suspended solids
U.S.: United States
VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds
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The following abbreviations are used to indicate federal organizations that lead, or share
the accountability for, specific implementation strategies.
AAFC: Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada
ACOA: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
CBSA: Canada Border Services Agency
CED: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
CFIA: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
CRA: Canada Revenue Agency
CSC: Correctional Service Canada
DFO: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
DND: National Defence
ECCC: Environment and Climate Change Canada
ESDC: Employment and Social Development Canada
FIN: Department of Finance Canada
GAC: Global Affairs Canada
HC: Health Canada
INAC: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
IRCC: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
ISED: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
JUS: Department of Justice Canada
NEB: National Energy Board
NRC: National Research Council Canada
NRCan: Natural Resources Canada
PC: Parks Canada
PCH: Canadian Heritage
PHAC: Public Health Agency of Canada
PS: Public Safety Canada
PSPC: Public Services and Procurement Canada
RCMP: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
SCC–CCN: Standards Council of Canada
StatCan: Statistics Canada
TBS: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
TC: Transport Canada
VAC: Veterans Affairs Canada
WD: Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Annex D Data Considerations
and Notes
GOAL 1: CLIMATE CHANGE—In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels and adapt to unavoidable impacts.
Indicator: National greenhouse gas emissions
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The GHGs included in estimates are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide
(N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and
nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
••
Carbon dioxide equivalent is a measure used to compare the emissions from various GHGs
based upon their global warming potential.
••
The data used for this indicator are from Canada’s National Inventory Report. The inventory
uses internationally agreed methodologies and reporting format.
TARGET 1.1: CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION—Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce
Canada’s total GHG emissions 17% by 2020
Indicator: Progress toward Canada’s GHG emissions reduction target
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The indicator is based on the 2015 National Inventory Report on Greenhouse Gas Sources
and Sinks in Canada (NIR), 1990–2013. The 2015 NIR includes revisions to historical
emissions based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines, which
incorporate updated global warming potentials (GWP). For example, the 100-year GWP
for methane is now 25, compared with 21 in previous years. This results in an increase in
historic emissions compared with last year’s NIR.
••
The future level of GHG emissions in Canada depends on a number of factors. Changes
in the current or future context for any of these parameters would change the currently
projected GHG levels.
TARGET 1.2: CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION—Facilitate reduced vulnerability of
individuals, communities, regions and economic sectors to the impacts of climate change
through the development and provision of information and tools.
Indicator: Number of Canadian communities with Heat Alert and Response Systems
Indicator: Number of community-based research projects funded to address climate change
and health adaptation in First Nations and Inuit communities in northern Canada
Indicator: Number of new knowledge products indicator
Indicator: Number of communities implementing adaptation plans and measures
Indicator: Number of new and revised codes and standards and guidelines for infrastructure in
the North being adopted
Data Considerations and Notes
••
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This target is new to the 2013–2016 FSDS.
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GOAL 2: AIR POLLUTION—Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians
breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems.
Indicator: Air quality indicators
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The methodologies, limitations and assumptions associated with these indicators can be
found in the CESI Data Sources and Methods for the Air Quality Indicators.
••
Monitoring stations are selected with the help of time-series criteria for the calculation of the
air quality indicators. As a result, the number of stations selected may vary from one release
date to another.
TARGET 2.1: OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS—Improve outdoor air quality by ensuring
compliance with new or amended regulated emission limits by 2020 and thus reducing
emissions of air pollutants in support of Air Quality Management System (AQMS) objectives.
Indicator: National air pollutant emissions
Indicator: Air health indicator—Ozone and fine particulate matter
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The methodologies, limitations and assumptions associated with these indicators can be
found in the CESI Data Sources and Methods for the Air Pollutant Emissions Indicators.
••
The methodologies for estimating and compiling air pollutant emissions summaries and
analyzing trends are improved yearly. Improvements to data completeness are also made
periodically as new emission estimation methodologies are adopted and additional information
is made available. Nevertheless, it was not possible to update some area sources emissions
for 2013 due to activity level statistics not being available at the time of the compilation.
••
The Air Health Indicator (AHI) is an indicator in development. It focuses on the mortality risk
from cardiopulmonary diseases as a whole for ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
in communities with the best available data. The AHI work does not include assessments
of the potential reasons behind changes in mortality attributable to air pollutant exposure.
••
Due to the complexity of mortality data collection, the AHI data lags other data sets. Currently
AHI modeling is completed for 1990 to 2007. Indicators values reported for 2008 to 2010 are
approximated using the averages of annual national risk estimates from the previous periods
(1990 to 2007 for O3 and 2001 to 2007 for PM2.5) and should be considered as preliminary.
••
This target was reported as Target 6.2 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 2.2: INDOOR AIR QUALITY—Help protect the health of Canadians by providing
health-based guidance and tools to support actions to better manage indoor air quality.
Indicator: Actions to manage indoor air quality that incorporate health-based guidance
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Health Canada has also conducted field research to investigate sources of residential indoor
air quality and impacts of intervention studies.
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GOAL 3: WATER QUALITY AND WATER QUANTITY—Protect and enhance water so that it
is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.
Indicator: Drinking water advisories in Canada
Indicator: Freshwater quality in Canadian rivers
Indicator: Water quantity in Canadian rivers
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The water quantity and quality indicators only assess surface waters. Groundwater is not
considered in the indicators.
••
Most water quantity and quality monitoring stations in Canada are located in populated
areas and do not represent the country’s entire geographic extent or all its watersheds.
••
To dampen temporal variability in the water quality results caused by annual fluctuations in
weather and hydrology, three years of data are combined to produce the results.
••
The freshwater quality indicator does not directly measure biological integrity; it measures
whether physical and chemical characteristics of freshwaters are acceptable for aquatic life.
••
Normal water quantity does not mean there are not areas within the drainage region with too
much or not enough water for some period of the year.
••
The Drinking Water Advisories in Canada indicator presents an overall view of the trends
emerging in the system and does not focus on the specific data for any particular province,
territory or agency It is important to note that percentages reported in this report may differ
from previous and future reports as historic data are added to the system and as adoption of
the Drinking Water Advisories application expands to new agencies.
TARGET 3.1: ON–RESERVE FIRST NATIONS WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS—
Increase the percentage of on-reserve First Nations water systems with low risk ratings from
27% to 50% by 2015. Increase the percentage of on-reserve First Nations wastewater systems
with low risk ratings from 35% to 70% by 2015.
Indicator: First Nations water and wastewater system risk
Data Considerations and Notes
128
••
Only INAC-funded First Nations water and wastewater systems on reserves across Canada
are included.
••
The overall number of systems actually inspected varies slightly from year to year due to
eligibility criteria or conditions that determine if, or to what extent, a system is subject to
an inspection. For example, brand-new systems or freshly renovated systems may not be
subject to an inspection.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.10 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
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TARGET 3.2: DRINKING WATER QUALITY—Help protect the health of Canadians by
developing up to 15 water quality guidelines/guidance documents by 2016.
Indicator: Water quality guidelines/guidance documents
Data Considerations and Notes
••
This target was reported as Target 3.11 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.3: GREAT LAKES–CANADIAN AREAS OF CONCERN—Take federal actions
to restore beneficial uses for delisting of five Canadian Areas of Concern and to reduce the
number of impaired beneficial uses in the remaining Areas of Concern by 25% by 2018.
Indicator: Restoring the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC)
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Each AOC is assessed separately. Most initial assessments were published between 1989
and 1993.
••
The reporting process is unique for each AOC and reflects the specific needs and activities
in each area. As a result, data availability varies across AOCs.
••
The beneficial use status findings are gathered from the Remedial Action Plans and update
reports published by the groups working to delist the AOCs. For this reason, a status can
only change when new reports are published. While useful in many respects, this reporting
process does not reflect the continuous nature of the rehabilitation process and results in
staggered status changes.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.1 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.4: GREAT LAKES—Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes
by developing and gaining binational acceptance of objectives for the management of nutrients
in Lake Erie by 2016 and for the other Great Lakes as required.
Indicator: Phosphorus levels in the Great Lakes
Data Considerations and Notes
••
This indicator reflects the overall state of phosphorus levels in the offshore of the Great
Lakes and does not indicate near-shore phosphorus levels. Offshore data from the U.S.
is not included in this indicator.
••
Water quality for each Great Lake is determined by comparing average spring offshore
total phosphorus concentrations with the lake’s water quality objective.
••
Interim objectives for phosphorus concentration in the Great Lakes have been set in the
amended 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).
••
The 2012 Canada–U.S. GLWQA stipulates that the State of the Lakes reports is to be
published every three years. The last report published in 2014 presented data up to 2011;
the next report will be published in 2017.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.2 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
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TARGET 3.5: ST. LAWRENCE RIVER—Take federal actions to reduce pollutants to improve
water quality, conserve biodiversity and ensure beneficial uses in the St. Lawrence River by 2016.
Indicator: Phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the St. Lawrence River
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations do not capture the effect of spills or other
transient events, unless these are frequent or long-lasting.
••
Comparing this indicator with similar indicators for lakes requires a degree of caution. In
rivers, total phosphorus concentrations are influenced by suspended particles in the water
that increase during high-flow events.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.3 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.6: LAKE SIMCOE AND SOUTH-EASTERN GEORGIAN BAY—Reduce an
estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to Lake Simcoe by 2017, which will support the
Province of Ontario’s target to reduce phosphorus inputs into Lake Simcoe to 44 000 kg
per year by 2045. Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to South-eastern
Georgian Bay watersheds by 2017.
Indicator: Reducing phosphorus loads to Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Estimates/predictions assume that each management project is 100% effective and that
reductions in phosphorus flows to surface waters achieved are permanent. The indicator
does not directly measure the amount of phosphorus actually diverted from the lake.
••
The Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund program relies on the
most appropriate, current and accepted equations to predict phosphorus loading reductions
resulting from the implementation of beneficial management practices.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.4 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.7: LAKE WINNIPEG BASIN—By 2017, reduce phosphorus inputs to water bodies
in the Lake Winnipeg basin, in support of the Province of Manitoba’s overall plan to reduce
phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg by 50% to pre-1990 levels.
Indicator: Phosphorus and nitrogen levels in Lake Winnipeg
Indicator: Reducing phosphorus loads to Lake Winnipeg
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The Phosphorus and Nitrogen Levels in Lake Winnipeg indicator does not show the effect of
spills or other transient events unless these are frequent or long-lasting.
••
The calculation of the indicators for the major tributaries and the lake are slightly different.
This difference exists because total phosphorus concentrations in rivers are influenced by
suspended particles in the water, which may increase during high-flow events.
•• Estimates/predictions assume that each management project is 100% effective and that
reductions in phosphorus flows to surface waters achieved are permanent. The indicator
does not directly measure the amount of phosphorus actually diverted from the lake.
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•• The program relies on the most appropriate, current and accepted equations to
predict phosphorus loading reductions resulting from the implementation of beneficial
management practices.
••
This target was reported in the 2010–2013 FSDS as Target 3.5. This target was achieved,
and subsequently the current (new) target was developed.
TARGET 3.8: MARINE POLLUTION—RELEASES OF HARMFUL POLLUTANTS—Protect the
marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants
in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013–2016.
Indicator: Number of marine pollution spills from identified vessels
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The difference between total spills and spills by identified vessels represents spills that were
detected but for which the source is unknown.
••
Between 2009–2010 and 2013–2014, the National Aerial Surveillance Program increased
the number of patrol hours from 2274 to 3877 hours, contributing to the increase in the
number of vessels over-flown and the spills detected from identified vessels.
••
This target was introduced for the first time in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
TARGET 3.9: MARINE POLLUTION—DISPOSAL AT SEA—Ensure that permitted disposal at
sea is sustainable, such that 85% of disposal site monitoring events do not identify the need for
site management action (such as site closure) from 2013–2016.
Indicator: Managing disposal at sea
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Disposal sites are monitored on a representative basis. Not all disposal sites used each year
are monitored. Between 2005 and 2014, the number of monitored sites per year fluctuated
between 6 and 20 sites.
••
This target was reported in combination with Target 3.8 (the combined target was Target 3.9
Marine Water Quality) in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.10: AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE METRICS—Achieve a value
between 81–100 on each of the Water Quality and Soil Quality Agri-Environmental Performance
Metrics by March 31, 2030.
Indicator: Soil and water quality indicators for agriculture
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The two national indices for this target are calculated using indicator models developed
at a local level. The local results are scaled to the national scale, which can mean that
information to help determine actual physical causes of problems in specific locations is lost
or inaccurate.
••
The indicator for soil contamination by trace elements was only calculated for the years 1981
and 2006. For years in between, an interpolated value was included in the index calculation.
••
This target was introduced for the first time in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
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TARGET 3.11: WASTEWATER AND INDUSTRIAL EFFLUENT—Reduce risks associated with
effluent from wastewater (sewage) and industrial sectors by 2020.
Indicator: Managing metal mining effluent quality in Canada
Indicator: Managing pulp and paper effluent quality in Canada
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The indicators consider whether self-reported effluent samples are meeting regulations.
They do not measure impact of the effluent on the environment.
••
Groundwater is not considered in these indicators.
••
Data collection for the wastewater indicator will begin in February 2016, and for this reason,
progress on wastewater treatment cannot yet be reported.
••
This target was reported as Target 3.7 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 3.12: WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT—Facilitate sustainable water resource
management through the collection of data and the development and dissemination of
knowledge from 2013–2016.
Data Considerations and Notes
••
This target was reported as Target 4.1 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
GOAL 4: CONSERVING AND RESTORING ECOSYSTEMS, WILDLIFE AND HABITAT,
AND PROTECTING CANADIANS—Resilient ecosystems with healthy wildlife populations
so Canadians can enjoy benefits from natural spaces, resources and ecological services for
generations to come.
Indicator: General Status of Species in Canada
Indicator: Level of exposure to substances of concern
Data Considerations and Notes
132
••
Species are often present in multiple provinces or territories, and there are separate
rankings by region for the same species.
••
The ranking for a given species is first done at the regional level. The ranks can be quite
different depending on the range and condition of the population across regions. The
process of establishing the rank for Canada usually involves selecting the highest regional
rank with exceptions related to breeding areas and the proportion of a species’ range within
a region. The average of the ranks by region is not an appropriate measure of the overall
status of a species in the context of the whole country.
••
The indicator for general status of species only represents biodiversity at the species level
and does not report on genetic and ecosystem diversity.
••
The General Status of Species in Canada indicator is generated and released every
five years; the next update is anticipated for fall 2016.
••
The indicator for level of exposure to substances of concern is currently under development.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
TARGET 4.1: SPECIES AT RISK—By 2020, populations of species at risk listed under federal
law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.
Indicator: Species at risk population trends
Data Considerations and Notes
••
While the indicator coverage is national, significant variations in information availability
exist. Species knowledge is greatest in southern Canada, in part because the area is more
accessible, and in part because more species at risk inhabit southern Canada.
••
Species require time to recover, and long-lived species may require many decades. As such,
the results should not be interpreted as a measure of recovery success until sufficient time has
passed to allow species to recover and to collect sufficient information to assess that recovery.
••
Determining population trends in rare species can present some challenges. For many of
these species, individuals are difficult to find and identify.
••
A pilot version of this indicator was reported as Target 5.1 in the 2012 FSDS Progress Report.
TARGET 4.2: MIGRATORY BIRDS—Improve the proportion of migratory bird species that meet
their population goals.
Indicator: Population status of Canada’s migratory birds
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Population goals take into account human uses of birds, such as hunting or bird watching,
as well as the role of birds in our ecosystems. As societal needs change and science
progresses, it is to be expected that these goals will be refined over time.
••
The indicator is restricted to species considered under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
and those that regularly reside in Canada. Groups of species such as raptors and corvids
are not included.
••
Species that are within the acceptable range may still be of conservation concern. Examples
might include cases where trends are negative or where a species remains at the lower
end of the range for a number of years. Similarly, if a group of related species are near the
boundaries of the acceptable range, it may signal the need for management intervention.
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TARGET 4.3: TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS AND HABITAT STEWARDSHIP—Contribute
to the proposed national target so that by 2020 at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland
water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based
conservation measures.
Indicator: Canada’s protected areas—terrestrial area
Indicator: Habitat secured for waterfowl
Indicator: Habitat secured for species at risk
Indicator: Total land area identified that is key to migratory birds and species at risk
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The indicator for the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk presents a measure
of the quantity of habitat secured, not a measure of the success of species conservation or
recovery, or of the quality of habitat secured.
••
Areas addressed by the three conservation indicators may overlap.
••
Information is not available on the total land identified that is key to migratory birds and
species at risk.
••
This target was reported as Target 6.1 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 4.4: IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF NATIONAL PARKS—Improve the condition of at
least one Ecological Integrity Indicator in 20 national parks by 2015.
Indicator: Ecological integrity of national parks
Data Considerations and Notes
134
••
Parks Canada regularly publishes reports on the state of national parks. The next State of
Canada’s Natural and Historic Places report is expected in 2016, and will be published every
5 years after that.
••
Parks are not isolated from the surrounding environment. Local context, such as the land
use surrounding the park, and global-level changes like climate change, also affect the state
of park ecosystems.
••
This target was reported as Target 6.2 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
TARGET 4.5: MARINE ECOSYSTEMS—By 2020, 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved
through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
Indicator: Canada’s protected areas—marine area
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Coastlines are mapped differently at the national scale than at the scale of individual
protected areas. Due to the uncertainty of boundaries, results should be seen as general
estimates rather than precise measurements.
••
Reporting towards Target 6.3 under the 2010–2013 FSDS included “contributory sites” as
elements of Canada’s Marine Protected Areas network. This approach is in the process of
being revised, in keeping with wording of the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD target,
which calls for the conservation of 10% of marine and coastal areas by 2020. The CBD
target includes protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
TARGET 4.6: INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES—By 2020, pathways of invasive alien species
introductions are identified, and risk-based intervention or management plans are in place for
priority pathways and species.
Indicator: Newly established invasive alien species in Canada, 2012–2013
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Alien species may be present without becoming invasive, and it may take some time
to recognize whether a species is invasive.
••
Species native to a region in Canada that are invading elsewhere in Canada are
not included.
••
New invasive alien species subject to eradication efforts are not reported under this
indicator.
••
This target was reported as Target 6.4 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 4.7: ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, INCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES—
Environmental disasters, incidents and emergencies are prevented or their impacts mitigated.
Indicator: Environmental emergencies–regulated facilities
Data Considerations and Notes
••
A related target was reported as Target 6.2 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
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TARGET 4.8: CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT—Reduce risks to Canadians and impacts on the
environment and human health posed by releases of harmful substances.
Indicator: Releases of harmful substances to the environment
Indicator: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in fish and water
Indicator: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in fish and sediment
Indicator: Levels of human exposure to harmful substances
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The Levels of Human Exposure to Harmful Substances indicator is based on the Canadian
Health Measures Survey (CHMS) which did not target specific exposure scenarios, and
consequently did not select or exclude participants on the basis of their potential for low
or high exposures to environmental chemicals. The following groups were not included in
the CHMS: people living on reserves or in other Indigenous settlements in the provinces;
residents of institutions; full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces; people living in
certain remote areas; and people living in areas with a low population density.
••
Monitoring and surveillance of harmful substances in the environment under the Chemical
Management Plan began in 2007. As monitoring is not necessarily performed at the same
location each year, year-to-year comparisons at the national level are not yet possible. To
address this limitation, the PBDEs in Fish and Sediment indicators, and the PFOS in fish
and water indicators are estimated by grouping the samples for all recent available years
by drainage area.
••
The releases to water indicators only reflect the releases reported by facilities to the National
Pollutant Release Inventory. They do not estimate or include potential releases from other
sources in Canada, or releases noted during enforcement activities.
••
This target was reported as Target 2.3 and Target 3.12 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
GOAL 5: BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES—Efficient economic and ecological use of resources–
Production and consumption of biological resources are sustainable.
Indicator: Sustainability of timber harvest
Indicator: Status of major fish stocks
Data Considerations and Notes
136
••
Forest data are collected from many jurisdictions and rolled-up to national level. Methods for
estimating wood supply and harvest vary among jurisdictions.
••
The term ‘‘timber” refers to the supply of industrial roundwood. Supply and harvest of other
products (e.g., fuelwood) are not included.
••
The sharp decline in the total annual harvest since 2006 is mostly due to the global
economic downturn and the decline in use of newspaper due to the increase in the use of
electronic media.
••
Recovery of fish stocks requires time and good environmental conditions. Information is
difficult to collect in the large volume of ocean waters.
••
This goal was reported as Goal 7 in the 2010–2013 FSDS. 2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
TARGET 5.1: SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES—Improve the management and conservation of
major stocks.
Indicator: Sustainable fish harvest
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The Fishery Checklist is completed with the best available information. Given the challenges
and expense of monitoring mobile fish in a large volume, comprehensive information is not
always readily available.
••
The Fishery Checklist summarizes information across a wide variety of species,
management regimes, and types of fisheries, geographic regions and socio-economic
contexts. Results should be interpreted with this in mind.
••
Harvest rates are only one element of sustainable fish management.
••
This target was reported as Target 7.1 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
TARGET 5.2: SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE—By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is
managed under a science–based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic
resources (including marine, freshwater and land-based) in ways that conserve biodiversity.
Indicator: Management of Canadian aquaculture
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Shared jurisdiction with provinces and territories, as well as the large number of
stakeholders and wide variety of aquaculture species and infrastructure, make industry-wide
measures difficult to design and assess.
TARGET 5.3: SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT—Contribute to the proposed national
target so that by 2020 continued progress is made on the sustainable management of Canada’s
forests.
Indicator: Representation of the Canadian Forest Service on advisory boards or committees
involving governments, industry and non-governmental organizations in order to provide
scientific knowledge on forest ecosystems
Data Considerations and Notes
••
This target was reported as Target 7.3 in the 2010–2013 FSDS.
••
The indicator for this target has been revised.
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TARGET 5.4: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE—By 2020, agricultural working landscapes
provide a stable or improved level of biodiversity and habitat capacity.
Indicator: Wildlife habitat capacity on farmland
Indicator: Environmental farm planning on agricultural land
Data Considerations and Notes
••
The wildlife habitat capacity on farmland indicator depends on modelling how wildlife
species use farmland. This involves a simplification of species’ behaviour and an integration
of results over a wide range of species. General observations that wildlife capacity has
increased or decreased should not be applied to individual species.
••
The improved methodology uses a land-cover map at 30 metres resolution. Many important
landscape features, such as hedgerows, wind breaks and small watercourses, are not
captured at this resolution.
••
This target was introduced for the first time in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
GOAL 6: GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND ENERGY—Reduce the carbon footprint
and energy consumption of federal operations.
TARGET 6.1: GHG EMISSIONS REDUCTION—The Government of Canada will reduce
GHG emissions from its buildings and fleet by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Indicator: Departmental GHG emissions reductions from buildings and fleets relative to fiscal
year 2005–2006, expressed as a percentage
Data Considerations and Notes
138
••
Consistent with the Theme IV target, reported emissions are from energy consumption of
federally operated buildings and fleet located in Canada, and consist of carbon dioxide
(CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) only.
••
Departments are excluded from reporting against operations where national safety and
security is overwhelmingly the primary function, or where efforts required to obtain complete
and accurate energy data are prohibitively onerous.
••
Improvements to the GHG emission intensity of electricity generation in Canada (greening of
the grid) are not included in the federal GHG target calculations, though these improvements
have significant implications for organizations (including the federal government) that
purchase this electricity. The aggregate emissions reduction from responsible departments
and agencies for 2013–2014 increases to 14% below 2005–2006 levels when “greening
of the grid” is taken into account. Without the inclusion of the “greening of the grid”, the
emissions reduction is 2.5%. Departmental emissions reported for measuring progress
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
against the federal GHG target exclude the “greening of the grid” to demonstrate and
maintain visibility of internal efforts.
••
This target is a continuation of the 2010–2013 FSDS Target 8.5.
GOAL 7: WASTE AND ASSET MANAGEMENT—Reduce waste generated and minimize
the environmental impacts of assets throughout their life cycle.
Indicator: Number of real property projects and existing buildings achieving a high level of
environmental performance
Indicator: Number and percentage of FSDS departments that have established three SMART
green procurement targets from the identified commodity categories
Indicator: Number and percentage of FSDS departments that have developed an approach to
maintain and improve the sustainability of workplace policies and practices
Data Considerations and Notes
••
SMART is defined as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. These
targets focus on goods and services that are common to government purchasers (e.g., high
spend and/or high volume), that have important environmental impacts, and for which tools
and resources are available to facilitate the integration of environmental considerations in
departmental procurement.
••
Progress summarized in the following section is largely based on the achievements of
departments and agencies meeting the previously established targets under FSDS 2010–2013
(Target 8.1–8.4: Improving the environmental performance of buildings, 8.6: Managing electronic
waste, 8.7: Reducing printing units, 8.8: Reducing paper consumptions, 8.9: Green meetings,
and 8.10–11: Green Procurement), which have been incorporated into the FSDS 2013–2016
targets, identified above.
TARGET 7.1: REAL PROPERTY ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE—As of April 1, 2014,
and pursuant to departmental Real Property Sustainability Frameworks, an industry-recognized
level of high environmental performance will be achieved in Government of Canada real
property projects and operations.
Indicator: Total number of existing Crown-owned buildings (over 1000 m2) and new lease or
lease renewal projects (over 1000 m2), where the Crown is the major lessee, assessed for
environmental performance using an industry-recognized assessment tool, and associated
floor space (m2)
Indicator: Total number of existing Crown-owned buildings, new construction, build-tolease projects, major renovation projects, achieving an industry-recognized level of high
environmental performance, and associated floor space (m2)
Indicator: Number of fit-up and refit projects achieving an industry-recognized level of high
environmental performance
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Specific scoping considerations and approaches to environmental performance are
established by individual departments and are identified in their departmental Real Property
Sustainability Frameworks. Information on applicable buildings, the assessment tools used,
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139
and performance level sought or achieved are noted in each departments Departmental
Sustainable Development Strategy supplementary tables.
••
Six additional buildings reported in 2012–13 Departmental Performance Reports (four
Canada Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED]
Gold and two LEED Silver) are not included in the “new construction, build-to-lease projects,
and major renovations projects” indicator because they achieved certification prior to the
implementation of the 2010–2013 FSDS.
••
Floor space (m²) was not a required reporting element under the 2010–2013 FSDS, and
therefore is not currently available for the performance indicators under this target.
••
To consolidate government-wide greening actions related to real property, four 2010–2013
FSDS targets (8.1–8.4) were combined to form Target 7.1 in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
TARGET 7.2: GREEN PROCUREMENT—As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will
continue to take action to embed environmental considerations into public procurement, in
accordance with the federal Policy on Green Procurement.
Indicator: Number and percentage of specialists in procurement and/or material management
who have completed the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course or
equivalent, in the given fiscal year
Indicator: Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and
material management whose performance evaluation includes support and contribution
towards green procurement, in the given fiscal year
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Departmental reporting on the number of relevant employees that have included support
and contribution towards green procurement in their performance evaluations was not
required under the 2010–2013 FSDS.
••
Additional detailed progress can be found in the departmental performance reports of
departments and agencies bound by the Policy on Green Procurement.
••
To consolidate government-wide actions related to green procurement, 2010–2013 FSDS
Targets 8.10 and 8.11 were combined to form Target 7.2 in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
TARGET 7.3: SUSTAINABLE WORKPLACE OPERATIONS—As of April 1, 2015, the
Government of Canada will update and adopt policies and practices to improve the sustainability
of its workplace operations.
Indicator: The existence of a departmental approach to maintain or improve the sustainability
of workplace policies and practices
Data Considerations and Notes
••
140
Reports on types and quantities of surplus electronic equipment are available for some
disposal options only. In addition to equipment donated to Computers for Schools,
departments divert surplus federal electronic and electrical equipment for resale through
GCSurplus, or send unusable equipment to provincial recycling programs recognized by
organizations such as the Electronics Products Recycling Association. Where provincial
recycling programs are not available, or for equipment that is not accepted in any of the
available streams, the federal government set up a national master standing offer with a
2015 PROGRESS REPORT OF THE FSDS
qualified Canadian e-waste recycling organization to ensure that departments and agencies
have access to secure, reliable and environmentally sound disposal.
••
To consolidate government-wide actions related to sustainable workplace operations, four FSDS
2010–2013 targets (8.6–8.9) were combined to form Target 7.3 in the 2013–2016 FSDS.
•• A fourth optional target, Target 7.4 (Greening Services to Clients), was introduced in
2013–2016, which focuses on measures by departments to reduce the environmental
impact of the services provided to their clients.
TARGET 7.4: GREENING SERVICES TO CLIENTS—By March 31, 2015, departments will
establish SMART targets to reduce the environmental impact of their services to clients.
Indicator: Three FSDS departments have established targets to reduce the environmental
impact of their services to clients
Data Considerations and Notes
••
Reporting on progress toward departmental greening services targets will be available in
Departmental Performance Reports and summarized as appropriate in subsequent FSDS
Progress Reports.
••
This Greening Services target is a new, optional target meant to recognize and showcase
departmental greening initiatives that are not covered by other FSDS targets. It was
developed on the basis of feedback from departments during consultations on the
development of the 2013–2016 FSDS.
GOAL 8: WATER MANAGEMENT —Improve water management in federal operations.
TARGET 8.1: WATER MANAGEMENT—As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will
take further action to improve water management within its real property portfolio.
Indicator: Number of applicable FSDS departments and agencies that have established an
approach to improving water management in their real property operations
Indicator: Amount and percentage of floor space of new Crown-owned construction and major
renovation projects that includes water metering, in the given fiscal year
Data Considerations and Notes
••
While some specific federal buildings or facilities have established procedures in place
to track and manage water consumption, additional time and effort will lead to more
widespread water tracking and management across federal departments.
••
As departments and agencies continue to improve the water metering of their buildings and
the monitoring of potable water consumption, it is expected that over time, the government
will be able to benchmark its water performance and report on improvements.
••
Reporting on progress toward departmental water management targets will be available
in future Departmental Performance Reports. This information will be summarized as
appropriate in subsequent FSDS Progress Reports.
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141
Annex E Supplementary References
Environment and Climate Change Canada (2012)
Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (2012) Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Annual Report for April 2012 to March 2013.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (2014)
Canada’s 5th National Report to the United Convention on Biological Diversity.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (2014) Canada’s Emissions Trends
Environment and Climate Change Canada (2014) National Inventory Report, 1990–2012:
Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada – Executive Summary.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (CESI website) Environmental Indicators.
Government of Canada Departmental Performance Reports 2013–2014.
Government of Canada Departmental Reports on Plans and Priorities 2014–2015.
Government of Canada Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies.
Government of Canada (1985) Fisheries Act.
Government of Canada (1999) Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Government of Canada (1999) Canadian Environmental Protection Act Environmental Registry.
Government of Canada (2001) Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
Government of Canada (2002) Species at Risk Act.
Government of Canada (2008) Federal Sustainable Development Act.
Government of Canada (2013) Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act.
Government of Canada (2013) Transboundary Waters Protection Act.
Government of Canada (2015) Pipeline Safety Act.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (2014) Climate Change.
Statistics Canada (2014) Canadian Health Measures Survey.
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