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2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome


This section presents the 2013–2014 planning highlights and expected results, as well as the Department’s commitments under the 2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) for each departmental program. The planning highlights presented are those activities planned to be undertaken by the Department that align and directly support both program delivery and progress in meeting the Department’s three strategic organizational priorities and its management priority. Together, these highlights portray the Department’s strategic and operational direction in the year ahead and beyond.

Strategic Outcome 1: Canada’s natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations

Performance IndicatorsTargets
Percentage of terrestrial land protected[3] as a measure of conservation effort17% by 2020[4]

Programs for Strategic Outcome 1:

  • 1.1 Biodiversity - Wildlife and Habitat
  • 1.2 Water Resources
  • 1.3 Sustainable Ecosystems
  • 1.4 Compliance Promotion and Enforcement - Wildlife

Program 1.1: Biodiversity – Wildlife and Habitat

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Environment Canada’s work under this program (including scientific research and monitoring) informs management in order to support maintaining viable populations of species, habitats and genetic resources, while taking social and economic considerations into account. Biodiversity contributes to essential goods and services that provide economic, social/cultural and ecological benefits to Canadians.

This program aims to prevent biodiversity loss while still enabling sustainable use by conserving and managing migratory birds; protecting and recovering species at risk; and conserving, restoring and rehabilitating significant habitats, including via the establishment and maintenance of a network of protected areas and stewardship programs. It also aims to ensure coordinated and coherent national assessment, planning and action to protect biodiversity, including viable populations of species, healthy and diverse ecosystems, and genetic resources. The program includes the formation of strategic partnerships for integrated management of Canada’s natural capital including stewardship and the sustainable management of landscapes. Legal and statutory responsibilities for this program include the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; the Canada Wildlife Act; and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. International responsibilities include the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), the Migratory Birds Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council, and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat (known as the Ramsar Convention). Contributions in support of Biodiversity – Wildlife and Habitat are used as a component of this program.

Program 1.1: Biodiversity – Wildlife and Habitat
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Populations of migratory birds and federally listed species at risk are maintained or restoredProportion of assessed migratory bird species in General Status Reports whose status is considered to be secure2% increase over previous reported value in each 5-year General Status Report
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures100.3100.697.584.6
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.8)(0.8)(0.6)(0.6)
Net Expenditures99.599.896.984.0

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
536530484

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme III (n)Planning Highlights

Improve implementation of the Species at Risk program

Enacted in 2003 and 2004, the Species at Risk Act(SARA) seeks to prevent wildlife species in Canada from becoming extinct, provides for the recovery of wildlife species that are endangered or threatened due to human activity, supports management of species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened, and complements broader efforts to protect species and their habitats.

In 2013–2014, Environment Canada will address a number of priority issues aimed at timely and cost-effective protection and recovery of species at risk by the Department and its partners.

Planned activities will see the Department:

  • increasing the use of ecosystem and multi-species approaches to recovery planning, and exploring a methodology for timely completion of recovery strategies;
  • implementing priority elements of recovery strategies under the Species at Risk Act;
  • providing funding to stewardship projects for species at risk, with special attention given to agricultural and Aboriginal lands because of the significance of this land base for species at risk and the potential for the federal government to enter productive partnerships in these areas;
  • continuing to streamline the issuance of permits under SARA and by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) through expansion of electronic permitting; and
  • developing guidance to show how SARA requirements may be addressed at each step of an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) as well as SARA policy guidance on new permit service standards and stewardship agreements.

Collaborative approach to protect and conserve biodiversity at home and abroad, including through the development of a National Conservation Plan

The responsibility for wildlife conservation in Canada is shared among: federal agencies; provinces and territories; Aboriginal, regional and municipal governments; industry; landowners; wildlife co-management boards; and others. The Department will continue to collaborate with these stakeholders to support the conservation of biodiversity.

Recovery strategy for the boreal caribou

Environment Canada, in collaboration with its provincial and territorial counterparts, has put in place a recovery strategy for the boreal caribou. The broad strategy has a goal of achieving self-sustaining local populations in all boreal caribou ranges, to the extent possible. It provides a practical and balanced approach, with flexibility for provincial and territorial governments (responsible for implementing the strategy in their areas) to recover the species in the way most appropriate to local circumstances.

Highlights of plans for 2013–2014 include the following:

  • Furthering the development of a National Conservation Plan such as through continued discussions with key partners and stakeholders to build on successes and exploration of innovative approaches for conserving biodiversity, enhancing ecosystem connectivity, restoring degraded ecosystems, and engaging Canadians in the appreciation and conservation of nature.
  • Completing Canada’s response to the 2011–2020 Strategic Plan developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity at the 11th Conference of the Parties (CoP11) through the establishment of national biodiversity goals, targets and indicators in consultation with provinces, territories and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders and partners on the recovery strategies of priority species at risk such as the boreal caribou (see sidebar) and migratory birds.
  • Contributing to the conservation of arctic biodiversity by chairing the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna working group and supporting the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program and the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment.
  • Completing a management plan for Polar Bears,[5] building on actions taken by Environment Canada, provinces and territories and regional wildlife management boards to conserve this species in Canada and internationally.
  • Monitoring biodiversity in the oil sands
    Enhancements to the monitoring of biodiversity (as well as water and air) in the oil sands are being phased in over the 2012 to 2015 period, under the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. Initiatives relating to biodiversity include

    • expanding biodiversity monitoring to include all current and potential oil sands producing areas (including Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake);
    • undertaking cause-effect monitoring to better understand and manage the impacts of different types of land disturbances on biodiversity; and
    • improving high-resolution imagery to better understand and predict biodiversity patterns.

    This work is led by government and funded by industry; the resulting data will be made readily available to the public.

  • Reviewing and modernizing regulations relating to migratory birds to ensure that these regulations continue to be relevant, effective and compliant with law.
  • Publishing and promoting to provinces, municipalities, large landowners and other potential users the completed bird conservation region strategies for each of Canada’s 12 bird conservation regions and additional sub-regions.
  • Continuing to advance the designation of new protected areas and sites in the Northwest Territories and renewal of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for protected areas in Nunavut.
  • Addressing land-based biodiversity objectives through the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring, including promoting responsible development in the oil sands (see sidebar).
  • Continuing work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to create the Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area (British Columbia), an area with the highest concentration of breeding seabirds in Canada’s Pacific Ocean, as part of expanding and maintaining the approximately 12 million hectares within the Protected Areas Network.

Other planning highlights for 2013–2014 include: ongoing collaboration with partners to implement a national suite of avian monitoring surveys; enhancing the role of the Habitat Stewardship Program (a joint effort with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency); continuing to provide science-based advice through environmental assessments; and ongoing review and issuance of permits under SARA, the Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Activities in this program also contribute to “Theme III: Protecting Nature” of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy:

2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Table

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme III (n)Goal 5: Wildlife Conservation – Maintain or restore populations of wildlife to healthy levels
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Percentage of listed species for which recovery has been deemed feasible where the population trend (where available) at the time of reassessment is consistent with the recovery strategyTarget 5.1: Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Conservation – Population trend (when available) at the time of reassessment is consistent with the recovery strategy for 100% of listed species at risk (for which recovery has been deemed feasible) by 2020
Proportion of migratory bird species whose population varies within acceptable bounds of the population goals (population trends of migratory birds will be reported in June 2012)Target 5.2: Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Conservation – Target for proportion of migratory bird species whose population varies within acceptable bounds of the population goals will be established in 2011 once the Bird Status Database is complete[6]

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme III (n)Goal 6: Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection – Maintain productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and protect areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Land conserved as a percentage of the total amount needed to achieve population goals for all priority migratory birds and species at riskTarget 6.1: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat, Non-Park Protected Habitat – Habitat target to support conservation of priority migratory birds and species at risk will be set by 2015
Incidence of invasive species introduction (or number of invasive pathways controlled)Target 6.4: Managing Threats to Ecosystems – Threats of new alien invasive species entering Canada are understood and reduced by 2015

Note: In 2013–2014, the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013–2016), which will provide the basis for performance reporting beginning with the year-end performance report for 2013–2014.

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Program 1.2: Water Resources

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Environment Canada plays an important role in providing the science leadership required by all Canadian jurisdictions to inform the sustainable management of Canada’s water resources. This program benefits Canadians in several ways: it leads to a better understanding of the impacts of human activities on water resources and the health of aquatic ecosystems; it takes action to restore and preserve Canada’s water resources; and it improves water resource management across jurisdictions.

This program addresses the implications to water resources from economic growth, climate change and other factors, ensuring threats to Canada’s water resources and aquatic ecosystems are minimized, and the sustainability of the resource is maintained. Conservation, protection and sustainable use of water resources are critical aspects of Canada’s economic, social and ecological well-being. The program is delivered in collaboration with partners that include other federal departments, provinces and territories, and a range of non-governmental organizations. The program encompasses Environment Canada’s contribution to addressing water issues and its role in collaborating with other departments to determine priorities for water quality, quantity, and aquatic ecosystem monitoring and research, by providing scientific information and advice to decision makers, and by building best management practices. The program supports the implementation of the Canada Water Act, the 1987 Federal Water Policy, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Fisheries Act and the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act. Contributions in support of Water Resources are used as a component of this program.

Program 1.2: Water Resources
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Threats to Canada’s water resources and aquatic ecosystems are minimized and the sustainability of the resource is maintainedPercentage of core national monitoring sites included in the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Freshwater Quality Indicator whose water quality is rated as good or excellent50% of core national monitoring sites in the 2010–2012 data set are rated as good or excellent
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures115.6115.6118.0118.1
Less: Respendable Revenues(18.8)(18.8)(19.3)(19.8)
Net Expenditures96.896.898.798.2

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
795785787

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme II (w)Planning Highlights

Enhancing water monitoring in the oil sands

The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring will see strengthened monitoring programs for water (as well as land and air), with enhancements to be fully in place by 2015. Examples of enhanced water monitoring include

  • improved coordination of assessments of related water parameters (such as quality, quantity, sediment, fish), allowing for cumulative effects assessment; and
  • new systematic sampling of snow and rainfall in order to better understand the relationship between airborne processes, the deposit of substances, and surface water runoff entering waterways and moving downstream.

Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring

Environment Canada contributes to the Joint Implementation Plan by conducting monitoring, research and analysis of water resources in the Lower Athabasca region, the results of which will help provide a better understanding of the impacts of oil sands development on water quality and quantity, aquatic ecosystem health and acid-sensitive lakes in the region. By the time the Joint Implementation Plan is fully implemented in 2015, there will be:

  • more sampling sites over a larger area, with the number of water sites increasing from 21 to over 40;
  • an increase in the number and types of water quality parameters being sampled; and
  • an increase in the frequency of sampling.[7]

Comprehensive approach to protecting water

In support of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Clean Water, the Department will undertake activities in support of ongoing clean-up and pollution prevention in key bodies of water, water science that supports environmental assessments, and weather information that supports water management efforts.

Work in 2013–2014 under this comprehensive approach will include the following:

  • Providing water quality and water quantity information to water boards under the International Joint Commission (IJC), as well as participating in the adaptive management approach (learning by doing) of the IJC. Specifically, the Department will lend expertise to regulate the flow of water from Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River, from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, and in the many other IJC transboundary rivers from British Columbia to New Brunswick, protecting ecosystems and avoiding flooding, while providing sufficient flow of water to support economic activities.
  • Advancing freshwater quality monitoring and surveillance

    Environment Canada is developing new approaches and tools to strengthen its water quality monitoring and surveillance activities. A risk-based approach has been developed to identify and appropriately monitor site-specific threats to water quality and aquatic ecosystem health at each monitoring site across Canada. In addition, innovative new statistical power analysis techniques have been developed to ensure optimal sampling frequency in data collection. Moreover, a new risk-based basin approach is being developed that will allow water quality monitoring site locations to be optimized to monitor areas where industrial and human impacts are greatest. These scientific tools will transform the way the national water quality monitoring program is delivered in coming years.

  • Strengthening water quality monitoring using a risk-based approach and tools developed as part of the Department’s action plan in response to the Fall 2010 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (see sidebar).
  • In collaboration with other federal government departments, advancing water monitoring in the North through, for example, providing hydrological information in the Arctic and contributing to the assessment of climate change impacts.

Internationally, the Department will continue to contribute to and benefit from international activities related to hydrometric programming, including the following:

  • Working bilaterally with the United States (U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) on hydrometric training and technology developments such as tools to measure water depth and stream flows.
  • Working multilaterally, by meeting Canada’s obligations to the World Meteorological Organization through work with the Commission for Hydrology (CHy) on basic systems in hydrology, flood frequency analysis and capacity building, among other activities.

Other domestic and international benefits of this work include: technology transfer in hydrology and hydrometeorology; the sharing of data and information needed for managing surface and water resources; and supporting research on climate trends, variability and change.

Activities in this program also contribute to “Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability” of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Table

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme II (w)Goal 3: Water Quality – Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Annual changes in recommended classifications of shellfish-growing areas based on historical water quality measures[8]Target 3.8: Marine Water Quality – Reduce the risks to Canadians and impacts on the marine environment posed by pollution from land-based activities

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme II (w)Goal 4: Water Availability – Enhance information to ensure that Canadians can manage and use water resources in a manner consistent with the sustainability of the resource
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Water use by major sectors from water-use surveysTarget 4.1: Water Resource Management and Use – Promote the conservation and wise use of water to affect a 30% reduction or increased efficiency in water use in various sectors by 2025 (based on 2009 water use levels)[9]

Note: In 2013–2014, the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013–2016), which will provide the basis for performance reporting beginning with the year-end performance report for 2013–2014.

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Program 1.3: Sustainable Ecosystems

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Through partnership arrangements, the Department provides strategies, information, tools and funding directly to stakeholders to help protect ecosystems across Canada. This collaboration and sharing enable better integration of environmental considerations into decision making, and help improve the sustainability of Canada’s ecosystems over the long term, thus creating economic and social benefit for Canadians.

This program aims to sustain Canada’s ecosystems over the long term by working with Canadians, their governments and the private sector by providing them with the environmental information and tools required to incorporate social, economic and environmental considerations into their decision making and action, including through environmental assessments. The ecosystem approach to environmental management focuses on maintaining the capacity of a whole system to produce ecological goods and services–such as water resources, air and water quality–and genetic resources, which maintain our economy, security, health and well-being. This program is the focal point for the development and implementation of Environment Canada’s sustainability policies and strategies; information to support integrated, ecosystem-scale priority setting; community engagement in remediation of sites; youth engagement; and research and reporting on environmental status and trends. The program facilitates inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral planning and information sharing among partners. Contributions in support of Sustainable Ecosystems are used as a component of this program.

Program 1.3: Sustainable Ecosystems
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Canadians manage ecosystem resources in a manner consistent with ecosystem sustainabilityPercentage of Canadian ecosystems where ecosystem health has been assessed as stable or improvingTo be determined

 

Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures66.971.975.968.5
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.3)(0.3)(0.0)(0.0)
Net Expenditures66.671.675.968.5

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
346319308

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme II (w)Icon for Theme III (n)Planning Highlights

Comprehensive approach to ecosystem management

Environment Canada will continue to engage in an ecosystem-based management approach; the Department will work with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and other groups to assess and report on the status of Canada’s ecosystems, and to jointly address pressures and threats in key Canadian ecosystems.

Cleaning up Randle Reef, Hamilton Harbour

The Government of Canada will lead the cleanup of Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour, one of the largest contaminated sediment sites in Canada. Randle Reef contains sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals, deposited over a long period of time from no-longer-active industrial operations. Cleaning up Randle Reef is the last major step in the restoration of Hamilton Harbour so that it can be removed from the list of Areas of Concerns under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Other partners include the province of Ontario, the cities of Hamilton and Burlington, the Hamilton Port Authority, U.S. Steel Canada, and the Regional Municipality of Halton.

Coordinated effort within priority ecosystems

Through the Priority Ecosystem Initiative Management Framework, and in collaboration with partners across Canada, Environment Canada is working to manage freshwater and ocean resources through the development of supporting policies, strategies and the implementation of priority ecosystem initiatives. Departmental ecosystem management efforts are closely aligned with its science and monitoring work in support of clean water (see Program 1.2).

In 2013–2014, the Department will continue with management of the Great Lakes basin, the St. Lawrence River, and other ecosystem initiatives. Highlights of plans include the following:

  • Completing negotiations for the 2013–2017 Canada–Ontario Agreement initiating implementation of the amended (2012) Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative to address the complex problems of recurrent toxic and nuisance algae and, through partnerships, cleaning up Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour (see sidebar).
  • Continuing to implement the Canada–Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence 2011–2026. Environment Canada, along with 17 other departments and agencies from both governments, will pursue 48 projects to address the three priority issues in the St. Lawrence: biodiversity conservation; sustainable uses; and water quality.
  • Delivering on the Budget 2012 commitment to pursue water quality and ecosystem health improvements through, for example, the implementation of remediation strategies to help clean up Lake Simcoe.
  • Contributing to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority’s Scanlon Creek Watershed Implementation project to improve water quality, fish communities and the lake’s capacity for recreation and tourism.
  • Delivering on Phase II (2012–2017) of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative by building on the scientific accomplishments of Phase I (2008–2012) and taking action to address water quality issues, such as implementing targeted watershed research and monitoring, and increasing emphasis on collaborative work with other governments within the watershed.
  • For the Okanagan and Salish Sea, moving forward on cooperative opportunities related to science, monitoring and indicators on such issues as lake evaporation and sustainability indicators that incorporate First Nations traditional knowledge.
  • For Atlantic ecosystems, continuing to work collaboratively with other regional partners to advance efforts to conserve and restore important habitat, improve water quality, and better address the impacts of climate change through mechanisms such as the Canada-U.S. Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment 2012-2017 Action Plan and the Atlantic Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation’s Water Annex.

Environment Canada provides federal leadership on the following two horizontal initiatives:

Sustainable Development Strategies

Environment Canada is responsible for implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Act and leads the development and implementation (including tracking and reporting) of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), tabled in Parliament every three years. In 2013–2014 the Department will table in Parliament the next cycle of the FSDS, which will cover the 2013–2016 period.

Measure and report on the state of the environment

The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) measure progress on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and report to Canadians on the state of the environment. The indicators are prepared by Environment Canada with support from Health Canada, Statistics Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Parks Canada Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and other federal, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies.

CESI data and information describe Canada’s trends and progress on the key issues of climate change, air quality, water quality and availability, and the protection of nature–with linkages to key social and economic drivers. The indicators are built on rigorous methodology and high-quality, regularly available data from surveys and monitoring networks.

Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

The Department makes available environmental information through the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) and will continue to monitor and report progress against these indicators (see sidebar). The Department will also continue to update and expand the CESI in 2013–2014 to work towards full indicator coverage of the FSDS.

Supporting ecosystem-based management through environmental assessments

Industrial and resource development are critical drivers of economic growth in Canada; if not managed carefully, they can also undermine the sustainability of ecosystems. A key tool in Environment Canada’s world-class regulatory regime, environmental assessments ensure that development happens in a manner that does not significantly impair ecosystem health. The Department actively participates in major environmental assessments–including assessments of oil and gas pipelines, mining operations and urban development projects–providing science-based advice and support for joint panel reviews that address a wide range of developments. Through a Deputy Minister-led coordinating committee, Environment Canada continues to bring a whole-of-department perspective to its environmental assessment work, allowing the Department to influence the sustainability of projects most critical to Canada’s economy.

Activities in this program also contribute to “Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability” of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Table

FSDS Goal:

  • Icon for Theme II (w)Goal 3: Water Quality – Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
For Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes, track change in beneficial use status from “impaired” or “requires further assessment” to “not impaired” or “restored”Target 3.1: Fresh Water Quality – Complete federal actions to restore beneficial uses in Canadian Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes by 2020
Ecosystem indicators aligned to the general and specific objectives of the Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality AgreementTarget 3.2: Fresh Water Quality – Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes by developing and gaining binational acceptance of objectives and strategies for the management of nutrients in the Great Lakes by 2015
Assess and report on aquatic ecosystem health indicators aligned to objectives of the Canada-Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence RiverTarget 3.3: Fresh Water Quality – Complete federal actions to reduce pollutants and restore beneficial uses in hot spots in the St. Lawrence River by 2016
Estimated nutrient reductions in Lake SimcoeTarget 3.4: Fresh Water Quality – Reduce nutrient inputs into Lake Simcoe by 2012
Indicator under developmentTarget 3.5: Fresh Water Quality – By 2012, through strategic collaborations and by increasing scientific knowledge, contribute to the establishment of targets to reduce nutrients in Lake Winnipeg and its basin to support the sustainability of the lake

Note: In 2013–2014, the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013–2016), which will provide the basis for performance reporting beginning with the year-end performance report for 2013–2014.

Please note that Program 1.4: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement – Wildlife is described here.

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Strategic Outcome 2:
Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions.

Performance IndicatorsTargets
Weather Warning Index (a weighted index of weather warning timeliness and accuracy)7.6 on a scale of 0 to 10 by 2015 (improvement of 1.3% from current value)

Programs for Strategic Outcome 2:

  • 2.1 Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians
  • 2.2 Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

Program 2.1: Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Environment Canada works to maintain and provide high-quality weather, water and air quality, climate, and ice predictions to help Canadians make informed decisions and better adapt to the weather and environmental risks they face. The Department’s weather and environmental services ensure that Canadians have access to reliable, timely and accurate forecasts and warnings for severe weather and potentially life-threatening hazards.

This program provides reliable, accurate and timely forecasts and warnings, as well as weather and environmental intelligence, to anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks and opportunities of changing weather, water air quality, and climate conditions. It involves monitoring, research, production and service delivery, based on sound science, to help Canadians make informed decisions to protect their health, safety, security and economic prosperity. Because a global effort is needed to monitor, understand and predict constantly changing weather, water, air quality, ocean ice, and climate conditions, this program provides support to and relies on various collaborators in Canada and around the world. Key partners include the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as the media, academia and all levels of government in Canada. The program supports the Department in meeting obligations and responsibilities conferred by the Department of the Environment Act, the Weather Modification Information Act, the Emergency Management Act (2007), the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, and memoranda of agreement with national meteorological and space agencies. This program also provides forecasts and information in case of environmental emergencies associated with the release of toxic and radioactive material in the atmosphere. Grants and contributions in support of Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians are used as components of this program.

Program 2.1: Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Canadians use Environment Canada’s weather and environmental servicesPercentage of the population of a warned area who report having seen or heard a recent weather warning and who took actions in response30% ongoing
Canadians understand information on changing weather, water and climate conditions and the associated health and safety risksPercentage of the population who understand wind chill informationTo be determined
Canadians understand information on changing weather, water and climate conditions and the associated health and safety risksPercentage of targeted sensitive populations[10] within selected regions receiving information on the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) who a) identify potential behaviour changes in response to current and/or forecast AQHI levels that are consistent with health messaging and/or b) identify actual behaviour changed in response to current and/or forecast AQHI levels that are consistent with health messaging10% to 20% of sensitive population (range is due to regional variation) by 2016
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures161.1156.1161.5162.3
Less: Respendable Revenues(2.5)(2.5)(2.4)(2.4)
Net Expenditures158.5153.5159.1159.9

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
979977967

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme I (a)Icon for Theme II (w)Planning Highlights

High-quality weather and environmental services for Canadians

Weather service to Canadians
Environment Canada monitors over 9 million square kilometres of Canada’s land and adjacent waters. Each year, the Department provides to Canadians

  • 1.5 million weather forecasts;
  • 10,000 severe weather warnings;
  • millions of climate and water observations;
  • 500,000 aviation forecasts; and
  • 200,000 marine, ice and sea-state forecasts.

Environment Canada’s work to deliver high-quality weather and environmental services to Canadians will remain a priority in 2013–2014. The Department’s core research and operational activities enable it to provide weather, water and environmental information, observations, forecasts and warnings on a 24/7 basis, in both official languages, to meet the safety, security and economic development needs of Canadians. This investment also provides the foundation on which services tailored to targeted users are designed and delivered (see 2.2 Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users).

In 2013–2014, the Department will continue the transformation and renewal of its weather and environmental services to ensure their long-term sustainability, with a focus on a number of key initiatives:

  • Continuing to establish and formalize Environment Canada’s partnership with Shared Services Canada (SSC) to collaborate on key information management / information technology (IM/IT) services and maintain supercomputering capacity, which is vital to providing weather forecasts and warnings and environmental information (such as climate data) and sustaining mission-critical IT services.
  • With investments received through Budget 2011, moving forward on procurement for key upgrades and repairs to the radar network.
  • Continuing key internal transformative projects. This will include developing and implementing initial phases of the Department’s Next Generation Weather Prediction System; this system is aimed at enhancing the production and dissemination of weather information and forecasts as well as providing forecasters with new tools and processes resulting from science and technology advances. In addition, focus will be placed on testing and implementing critical improvements to the weather warning system for summer severe weather prediction.
  • Continuing the expansion of the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) service, an initiative of the federal government’s Clean Air Regulatory Agenda that supports Canadians’ health-related decisions, with a focus on Northern communities.
  • Leveraging partnership opportunities with stakeholders, including the Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observations, through advancing the monitoring strategic plan to consolidate, streamline and achieve savings, particularly with respect to monitoring and data management.
  • Generating and disseminating new knowledge and data on climate change and variability by developing computer models and climate scenarios that help predict seasonal and longer-term climate variations; continuing to research cryosphere (snow and ice) and land surface variables to stay current with surface-atmospheric processes in climate models; and continuing greenhouse gas and aerosol observations to establish baselines for these substances.

Internationally, the Department will continue to leverage scientific expertise by engaging with multilateral partners, including with the World Meteorological Organization, and major national meteorological and hydrological organizations such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Collaborating on key priorities such as water, the North and climate services (notably through the advancements of the Global Framework for Climate Services) underscores the Department’s credibility as a leader in weather sciences and its ability to deliver weather services to Canadians. 

Gearing up for the 2015 Pan-American Games
Building on its successful provision of specialized weather services during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Environment Canada is gearing up to provide similar services to the Pan-American Games, to take place in Toronto in 2015. Services will include weather forecasts, warnings and briefings to support public safety and to meet needs for a range of meteorological information.

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Program 2.2: Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

Program Description

This program provides essential decision-making tools and information on the changing weather to targeted sectors and their regulatory agencies to help them anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks and opportunities created by changing weather and climate conditions. It involves monitoring, research, production and service delivery in order to support sustainable decision making by targeted sectors in the face of changing weather, water and climate conditions. It provides reliable, accurate and timely observations, forecasts and warnings 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, along with other tools tailored to users’ specific needs. It requires various collaborations, within Canada (including other government departments and provincial agencies), and internationally with the World Meteorological Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as U.S. government institutions. This program supports the Department in meeting obligations and responsibilities conferred by the Department of the Environment Act and the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization; helps other government departments meet their obligations under the Aeronautics Act and the Treaty in Support of International Civil Aviation, the Oceans Act and the Fisheries Act; and supports memoranda of agreement with Transport Canada, National Defence and various provincial agencies.

Program 2.2: Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Targeted sectors have the meteorological and environmental information and services they need to operate efficiently and safelyCombined level of satisfaction of the main clients of the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC)[11] based on the statement "The services provided by the MSC meet our needs"7.5 out of 10 ongoing
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures64.964.965.260.2
Less: Respendable Revenues(39.4)(39.4)(39.6)(39.3)
Net Expenditures25.525.525.520.9

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
474478444

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme I (a)Icon for Theme II (w)Planning Highlights

High-quality weather and environmental services for targeted users

Expanded Arctic marine and ice services
Environment Canada is expanding its domestic marine and ice services to provide a full suite of meteorological and ice information for two new meteorological areas (METAREAs) comprising the waters of the Canadian Arctic (including the Northwest Passage), a portion of international waters in the High Arctic, and waters north of Alaska and along parts of the western coast of Greenland. To enhance its monitoring infrastructure, by 2015 the Department will have deployed some 30 new on-ice and in-water drifting buoys and ice beacons–more than a dozen of which are already in place.

The investment that Environment Canada makes in technology, data generation, core services and infrastructure enables the Department to also provide specialized meteorological and climate services to weather-sensitive economic and commercial sectors, including energy, fisheries and resource development. Weather services inform tactical and strategic decisions, and are critical to the safety, cost-effectiveness and economic resilience of these sectors’ operations. Having in place the specialized infrastructure and technology to provide weather services to Canadians, combined with the Department’s credibility as a key provider of weather science, eliminates the need for parallel systems to be maintained by users external to Environment Canada and results in savings to Canadians.

Key activities the Department will undertake for targeted users in 2013–2014 include the following:

  • Continuing the implementation of the Arctic Meteorological Areas (METAREAs) initiative, including expanding infrastructure (see sidebar).
  • Renewing arrangements with the Canadian Coast Guard for Environment Canada to continue to provide marine weather and ice forecasts and services to support safe marine transportation and Canadian Coast Guard activities, particularly in the North.
  • Ongoing provision of weather services to the Department of National Defence (DND), including conducting activities to ensure full operational capability of the new Joint Meteorological Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown (New Brunswick).
  • Continuing to provide high-quality, relevant and timely aviation weather forecasts and services to NAV CANADA, under the terms of a renewed contract.

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Strategic Outcome 3:
Threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution are minimized.

Performance IndicatorsTargets
Canadian emissions of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalents) in megatonnesCanada’s national target is a 17% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020
Canadian ambient air quality (fine particulate matter [PM2.5])30 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) annually

Programs for Strategic Outcome 3:

  • 3.1 Substances and Waste Management
  • 3.2 Climate Change and Clean Air
  • 3.3 Compliance Promotion and Enforcement - Pollution

Program 3.1: Substances and Waste Management

Program Description

Activities in this program reduce threats to health and the environment posed by pollution and waste from human activities. The program assesses risks to health and the environment from substances that are already in commercial use (existing substances) and substances proposed for introduction into use in Canada (new substances). It also develops and implements measures to prevent or manage the risks from these substances and waste. Contributions in support of Substances and Waste Management are used as a component of this program.

Benefits to Canadians

Environment Canada works to reduce threats and impacts on the environment from harmful substances and waste through assessment, risk management actions, permitting and/or monitoring activities. These activities promote pollution prevention and early action or remediation of harmful substances, thereby reducing risks to the environment and Canadians. The management or removal of harmful substances and waste is key to reducing exposure to these threats for present or future generations.

Program 3.1: Substances and Waste Management
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Threats to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by harmful substances and waste are reduced

Percentage of drainage regions where Canadian or Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines are not exceeded for selected substances in sediment, water and/or biota

Substances currently reported under this indicator:

  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
PBDEs:
80% in 2014–2015

PFOS:
80% in 2013–2014
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures76.176.770.569.5
Less: Respendable Revenues(2.2)(2.2)(2.0)(1.9)
Net Expenditures73.974.668.567.5

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
590570564

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme I (a)Icon for Theme II (w)Icon for Theme III (n)Planning Highlights

Deliver on the Chemicals Management Plan

The launch of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) in 2006 made Canada a world leader in chemicals management and has kept Canada on track to meet its international commitment for the management of chemicals in Canada by 2020. Environment Canada, in partnership with Health Canada, will continue to implement the CMP. Over the next four years, the Department will conduct risk assessments to address approximately 1,500 substances and take action to manage risks where required. These substances represent half of the remaining priority substances that have been determined to require further assessment based on the completion of the categorization process under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) in 2006. Environment Canada will also continue to evaluate new chemical substances to ensure their safety before they enter the Canadian marketplace, conduct research into substances, such as those that affect hormone function and improve product safety in Canada.

The CMP is an integrated government-wide approach involving rapid action on priority substances as well as business predictability and public confidence. Ongoing work in 2013–2014 will include the following:

  • Conducting targeted research on priority substances and issues under the CMP and CEPA 1999, and publishing draft and/or final assessments of high-priority existing substances on the Chemicals Management website.
  • Undertaking integrated environmental monitoring and surveillance of priority chemicals in air, water, sediments, fish, birds and wastewater to detect and characterize environmental change.
  • Continuing to develop and implement instruments such as regulations and codes of practice to manage risks from harmful substances.
  • Participating in international initiatives that support domestic efforts in the sound management of chemicals (e.g., Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, and the Canada–U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council).

The Department will continue to deliver programming to prevent pollution and manage and reduce waste. Plans for 2013–2014 include the following:

Wastewater regulations and reporting

Environment Canada will continue to implement the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, which came into force in 2012, to achieve secondary wastewater treatment across the country. The Department will work with provinces to streamline administration of the Regulations and to avoid duplication wherever possible, including putting in place an electronic wastewater regulatory reporting system.

The standards align Canada with both the U.S. and the European Union and further enhance coordination between Canada and the United States with respect to transboundary water quality.

  • Implementing the Environmental Emergency Regulations, the Notifications Regulations (under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act) and the associated Notification Agreements that enable the timely transfer of pollution incident information to the Department.
  • Implementing the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (see sidebar), continuing development of a wastewater regime that includes an environment effects monitoring component and that sets appropriate standards for the extreme climatic conditions found in the North, moving forward with implementation of pollution prevention regulatory programs aimed at reducing hazardous waste from several sectors (including mining and pulp and paper) and on finalizing mercury-containing products regulations.
  • Maintaining ongoing delivery of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) in partnership with other federal departments and agencies, and carrying out Environment Canada’s responsibility as a custodian in managing its contaminated sites. In 2013–2014, the Department will carry out seven remediation projects and eight assessment projects.
  • Contributing to Canada’s efforts on preventing marine pollution (London Protocol), meeting obligations under CEPA 1999 on control of disposal at sea, and delivering on the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act (AEPA)obligations to maintain a clean, safe Antarctic.

Partnerships in action: Addressing contaminated sites – FCSAP

Established in 2005, the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a horizontal program that provides funding to 16 different federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations (called custodians) for assessment and remediation of contaminated sites; and to four federal departments that provide expert support to custodians. In October 2012, Minister Kent announced the launch of Phase II of the FCSAP, which provides $1 billion over three years (2011 to 2014) for remediation activities at approximately 1,100 high-priority sites and assessment activities at another 1,650 sites. For an inventory of federal contaminated sites, please visit this website. For detailed information on expected results and planned spending for each program partner, please see the 2013–2014 Report on Plans and Priorities Supplementary Information table at this website.

Activities in this program also contribute to “Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality,” “Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability,” and “Theme III: Protecting Nature” of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Table

FSDS Goal:

  • Icon for Theme II (w)Goal 3: Water Quality – Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Change in percentage of wastewater systems achieving national effluent quality standardsTarget 3.7: Fresh Water Quality – Reduce risks associated with wastewater effluent by 2020 in collaboration with provinces and territories
Reduction in loading of biological oxygen demand matter and suspended solidsTarget 3.7: Fresh Water Quality – Reduce risks associated with wastewater effluent by 2020 in collaboration with provinces and territories
Percentage of disposal site monitoring events that do not trigger site management actionTarget 3.9: Marine Water Quality – Prevent marine pollution from uncontrolled dumping 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)

FSDS Goals:

  • Icon for Theme I (a)Goal 2: Air Pollution – Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems
  • Icon for Theme II (w)Goal 3: Water Quality – Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Canadian releases of selected controlled substancesTargets 2.3 and 3.12: Chemicals Management – Reduce risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by harmful substances as a result of decreased environmental concentrations and human exposure to such substances[12]
Percentage (or number) of drainage regions where Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines (FEQG) are not exceeded for select substances in sediment, water and/or biotaTargets 2.3 and 3.12: Chemicals Management – Reduce risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by harmful substances as a result of decreased environmental concentrations and human exposure to such substances[12]
Levels of exposure to substances of concern by substance (air pollution only)[13]Targets 2.3 and 3.12: Chemicals Management – Reduce risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by harmful substances as a result of decreased environmental concentrations and human exposure to such substances[12]

FSDS Goal:

  • Icon for Theme III (n)Goal 6: Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection – Maintain productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt, and protect areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Environmental emergencies trackingTarget 6.5: Managing Threats to Ecosystems – Reduce the frequency and consequences of environmental emergencies that affect Canada[14]

Note: In 2013–2014, the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013–2016), which will provide the basis for performance reporting beginning with the year-end performance report for 2013–2014.

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Program 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Environment Canada’s collaborative approach (at home and abroad) to regulating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants helps to protect the health of Canadians and their environment. The Department also provides information about air emissions to decision makers at all levels of government, and to the public and private sectors, thus supporting informed decisions for the benefit of Canadians. Environment Canada analyzes the environmental performance of new and emerging technologies and helps ensure that federal technology programs maximize environmental benefits.

This program aims to protect the health of Canadians, the state of the environment and the economy from the harmful effects of air pollutants and the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions through the development of regulations and other control measures to address greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Actions are based on sound scientific and economic analysis, and emissions monitoring and reporting. The program will involve continued collaboration with other governments and stakeholders; expert environmental science and technology advice, assessment, and program management in support of technology investment decisions, policy making and regulations; and cooperation with the U.S. to align greenhouse gas regulations as appropriate, reduce transboundary air pollution and advance the development of clean technologies. The program will also involve continued participation in and contribution to international negotiations to address climate change and transboundary air pollution, as well as bilateral and multilateral processes that complement international negotiations or support Canada’s positions and objectives in international negotiations. Contributions in support of Climate Change and Clean Air, contribution for the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol, and grants for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer are used as a component of this program.

Program 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air

Expected Results

  • Threats to Canadians, their health and their environment from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are minimized
Performance IndicatorsTargets
Canadian emissions of greenhouse gases from targeted and/or regulated sourcesCanada’s national target is a 17% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020
Canadian emissions of air pollutants from industrial and mobile sourcesAnnual decline in the 3-year moving average for all tracked substances for both sectors
Canadian ambient air quality (ground-level ozone)65 ppb ongoing
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures180.1180.3230.6115.9
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.8)(0.8)(0.8)(0.7)
Net Expenditures179.3179.5229.9115.2

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
729655655

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme I (a)Planning Highlights

Sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Environment Canada will continue to develop and implement a sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions–including those from major-emitting sectors of the economy–in consultation with provinces, territories and stakeholders. This work will build on achievements to date in progress made towards achieving Canada’s commitment under the Copenhagen Accord to reduce GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Key highlights of 2013–2014 activities include the following:

  • Implementing the coal-fired electricity generation regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in September 2012, and developing regulations for oil and gas, natural gas-fired electricity generation, as well as other major-emitting industrial sectors.
  • Working closely with the U.S. on North American transportation standards for GHG emissions by finalizing and implementing standards for heavy-duty vehicles for model year 2014 and beyond, as well as continuing implementation of the light-duty vehicle regulations for the 2011–2016 model years and finalizing draft standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2017–2025, which were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in December 2012.
  • Conducting research, monitoring and modelling, and providing advice on Canada’s changing climate related to GHG and aerosols, as well as reporting and publishing GHG emissions from facilities emitting 50 kilotonnes or more of carbon dioxide annually, in collaboration with provincial partners.
  • Continuing the Department’s participation in federal technology programs (e.g., the Green Municipal Fund) where these programs align with environmental and departmental priorities and benefits.
  • Working with the U.S. and international partners to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons, and developing GHG and air pollutant inventories to meet both international and domestic reporting requirements.
  • Continuing to collaborate with provincial partners to manage and expand Environment Canada’s “single window” system, a harmonized online system for the regulatory reporting of air emissions (including GHGs), pollutant releases and chemical substances across Canada.
  • Managing Canada’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program, including collaborating with provinces and territories to incorporate the ETV process into their management decisions; engaging key countries in efforts to support, for instance, the international harmonization of assessment protocols and test methods; and leading the development of an international standard[15] for the ETV Program under the International Organization for Standardization.

National Air Quality Management System

Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards form a key component of the new Air Quality Management System (AQMS). The standards will guide air quality improvements across the country to further protect the health of Canadians and the environment. The federal, provincial and territorial governments are working collaboratively to implement measures to achieve the recently agreed-upon air quality standards for fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone.

Environment Canada will continue to collaborate with the provinces, industry and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the new Air Quality Management System (AQMS), which includes the setting of national standards for outdoor air quality and industrial emission requirements for key air pollutants.

Plans for 2013–2014 include the following:

  • Ongoing development, finalization and publication of regulatory and non-regulatory instruments to reduce air pollutant emissions from key industrial sectors.
  • Conducting critical air quality research, monitoring and modelling to characterize priority air pollutants, determine trends and predict air quality; and disseminating new knowledge on atmospheric processes and air emissions from various sources.
  • Continuing to inform the national AQMS by contributing to a scientific assessment of the environmental impacts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions in Canada to support the development of the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) for NO2 and SO2.
  • Continuing to develop and amend air pollutant regulations for vehicles, engines and fuels (such as those used in chainsaws, lawnmowers, ice resurfacers and forklifts), in alignment with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
  • Continuing to use the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)[16] to track toxic and other substances of concern.

Other planning activities also include continued implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring, in partnership with the Government of Alberta and local stakeholders, to monitor and report air quality data for specific areas in the region (i.e., the airshed zone). For more information, please see the “Air Quality Component” document under this website.

International participation on climate change and air quality

Canada’s climate change agenda calls for collaboration with other nations also committed to addressing climate change. Commitments made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) form the basis of Canada’s commitments.

Planned activities for 2013–2014 include the following:

  • Engaging in ongoing international negotiations on the UNFCCC, including delivering on the outcomes of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) 18 held in Qatar in 2012 and preparing to participate in the 2013 United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (CoP) 19 in Poland.
  • Canada in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition

    In February 2012, Canada became a founding member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to address short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The CCAC partners are working to address climate change, air quality and health issues by targeting SLCPs such as black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are responsible for about 30% of global warming. Environment Canada is on the CCAC Steering Committee, contributed $3 million to the CCAC Trust Fund, and will provide leadership within the Coalition and continue to participate in a number of CCAC initiatives involving diesel engines, HFCs, capturing methane and black carbon from waste, and reducing black carbon and methane from oil and gas operations.

  • Participating in international initiatives to address short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including contributing through the Arctic Council, the Gothenburg Protocol to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, the International Maritime Organization and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) (see sidebar), and working bilaterally with the U.S., Mexico and other countries.
  • Environment Canada will continue to serve as the federal lead on the Global Methane Initiative that aims to reduce global methane emissions and to advance the abatement, recovery and use of methane as a valuable clean energy source.
  • Ongoing collaboration with the United States to reduce transboundary air pollution, including working towards an expansion of the 1991 Canada–U.S. Air Quality Agreement to address particulate matter (PM), a key component of smog. Efforts are underway to update the 2004 Canada-U.S. Transboundary PM Science Assessment, and Canada also continues to meet commitments under the Acid Rain and Ozone Annexes.
  • Planning and implementing modifications to Canada’s National Inventory and other GHG emissions reporting to incorporate changes in scope (adding new gas nitrogen tri-fluoride and several source categories across all inventory sectors), in methods (including new Global Warming Potential values) and in reporting format, as mandated by the UNFCCC.
  • Continuing to meet UNFCCC reporting obligations, including annual reporting on GHG emission levels, quadrennial National Communications reporting, and a new obligation to report biennially on progress towards our national climate change goals. ln addition, Canada will continue to provide data to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to support research and analysis as part of international efforts to address climate change.

Canada Reports on Climate Change

By January 2014, Environment Canada will prepare and submit Canada’s Sixth National Communications and First Biennial Report to the UNFCCC. These mandatory reports will include information on policies, programs and actions on climate change that Canada is taking to implement the Convention, as well as GHG inventories and projections.   

Activities in this program also contribute to “Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality” of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

2010–2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Table

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme I (a)Goal 1: Climate Change – Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Government actions to meet reduction targetTarget 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation – Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 17% by 2020

FSDS Goal

  • Icon for Theme I (a)Goal 2: Air Pollution – Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems
FSDS
Performance Indicator
FSDS
Target
Air emissions indicators of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ammoniaTarget 2.1: Air Pollutants – Reduce air pollutants in order to maintain or improve air quality across the country and achieve the emission targets which are currently under development in consultation with provinces and stakeholders
Trends in air quality related health outcomes[17]Target 2.1: Air Pollutants – Reduce air pollutants in order to maintain or improve air quality across the country and achieve the emission targets which are currently under development in consultation with provinces and stakeholders

Note: In 2013–2014, the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013–2016), which will provide the basis for performance reporting beginning with the year-end performance report for 2013–2014.

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Programs 3.3: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement–Pollution and 1.4: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement–Wildlife

Program Description

Benefits to Canadians

Through Environment Canada’s efforts to promote compliance and enforce federal regulations, wildlife and the natural environment are protected.

Program 3.3 (Pollution):

This program contributes to minimizing damages and threats to the natural environment and biodiversity through the promotion and enforcement of legislation administered by Environment Canada, supported by sound scientific analysis and advice. Program actions focus on pollution, including toxic substances, their release to air, water or land and the import and export of hazardous waste that presents a risk to the environment and/or human health. The program maintains a contingent of compliance promotion and enforcement officers. Compliance promotion officers provide information to regulatees on legislative requirements, the environmental benefits of compliance and the potential penalties of non-compliance. Enforcement officers’ activities include gathering intelligence, conducting inspections to verify compliance with laws and regulations, and pursuing investigations to take appropriate enforcement measures against offenders. The program also performs compliance analysis in order to provide continuous feedback on program planning and results.

Program 1.4 (Wildlife): This program serves to conserve and protect the natural environment through compliance promotion and enforcement–supported by sound scientific analysis and advice–of the following wildlife-related legislation administered by Environment Canada: the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, and the Canada Wildlife Act. Measures to promote compliance include communication and publication of information, education, and consultation with parties affected by these statutes. The program maintains a contingent of enforcement officers whose actions focus on ensuring and verifying conformity with laws, regulations and permits pertaining to wildlife, through several activities–which include gathering intelligence, conducting inspections and pursuing investigations to take appropriate enforcement measures against alleged offenders. These actions ensure that damages and threats to biodiversity are reduced for the benefit of Canadians and the international community.

Program 3.3: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement – Pollution
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Compliance with pollution laws and regulations administered by Environment Canada

Compliance with regulatory requirements for selected regulations

Regulations reported under this indicator:

Dry Cleaning Regulations (initial pilot; other regulations to be added)[18]

Dry Cleaning Regulations

10% increase in compliance in 2015–2016 relative to the 2012–2013 baseline

Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures43.944.142.442.3
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.1)(0.1)(0.1)(0.1)
Net Expenditures43.844.042.342.2

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
392377377

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Program 1.4: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement - Wildlife
Expected ResultsPerformance IndicatorsTargets
Compliance with wildlife laws and regulations administered by Environment CanadaPercentage of inspected regulated community compliant with regulatory requirements under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 199490% by 2012–2013[19]
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures16.716.916.516.2
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.1)(0.1)(0.1)(0.1)
Net Expenditures16.616.816.416.2

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
139136135

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme I (a)Icon for Theme III (n)Planning Highlights

Promote compliance and enforce regulations – pollution and wildlife

Building on the successes of EC’s enforcement operations in 2012 that resulted in numerous enforcement actions against those in violation of Canadian environmental and wildlife acts and regulations, the Department’s planned activities in 2013–2014 in terms of compliance and regulatory enforcement with respect to pollution and wildlife include the following:

  • Ongoing delivery on its core mandate of promoting compliance and enforcing legislation and regulations, including promotion of environmental requirements, inspections and investigations; follow-up to ensure compliance after investigations; and investigations in response to events, such as environmental incidents with the potential for pollution and/or harm to wildlife.
  • Continuing to conduct compliance activities, with increasing emphasis given to effectively reaching small and medium-sized enterprises and First Nations, recognizing that these regulatees do not have the same capacity as larger enterprises to understand and comply with environmental regulations that affect them.
  • In collaboration with experts and partners in Canada and around the world, identifying priority areas and issues requiring attention, based on data collected through inspections, investigations and intelligence.
  • Continuing to report results of compliance promotion and enforcement activities in accordance with various acts–in the case of wildlife, for example, the Species at Risk Act(SARA) and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act; and, in the case of pollution, for example, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Fisheries Act.
  • Partnerships in action...

    Operation NANOOK

    This collaborative initiative provides a visible Canadian presence in the Arctic and demonstrates Canada’s ability to respond to emergency situations in the region. For the first time, environmental enforcement will be included in Operation NANOOK, which has been conducted every summer since 2007, primarily in the eastern and High Arctic.

    Other partners include the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and Special Forces, as well as other federal departments and provincial, territorial, regional and international partners.

  • Participating for the first time in Operation NANOOK, part of a long-term strategy to enhance environmental enforcement in the North (see sidebar).
  • Laying the foundation for the deployment of a new enforcement information system and the centralization of data to support compliance promotion and enforcement.
  • Implementing Phase I of the Environmental Enforcement Act to develop a model for the assessment of new penalties for environmental damage, and for the assessment of financial benefit gained from environmental offences (related to both pollution and wildlife).
  • Implementing Administrative Monetary Penalties provided for under the Environmental Enforcement Act.
  • Working on a multi-year project to increase compliance with targeted small/medium enterprises; the baseline compliance rate established in 2012–2013 will help inform compliance promotion and enforcement activities with specific strategies aimed at known compliance issues and trends.
  • Creating a client-focused Web presence to support compliance and provide information about environmental requirements (both regulations and other risk management instruments) in a clear, consistent and easily searchable format.

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Internal Services

  • Governance and Management Support
  • Resource Management Services
  • Asset Management Services
Financial Resources ($ millions)*
 Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2013–2014
Planned Spending
2014–2015
Planned Spending
2015–2016
Gross Expenditures199.5190.1178.6173.9
Less: Respendable Revenues(0.7)(0.7)(0.7)(0.7)
Net Expenditures198.8189.4177.9173.3

* Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent–FTE)**
2013–20142014–20152015–2016
1,5371,5221,500

**Total may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers include students.

Icon for Theme IV (g)Planning Highlights

In 2013–2014 and beyond, Environment Canada (and all federal departments) will continue to contribute to the Government of Canada’s plan to return to fiscal balance. Where practical, the Department will continue to explore and adopt new technologies, and will re-engineer business processes and other approaches to streamlining operations. Throughout the planning period, the Department will manage the transition of a number of services to Shared Services Canada, while maintaining ongoing support and service delivery to its internal and external clients.

Internal services branches provide many core management and operational services, including human resources, communications, financial and information management, audit and evaluation, and legal services, all within the context of the required policies. These services will continue to be tailored to reflect budget and program adjustments. Internal services staff in the Department’s regional offices, in tandem with resources at headquarters, will continue to be instrumental in supporting the forming and maintaining of partnerships with provincial governments, community stakeholders, Aboriginal communities and institutes of higher learning.

Environment Canada’s corporate management approach provides the foundation that enables the Department to align and comply with prescribed accountability structures while working to reduce administrative and reporting burden within the Department, and works to maintain transparency to Canadians through proactive reporting and disclosures.

The following is an overview of the actions Environment Canada will undertake in 2013–2014 to meet the Department’s priority of responsive management:

1. Develop and implement strategic approaches to human resources management that respond to conditions of the current period of fiscal restraint.

In 2013–2014, the Human Resources Branch will continue to support the Department’s mandate and human resources management needs and to adapt to changing resourcing levels; it will hold strategic discussions with clients to identify their priorities and to assist in reallocating branch resources in support of these priorities. The Branch will continue to deliver services through its national service delivery model. This model provides branch heads with access to an integrated, holistic picture of their human resources management requirements through various tools and forums, and supports them in delivering consistent services across the Department that are aligned to the policies and agreements relating to human resources management.

2. Improve communication–internally and externally–of departmental priorities, programs and policies.

The Communications Branch will maintain its focus on aligning available resources to strategically support departmental priorities. It will also focus on more efficient use of available tools, including improvements to the Department’s online presence, in order to more effectively share information with Canadians about the Department’s services and results achieved.

3. Focus financial management functions on mandatory/core services and provide them through the most effective and efficient means possible.

Finance Branch will support sound financial stewardship and resource management through the development of an integrated and harmonized approach to departmental financial planning. The Branch will also improve corporate and financial reports and tools, will continue to implement a risk-based approach to transfer payments and budget allocation, and will address the requirements of the Policy on Internal Control.

As part of implementing the new Service Delivery Framework for financial management advisory services and accounting services, work will focus in 2013–2014 on standardizing, streamlining and integrating business processes to support the transition to a new departmental financial management system. As a key element of the Framework, this system will position the Department to achieve future operational efficiencies. Throughout the transition period, the Branch will maintain the current system’s stability while meeting legislative requirements associated with the new system, and will reallocate resources as needed to implement a new enterprise resource planning system that is aligned with government-wide systems.

4. Continue to implement Environment Canada’s Departmental Security Plan (including its Business Continuity Plan)

Environment Canada will continue to implement its Departmental Security Plan to better safeguard personnel, assets and information while assuring thatoperational needs are met and that critical services continue to be maintained, especially during an emergency. Security programming priorities in 2013–2014 include ongoing implementation of the Threat and Risk Assessments Program aimed at creating risk-based security safeguards in all Environment Canada facilities across Canada, continuing development and application of the Departmental security program policy suite, and maintaining the Department’s prevention, real-time detection and response capabilities against cyber-attacks.

5. Re-engineer information management and information technology (IM/IT) operations to support the Shared Services Canada model and ongoing departmental requirements

The Department entered into a business arrangement and a related operating protocol with Shared Services Canada (SSC) in 2012–2013 that together define accountabilities, expectations and commitments for ongoing delivery of common infrastructure services for telecommunications, data centre and email. The protocol includes measures to ensure the continuity of the Department’s unique and critical services required of SSC for delivery of Environment Canada’s mandate, including the supercomputer. In 2013–2014, SSC and Environment Canada will formalize service expectations such that the Department’s IM/IT needs will continue to be met. The two organizations will collaborate to develop a strong governance model that enables decision making as and when needed.

6. Support management oversight

Environment Canada will maintain strong and independent internal audit and evaluation functions that provide value-added support to the Deputy Minister and senior management in areas of governance, risk management, controls and performance. As well, the Audit and Evaluation Branch (AEB) is pursuing a number of professional practices, priorities and initiatives to better serve the Department. This includes conducting an internal audit practice inspection and a neutral assessment of the evaluation function, and further improving the AEB’s planning and knowledge management processes.

Gender-Based Analysis

As a participant in the government-wide Departmental Action Plan on Gender-Based Analysis, the Department will remain fully committed to the integration of gender-based analysis into the development of its public policies and programs.

Greening Government Operations

Environment Canada is a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and contributes to the Greening Government Operations targets through the Internal Services Program. The Department contributes to the following target areas of Theme IV of the FSDS:

  • green buildings
  • green procurement
  • e-waste, managed print, paper consumption and green meetings
  • greenhouse gas emissions

For additional information, please see this website.

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[3] A “protected” area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed–through legal or other effective means–to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.

[4] The parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity set an aspirational target in October 2010, which was to set aside 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters and at least 10% of marine areas, by 2020. Canada, as a signatory to the Convention, is contributing to this global target. A specific domestic target for Canada is being developed through consultation with provinces, territories and stakeholders, in recognition of this being a Canada-wide rather than a federal government target.

[5]Canada is home to two thirds of the world’s Polar Bears, and the mammal is a “species of special concern” under SARA. 

[6] A target for the proportion of migratory bird species meeting population goals will be set once population goals are finalized with provinces and territories in 2013.

[7] For more information on the water monitoring activities included in the plan, please visit this website.

[8]Applies to oceans.

[9]Environment Canada will provide hydrological expertise for monitoring water flows and influence related waterways implicated under the Transboundary Waters Protection Act.

[10]Sensitive populations for the AQHI are defined as those people with existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, young children, the elderly and those who are active outdoors.

[11]Main clients include NAV CANADA, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard.

[12]These two targets are co-led by the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Health.

[13]This indicator is produced by Health Canada.

[14]Other federal departments as well as other levels of government also contribute achievements against this target.

[15]This standard will help ensure that a technology verified in one member country will be accepted as verified in other member countries.

[16]The NPRI is a key tool for identifying and monitoring sources of air pollution, and for developing and updating indicators for the quality of air, land and water.

[17]This indicator is produced by Health Canada.

[18]A statistically valid methodology for the measurement of compliance rates is being pilot tested using the Dry Cleaning Regulations. The selection of the regulations for the pilot was based on several criteria related to the feasibility of calculating valid compliance rates. On completion of the pilot, other regulations will be considered for inclusion in this indicator.

[19]The target will be revised once a baseline value is reported in the 2012–2013 Departmental Performance Report.

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