Departmental Performance Report 2012-2013
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment
As Canada's Environment Minister, I am pleased to present the 2012–2013 Departmental Performance Report. This report outlines Environment Canada's progress in addressing the priorities and commitments set out in the 2012–2013 Report on Plans and Priorities.
Canada’s environment affects us all, and our individual and collective actions do make a difference. I thank Canadians for the commitment they have shown and look forward to working with them on the shared challenges and responsibilities we face together.
Environment Canada is committed to operating as a world-class regulator. This involves ensuring that our efforts to protect our environment are science-based, effective, efficient, transparent and adaptable over time.
Environment Canada continues to make progress in addressing climate change and advancing the clean air agenda. Our approach to reducing greenhouse gases has seen the introduction of strict new rules on emissions for coal-fired electricity plants, making Canada the first country in the world to ban construction of traditional coal plants. We have also set even more stringent emission regulations for light-duty vehicles for the 2017–2025 period.
Working with the provinces and territories, we finalized a national Air Quality Management System and are preparing the first set of draft emission requirements for major industries across Canada.
On the international stage, we concluded work with the Arctic Council on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and we are proud to have been a founding member, lead partner and major financial contributor to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, established this past year to reduce SLCPs such as black carbon, methane, and certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Under the Chemicals Management Plan, we continued to protect Canadians and their environment through measures such as requiring manufacturers to establish and report on Pollution Prevention Plans for substances such as Bisphenol A and Isoprene.
On biodiversity, we continued to safeguard species at risk (including the boreal caribou) and species of concern (including the polar bear) and increased protected habitats. In 2012–2013, Environment Canada maintained and managed National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries encompassing a total of 12,448,961 hectares. This is more than twice the size of the Province of Nova Scotia. We also engaged stakeholders in developing the framework for a National Conservation Plan.
On water issues, we finalized amendments to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which will safeguard this invaluable ecosystem into the future. We continued to provide provinces and territories with data on water monitoring and flood forecasts and invested in new field technologies for real-time level and flow estimations.
Canadians were provided with weather forecasts and warned of severe weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy. Some of the investments announced by the Government of Canada in Budget 2010 and 2011 were directed to strengthening weather monitoring and forecasting. This included upgrades to the Canadian Weather Radar Network, the Canadian Weather and Climate Observing Networks and the Canadian Lightning Detection Network and upgrades to weather monitoring in the Arctic. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada announced an additional $248 million over five years to further revitalize Canada's weather services.
Environment Canada has established extensive monitoring activities in the oil sands, as part of an expanded and transparent monitoring of air, water, land and biodiversity in the area. The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring represents the largest monitoring initiative ever undertaken by Environment Canada.
The year also saw the tabling of the second Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Progress Report and the release of the draft 2013–2016 FSDS for public consultation, which further advanced our commitment to making environmental decision making more transparent and accountable.
I invite you to read the report for details of these and many more activities undertaken to ensure a clean, safe and sustainable environment for today and for generations to come.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment
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