Environment Canada's science strategy 2014-2019: chapter 2

2. Vision, mission and principles to guide Environment Canada’s science

As described earlier, the Science Strategy responds to organizational and contextual changes for the Department. Environment Canada’s science continues to be grounded in a mandate to protect the environment, conserve Canada's natural heritage, and provide weather and meteorological information to keep Canadians informed and safe. The Strategy’s vision, mission, and principles build on the broad directions outlined in the 2007 Science Plan. They seek to refine and focus those directions to move the Department’s science forward and focus it on federal priorities, which include environmental priorities identified by the Government of Canada, the Minister of the Environment, and relevant national governance bodies, such as the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Although the Strategy sets out directions for the next five years, its vision, mission and principles are longer-term objectives.


To provide leadership on environmental science addressing federal priorities


To provide the scientific knowledge, data and tools needed to enable Environment Canada’s policies, programs and services to help provide a clean, safe and sustainable environment for Canadians


Relevance, Transparency, Responsiveness, Excellence, Collaboration

Principle 1: Relevance

Environment Canada’s science activities should be relevant to the current and future needs of users. These activities should effectively and efficiently deliver on the Department’s mandate and key federal priorities.

Principle 2: Transparency

Increased external scrutiny and the international and global nature of so many environmental problems demand greater transparency. Environment Canada’s science activities should be conducted in an open manner and the results of the Department’s work should be easily accessible.

Principle 3: Responsiveness

Environment Canada’s science should anticipate, respond and adapt to new and evolving environmental realities and priorities. The Department maintains core expertise and capacity across the field of environmental science, which it deploys to generate timely insight and solutions to current issues.

Principle 4: Excellence

Environment Canada maintains and pursues scientific excellence by using and adhering to internationally recognized standards and processes. The Department’s stature, reputation, and productivity are a direct result of its culture of scientific integrity, rigour, authority and creativity.

Principle 5: Collaboration

Science is a collaborative enterprise. Environment Canada’s scientists collaborate with partners in Canada and internationally through networks across universities, the private sector, other governments and non-governmental organizations. Collaboration involves sharing information and expertise across disciplines, sectors and jurisdictions in order to work collectively to find viable solutions to environmental challenges.

Together, these five principles serve as a framework to set out what Environment Canada strives for, and to explain how it will operate as a science-based organization. These principles guide the work of all staff involved in performing and managing science in the Department. The mechanisms for implementation included in the final section of the Strategy put these principles into practice.

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