Environment Canada's science strategy 2014-2019: message from the Deputy Ministers

Message from the Deputy Ministers

Since the origin of Environment Canada in 1971, science has been an integral part of the Department. Today, as environmental issues continue to emerge, evolve and increase in complexity, science is more important than ever to Environment Canada’s ability to lead efforts to provide a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for Canadians. Sound scientific monitoring and research are the foundation of our policies, programs and services. Consequently, in 2012-13, Environment Canada science and technology activities represented an investment of more than $584 million and involved over 3,700 of our employees; that is most of the Department’s budget and over half of our workforce. Our science activities include targeted work in key environmental sciences and related fields, such as atmospheric sciences, meteorology, physics, biology, chemistry, toxicology, hydrology, ecology, engineering, and informatics.

The importance of science to achieving our mandate, the broad scope of our science activities and the level of resources dedicated to these activities mean that Environment Canada must devote continual attention to ensuring that our science is relevant, effective and efficient. Our science is at the core of our mandate to enable a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for Canadians. Environment Canada’s policies, regulations, programs and services are based on the best available scientific evidence. Transparency is important to the credibility of our science. Environment Canada scientists are actively encouraged to publish their research and we share our science with the public through many channels.

This Strategy, titled Environment Canada’s Science Strategy 2014-2019, has been developed in recognition of the need for continual improvement. The Strategy builds on the long-term direction set out in the Department’s 2007 Science Plan and the 2010 Technology Role by providing a renewed picture of the science Environment Canada performs, its scientific vision, mission and principles, and where that science is headed. This Science Strategy explains the purpose of the science performed by the Department and sets the direction for our science over the next five years. The purpose of the Strategy is to better align our science with federal priorities by identifying the key scientific areas of focus needed to support the Department’s mandate. The new mission emphasizes the importance of establishing linkages between the producers of science and its various users. The goal is to strengthen the link between these two broad groups to better support our Departmental mandate with world-class science.  

Environment Canada employees from across the country, other federal Departments and Agencies and external science partners were engaged in developing the Strategy. We are very proud of the consultation and engagement process that was used to develop the Strategy, as well as the level of engagement from our staff. Collaboration is a cornerstone of Environment Canada’s science, and is integral to the Department’s authoritative stature in Canada and on the international stage. We pride ourselves on producing excellent and relevant science to address Canada’s most pressing federal priorities.

We invite you to read this Science Strategy to learn more about Environment Canada’s scientific role and how science is helping us tackle current environmental issues and prepare for the future.

Bob Hamilton, Deputy Minister
Environment Canada

Andrea Lyon, Associate Deputy Minister
Environment Canada

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