Order amending the Schedule to the Federal Sustainable Development Act

Summary of a strategic assessment of effects on the environment of an Order amending the Schedule to the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act (the Act) will be amended by An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act (the amendments) on December 1, 2020. The changes to the Act brought by the amendments include the power for the Governor in Council (GiC) to add or remove entities listed in the Schedule to the Act. Under this new authority, this Order will add 2 Crown corporations (the National Capital Commission and Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated) on December 1, 2020 to the Schedule of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as amended by An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

This will improve federal policy cohesion on sustainable development by requiring more federal entities to contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), as well as develop and report on their own sustainable development strategies.

The Act requires the Government of Canada to develop and report on a FSDS, once in every 3-year period. The FSDS outlines the federal government’s sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and lists actions to achieve them.

The FSDS is also part of Canada’s domestic response to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through past consultations, stakeholders, including the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, asked for an Act and future FSDSs that:

In June 2016, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development introduced a report with 13 recommendations to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In support of the Committee’s report, the Government introduced Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act in June 2017.

Overall, the Act is being modernised by:

Expected outcomes  

Amending the Schedule of the Act on December 1, 2020 to include 2 Crown corporations will have several direct outcomes, all of which could result in environmental benefits. These direct outcomes include:

The amendments to the Schedule of the Federal Sustainable Development Act made through this Order are expected to result in stronger FSDSs, and will build on past FSDS progress related to goals such as greening government, sustainably managed lands and forests, connecting Canadians with nature, and safe and healthy communities. The addition of the 2 Crown corporations may also contribute to various environmental aspects of the SDGs.

Measures are in place to monitor and report on the FSDS’s progress. Results of the FSDS will continue to be communicated at least once every 3 years through the FSDS progress reports, and organizational sustainable development strategies will be reported on annually through Departmental Results Reports.

 

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