2017-2018 Departmental Plan: Departmental Plan

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

___________________________________________________
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and
Minister Responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency


© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 2017.

This publication may be reproduced for personal or internal use without permission, provided the source is fully acknowledged. However, multiple copy reproduction of this publication in whole or in part for purposes of redistribution requires the prior written permission from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3, or info@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Catalogue No.: En104-15E-PDF

ISSN: 2371-6355

This document has been issued in French under the title: Agence canadienne d’évaluation environnementale: Plan ministériel 2017–2018.

Alternative formats may be requested by contacting: info@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Table of contents


Minister’s message

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Our 2017–18 Departmental Plan provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on what we do and the results we are trying to achieve during the upcoming year. To improve reporting to Canadians, we are introducing a new, simplified report to replace the Report on Plans and Priorities.

The title of the report has been changed to reflect its purpose: to communicate our annual performance goals and the financial and human resources forecast to deliver those results. The report has also been restructured to tell a clearer, more straightforward and balanced story of the actual results we are trying to achieve, while continuing to provide transparency on how taxpayers’ dollars will be spent. We describe our programs and services for Canadians, our priorities for 2017–18, and how our work will fulfill our departmental mandate commitments and the government’s priorities.

I am pleased to present the Departmental Plan for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency). In 2017–18, the Agency will continue to support the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect the environment and grow the economy. This reinforces a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand as major projects are developed – and that both are needed for the future success of our country.

Environmental assessments (EAs) protect the environment by identifying and mitigating a project’s potential environmental effects. EAs are done in consultation with Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples and local residents, where major projects are being planned. The process gathers scientific data and facts that allow our government to make informed decisions on whether projects can move forward.

For major projects that are approved, mitigation measures and follow-up programs are put in place and enforced through the Agency’s compliance and enforcement program. We have also put in place – for the first time – a project-specific collaborative environmental monitoring committee to allow Indigenous Peoples and other levels of government to play an ongoing role in environmental monitoring and protection.

We want Canadians to have an EA process they can trust. In June 2016, I launched a comprehensive review of federal EA processes. I appointed an Expert Panel tasked with consulting Canadians to gather input and provide recommendations on changes Canadians would like to see made to our EA system. I look forward to establishing the way forward for the future of federal EAs and building a system that Canadians can trust and rely upon.

Until changes arise from the review, the Interim Approach and Principles announced in January 2016, continue to apply to major projects undergoing an EA. This framework allows the Government of Canada to make decisions that are informed by science and traditional knowledge, views of the public and affected communities, meaningful consultation of Indigenous Peoples, and an assessment of a project’s direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions.

I invite my colleagues and Canadians to read this plan to learn more about the Agency's priorities and how it plans to achieve them.

___________________________________________________
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Institutional Head’s message

Ron Hallman, President, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

I am pleased to submit this Departmental Plan, outlining how the Agency plans to meet its priorities in the 2017–18 reporting period.

Our team of highly qualified employees is committed to delivering evidence-based environmental assessments (EAs) that protect the environment, foster economic growth and serve the public interest. The Agency will support the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in carrying out her responsibilities by conducting EAs for major projects that are based in science and include feedback and expertise received from the public, Indigenous groups and stakeholders. Consultation is at the core of what we do and we will continue to align our work to Government priorities, while promoting transparency in how we engage with Canadians.

In the 2016–17 fiscal year, the Agency actively supported the Minister in leading a national review of federal EA processes. This included planning for the review and assembling a secretariat to support a four-person Expert Panel appointed by the Minister to conduct the review.

Following the review, the Agency will support the Minister as potential changes to EA processes are considered. In the meantime, the Agency will continue to apply the Interim Approach and Principles for EAs announced in January 2016. The Agency is committed to delivering its mandate to provide high-quality EAs that contribute to informed decision making, in support of sustainable development.

As experts in the field, our team plays a lead role in shaping the future of EA domestically and internationally. Looking forward, the Agency will continue to build strong and effective relationships with our colleagues, stakeholders and Canadians.

I encourage you to read this report for more details on the Agency's priorities in the coming year.

___________________________________________________
Ron Hallman
President
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Plans at a glance

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) is a federal body accountable to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Agency provides high-quality environmental assessments (EAs) that inform government decision making, in support of sustainable development. The Agency is the responsible authority for most federal EAs.

EA identifies opportunities to eliminate, reduce or control a project’s potential environmental effects before the project is undertaken, and by ensuring that mitigation measures are applied if a project is allowed to proceed.

In 2017–18 the Agency will concentrate on five key priorities:

  • Play a lead role in shaping the future of EA, domestically and internationally;
  • Build effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples;
  • Deliver high-quality EAs of major projects;
  • Engage Canadians, including the public, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders, in the EAs of major projects; and
  • Deliver effective and timely professional support to the Agency.

This report outlines planned activities and expected results under three program areas: EA Policy, EA Delivery and Internal Services.

EA Policy Program

The EA Policy Program is responsible for the legislative and policy frameworks that promote high-quality federal EA. Its planned results for 2017–18 include shaping the future of EAs and continuing to build effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

These results will be supported by the following planned activities. The EA Policy Program will play a key role in ensuring the Agency is seen as a leader in shaping the future of EA, domestically and internationally, by leading the way to bring change to the EA process based on the outcomes of the review of EA processes and by demonstrating leadership and expertise in EA delivery. Through its work, the Agency will demonstrate international leadership through its commitment to assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Domestically, the Agency will support the conduct of EA through federal-provincial agreements and new policy standards.

In support of building effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples, the Agency will continue to develop innovative approaches for engagement with Indigenous groups in support of high-quality EAs, including monitoring and follow-up programs. Lastly, the Agency will develop approaches to engage with Indigenous groups on key policy issues relevant to EA processes in support of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

This work will support the Minister’s mandate letter commitments through the review of Canada’s EA processes to ensure public trust and help get resources to market, while introducing new inclusive processes.

EA Delivery Program

The EA Delivery Program conducts high-quality EAs in a timely and predictable way in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). For 2017–18 this includes the following planned results:

  • Federal decisions and proponent actions are informed by the best available information and knowledge, including community and Indigenous traditional knowledge;
  • Indigenous consultation activities are integrated into the EA process;
  • GHG emissions are considered and factored into decision statements;
  • Compliance with CEAA 2012 is promoted and monitored; and
  • Duplication of assessment activities with other jurisdictions is avoided.

These results will be supported by ongoing activities and special initiatives. Namely, renewed emphasis will be placed on openness and transparency and meaningful participation by all parties with an interest in the EA process. In particular, the Agency will seek to build more effective relationships with Indigenous groups to support the goal of high-quality EA and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, as well as to apply an efficient and effective whole-of-government approach to consultation with Indigenous Peoples potentially affected by projects.

Internal Services

Internal services provides enabling services in a cost-effective, efficient and timely manner to meet the Agency’s requirements in compliance with the Government of Canada policy framework. For 2017–18 the Agency will focus on workplace well-being and the implementation of new information systems. These initiatives will be supported by the following planned activities:

  • Complete the roll-out of the Agency's new Environmental Assessment Management System (EAMS);
  • Engage with Canadians and expand EA-related information available on-line;
  • Implementation of the Agency’s mental health action plan;
  • Implement GCDOCS, the Government of Canada's shared Information Management System;
  • Support the Open Government initiative;
  • Enhance its internal business processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness; and
  • Move towards a Workplace 2.0 environment at its Headquarters location.

Conclusion

The Agency anticipates a challenging year in 2017–18 as it continues to provide high quality EAs while examining the implications of the report of the review of EA Processes Expert Panel. It will be a transitory year as decisions are finalized regarding the outcomes of the review of EA processes and the Agency positions itself to rollout required changes.

For more information on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s plans, priorities and the planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Environmental assessment (EA) contributes to informed decision-making in support of sustainable development.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) delivers high-quality EAs in support of government decisions about major projects.

Mandate and role

EA informs government decision making and supports sustainable development by identifying opportunities to eliminate, reduce or control a project’s potential adverse impact on the environment before the project is undertaken, and by ensuring that mitigation measures are applied if a project is allowed to proceed.

The CEAA 2012 and its accompanying regulations provide the legislative framework for EAs. EAs consider whether “designated projects” are likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that fall within the legislative authority of Parliament or result from a federal decision about the project. Assessments are conducted by one of three responsible authorities: the Agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission or the National Energy Board. CEAA 2012 requires that opportunities for public participation be provided during EAs and that participant funding and a public registry, including an Internet site, be established. CEAA 2012 also defines the roles and responsibilities of the Agency, the other responsible authorities, decision makers and project proponents Footnote 1.

When the Agency is the responsible authority, it determines whether an EA is required for a designated project and conducts or manages the EA in accordance with the procedures and timelines set out in CEAA 2012. The Agency is also responsible for managing the EAs of most projects that continue to be assessed under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, in accordance with the transitional provisions of CEAA 2012.

The Agency advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in fulfilling her responsibilities under CEAA 2012, including establishing review panels to conduct EAs of certain projects, determining the significance of the effects of projects, and issuing EA decision statements at the conclusion of the EA process.

For designated projects for which it is the responsible authority, the Agency promotes compliance with CEAA 2012, and takes action as required to ensure proponents comply with the legislation’s requirements. The Agency coordinates with provinces and territories to deliver timely and efficient EAs and avoid duplication, and advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on requests to substitute the CEAA 2012 process with the EA process of another jurisdiction. Additionally, the Agency—on its own and in collaboration with partners—conducts research to support high-quality EAs and develops effective EA policies and practices.

The Government of Canada takes a whole-of-government approach to Indigenous consultation in the context of EAs, to ensure that Indigenous groups are adequately consulted and, where appropriate, accommodated when the Crown (federal government) contemplates actions that may adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights. The Agency serves as the Crown consultation coordinator to integrate the Government of Canada’s Indigenous consultation activities into the EA process to the extent possible, for review panels and for EAs for which the Agency is responsible.

The Agency leads federal project review activities under the environmental and social protection regimes set out in sections 22 and 23 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and in the Northeastern Quebec Agreement. The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement are constitutionally protected comprehensive land claim agreements. The Agency supports its President who, as the Federal Administrator, must review and determine whether projects of a federal nature proposed under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement or Northeastern Quebec Agreement should proceed and, if so, under which conditions.

The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals establishes a self-assessment process for departments and agencies to conduct a strategic EA of a policy, plan, or program proposal. The Agency supports the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in promoting the application of the Directive, and provides federal authorities with advice, training and guidance upon request.

The Agency was established in 1994 and is headed by a President who reports to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Agency has its headquarters in Ottawa, with regional offices in Halifax, Québec City, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report. For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.Endnote i

Operating context: conditions affecting our work

The Agency operates in a continuously changing environment impacted by government priorities and outside factors. Protecting the environment, while supporting strong economic growth and improving the quality of life of Canadians, are priorities of the Government of Canada. EA, including strategic EA, supports these priorities by ensuring that opportunities to eliminate, reduce or control potential adverse impacts on the environment, as well as mitigation measures, are identified before decisions are made to allow policies, plans, programs or projects to proceed.

Outside factors can significantly affect the type, timing, volume, and distribution of projects requiring an EA. The state of the economy, including commodity prices, public perceptions regarding proposed projects, technological changes that may result in new types of projects or mitigation measures, the outcome of legal challenges and regulatory decisions, and the cumulative effects of environmental issues such as climate change, are all outside factors that are beyond the control of the Agency, but nonetheless can influence its work.

Following commitments made in the Minister’s mandate letter Endnote ii, the Speech from the Throne Endnote iii and Budget 2016 Endnote iv, a comprehensive review of EA processes was undertaken. The Report of the EA Review Panel, and subsequent consultation on the Report, are expected to result in measures that reflect changing expectations for the EA process. In the meantime, the Agency carries out EAs in accordance with the Interim Approach and Principles Endnote v announced in January 2016.

The federal Crown has a legal duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous groups when it contemplates conduct that may adversely affect potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights. Indigenous consultation considerations are therefore integrated into all EAs conducted by the Agency and by review panels which are key opportunities to enhance relationships and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The EA process established under CEAA 2012 coexists with other impact assessment requirements established under some land claims agreements, such as the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, the Nisga’a Final Agreement, and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. This requires close collaboration to ensure efficient coordination of these processes.

Key risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

Key risks

Risks

Risk response strategy

Link to the department’s Programs

Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities

Impacts of economic activity

The Agency operates in a continuously changing environment impacted by outside factors, such as the level of economic activity, which affects the type, timing, volume and distribution of projects requiring EAs.

The Agency maintains proactive relationships with stakeholders, to forecast and plan its work to the extent possible.

The Agency reallocates resources, where possible, to address fluctuating workload distribution and develops strategies in collaboration with central agencies to meet its legislative responsibilities.

Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

Take the lead in implementing the government’s plan for a clean environment and a sustainable economy.

Managing engagement challenges

The Agency manages Indigenous consultation activities with potentially affected Indigenous Peoples during the EAs of designated projects for which it is responsible, in order to fulfill the federal Crown's legal duty to consult. A lack of adequate consultation makes it difficult to ensure appropriate accommodation can be identified and implemented. A lack of adequate consultation may also be a source of regulatory uncertainty.

Each EA may give rise to the legal duty to consult. As such, the Agency integrates Indigenous consultation activities into the EA process to the extent possible, and identifies measures that can be included in a decision statement to address concerns, thereby supporting the federal Crown in meeting its legal duty to consult for the government actions associated with a project, and for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in making an EA decision.

When cooperative mechanisms such as substitution are undertaken with other jurisdictions, the Agency maintains responsibilities for the substantive aspects of consultation, but may delegate the procedural aspects of Indigenous consultation to the other jurisdiction, the proponent or both.

The Indigenous component of the Participant Funding Program provides up to $3 million annually in financial assistance specifically for Indigenous groups, to prepare for, and participate in consultation activities and opportunities associated with EAs undertaken by the Agency or by review panels.

Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

Environmental Assessment Policy Program

Improve relationship with, and outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.

Managing non-compliance

Proponent non-compliance with CEAA 2012, including non-compliance with conditions identified in decision statements could undermine public confidence.

Decision statements contain clear and measurable conditions, including mitigation measures and follow-up program requirements.

The Agency's Compliance and Enforcement Program promotes and verifies compliance and determines an appropriate response to situations involving non-compliance.

Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

Environmental Assessment Policy Program

Review Canada’s environmental assessment processes to regain public trust and help get resources to market and introduce new, fair processes that will,among other things, require project advocates to choose the best technologies available to reduce environmental impacts.

Managing IT priorities

The Agency is part of Shared Services Canada’s mandatory client base. The Agency shares the risks associated to the transformation of the IT infrastructure of the government of Canada to a single consolidated infrastructure.

Ongoing active engagement with Shared Services Canada’s service delivery executives.

Inclusion of escalation process in all memoranda of understanding, service agreements and recovery agreements with Shared Services Canada.

Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

Environmental Assessment Policy Program

Internal services

n.a.

The review of the EA processes which will be completed by 2017–18 may result in changes to the Agency’s responsibilities necessitating further adaptation to changing demands and resource requirements. The Agency supports the Minister of Environment and Climate Change during this review while continuing to deliver on its current responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Programs

Program 1.1: Environmental Assessment Policy Program

Description

The EA Policy Program develops and promotes robust policies and practices for high quality environmental assessment (EA) in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. This is achieved by building and reinforcing policies, procedures, and criteria for the conduct of federal EA, by promoting cooperation and coordinated action between the federal government and other jurisdictions, by promoting communication and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, and by developing instruments and training for EA practitioners. EA Policy enables continuous improvement through research, monitoring, analysis, and advice. Recommendations inform the development of new regulatory and policy approaches, as well as the revision of guidance, training and knowledge-based instruments. The program also provides support for the conduct of EA through various means, such as federal-provincial agreements and policy criteria.

Planning highlights

In support of its leadership role in EA and in response to the Minister’s mandate letter commitments, the Agency will provide analysis, advice and support for the review of EA processes, as well as undertake any required follow up action. As part of this policy effort the Agency will engage with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders to:

  • Address key policy issues raised by Indigenous Peoples during EA processes.
  • Provide information and training to those engaged in the EA process, including practitioners, stakeholders, Indigenous Peoples, and the public.
  • Deliver research and advice that addresses the policy rationale and evidence common to EA project and/or process issues for continuous improvement.
  • Update its policy and guidance instruments based on feedback, lessons learned and advances in EA.

The review of the federal EA processes supports the government’s efforts to introduce new processes that are fair and evidence-based in support of a clean environment and a strong economy.

In support of building effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples, the Agency will provide:

  • Advice to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for the negotiation of EA provisions in agreements with Indigenous Peoples.
  • Federal leadership in EA as the Federal Administrator under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.
  • Approaches to engage with Indigenous Peoples on issues of interest in areas of development activity.

The Agency will also:

  • Develop approaches and instruments with interested provincial and territorial governments related to cooperation, delegation, substitution and/or equivalency.
  • Engage with international partners on capacity-building, enhance international cooperation and engage with other federal departments in developing and negotiating EA provisions in international agreements.
  • Actively participate in and support the International Association of Impact Assessment 2017 annual conference in Montréal, Québec.
  • Explore potential opportunities to assess cumulative effects in a region by engaging with partners and stakeholders.
  • Continue to promote the application of strategic EA to policy, plan and program proposals of the federal government and in consultation with other departments and agencies, provide guidance and training to improve the implementation of strategic EA.
  • Work with federal authorities responsible for projects on federal lands and outside of Canada to achieve consistent implementation of CEAA 2012.
Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013 –14 Actual results 2014 –15 Actual results 2015 –16 Actual results
High-quality EAs enabled through research, analysis and monitoring to produce effective policy instruments Percentage of users of Agency policy instruments who indicated moderate to high satisfaction with these instruments 75 % 2017 -18 and ongoing N/A N/A Footnote 2 Not enough information is available to support a reliable and representative quantitative assessment of user satisfaction for 2015-16.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017 –18 Main Estimates 2017 –18 Planned spending 2018 –19 Planned spending 2019 –20 Planned spending
4 500 940 4 500 940 4 348 793 4 323 707
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017 –18 Planned full-time equivalents 2018 –19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019 –20 Planned full-time equivalents
40 39 39

Program 1.2: Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

Description

This program ensures that high quality environmental assessments of major projects are conducted and completed in a timely and predictable way, thereby supporting economic growth while preventing or reducing adverse environmental effects. The most appropriate means of avoiding duplication of assessment activities with other jurisdictions is applied, thereby, increasing efficiency and providing certainty for all participants in the process. The Agency will promote, monitor, and facilitate compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The environmental assessment process provides for the meaningful participation of the public and Indigenous groups. Indigenous consultation obligations are integrated to the greatest extent possible with the federal environmental assessment process. As such, the Agency consults with Indigenous groups during the environmental assessment process to assess how the proposed project may adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights and related interests, and find ways to avoid or minimize these adverse impacts. This program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Participant Funding Program, and the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

Planning highlights

In order to deliver high-quality EAs and in response to the Minister’s mandate letter commitments, the Agency will:

  • Ensure that proponents' designs, plans and actions are informed by the best available information and knowledge, including community and Indigenous traditional knowledge, are based on validated methods and models, and apply the best available economically and technologically feasible measures.
  • Integrate Indigenous consultation activities into the EA process to the extent possible.
  • Assess direct and upstream GHG emissions as part of the conduct of EAs conducted under CEAA 2012 and ensure that GHG emissions assessments are factored into decision statements.
  • Promote compliance with CEAA 2012, its regulations and the decision statements issued by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change; verify compliance through on-site and off-site inspections; ensure that investigations are conducted where required; and, in cases of non-compliance, undertake enforcement activities so that corrective actions are taken to avoid adverse environmental effects.
  • Work with other jurisdictions to identify the most efficient and effective means of accomplishing the goal of “one project, one review” and avoid duplication through use of delegation, substitution and/or equivalent assessments, and joint review panel processes.
  • Develop and maintain operational policies, procedures, service standards, and guidance to support quality, consistency, and predictability in federal EAs.
  • Lead interdepartmental committees to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and develop and implement strategies to improve consistency and timeliness in federal EAs.

In support of open and transparent government and meaningful participation by all parties with an interest in the EA process, the Agency will:

  • Enhance opportunities for the public, stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples to participate in the EA process in meaningful ways.
  • Facilitate public involvement in project EAs through the delivery of the Participant Funding Program.
  • Explore opportunities for expanding the Participant Funding Program to better support participation within the EA process by interested parties.
  • Expand access to documents related to the conduct of EAs and compliance verification and enforcement activities through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry internet site.

In order to build effective relationships with Indigenous groups in support of high-quality EAs and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Agency will:

  • Explore mechanisms to allow for greater participation of Indigenous groups in the conduct of follow-up and monitoring programs.
  • Work with federal authorities, as Crown Consultation Coordinator for federal EAs conducted by the Agency or by a review panel, to apply an efficient and effective whole-of-government approach to consultation with Indigenous Peoples potentially affected by projects.
  • Through the Participant Funding Program, effectively and efficiently make funds available to support Indigenous Peoples' participation in the EA process and associated Indigenous consultation activities.
  • Contribute, as appropriate, to Government of Canada approaches to enhancing relationships and contributing to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
  • Comply with obligations established under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement. The Agency supports its President in his role as the Federal Administrator for these two agreements.
  • Ensure effective and efficient implementation of the EA process in areas where CEAA 2012 and other impact assessment requirements established under land claims agreements coexist (e.g., James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, Nisga'a Final Agreement, Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement, Inuvialuit Final Agreement).

The EA Delivery Program is also supporting the government’s focus on evidence-based policy-making, results, and delivery by investigating new approaches and tools that will help Canadians, including Indigenous Peoples, share their views and expertise in support of a robust EA process.

Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013 –14 Actual results 2014 –15 Actual results 2015 –16 Actual results
Deliver high-quality EAs Percentage of projects undergoing follow-up and monitoring for which the Agency received a report during the reporting period that indicated that the mitigation measures set out in the EA decision statement would effectively address the environmental effects of the project 90 % 2017 –18 and Ongoing N/A Footnote 3 N/A Footnote 4 100 %Footnote 5
Deliver high-quality EAs Where adaptive management measures set out in the EA decision statement were required as a result of a follow-up and monitoring report and a report was received by the Agency on the implementation of those measures during the reporting period, the percentage of projects where the adaptive management measures led to effectively addressing the environmental effects of the project 90 % 2017 –18 and Ongoing N/A Footnote 6 N/A Footnote 7 N/A Footnote 8
EA process provides meaningful participation of Indigenous groups and integrates Crown consultation to the greatest extent possible Percentage of Indigenous groups with high or moderate potential for being affected by a project that provided comments on EA documents to the Agency 90 % 2017 –18 75 % 76 % 79 %
Deliver EAs within timelines established under CEAA 2012 Percentage of EAs conducted by the Agency that adhere to CEAA 2012 timelines 100 % 2017 –18 and Ongoing 100 %Footnote 9 100 % 100 %
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017 –18 Main Estimates 2017 –18 Planned spending 2018 –19 Planned spending 2019 –20 Planned spending
24 159 057 24 159 057 23 342 401 23 207 751
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017 –18 Planned full-time equivalents 2018 –19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019 –20 Planned full-time equivalents
150 150 150

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Planning highlights

In support of delivering effective and timely professional support, the Agency will:

  • Develop a long-term plan to ensure it has the workforce to meet its current and future mandate through appropriate organizational design, recruitment strategies, learning and development opportunities, and improved integrated planning. The Agency will continue its efforts to foster a healthy, respectful and productive workplace and culture by implementing its mental health action plan, supporting innovation and engagement through Blueprint 2020 and by promoting diversity and the use of both official languages.
  • The Agency will also pursue the renewal of its human resources (HR) systems and enhance its HR processes by continuing the implementation of enterprise-wide people management systems such as MyGCHR and Phoenix and further explore automated functionalities.
  • Increase the Agency's ability to be “digital by default” in communicating with Canadians, increasing transparency and modernizing our communications approach. Expanding the availability of EA-related information online and creating digital tools will facilitate the engagement of Canadians, including the public, Indigenous Peoples and key stakeholders in the EA process. These steps respond to the Open Government initiative to create greater transparency and strengthen democracy.
  • Roll out Phase II of the Agency's new Environmental Assessment Management System (EAMS) in partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada, using the Shared Case Management System of the Government of Canada. EAMS tracks EA issues, ensures recipients receive their participant funding allocations, and monitors the progress of EAs through a single application. In addition, the Agency will initiate development of Phase III to enhance digital public participation in the EA process. Each phase of system integration enables the Agency to better respond to its legislative and operational needs.
  • The transition to GCDOCS, the Government of Canada's shared Information Management System is expected to be completed by 2017–18. This migration is a key aspect of the Agency’s information management and open government strategy. As such, the Agency will continue training to ensure employees know how to optimize this system and the Agency’s Information Management classification plan.
  • Enhance its internal business processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness. It will ensure that its Business Continuity Plan and its Security Plan incorporate the requirements of the Policy on Government Security. The Agency will manage the accommodations portfolio in a cost-effective way in collaboration with central agencies and Public Services and Procurement and will move towards a Workplace 2.0 environment at its Headquarters location.

The internal services program is adopting new approaches by implementing innovative government tools such as such as MyGCHR, GCDOCs and EAMS.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017 –18 Main Estimates 2017 –18 Planned spending 2018 –19 Planned spending 2019 –20 Planned spending
5 433 237 5 433 237 5 249 576 5 219 293
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017 –18 Planned full-time equivalents 2018 –19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019 –20 Planned full-time equivalents
72 72 70

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental Spending Trend Graph
Budgetary planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2014 –15 Expenditures 2015 –16 Expenditures 2016 –17 Forecast spending 2017 –18 Main Estimates 2017 –18 Planned spending 2018 –19 Planned spending 2019 –20 Planned spending
Environmental Assessment Policy Program 4 141 055 5 134 147 8 879 281 4 500 940 4 500 940 4 348 793 4 323 707
Environmental Assessment Delivery Program 13 552 979 17 913 607 27 065 923 24 159 057 24 159 057 23 342 401 23 207 751
Subtotal 17 694 034 23 047 754 35 945 204 28 659 997 28 659 997 27 691 195 27 531 458
Internal Services 12 063 055 6 168 548 Footnote 10 6 329 584 5 433 237 5 433 237 5 249 576 5 219 293
Total 29 757 089 29 216 302 42 274 788 34 093 234 34 093 234 Footnote 11 32 940 770 32 750 751

The planned spending figures for the Environmental Assessment Delivery Program listed in the table above do not include cost-recoverable expenditures. The Agency has the authority to recover up to $8.0 million in costs annually, which is netted against the voted authority.

The expenditures indicated for 2014–15 and 2015–16 represent the actual expenditures as reported in the 2015 and 2016 Public Accounts, respectively. For fiscal year 2016–17, the forecast spending represents the Agency's planned budgetary and statutory expenditures.

The increase in Agency planned spending from 2015–16 to 2016–17 is primarily attributed to Budget 2016 and the review of EA processes.

For the period between 2017–18 and 2019–20, the planned spending reflects funding approved by the Treasury Board to support the Agency's strategic outcome.

Internal Services costs include legal advisory and litigation costs for the following years: 2014–15: $2.3 million; 2015–16: $2.3 million; and 2016–17: $2.4 million planned. In future years, these costs will be attributed to the Environmental Assessment Delivery Program (2017–18 onwards: $2.4 million planned) as they are primarily attributable to EA decisions. The Agency's budget absorbs these increasing legal advisory and litigation costs.

In 2017–18, it is anticipated that the Agency will be subject to a number of additional financial pressures including: costs associated with the delivery of non-cost recoverable EA review panels; increasing legal and litigation costs; and potential accommodation relocation costs due to the expiry of a number of office leases. These costs have not been reflected in the planned spending and the Agency will develop strategies to manage these pressures as details and timing of these activities become clearer.

The level of demand to fund public participation in EAs depends on the number of major projects under assessment and on the timing of requests for reimbursement of expenditures by participants. For example, participants may be approved for funding in a given fiscal year but may not ultimately be reimbursed for the funding until a subsequent fiscal year depending on the pace at which an EA proceeds. Such circumstances result in a potential lapse of unspent contribution funds and the creation of an unfunded liability for a future year because all commitments are carried forward from one year to another and are honoured by the Agency. As of March 31, 2016, the Agency's total potential liability related to the Participant Funding Program amounts to $8.8 million.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 2014 –15 Full-time equivalents 2015 –16 Full-time equivalents 2016 –17 Forecast full-time equivalents 2017 –18 Planned full-time equivalents 2018 –19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019 –20 Planned full-time equivalents
Environmental Assessment Policy Program 40 41 53 40 39 39
Environmental Assessment Delivery Program 129 125 141 150 150 150
Subtotal 169 166 194 190 189 189
Internal Services 64 70 75 72 72 70
Total 233 236 269 262 261 259

The human resources required to sustain an average level of employment over 12 months are based on a 37.5-hour work week. One full-time equivalent (FTE) equals one person working full-time on a 37.5-hour work week for the year, or any number of part-time employees whose combined hours of work equal one FTE.

The Agency’s planned staffing increased primarily due to Budget 2016 and the review of EA processes. The Agency plans to use 262 FTEs in 2017–18.

Estimates by vote

For information on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2017 –18 Main Estimates. Endnote vi

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Agency’s website.Endnote vii

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2016 –17 Forecast results 2017 –18 Planned results Difference (2017–18 Planned results minus 2016–17 Forecast results)
Total expenses 48 495 626 44 237 828 (4 257 798)
Total revenues 1 496 982 4 500 000 3 003 018
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 46 998 644 39 737 828 (7 260 816)

Total Agency operational expenses are expected to decrease by $4.3 million, or 8.8 percent. The overall decrease is mainly attributable to a reduction in expenses as the review of EA processes is completed. The increase in planned revenues is the result of an increase in forecasted cost-recoverable panel reviews.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Institutional head: Ron Hallman, President

Ministerial portfolio: Environment

Enabling instrument(s): Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 Endnote viii

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1994

Other: The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is supported by three regulations: the Regulations Designating Physical Activities, the Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations, and the Cost Recovery Regulations. The Agency supports its President who is the Federal Administrator under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.

Reporting framework

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) of record for 2017–18 are shown below:

1. Strategic Outcome: High-quality and timely environmental assessments of major projects to protect the environment and support economic growth

1.1 Program: Environmental Assessment Policy

1.2 Program: Environmental Assessment Delivery

Internal Services

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Agency’s website.Endnote ix

  • Disclosure of transfer payment programs under $5 million
  • Upcoming evaluations over the next five fiscal years
  • Upcoming internal audits for the coming fiscal year

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.Endnote x This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Place Bell Canada, 160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Canada
Telephone: 613-957-0700
Fax: 613-957-0946
E-mail: info@ceaa-acee.gc.ca
Website: https://www.canada.ca/ceaa

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
A horizontal initiative is one in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (e.g. by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
Management, Resources and Results Structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
Performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
Performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
plans (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
Priorities (priorité)
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

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