Supplementary Information Tables 2017-2018 : Health Canada

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy-Supplementary Information Table

Contents

Section 1: Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2016–19 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the Act to integrate environmental, social and economic considerations into decision-making, and make such decisions more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Health Canada supports reaching goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development in Health Canada

Canadians are living longer and are some of the healthiest people in the world, enjoying more quality years in good health than ever before. Health Canada has a responsibility to continue to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by recognizing that human well-being cannot be sustained without a healthy environment. In its 2017-18 DSDS, the Department identified 41 performance indicators that either contributed to a goal or target identified in the 2016-19 FSDS or were specific program activities that supported broader sustainability objectives. Health Canada’s 2017-18 DSDS aligned with the following long-term goals outlined in the FSDS:

  • Effective action on climate change
  • Low-carbon government
  • Clean drinking water
  • Safe and healthy communities

Note: The 2017-18 Health Canada DSDS aligned with five FSDS long-term goals, however due to the transfer of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to Indigenous Services Canada, effective November 30, 2017, as per the Order in Council P.C. 2017-146, Sustainable food has been removed.

FSDS Goal: Effective action on climate change – Climate change is a critical global problem that could affect future generations’ ability to meet their basic needs. Adaptation, a key factor in addressing climate change, is about making smart, informed, forward-looking decisions. Health Canada’s contributions to this goal focused on adaptation measures, such as heat alert and response systems that can help Canadians improve their resiliency to extreme heat.

FSDS Goal: Low-carbon government – Health Canada owns buildings and also leases space in additional facilities across the country which includes laboratories, offices, warehouses and other storage facilities. The Department also manages a fleet of vehicles and procures goods and services in order to serve Canadians. Commitments under the low-carbon government goal outlined the areas Health Canada planned to focus on to continue to reduce the environmental effects associated with the Department’s physical operations and procurement decisions. Specifically, Health Canada took steps to ‘green’ its buildings, support the reduction of energy use in the Department’s fleet, integrate environmental performance considerations into all aspects of the departmental procurement process, and promote employee engagement and awareness across a range of issues from sustainable travel practices to efficient water use.

FSDS Goal: Clean drinking water – Clean drinking water is essential for health, while polluted water can cause serious illness due to bacteria, viruses and other contaminants. Most drinking water advisories are issued as a precaution; however, they can indicate that water could be contaminated and needs to be boiled before use, is unsafe for drinking, or is unsafe to use at all. The Department continued to work with federal, provincial and territorial partners to develop/update health-based drinking water quality guidelines and guidance documents for use by all jurisdictions in Canada to use as the basis for their own drinking water requirements.

FSDS Goal: Safe and healthy communities – Health Canada is committed to ensuring Canadians live in clean, safe environments that contribute to their health and well-being. Among other measures, this means improving air quality, protecting Canadians from harmful substances, and preventing environmental emergencies or mitigating their impacts if they do occur.

Exposure to high concentrations of air pollution, especially on a daily basis, is dangerous, and the health problems it causes impose economic costs from lost productivity, increased need for medical care, decreased quality of life, and premature death. In 2017, Health Canada published a new Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Canada report which showed that air pollution from human sources contributes to 14,400 premature deaths per year in Canada.

In 2017-18, Health Canada, along with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), worked with the provinces and territories and other key stakeholders to continue to implement the Air Quality Management System, a collaborative effort among governments in Canada to manage air quality. The Department focused on increasing awareness and use of the Air Quality Health Index among individuals who are vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution. Health Canada also worked to address health risks related to indoor air quality, including the developing of health assessments, conducting research, providing expertise, and preparing outreach campaigns to raise awareness about health risks associated with radon. The Department worked with federal partners and provincial authorities to strengthen emergency preparedness in order to minimize impacts on public health, safety, property and the environment. In its role as an Expert Support Department under the Government of Canada's Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan, Health Canada's Contaminated Sites Program also continued to provide its expert scientific risk assessment/mitigation advice, technical training and other tools to assist federal custodian departments in assessing human health risks and risk managing their contaminated sites in Canada.

While chemicals are part of our everyday lives and provide many benefits, many can be harmful if not properly managed. Managing these substances, as well as assessing and cleaning up contaminated sites, protects our health and the environment and benefits Canada’s economy. Health Canada’s work in this area spans across multiple programs. Health Canada continued to work with ECCC to implement the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The CMP’s overall objective for existing substances is to assess the potential health and ecological risks associated with 4,363 substances that were prioritized for assessment by March 31, 2021. Health Canada also continued to conduct research and monitoring and surveillance activities in order to address existing and emerging chemicals of concern, to inform risk assessment needs and risk management activities and to address outstanding questions and knowledge gaps related to the effects and exposure of chemical substances to humans.

In the area of pesticides, Health Canada played a significant role in developing collaborative approaches to conducting joint pesticide reviews, promoting international regulatory alignment, and in accessing the best science available to support pre and post-market regulatory decisions.

In addition, work related to the Canadian Health Measures Survey and the Northern Contaminants Program provided invaluable data and research for scientists, health and environment officials, and communities to help inform decisions and develop policies aimed at reducing exposure to chemicals and contaminants.

Health Canada is committed to providing regular updates to its DSDS in order to incorporate new decisions and actions as we monitor our progress and develop new approaches. Information about the progress Health Canada has made towards its 2017-18 commitments is outlined in Section 3 of this document.

Section 3: Commitments for Health Canada

Note: Due to the transfer of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), effective November 30, 2017, as per the Order in Council P.C. 2017-1465, all results will be reported in the ISC 2017-18 Departmental Results Report.

Effective Action on Climate Change: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius

FSDS Target: By 2030, reduce Canada’s total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 30% relative to 2005 emission levels

FSDS contributing action
Support voluntary action to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change

Corresponding departmental action
Increase knowledge, capacity and tools to address climate change and health risks, including ways for Canadians to improve their resiliency to extreme heat, commonly called ‘heat waves’.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal target: 13.3

Starting point
In 2016-17, 30% of health regions were implementing evidence-based adaption measures to protect health from extreme heat.

Performance indicator
By March 31, 2019, 50% of health regions will be implementing evidence-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat.

Results
Achieved - In 2017-18, 54.5% of health regions implemented evidenced-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat.

Key activities included:

  • Expanded heat public health promotion through media and radio across Canada.
  • Partnering with the Canadian Science and Technology Museum photo exhibition highlighting heat health considerations under climate change.
  • Continued dissemination of guidance documents to health professionals.
  • Launch of a National Heat Health Community of Practice (HHCoP) with key stakeholders and three bilingual knowledge exchange webinars featuring health authorities and academics from across the country.
  • Holding an Expert Meeting in February 2018 with key domestic stakeholders and international expert speakers to establish common priorities and support the scoping phase of establishing a pan-Canadian approach for the monitoring and surveillance of climate-related health impacts and establishment of common priorities.

Low-carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

FSDS Target: Reduce GHG emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve this reduction by 2025

FSDS contributing action
Improve the energy efficiency of our buildings/operations

Corresponding departmental action
Adopt and maintain approaches and activities that reduce Health Canada’s energy use, where operationally feasible, and improve overall environmental performance of departmental-owned buildings.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal target: 13.2

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, requirements of the National Energy Code for Buildings, which sets out technical requirements for the energy efficient design and construction of new buildings, will be integrated into Health Canada’s Real Property Sustainability Framework.

Results
Achieved – The Real Property Sustainability Framework was updated to include the statement that the National Energy Code for Buildings will be incorporated in all Statements of Work for new buildings.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of applicable existing custodial building fit-ups, refits, major investments and new construction projects will have achieved an industry-recognized level of high-environmental performance.

Results
Achieved – All building fit-ups, refits, major investments and new construction projects have achieved an industry-recognized level of high-environmental performance.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2019, real property managers and functional heads responsible for new construction, and leases or existing building operations will have clauses related to environmental considerations incorporated into their performance agreements.

Results
On-track – All real property managers and functional heads have been advised to add the green procurement course from the Canada School of Public Service as an objective in their 2018-19 performance agreements.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2019, Health Canada will have reduced GHC emissions from facilities by 5% from the 2013-14 baseline and report on the following:

  • energy use intensity (GJ/m2)
  • GHG emission intensity by floor space (g CO2eq/m²)
  • density of use (e.g., FTE/m2)

Results
On-track – Calculation tools acquired from Treasury Board Secretariat’s Centre for Greening Government have been used to establish baseline data of GHG emissions for custodial facilities.
Starting Point
In 2005-06, GHG emissions from Health Canada’s fleet were 3.06ktCO2e.
Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, Health Canada will reduce GHG emissions from fleet by 40% from the 2005-06 baseline and report on the following:

  • Overall fuel consumption (LGE)
  • GHG emissions (KtCO2e)

Results
Behind Schedule – In 2017-18, GHG emissions from Health Canada’s fleet were 2.07 ktCO2e, with an overall fuel consumption of 921,951 gasoline litres equivalent (GLE). This represents a 32% reduction from the 2005-06 baseline and continual progress toward the Government of Canada’s target to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030.

Additional measures are being put in place to further reduce emissions next fiscal year, including the application of telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data, and identify opportunities to further optimize the fleet.

Note: 2017-18 performance results for this indicator includes 339 vehicles from Health Canada’s former First Nations and Inuit Health Branch which has been permanently transferred to Indigenous Services Canada. The 2005-06 baseline will be updated to reflect this change. Data also includes 24 Public Health Agency of Canada vehicles.

FSDS contributing action
Modernize our fleet

Corresponding departmental action
Support the reduction of energy use in Health Canada’s fleet by selecting the smallest and most fuel-efficient vehicle to meet operational requirements, keeping vehicles properly maintained, and developing fleet infrastructure (e.g., charging stations).

Starting Point
In 2013-14, 97% of vehicles purchased were right-sized for operational needs and the most fuel efficient vehicle in their class at the time of purchase.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 90% of vehicles purchased will be right-sized for operational needs and the most fuel efficient vehicle in their class available at the time of purchase and/or are an alternative-fuel vehicle. The 90% is a maintenance target, since results are subject to fluctuation.

Results
Achieved – 100% of on-road vehicles were the most fuel-efficient vehicle available on the mandatory Standing Offer or were right-sized to meet operational needs.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2019, a feasibility study regarding the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations at Health Canada-owned buildings will be completed.

Results
On-track – The feasibility study at Tunney’s Pasture in the National Capital Region will be undertaken by Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as they are the owners of the land surrounding Health Canada’s custodial buildings. The study, which will be completed in 2018-19, will provide options for the installation of two charging stations at custodial buildings, as well as expansion options for other buildings in the National Capital Region.

FSDS contributing action
Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement

Corresponding departmental action
Promote environmental sustainability by integrating environmental performance considerations into departmental procurement process, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal, and ensuring there is the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Starting Point
In 2013-14, 91% of Health Canada’s specialists in procurement and materiel management have completed training to support green procurement.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management will have completed the Canada School of Public Service green procurement course or equivalent, or have included it in their learning plan for completion within a year.

Results
Achieved – 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management completed the Canada School of Public Service green procurement course or have it included in their learning plan for completion within a year.

Starting Point
Since 2013-14, all of Health Canada’s common use documents residing in the Procurement and Contracting Intranet site for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been vetted annually to ensure they include a ‘greening’ statement or directive, where applicable.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of procurement related documents, guides and tools posted on Health Canada’s intranet will have been reviewed for compliance, where applicable.

Results
Achieved – A review was conducted for compliance of procurement related documents, guides, and tools posted on the Health Canada intranet. Results included proposed enhancements to green procurement training and additional “greening” statements for improved visibility. The updates will take place in 2018-19.

Starting Point
In 2013-14, 65% of Health Canada’s office supply purchases* included consideration of environmental impacts.
*This excludes purchases made using acquisition cards.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 80% of office supply purchases will continue to include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use, and/or disposal of the supplies.

Results
Achieved – 98% of in scope office supplies included considerations of environmental impacts. For example, recycled content and environmental attributes of the supplier.

Starting Point
In 2013-14, 64% of Health Canada’s information technology purchases* included criteria to reduce their environmental impact.
*This excludes laboratory and field equipment as well as purchases made using acquisition cards.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 92% of information technology hardware purchases will continue to include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use, and/or disposal of the equipment.
Note: this is done is conjunction with Shared Services Canada as the IT procurement authority.

Results
Achieved – 99% of in-scope IT hardware purchases included criteria to lower environmental impacts. For example, 99% of IT hardware purchases included environmental attributes and efforts to ensure that a lifecycle approach is taken to reduce any environmental impact.

Starting Point
Since 2013-14, Health Canada has required that employee performance discussions for all managers of procurement and materiel management include consideration of how they contributed to green procurement practices.

Performance Indicator
By March, 31, 2018, 100% of performance evaluations for procurement and materiel management managers will continue to include a discussion about how they supported and contributed to the Department’s green procurement practices.

Results
Achieved – 100% of performance evaluations with procurement and materiel management managers included a discussion about how they supported and contributed to the Department’s green procurement practices.

FSDS contributing action
Demonstrate innovative technologies

Corresponding departmental action
Promote programs such as the Build in Canada Innovation Program, which could enable departmental employees to procure and test late-stage innovative goods and services.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.7

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, develop and release at least one outreach/communication message to departmental employees to raise awareness of the Build in Canada Innovation Program.

Results
Achieved – Two messages were sent to staff on the Build in Canada Innovation Program and additional information was provided upon request.

FSDS contributing action
Promote sustainable travel practices

Corresponding departmental action
Encourage and facilitate the use of sustainable travel practices.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, the Sustainable Workplace Operations Framework and the Employee Engagement Strategy will be updated to include promotion of sustainable travel practices.

Results
Achieved – The Sustainable Workplace Operations Framework and the Employee Engagement Strategy were updated to include the promotion of sustainable travel practices, such as walking and cycling to work.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, two outreach or communications activities about sustainable workplace operations including travel practices.

Results
Achieved – Messaging related to a green transportation pilot project, Bike to Work Month, municipal clean-up efforts, and Environment Week, were communicated to employees via email and/or using the Department’s Sustainable Workplace Forum on GCconnex.

FSDS contributing action
Understand climate change impacts and build resilience

Corresponding departmental action
Review programs and assets (buildings, fleet) to ensure that sources of GHG emissions are inventoried and that any impacts to climate change are quantified.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 13.2

Performance Indicator
By June 30, 2018, review assets (buildings, fleet) to ensure that sources of GHG emissions are inventoried and that any impacts to climate change are quantified.

Results
Behind Schedule – Major updates to Health Canada’s inventories are underway for both buildings and fleet, following the transfer of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to Indigenous Services Canada. Other potential GHG emitting assets are being inventoried under the Halocarbon Management Program, with half of the labs in the National Capital Region inventoried to date. These are primarily laboratory assets, including but not limited to: refrigerators, freezers, refrigerated centrifuges and CO2 incubators.

Corresponding departmental action
Continue to incorporate climate change considerations into corporate risk planning by including this element as part of the standard guidance/checklist to branches during the development of their risk snapshots, and business continuity planning in order to identify risks that could affect Health Canada's ability to deliver on its mandate and achieve its strategic outcomes.

Starting Point
In 2017 the Corporate Risk Profile identified climate change as a driver of risk pertaining to the lifespan of physical infrastructure in the North. In the context of business continuity management, planning to ensure the continued delivery of critical services and the availability of assets that support them is based on an all-hazard approach. This includes developing continuity and/or recovery strategies to mitigate events linked to the effects of climate change.

Performance Indicator
Plans related to the identification of corporate risk and business continuity integrate considerations of climate change impact mitigation and adaption, where appropriate.

Results
Achieved – During the planning and development of the 2018-19 Corporate Risk Profile (CRP), branches were asked to include considerations of climate change impact mitigation and adaption in their risk snapshots, where appropriate. This guidance was included in call letters sent to the Assistant Deputy Ministers and Branch Planners.

In Health Canada’s 2017-18 CRP, the impact of climate change on the lifespan and effectiveness of physical infrastructure, including buildings, transportation and water management was identified as a driver of risk. In addition, Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program was identified as an existing control in place to help manage risk.

Clean Drinking Water: All Canadians have access to safe drinking water and, in particular, the significant challenges Indigenous communities face are addressed

FSDS Target: By March 31, 2019, 60% and by March 31, 2021 100% of the long-term drinking water advisories affecting First Nation drinking water systems financially supported by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada are to be resolved.

FSDS contributing action
Work with partners on drinking water quality

Corresponding departmental action
Develop/update health-based drinking water quality guidelines and guidance documents in collaboration with Federal/Provincial/Territorial partners, intended for use by all jurisdictions in Canada as the basis for their drinking water requirements to help ensure the safety of drinking water in Canada. 

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 6.5

Starting Point
Since 2011, 26 drinking water guidelines/guidance documents have been approved through the federal, provincial and territorial collaborative process. 

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, up to five drinking water guidelines/guidance documents will be approved through the federal, provincial and territorial collaborative process.

Results
Achieved – 100% of planned final drinking water quality guidelines/guidance documents were endorsed through the federal, provincial and territorial collaborative process, for use by all jurisdictions in Canada as the basis for their drinking water requirements.

A total of 29 final drinking water quality guidelines/guidance documents have been endorsed since 2011.

Safe and Healthy Communities: All Canadians live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being

FSDS Target: Implement the Air Quality Management System to: Decrease the three-year average of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compound emissions from regulated and/or targeted sources to below the previous three-year average

FSDS contributing action
Better understand air pollutants and harmful substances

Corresponding departmental action
Raise awareness of the health impacts of air pollution and support actions to improve air quality through research, assessment of health risks, and analysis of health benefits to improve the health of Canadians.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal target: 3.9

Starting point
Health Canada science has contributed to the global understanding of how air pollution impacts human health. For example, the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort study has provided the largest study of the health effects of air pollution in the world. It has been used in the development of Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards and has been adopted into the Global Burden of Disease project, a global effort to measure and track the cause of poor health worldwide.

In recent years, Health Canada has completed comprehensive health risk assessments on fine particulate matter and ozone (key components of smog), nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, and on pollutants found in diesel and gasoline exhaust, and has used this information to guide the development of new Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Performance indicator
By March 31, 2018, five federal outdoor air quality health assessments, guidance documents, guidelines, research studies and standards will be distributed (either by publishing or distributing externally).

Results
Achieved – Health Canada’s Air Quality Program published or distributed six documents: a report on Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Canada: An estimate of premature mortalities; a review of how traffic management strategies could improve air quality; and research studies on:

  • the relationship between wood smoke and heart attacks;
  • how exposure during pregnancy may affect children’s health later in life;
  • time spent and exposure to air pollutants when commuting in Canada; and
  • the health impacts of short-term and long-term exposure to air pollutants and linking outdoor air pollution to the development of disease.

Performance indicator
By March 31, 2018, five targeted knowledge transfer activities will be completed.

Results
Achieved – Fifty-eight knowledge transfer activities were completed, including 11 peer-reviewed publications, 18 conference presentations and 29 other activities that included client meetings, reports and the provision of research advice to internal decision-makers.

Health Canada used every opportunity to share knowledge, which explains why significantly more activities were completed than planned.

Corresponding departmental action
Raise awareness of the health impacts of indoor air pollution and support improvements to indoor air quality through research, assessment of health risks, and the development of indoor air quality guidelines.

Starting point
Health Canada has published a series of Residential Indoor Air Quality Guidelines, along with other guidance for Canadians on improving indoor air, including preventing dampness and mould, cleaning up after floods, protecting your family from carbon monoxide and ensuring good ventilation, available through Canada.ca.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, four federal indoor air quality health assessments, guidance documents, guidelines, research studies or standards will be distributed (either by publishing or distributing externally).

Results
Achieved – Health Canada published and distributed a report on Indoor Air Reference Levels for Chronic Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds; guidance documents on improving ventilation to improve indoor air quality; and research on the effectiveness of exhaust fans in kitchens and garages for improving indoor air quality.

In partnership with the British Columbia Centre of Disease Control, Health Canada also supported development of a Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and Response Framework in Long-term Care Facilities.

FSDS contributing action
Provide information to inform action and decision making

Corresponding departmental action
Provide information to inform action and decision making related to indoor radon exposure.

Starting Point
In 2016-17 over 40 stakeholders from across Canada participated in education and awareness activities.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of stakeholders will have participated in radon education and awareness and communication activities.

Results
Achieved – 100% of targeted stakeholders participated in radon education and awareness and communication activities. A total of 43 stakeholders participated.

Health Canada continues to increase awareness on the risks, health impacts and mitigation strategies related to radon gas - the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The Department’s education and awareness activities also encourage all Canadians to test the levels of radon gas in their homes, and to reduce the radon levels, if necessary.

Health Canada published a summary of the Residential Radon Mitigation Actions Follow-Up Study: Public Summary. The study surveyed more than 1,000 Canadians whose homes tested near or above the radon guideline from the two previous cross-Canada surveys (between 2009 and 2013). It found that 29% have taken steps to reduce the radon level in their homes, ranging from simple do-it-yourself solutions to professional systems. The most common reasons people gave for not mitigating their homes were that they did not consider themselves at risk and that mitigations costs were a concern. These results are consistent with other countries and will be used to inform the future direction of the program.

Health Canada published a revised edition of the Guide for Radon Measurements in Residential Dwellings (Homes). This publication provides guidance on how to measure radon properly in order to accurately estimate indoor air concentrations and manage radon exposure in homes.

Health Canada also co-chaired the technical committee that developed the Canadian General Standards Board standard for Radon Mitigation Options for Existing Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This National Standard for Canada (NSC) provides direction on how to properly design and install a radon reduction system to reduce radon levels in existing homes.

Starting Point
In 2013, 53% of Canadians surveyed through the Households and the Environment Survey were knowledgeable of radon.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2019, 60%-65% of Canadians surveyed through the Households and the Environment Survey will be knowledgeable of radon.

Results
On-track – The Households and the Environment Survey is conducted every two years. Data for the 2017 Survey will be released in 2018-19.

Starting Point
In 2013, 5% of Canadians surveyed through the Household and the Environment Survey had tested for radon.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2019, 8% of Canadians surveyed through the Household and the Environment Survey will have tested for radon.

Results
On-track - The Households and the Environment Survey is conducted every two years. Data for the 2017 HES survey will be released in 2018-19.

FSDS contributing action
Prevent environmental emergencies or mitigate their impacts

Corresponding departmental action
Make environmental radiation data available to Canadians.

Starting Point
In 2016-17, environmental radioactivity surveillance data was posted to the Health Canada website (3,600 new data points) and the Open Data website (6,129 new data points).

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of environmental radiation data will be available to Canadians and stakeholders.

Results
Achieved – 100% of environmental radiation data was made available to Canadians and stakeholders.

Environmental radioactivity surveillance data was posted to the Health Canada website and the Open Data Canada website. Fixed Point Surveillance station dose data was also posted in real-time to the European Radiological Data Exchange Platform, which allows Canadians and the international community to view various environmental radioactivity level data from across Canada, thereby improving access to and understanding of their radioactivity exposure from natural and human-made sources.

Corresponding departmental action
Collaborate with other federal partners and provincial authorities to strengthen nuclear emergency preparedness and response.

Starting Point
In 2016-17 Health Canada conducted 13 exercises and drills and met all 20 defined objectives.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, four nuclear emergency preparedness drills and exercises will have been completed and the defined objectives of the exercises will have been met.

Results
Achieved – Twenty-two defined objectives were met and Health Canada participated in a total of 14 nuclear emergency preparedness exercises and drills.

Health Canada participated in more exercises than planned due to program partner requests (e.g., RCMP, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) to be part of other exercises being led by these departments.

Health Canada is the lead federal department responsible for coordinating the response to a nuclear emergency under the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan (FNEP). As part of a series of exercises to test the revised FNEP, Health Canada participated in Exercise Staunch Maple in April 2017 to test the response to the use of an Improvised Nuclear Device and participated in Exercise Unified Control in December 2017 to test the response to a nuclear emergency at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario.

In addition, Health Canada conducted a number of drills to verify operational readiness, and identify any gaps in response plans and operational arrangements so that issues may be resolved prior to a real emergency. Health Canada also participated in five exercises led by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

FSDS target
Implement the Air Quality Management System to increase the percentage of the Canadian population living in areas where measured outdoor concentrations are below the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter and ozone compared to the year 2000

FSDS contributing action
Provide information to inform action and decision making

Corresponding departmental action
Provide Canadians with access to information that will enable them to take protective action to reduce impacts from air pollution.

Starting Point
80% of Canadians have access to the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), which is now available in all provinces and two territories.

The focus now is on increasing awareness and use of the AQHI among individuals who are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution, building on the estimated 400,000 currently receiving AQHI communications.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 600,000 Canadians in vulnerable populations will be receiving AQHI communications.

Results
Achieved – Awareness of the AQHI was increased through use of partnerships (e.g., Scout Environmental, the College of Family Physicians and Government of Alberta) to target outreach among populations considered vulnerable to the health effects of air pollutions. These efforts reached over 300,000 individuals in 2017-18.

In addition, Health Canada also partnered with The Weather Network to promote the AQHI on its various platforms. Reach through cable and satellite television, exceeded 9,500,000 viewers/month, many of whom would be considered vulnerable (e.g., seniors, asthmatics, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients). The AQHI was aired almost 5,000 times per month on The Weather Network.

FSDS contributing action
Work with partners on outdoor air quality and chemicals management

Corresponding departmental action
Work collaboratively with provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop and regularly update Canadian ambient air quality standards to drive air quality improvements across the country.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.4

Starting Point
New Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter, ground-level ozone and sulphur dioxide have been endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and standards for nitrogen dioxide are anticipated in 2017.  

The federal, provincial and territorial governments also agreed to review and revise the standards every five years, as necessary, in order to support the goal of continuous improvement in air quality.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, a recommendation on a revised Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone will be sent to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment for consideration.

Results
Behind schedule – The review of the ozone standard by a multi-stakeholder group under the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) is ongoing. A recommendation to Ministers is anticipated in fall 2018. This process has been delayed so that Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada could provide additional information requested by stakeholders. The delay was therefore necessary to respond to stakeholder concerns, to better inform discussions and to support the consensus-based nature of the process. 

New standards for nitrogen dioxide were endorsed by CCME in November 2017. The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide were also issued as federal objectives under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999.

FSDS contributing action
Better understand air pollutants and harmful substances

Corresponding departmental action
Assess proposed actions to reduce air pollution for health benefits using the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 3.9

Starting Point
The Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool has been used support the development of regulations to reduce air pollutants from, for example, vehicles, coal-fired electricity generation and industry, by quantifying the health benefits to be gained so they can be compared to the costs of implementation.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, five proposed emission reduction scenarios assessed for health benefits using the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool.

Results
Achieved – In 2017-18, the Air Quality Benefits Assessment tool was used to assess health benefits for five proposed or finalized regulations to limit air pollutant emissions from the oil and gas sector, to limit air pollutant emissions from small engines and to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity.

FSDS target
By 2020, address the 4,300 substances identified as priorities for action under the Chemicals Management Plan

FSDS Contributing Action
Assesses and manage, where appropriate, the potential health risks associated with chemical substances.

Corresponding departmental action
The Chemicals Management Plan is a Government of Canada initiative aimed at reducing the risks posed by chemicals to Canadians and their environment. The third phase of the Chemicals Management Plan, launched in May 2016, will address the remaining 1,550 priority chemicals out of the original 4,363 chemicals identified as priorities during the categorization.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.4

Starting Point
Annual: 88%, Program: 70% (2016-17)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of substances are assessed within prescribed timelines (Risk Assessment, Existing Substances)

Results
Behind schedule – Assessments for 512 substances were published in 2017-18, representing 94% of the annual target of 546 substances. 314 substances were assessed through Draft Screening Assessment Reports (DSARs), and 198 substances through Final Screening Assessments Reports (FSARs).

A number of factors (e.g., the need to consider newly available data or actions by regulatory partners) impacted the assessment process, and thereby, caused publication delays in 2017-18. Health Canada is working closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada to advance outstanding assessments to publication in 2018-19, and to leverage efficiencies and novel approaches to help support the Program goal.

Starting Point
99% (2016-17)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of substances are assessed within prescribed timelines (Risk Assessment, New Substances)

Results
Achieved – 100% of new substances were assessed within prescribed timelines in 2017-18.

Starting Point
74% (2016-2017)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of actions are taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from substances found to be a risk to human health (Risk Management Existing Substances)

Results
Behind schedule – 73% of planned risk management actions were completed by March 31, 2018.

Delays were due to the significant complexity and longer process times than anticipated at the time of plan development. Work to improve internal development processes will continue in order to ensure that 100% of planned risk management actions are taken in a timely manner for substances deemed harmful to human health in the future.

Starting Point
100% (2016-2017)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of actions are taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from substances found to be a risk to human health (Risk Management, New Substances)

Results
Achieved – 100% of actions for new substances were taken within legislative timelines.

Starting Point
100% (2016-17)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 100% of substances are assessed within prescribed timelines (Revised in Commerce List).

Results
Achieved – 100% of substances on the revised In Commerce List were assessed within prescribed timelines.

Corresponding departmental action
Release the Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada, which presents national biomonitoring data on the Canadian population’s exposure to chemicals collected as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).

Starting Point
The first report on human biomonitoring was released in 2010-11 with data from cycle 1 (2007-2009) of the CHMS. Since then a report has been released with each cycle of data; the second report was released in 2013-14 and the third report in 2015-16. Data from the first three cycles were made available on the Open Government portal in 2016-17.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018 the Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada will be released.

Results
Achieved – In August 2017, Health Canada released its Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada as part of the CHMS, which is an ongoing national direct health measures survey.

Data for cycle four of the CHMS was collected between January 2014 and December 2015 from approximately 5,700 Canadians aged 3-79 years at 16 sites across Canada, and included 54 environmental chemicals. These latest results add important new knowledge to understanding Canadians' exposure to chemicals.

Corresponding departmental action
Provide funding for research studies to monitor contaminant levels in wildlife and people in the Canadian North.

Support for the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target: 3.9

Starting Point
The first research study to monitor contaminant levels in wildlife and people in the Canadian north was funded in 2006. Since that time, 74 research studies have been co-funded to conduct this type of human health research.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, funding will have been provided for five research studies that monitor contaminant levels in wildlife and people in the Canadian North.

Results
Achieved – Funding was provided for five research studies that monitor contaminant levels in wildlife and people in the Canadian North as part of the Northern Contaminants Program. These projects address exposure to contaminants and links to country foods and nutritional status in multiple northern regions (Yukon, NWT, and Nunavik), the development and evaluation of health communication tools, and dissemination of research models to stakeholders.

Corresponding departmental action
Determine that regulated pesticides meet current scientific standards with respect to health and the environment by completing re-evaluations of registered pesticides that are listed in the Re-evaluation Work Plan. The Work Plan ensures that registered pesticides are reviewed every 15 years using modern scientific techniques and current scientific information.

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 80% of actions are taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment. (Policy on Cancellations and Amendments Following Re-evaluation and Special Review).

Description: The indicator measures the timeliness of risk management actions taken to protect Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment. This indicator measures that re-evaluation decisions are implemented within prescribed timelines. Calculation / formula: # of actions taken within policy timelines / # of actions that need to be taken within policy timelines x 100.

Results
On-track – Health Canada’s Pest Management and Regulatory Agency is developing an internal data strategy to ensure it has the capacity to monitor and report against this indicator, at the required intervals.

Note: this performance indicator was subsequently adjusted to reflect a 2019 completion date as part of the process to finalize the Performance Information Profiles.

Corresponding departmental action
Determine that regulated pesticides meet current scientific standards with respect to health and the environment.

Performance indicator
By March 31, 2018, 80% of registered pesticides will meet current scientific standards.

Results
On-track – Health Canada’s Pest Management and Regulatory Agency is developing an internal data strategy to ensure it has the capacity to monitor and report against this indicator, at the required intervals.

Note: this performance indicator was subsequently adjusted to reflect a 2019 completion date as part of the process to finalize the Performance Information Profiles.

FSDS contributing action
Take a lead role in international agreements and collaboration on chemicals management and transboundry air pollution

Corresponding departmental action
Influence international regulatory approaches by developing and adapting policies and regulatory approaches related to pesticides from work plans in collaboration with international partners.

Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.4

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2022, 80% of policies and regulatory approaches from workplans will be adapted by or developed with international partners. 

Results
On-track – A consolidated work plan is being developed to effectively track instances of adoption and/or the development of policies and regulatory approaches in collaboration with international partners.

FSDS contributing action
Provide information to inform action and decision making

Corresponding departmental action
Provide human health advice to other federal departments that are responsible for assessing and remediating contaminated sites.

Starting Point
100% (2016-2017)

Performance Indicator
By March 31, 2018, 90% of health expertise will have been delivered to Custodians within prescribed timelines.

Results
Achieved – Health Canada received 108 requests from Custodians for expert review, and responded to these requests within prescribed timelines 92% of the time.

Section 4. Integrating sustainable development

During the 2017-18 reporting cycle, Health Canada considered the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (the Cabinet Directive), as part of its decision-making processes. Health Canada contributed to Detailed Analyses led by other departments, but did not issue any public statements because Health Canada was not the lead on any initiatives requiring a Detailed Analysis.

As a means of supporting the revised SEA Policy, Health Canada continues to update reference materials and guidance documents, as well as providing annual training to employees on the SEA process and requirements to help maintain compliance with the Cabinet Directive and to reinforce the importance of SEA as a tool for incorporating environmental considerations into the decision-making process. In 2016, Health Canada released an online SEA course that is available to all departmental employees and has been actively promoted by senior management. In 2017-18, employees were encouraged to include both the online and in-class courses as part of their annual learning plan.

Health Canada will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of the FSDS goals and targets through the SEA process. A SEA for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on the FSDS goals and targets. Should a proposal have the potential for significant positive, negative or uncertain environmental impact, a Detailed Analysis would be completed and the results of the analysis would be made public when the initiative is announced.

In 2017-18, Health Canada’s SEA process was applied to 93% of proposals going to Cabinet and Treasury Board, as well as 90% of regulatory proposals, to determine if there were positive or negative environmental effects. This resulted in the completion of 39 Preliminary Scans.

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