Canada’s actions on air quality

The Government of Canada has a long history in working with provinces, territories and international partners to and keep Canadians and the environment safe from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Canada is committed to addressing air pollution through a number of areas such as science, reporting, policy development, with the goals of reducing emissions of air pollutants and improving indoor and outdoor air quality.  

Air Quality Management System

Canada’s Air Quality Management System (AQMS) is the cornerstone of the government’s effort to address air pollution. The AQMS is a collaborative system under which federal, provincial and territorial governments have specific roles and responsibilities and it engages provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, health and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry in various aspects of its implementation.

Since the AQMS was established in 2012, regulatory and non-regulatory measures have been put in place to address air pollution from industry and increasingly more ambitious national air quality standards for key air pollutants have been set.

To keep Canadians informed on their air quality, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, through the AQMS, provides reporting on the state of their air across the country in Canada’s air quality report

Learn more about the AQMS.

Reduction of air pollutants emissions

To tackle air pollution from industrial sectors, vehicles, engines, and fuels, and other sources, the Government of Canada has put in place regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) and other measures, such as environmental performance agreements, guidelines, pollution prevention notices, and codes of practices, to reduce air pollution.

Please visit the Canadian Environmental Protection Act Registry to learn more.

Air quality data, research and science

Air pollutant inventories

The Government of Canada prepares annual air pollutant inventories to track air pollutant emissions.

Partnerships and international engagement

Air quality is an issue of global concern. Air pollution is transboundary in nature, meaning it can travel very long distances in the air. Pollution emitted or created in one part of the world can impact air quality in another part of the world. This is why international cooperation is required to address air pollution.

The Government of Canada has entered into the following legally-binding treaties to address transboundary air pollution:

Learn more about the Government of Canada’s participation in international environmental agreements and instruments.

Learn more about the Government of Canada’s air quality domestic and global partners.

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