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How is the 2016–19 FSDS different from the consultation draft? What are the improvements?

The final Strategy is significantly different from the draft. Changes reflect current government priorities and respond to comments from Canadians.

  • Replacing the previous five-goal framework with 13 aspirational goals that reflect the priorities of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of Canadians;
  • Filling gaps (such as sustainable food supply) in the draft strategy;
  • Making targets specific, measurable and ambitious;
  • Establishing new short-term milestones for each goal;
  • Adding and strengthening indicators to support performance measurement;
  • Clarifying action plans; and
  • Adding sections on how partners contribute and how Canadians can make a difference.

What’s the purpose of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy?

The draft 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy outlines federal government action to create a sustainable economy, protect the environment and enhance Canadians’ well-being for the next three years. Its main intent is to support engaging Canadians on their views on what a sustainable Canada looks like, what environmental sustainability targets we should aim for, and how we can best measure and report on them.

The Strategy aims to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.

What is the role of other levels of government in implementing the Strategy?

While the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy focuses on the federal actions, it acknowledges that the Government of Canada cannot achieve sustainable development alone. Partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations and Canadian citizens will all play an essential role in helping meet sustainability objectives in Canada.

While the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy focuses on the federal actions, it acknowledges that the Government of Canada cannot achieve sustainable development alone. Partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations and Canadian citizens will all play an essential role in helping meet sustainability objectives in Canada.

What is the objective of the 120-day consultation period for the draft Strategy, who must be consulted, and what will you do with the feedback?

The objective of the public consultation process is to support transparency and gather concrete ideas and feedback from stakeholders and the public on what they want to see in the final Strategy.

Consultation results inform the final Strategy and are summarized in a publicly-available synthesis report.

Who makes up the Sustainable Development Advisory Council?

The Federal Sustainable Development Act prescribes the make-up of the Council:

  • one representative from each province and territory;
  • three Aboriginal peoples;
  • three environmental non-governmental organizations;
  • three organizations representative of business; and,
  • three organizations representative of labour.

How is the draft 2016-2019 Strategy different from previous ones?

This draft Strategy is about doing things differently—presenting clear objectives and ensuring accountability. But it is also about letting Canadians have a say in how we get there and how we know where we are.

The draft Strategy highlights 5 sustainability goals and outlines 3 crosscutting priorities including: ensuring credible environmental assessments; respecting the government’s obligations with respect to Indigenous people; and, implementing strong environmental legislation.

The draft Strategy includes new targets on clean technology and green infrastructure, sustainable mineral resource development, sustainable energy, connecting Canadians to nature, and protecting and restoring Canada’s coastal ecosystems.

It describes how the activities align with and are cross walked to the environment-related Sustainable Development Goals, part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations member states in September 2015.

Thirty-seven departments and agencies are participating: 26 mandated under the Act and 11 voluntarily (up from 7 in the last Strategy).