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Background: Message from the Minister

Message from the Minister

In December 2018, I asked for your help in shaping our 2019–2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, which sets out the Government of Canada’s environmental sustainability goals, targets and actions for the next 3 years.

When I asked for your comments on our last draft strategy in 2016, your response was overwhelming. This time, you outdid yourselves. You talked about your vision for sustainable development in Canada. You provided new ideas for change and improvement. Once again, you presented concrete, constructive suggestions for an effective strategy that will guide our coordinated efforts.

In response, I am proud to present the final 2019–2022 strategy. It sets out a path for the Government of Canada to move toward a clean environment in which all Canadians can live and work.

This strategy updates and renews our sustainable development approach. It will continue to centre on 13 aspirational goals that reflect the Canada we want and supports the environmentally focused goals from the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To help us achieve our goals, we have made our targets stronger and linked them to priority actions. We have also updated our short-term milestones and action plans for the next 3 years.

You asked us to match your sense of urgency and level of ambition, and you asked to see more social and economic considerations reflected in the strategy. We listened, and we have added new targets in areas such as increasing agri-food exports, clean technology exports, and zero-emission vehicles sales in Canada.

And there is so much more we will do.

This strategy is tabled under the existing Federal Sustainable Development Act. Renewed legislation for sustainable development will guide future federal strategies. An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, received Royal Assent in February 2019. Once the amendments are in force, they will establish a thoughtful and practical framework for the future. They will give us flexibility to consider a broader picture of sustainable development in the strategy. They will also increase transparency and accountability and provide more opportunities for Canadian voices to help shape the government’s plan.

This is an exciting time for sustainable development in Canada. In addition to An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the government, led by Employment and Social Development Canada, is working with partners to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly through the development of a whole-of-society 2030 Agenda National Strategy. As we implement the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and future federal strategies, our efforts will continue to align with and contribute to this broader national approach.

We will look to you for help once again the next time we renew our strategy, but it is never too late to share your thoughts.

Share your ideas about sustainable development, and tell us what you are doing for a more sustainable Canada. Send us an email, engage with the online version of the strategy, or join the discussion on Get Involved, our interactive engagement website.

I look forward to continuing the conversation and working with you for a more sustainable Canada.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

@environmentca

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