Law:Federal Sustainable Development Act

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S.c. 2008, c. 33

Assented to 2008-06-26

An Act to require the development and implementation of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the development of goals and targets with respect to sustainable development in Canada, and to make consequential amendments to another Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Federal Sustainable Development Act.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. The following definitions apply in this Act.

“Commissioner”

« commissaire »

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed under subsection 15.1(1) of the Auditor General Act.

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of the Environment.

“precautionary principle”

« principe de la prudence »

“precautionary principle” means the principle that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

“sustainability”

« durabilité »

“sustainability” means the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely.

“sustainable development”

« développement durable »

“sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

“target”

« cible »

“target” means a measurable objective.


Purpose

Purpose

3. The purpose of this Act is to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.


Her Majesty

Application

4. This Act and the regulations are binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.


Basic Principle

Basic principle of sustainable development

5. The Government of Canada accepts the basic principle that sustainable development is based on an ecologically efficient use of natural, social and economic resources and acknowledges the need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government.


Committee

Committee on Sustainable Development

6. A committee of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, consisting of a Chairperson and other members of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, shall have oversight of the development and implementation of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.


Office

Sustainable Development Office

7. (1) The Minister shall establish a Sustainable Development Office within the Department of the Environment to develop and maintain systems and procedures to monitor progress on implementation of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Report

(2) The Office shall, at least once every three years after the day on which this Act comes into force, provide the Minister with a report on the progress of the federal government in implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. The Minister shall cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.

2008, c. 33, s. 7; 2010, c. 16, s. 1.

Previous Version

Sustainable Development Advisory Council

Sustainable Development Advisory Council

8. (1) The Minister shall appoint a Sustainable Development Advisory Council composed of one representative from each province and territory, and three representatives from each of the following:

(a) Aboriginal peoples;

(b) environmental non-governmental organizations;

(c) organizations representative of business; and

(d) organizations representative of labour.

Chair

(2) The Minister is the chair of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council.

Remuneration

(3) The representatives appointed to the Sustainable Development Advisory Council shall hold office without remuneration and shall not be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the course of their duties.


Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

Preparation

9. (1) Within two years after this Act comes into force and within every three-year period after that, the Minister shall develop, in accordance with this section, a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy based on the precautionary principle.

Content

(2) The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy shall set out federal sustainable development goals and targets and an implementation strategy for meeting each target and identify the minister responsible for meeting each target.

Consultation: first draft

(3) The Minister shall submit a draft of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament and the public for review and comment, for which the Minister shall allow a period of not less than 120 days.

Consultation: first draft

(4) The Minister shall at the same time submit the draft of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to the Commissioner for review and comment as to whether the targets and implementation strategies can be assessed, for which the Minister shall allow a period of not less than 120 days.

2008, c. 33, s. 9; 2010, c. 16, s. 2.

Previous VersionSubmission to Governor in Council

10. (1) The Minister shall, within the period referred to in subsection 9(1), submit the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to the Governor in Council for approval as the official Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Tabling in each House of Parliament

(2) The Minister shall table the official Federal Sustainable Development Strategy in each House of Parliament within the period referred to in subsection 9(1) or on any of the first 15 days thereafter on which that House is sitting.

Deemed referred to appropriate committee

(3) A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that is tabled in a House of Parliament is deemed to be referred to the standing committee of that House that normally considers matters relating to the environment or to any other committee that the House may designate for the purposes of this section.

2008, c. 33, s. 10; 2010, c. 16, s. 3.

Previous VersionSustainable development strategies of departments and agencies

11. (1) Each Minister presiding over a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, or an agency named in the schedule of this Act shall cause the department or agency to prepare a sustainable development strategy containing objectives and plans for the department or agency that complies with and contributes to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, appropriate to the department or agency’s mandate and shall cause the strategy to be laid before each House of Parliament within one year after the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy is first tabled in a House of Parliament under section 10.

Updating and tabling

(2) A minister to whom subsection (1) applies shall cause the sustainable development strategy of the department or agency to be updated at least once every three years and shall cause each updated strategy to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the next 15 days on which that House is sitting after the strategy is updated.

Application to other departments and agencies

(3) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of a minister presiding over a department not named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, or agency not named in the schedule of this Act, direct that the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) apply in respect of the department or agency.

Regulations

(4) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations prescribing the form in which sustainable development strategies are to be prepared and the information required to be contained in them.

2008, c. 33, s. 11; 2010, c. 16, s. 4.

Previous VersionPerformance-based contracts

12. Performance-based contracts with the Government of Canada shall include provisions for meeting the applicable targets referred to in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies.


Regulations

Regulations

13. The Governor in Council may make regulations for the purpose of achieving any of the goals of this Act.


Transitional Provision

Directions

14. The directions made under subsection 24(3) of the Auditor General Act, as this subsection read immediately before the coming into force of section 18 of this Act, remain in force and are deemed to have been made under subsection 11(3) of this Act.


Consequential Amendments

Auditor General Act

15. (Amendments)

16. (Amendment)

17. (Amendment)

18. (Amendment)

19. (Amendment)

Schedule

(Subsection 11(1))

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique

Canada Border Services Agency

Agence des services frontaliers du Canada

Canada Revenue Agency

Agence du revenu du Canada

Canadian International Development Agency

Agence canadienne de développement international

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Agence de développement économique du Canada pour les régions du Québec

Parks Canada Agency

Agence Parcs Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

Agence de la santé publique du Canada


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