The predecessor to today’s Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development was not created until 1986. Prior to that time, environmental matters, such as acid rain, were largely dealt with by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Forestry and its subcommittee.
As it became increasingly clear that the environment was a distinct subject matter, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Forestry was split into two new committees: the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and the Standing Committee on Environment and Forestry. In 1988, forestry was dropped from the committee’s mandate, and it became known simply as the Standing Committee on Environment in 1989.
The name by which it is now known, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, was adopted in 1994.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (the Committee) is established by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons. Standing Order 108(2) gives committees the power “to study and report on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of the department or departments of government which are assigned to them.” The department and agencies under the purview of the Committee are.
The Committee examines, enquires into and reports on matters referred to it by the House of Commons. These may include legislation, departmental activities and spending, reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and other matters related to the general subject matter of the environment and sustainable development. Legislation administered by the above department and agencies, which therefore falls under the purview of the Committee, includes: