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Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de l'environnement et du développement durable

For immediate release


Environment Committee Tables Unanimous Report Urging the Government Towards Greater Sustainability

Ottawa, June 17, 2016 -

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development today tabled a unanimous report calling on the Government to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act to inspire economic, social and environmental advancement toward a better future.

Entitled Federal Sustainability for Future Generations – A Report Following an Assessment of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the report is based on testimony heard this spring during the Committee’s study of the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

“In 2015, world leaders expressed their determination ‘to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path’,” said Committee Chair, Deb Schulte. “However it is clear from our study that the federal government’s flagship legislation on sustainable development needs improvement – from its purpose to its implementation – in order to chart a truly sustainable course for the future.”

The report’s 13 recommendations include:

  • Amending the purpose of the Act to ensure the development of an effective federal sustainable development strategy that leads Canada on a path towards achieving economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
  • Articulating in the Act a set of desired goals that take into account Canada’s international sustainable development commitments;
  • Ensuring that the federal sustainable development strategy mandated by the Act includes measurable, time-bound targets toward achieving the Act’s goals, and that the strategy is re-assessed and adjusted, as necessary, every two years;
  • Engaging all central government agencies in the development and implementation of the strategy and taking other actions to ensure a whole-of-government approach to federal sustainable development; and
  • Developing measures to improve enforceability and accountability within the federal government for meeting the strategy’s targets.

“Everyone can appreciate the importance of taking the steps that are necessary today to improve conditions for people now and in the future,” continued the Chair. “The fact that this report is unanimous speaks to the wide support there is for doing things more sustainably.”

Chaired by Deb Schulte, M.P., the Committee comprises: Liberals John Aldag, William Amos, Mike Bossio, Darren Fisher and Mark Gerretsen; Conservatives Jim Eglinski (Vice-Chair), Ed Fast, and Martin Shields; and from the New Democratic Party, Nathan Cullen (Vice-Chair).

A copy of the report may be obtained from the Committee’s website. Questions may be directed to the Committee Clerk by sending an e-mail to

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For more information, please contact:
Cynara Corbin, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Tel: 613-992-5023