Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Environment Canada

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section I - Departmental Overview

Minister's Message

image As Minister of the Environment, I am pleased to present Environment Canada's Departmental Performance Report for 2007-2008. This report summarizes the achievements made in delivering the commitments from Environment Canada's 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Canada 's natural environment is one of the most significant legacies that we must protect for our future. The Government of Canada takes this obligation seriously, and has made improving the quality of our environment one of its five main priorities. This report shows that Environment Canada has accomplished a great deal over this year, delivering real results on a number of issues of concern to Canadians.

Environment Canada takes the lead in delivering on the Government's environmental agenda. As such, the Department is taking action on key priorities such as sustaining Canada's natural capital, providing world-class meteorological and environmental services, and protecting Canadians and their environment from the effects of harmful substances. In 2007-2008, Environment Canada excelled in meeting its challenges head on and making real progress.

For example, during this past fiscal year the Government of Canada announced:

  • details and significant steps to implement Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution - one of the toughest regulatory regimes in the world that will reduce greenhouse gases by 20% from 2006 levels by the year 2020 ;
  • $85.9 million over four years to help combat the effects of climate change;
  • $110 million to more effectively implement the Species at Risk Act over the 2007-2009 period;
  • significant action and progress in implementing the Chemicals Management Plan aimed at improving the degree of protection against hazardous chemicals;
  • $93 million to improve Canada's water quality under the Action Plan for Clean Water; and
  • $43 million to put more than 100 new enforcement officers in the field across Canada and to provide them with new tools and investigative support to make polluters, smugglers and poachers accountable for breaking our environmental laws.

Environment Canada is providing Canadians with sound environmental policies that will help protect the health of Canadians and their environment not only today but for future generations. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of Environment Canada's staff, the Department is successfully delivering on one of the most significant and timely environmental agendas of our time. I am proud of the commitment and achievements of the Department this past fiscal year and look forward to the continued efforts that will help better protect our environment.


The Honorable Jim Prentice, C.P., c.r., député.

Minister of the Environment

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Departmental Performance Report for Environment Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports : This document

  • adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • is based on the Department's Program Activities Architecture and Strategic Outcomes, which were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.


Ian Shugart

Deputy Minister of the Environment

Changes to Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

The diagram below highlights the changes that were made to Environment Canada's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) since the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP).

Environment Canada required amendments to its previously approved PAA to reflect the order in council transferring responsibility for the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative (TWRI) from the President of the Treasury Board to the Minister of the Environment.

This transfer of responsibility is reflected by the addition of a fourth Strategic Outcome and two underlying Program Activities.


Please consult the Environment Canada's 2007-2008 RPP for the PAA crosswalk between 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

Summary Information

Raison d'être

A number of acts and regulations provide the Department with its mandate and allow it to carry out its programs. Under the Department of the Environment Act , the powers, duties and functions of the Minister of the Environment extend to and include matters relating to

  • the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality;
  • renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna;
  • water;
  • meteorology;
  • the enforcement of any rules or regulations made by the International Joint Commission relating to boundary waters; and
  • the coordination of the policies and programs of the Government of Canada respecting the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment.

Additional authorities are provided in the other acts and regulations administered by the Department, including the Species at Risk Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 . For details on departmental legislation and regulations, please see .

Financial Resources

2007 -2008 ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
857.8 1,247.5 997.0

Human Resources

2007 -2008
Planned Actual Difference
6454 6503 49

Totals may differ within and between tables due to the rounding of figures.

Departmental Priorities

Departmental Priorities Stated in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities Type
1 Develop and implement innovative strategies, programs and partnerships to ensure that Canada's natural capital is sustained for present and future generations. Ongoing
2 Provide Canadians with world-class meteorological and environmental information, predictions and services to ensure safety and to support economic activity. Ongoing
3 Develop and implement innovative strategies, programs and partnerships to protect Canadians and their environment from the effects of harmful substances. Ongoing

Please consult page 9 for discussion on progress toward meeting these departmental priorities.

Results Ratings Definitions - Overview

To improve clarity in performance reporting, Environment Canada has initiated a new approach to report on achievement of expected results in this year's Departmental Performance Report. For the first time, the Department is using visual ratings to illustrate the progress accomplished for each planned result stated in the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities.

These ratings are based on self-assessments performed by Environment Canada's management and supported by various levels of data robustness, some of which may be largely qualitative in nature. They reflect our best judgement of our performance at this time. This is a first step in the evolution of a strengthened performance measurement framework covering all of Environment Canada's programs. As our methodology and approach mature, our rating scale and measurements are expected to evolve as well.

While this DPR remains consistent with the reporting framework set in the 2007-2008 RPP, the upcoming 2009-2010 RPP will further demonstrate improvement on our departmental performance measurement framework. The objective of this framework is to provide clear, credible, balanced and demonstrable performance information for Parliament and the public on the planned results of the Department. Environment Canada is working toward bringing the framework to maturity within the next two years.

The table below provides succinct definitions of the results ratings used in this report.

Results Ratings

* Anticipated results met - Objectives to achieve expected results were fully met
image Anticipated results mostly met - Objectives to achieve expected results have not yet been fully met, but significant progress has been made towards achieving them.
image Anticipated results not met - Objectives to achieve expected results were not met.

Overview of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

2007-2008 ($ millions)
Contributes to the Following Priority
Program Activities Planned Results as per 2007-2008 RPP Performance Status RPP Planned Spending Actual Spending
Strategic Outcome 1 : Canada's natural capital is restored, conserved and enhanced
Biodiversity is conserved and protecte
  • Wildlife is conserved and protected
126.0 199.9 1
  • Land and landscapes are managed sustainably
Water is clean, safe and secure
  • Aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected
80.0 102.0
Canadians adopt approaches that ensure the sustainable use and management of natural capital and working landscapes
  • Integrated information and knowledge enable integrated approaches to protecting and conserving priority ecosystems
30.8 46.3
  • Information, assessment and understanding of the state of ecosystem sustainability support decision-making
Strategic Outcome 2 : Weather and environmental predictions and services reduce risks and contribute to the well-being of Canadians
Improved knowledge and information on weather and environmental conditions influences decision-making
  • Environment Canada has the environmental monitoring capability that allows it to identify, analyse and predict weather, air, water and climate conditions
126.2 146.8 2
  • Science is produced to support weather and environmental services, decision-making and policy development
Canadians are informed of, and respond appropriately to, current and predicted environmental conditions
  • Environmental forecasts and warnings are produced to enable the public to take action to protect their safety, security and well-being
156.8 157.8
  • Canadians are better informed through improved weather and environmental services and leveraged partnership opportunities
  • Canadians benefit from the creation and use of meteorological and environmental information by Environment Canada and federal/provincial/territorial partners in support of programs of common interest
  • Environmental information and services empower Canadians to take action on environmental priorities
  • Adaptive strategies to address the impacts of climate change are developed and implemented for the benefit of Canadians and the environment

2007-2008 ($ millions)
Contributes to the following Priority
Program Activities Planned Results as per 2007-2008 RPP Performance
RPP Planned Spending Actual Spending
Strategic Outcome 3 : Canadians and their environment are protected from the effects of pollution and waste
Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are reduced
  • Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are assessed
181.0 133.1 3
  • Risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are managed
Canadians adopt sustainable consumption and production approaches
  • Canadians are informed of environmental pollution and are engaged in measures to address it
26.5 58.0
  • Sector-based and other approaches promote sustainable consumption and production
Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced
  • Risks from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are managed by a regulatory system for industrial sectors
130.5 107.9
  • Risks from air emissions are managed by regulatory systems for transportation and other sectors
  • Regulatory monitoring and reporting informs Canadians and decision-makers about air pollutants and greenhouse gas risks and trends
  • International collaboration on air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions is consistent with Canadian interests
Strategic Outcome 4 : Sustainable urban development and infrastructure renewal in the Toronto Waterfront area
Revitalization of the Toronto Waterfront The purpose of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative (TWRI) is to revitalize the Toronto waterfront through investments in both traditional city-building infrastructure, such as local transportation and sewers, and more contemporary urban development, including parks, green spaces, tourisms-related facilities and the rebirth of underutilized post-industrial areas. Key expected results from this initiative include: increased accessibility to and usage of waterfront area, revitalized urban infrastructure, and improved environmental management of the Toronto waterfront area. 2007-2008 was a transitional year for TWRI as the program moved from the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada to Environment Canada. Although progress was made in waterfront revitalization, these programs were not reported on in either departments' Reports on Plans and Priorities.
See details on p.50

Harbourfront Corporation
857.8 997.0

Totals may differ within and between tables due to the rounding of figures.

Summary of Departmental Performance

Operating Environment

Environment Canada has a leadership role in the implementation of the Government's environmental agenda. In 2007-2008, the Department's policies aligned to implement environmental initiatives announced in Budget 2007 to deliver on commitments made in Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution [1] and commitments made in the 2007 Speech from the Throne.

The Government continues to strengthen its commitment to improving the quality of our environment by making this issue one of its top five priorities. [2]

The Department is strongly committed to achieve value for money and effectively manage its resources on several key initiatives simultaneously. This involves a mix of ongoing, short-term and one-time funding. In 2007-2008, significant resources had to be allocated to new initiatives, and the departmental budget regime had to be revised mid-year by senior management to institute a number of special control measures to manage pressures within the Department's parliamentary appropriations.

Priority programs were maintained with critical areas receiving the financial flexibility required to maintain programs and services, such as the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Meteorological Service of Canada. [3]

The Department introduced measures to respond to challenges, priority setting, planning and program delivery to minimize adverse impacts on results.

In response to the Clerk of the Privy Council's initiative on public service renewal, Environment Canada has begun to integrate human resource planning into the departmental business planning process. This integrated approach continues to build on lessons learned from previous planning cycles and Management and Accountability Framework assessments from TBS.

Environment Canada is responsible for ensuring compliance with the environmental acts and regulations it administers-in particular, those aimed at preventing pollution and protecting wildlife. In 2007-2008, there was greater emphasis on regulation and enforcement programs than in previous years, and the Department increased its investment and expertise in those areas accordingly.

Science continues to play a fundamental role in enabling Environment Canada to deliver on its mandate by informing environmental decision-making and regulations and supporting the delivery of services to Canadians. To ensure that the Department has access to the science it needs, it continued to implement its long-term Science Plan. The Plan encourages the integration of science within the Department and collaboration with partners outside the Department. The Science Plan sets out a clear mission for Environment Canada's science over the next ten years. Work continued on the Department's Technology Plan as well, which, upon its completion, will be integrated into the Science Plan.

Strategic Context

Canadians believe that all levels of government and the private sector must do their part in order to make real, tangible progress to effectively address environmental issues. [4] Environmental issues such as air quality, changing weather and climate patterns, water quality and quantity, wildlife and habitat conservation and protection, harmful chemicals and toxic substances can have adverse effects on the health of Canadians and the environment and are therefore too serious to ignore and need to be monitored.

Environmental problems and solutions cut across public-private divides, international borders and federal, provincial, territorial and municipal jurisdictions. Progress can only be made by government and society working together at all levels, domestically and internationally. Key Environment Canada programs and strategies, such as Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution , the Action Plan for Clean Water, the Chemicals Management Plan, and the Natural Areas Conservation Program, depend on collaborative approaches and partnerships among different levels of government, private industry, environmental non-governmental organizations and other key stakeholders.

Environment Canada plays a key role in the Government's comprehensive ecoACTION Plan, which is making progress on preserving and enhancing our environment, improving the quality of our air, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the health effects of environmental contaminants. Indeed, under the general theme Ensuring a Cleaner, Healthier Environment , Budget 2008 included the following new measures [5]

  • $500 million for investments to improve public transit that will contribute to cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $250 million for investment in three carbon capture and storage initiatives:
    • $240 million in trust for Saskatchewan to be matched by the province and industry for a full-scale commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage in the coal-fired electricity sector;
    • $5 million to be matched by Nova Scotia to support a geological research project examining the potential for carbon storage in the region; and
    • $5 million to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy at the University of Calgary to examine economic and technical issues.
  • An increase in the capital cost allowance rate for carbon dioxide pipelines to reflect the useful life of this equipment and provide certainty of tax treatment for companies planning investment;
  • $66 million over two years to implement binding national regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants across all major industrial sectors;
  • $21 million over two years to support the enforcement of Canada's tough environmental laws by increasing the effectiveness of environmental enforcement officers with better forensics laboratory support, data collection, analysis and management systems;
  • $10 million over two years for scientific research and analysis on biofuels emissions to support the development of regulations and demonstration projects to verify that new blended renewable diesel is safe and effective for our Canadian climate and conditions;
  • $2 million over two years to protect biosphere reserves;
  • an expansion of the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment to additional renewable energy and fuel-from-waste applications; and
  • GST/HST relief for land leased to situate wind- or solar-power equipment for the production of electricity.

Progress and Performance Highlights

Over the course of 2007-2008, the Department's strategic investments in the following areas showed encouraging results.

Progress on Departmental Priorities

RPP Priority #1: Develop and implement innovative strategies, programs and partnerships to ensure that Canada's natural capital is sustained for present and future generations.

Performance Highlights:

  • Budget 2007 allocated $110 million over the period 2007-2009 for more effective implementation of the Species at Risk Act .
  • Budget announcements in 2007 and 2008 provided funding for an additional 38 enforcement officers for wildlife enforcement. In addition, the Wildlife Enforcement Program, with funding from the Canadian Space Agency, continued the Space for Habitat pilot project to test the ability of satellite-based and earth observation technologies to improve allocation of resources to high-priority habitat protection needs in Canada and to support wildlife enforcement officers in the field.
  • In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada committed $ 93 million over the period 2007-2009 under Canada's "Action Plan for Clean Water" to improve the quality of water in Canada's rivers, lakes and oceans.
  • The Priority Ecosystem Initiatives Management Framework (PEIMF) was developed in 2007-2008 to improve the relevance and long-term efficiency of the Priority Ecosystem Initiatives program. This framework aims to optimize integration of Environment Canada programs and activities, and to strengthen accountability and reporting.
  • Recognizing the importance of a healthy and clean Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem for millions of Canadians, the federal government signed a new 3-year Canada-Ontario Agreement to ensure that both levels of government work collaboratively towards the protection of drinking water sources, understanding the impacts of climate change, and encouraging sustainable use of land, water and other natural resources within the ecosystem.

RPP Priority #2: Provide Canadians with world-class meteorological and environmental information, predictions and services to ensure safety and to support economic activity.

Performance Highlights

  • Air Quality Health Index pilot projects were instituted in Toronto and extended to several municipalities in British Columbia in partnership with Health Canada, the provinces and municipalities.
  • A high-resolution numerical weather prediction system is being developed to respond to specific needs of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, with a focus on predicting high-impact weather in mountainous terrain. This system should be operational in 2009.
  • Weather and environmental forecasts and warnings continued to be produced 24 hours a day, all year round.
    • The Audit of Contingency Plans for the Meteorological Service of Canada Weather Prediction Program noted that while "the program has never been shut down, and forecasts have never been missed because of unforeseen events," there have been some instances of weather warnings not reaching the Weatheroffice website. This problem is dealt with through the ISO 9000 process.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Weather Office re-opening was completed with the addition of a marine forecast and warning production program, thus fulfilling a commitment of the Government of Canada.
  • Environment Canada's production systems for public and marine weather forecasts and warnings along with the atmospheric monitoring program achieved, in 2007-2008, certification under the ISO 9000 standard for quality management systems. Other programs, such as the hydrometric, the environmental emergency response and the air quality forecast and warning programs, are expected to obtain certification in 2008-2009.
  • Environment Canada's Science contributes to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) work. This work was recognized with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Twenty-seven atmospheric scientists from Environment Canada have contributed significantly to the success of the IPCC over the last 20 years.
  • Ongoing advances in Science and technology led to improvements in the forecast and warning production system
  • More accurate probabilistic forecast products were made available to clients. These products are used for a wide range of decision-making and risk-reduction purposes (for example, for input into flood forecasting, for use by utilities, etc.). This is the result of an international collaboration between Environment Canada, the United States and Mexico, resulting in a seamless set of products available to all North Americans.
  • Weather and water quantity data were made available to all users in real time. The Data Management Framework project strengthened data management and improved integrated data access for the Meteorological Service of Canada data sets.
  • A first version of a new operational air quality forecast model (called GEM-MACH) was released in the spring of 2008; still in maturation, it currently has the capability of the model it replaces. The next step is to increase the level of science of GEM-MACH to the next generation of air quality models. In the future, this model for North America should evolve into a global air quality model.

RPP Priority #3: Develop and implement innovative strategies, programs, and partnerships to protect Canadians and their environment from the effects of harmful substances.

Performance Highlights

  • In 2007-2008, the federal government announced Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution and made public the Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions , which set out the final regulatory framework, including emission reduction targets and compliance mechanisms.
  • In December 2007, Environment Canada formally advised industry to submit air emissions data to the Government of Canada by May 31, 2008. This information will inform the development of the proposed regulations. Canada is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and 60 to 70 percent by 2050 from 2006 level.
  • In 2007-2008, industry and other stakeholders were required to provide information on how they are safely managing and using 73 of the 193 chemical substances identified as high priorities for action under the Chemicals Management Plan. The 73 substances comprise the second to fifth batches in a series of 12 batches of high-priority substances that were identified following Environment Canada's worl d-leading categorization of domestic chemical substances in the fall of 2006. Environment Canada and Health Canada will assess the information they receive, along with that gathered from other sources, to decide on the appropriate actions required to protect the health of Canadians and the environment from these substances.
  • In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada provided funding for an additional 68 enforcement officers for environmental enforcement.
  • In May 2007, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development concluded in its report entitled The Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999(CEPA) - Five-Year Review: Closing the Gaps, that the basic architecture of the CEPA 1999 is sound and that the Government's future focus should be on improving in the areas of knowledge and implementation. The Government tabled its interim response to this report in October 2007 [6] .
  • With the release of Rx: Strengthen and Apply Diligently on March 4, 2008, the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources emphasized that the basic architecture of CEPA 1999 is sound, and the Senate Committee highlighted the need for better implementation and enforcement.
  • The third Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) Report (feature report and highlights report) was released in collaboration with Statistics Canada and Health Canada. See p.83 for more on CESI and indicators of environmental sustainability.