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Section IV: Other items of interest

Strategic Integration Activities

Clear, consistent and integrated departmental policy advice, coordinated interactions with partners and stakeholders and effective communication are important tools to help Environment Canada deliver on its mandate and commitments.

The following discusses progress accomplished in key crosscutting activities pertaining to the strategic integration of Environment Canada programming.

Progress on International Environmental Agreements

The March 2008 Status Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) issued recommendations addressed to a number of departments. As Environment Canada is one of the lead departments responsible for international environmental agreements (IEAs), it was recommended that Environment Canada improve the information it was providing to Parliament and to citizens about the IEAs in which it is involved. To be more transparent and accountable in its actions, Environment Canada has accepted the recommendation to provide Parliament and Canadians with complete, understandable, and current information on objectives, means, expected results and results concerning IEAs for which it has the lead.

To do so, Environment Canada has decided to include IEA information on plans, priorities and activities in its annual Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) and in the Departmental Performance Report (DPR). As such, reporting on these priorities is included in the appropriate Strategic Outcome section of this DPR. Environment Canada has also undertaken to regularly update progress on IEAs on the Environment Canada International Affairs Branch website. A description of IEAs led by the Department is now available on the International Affairs Branch's website and a compendium of international environmental agreements can be obtained by contacting the International Affairs Branch. An update of the compendium was launched in 2007-2008 and is expected to be completed in 2008-2009.

Progress on advancing strategic approaches to science and technology within the Department and externally

Environment Canada devotes a significant portion of its resources to science and technology (S&T). This S&T capacity is fundamental to delivering on the Department's mandate. Making the most of its S&T investments is a priority for Environment Canada, and the strategic management of these activities helps ensure we continue to deliver maximum results. One of the main tools the Department has been using to help manage its S&T is the Science Plan.

2007-2008 was the first year of implementation of Environment Canada's new long-term Science Plan. Significant progress has been made, and the main results of this year's work are outlined here. A new unit has been created within the Department that focuses on integrated monitoring and prediction (an area identified in the Science Plan as a strategic priority). This unit currently has projects on the Arctic, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. S&T management issues are also being addressed. In response to increased public interest in environmental issues and support for the use of science in environmental decision-making, the Department has made available on-line high-quality, user-friendly information on its S&T. The Department has also developed a framework to help measure the impact of its R&D, which will be implemented over the coming year. To provide career development opportunities for scientists, Environment Canada has partnered with other science-based departments and agencies to offer leadership development training to scientists who are interested in becoming managers. Environment Canada has also completed a series of regional science fora to enhance the coordination of its S&T activities across the country. Regional information sessions were also held on the Technology Plan, and efforts to integrate this with the Science Plan will continue over the coming year.

Environment Canada was also active in ensuring that the Science Plan aligns with the federal Science and Technology Strategy, and with collaborations with other science-based departments and agencies on implementation of the Strategy. The Department is taking a leadership role in providing advice to government on directing resources to the four priority areas of the Strategy (of which environmental S&T is one), and is also involved in several other key strategy commitments including the Policy Research Initiative project to improve the government's ability to measure the impacts of its S&T investments.

Progress on effectively managing relations with other governments and partners in support of environment priorities

Environment Canada undertook several initiatives in 2007-2008 to manage partnerships with provincial, territorial and aboriginal governments and to engage stakeholders and Aboriginal peoples in the Government's environmental agenda. Consultations were undertaken with the provinces and Territories, Aboriginal organizations, and other stakeholders to further advance the Government of Canada's environmental agenda, including initiatives to reduce GHGs and air pollutants and improved chemicals management. The Department advanced many other intergovernmental environmental issues, such as municipal wastewater, air emissions and biodiversity, under the auspices of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers (CCRM). Environment Canada concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation with the four Atlantic provinces, which was signed in June 2008 by the five Ministers of the Environment.

The Department was actively involved in the negotiation and implementation of the environmental components of Aboriginal self-government and comprehensive land claim agreements and the implementation of the First Nations Land Management Act . Environment Canada also worked towards further streamlining internal policies that impact its relationships with partners, stakeholders and Aboriginal peoples, such as initiating the implementation of a policy framework for managing grants and contributions and departmental policies on Aboriginal consultations and public participation in decision-making.

Corporate Services and Corporate Management Activities

Integrated and effective corporate services help Environment Canada to carry out its mandate. Environment Canada continues to place significant effort into repositioning its corporate services to better support results-based management and achieve value for money for Canadians.

The following discusses progress accomplished in key cross-cutting corporate activities that enable Environment Canada's programming.

Progress on the Management Accountability Framework

The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) sets out Treasury Board's expectations for sound management in the public service. A group of the Treasury Board Porfolio [27] (TBP) conducts an annual MAF assessment of each department and agency to evaluate management performance and capacity. At Environment Canada, the results and recommendations of the assessments contribute towards strengthening management accountability and improving management performance.

The 2006-2007 Round IV MAF assessment identified two key management priorities for Environment Canada to address in 2007-2008:

  1. Improving the Corporate Management Structure - Environment Canada responded by setting in motion a risk-based Corporate Business Plan for 2008-2009, and by strengthening the reporting of performance expectations in the Report on Plans and Priorities tabled in Parliament each year.
  2. Information Technology Management - In 2007-2008, the Department strengthened its governance of information technology (IT) management and developed an IT strategic plan framework document that will be used as a foundation for the development of an IT strategic plan.

The 2007-2008 Round V MAF assessment recognized EC's improvement in some key management areas, including the following:

  1. Corporate Risk Management - TBP acknowledged the Department's efforts to improve its Corporate Risk Profile (CRP) by clarifying linkages to business planning. Environment Canada expects to build on the CRP and develop an integrated risk management approach for the Department.
  2. Asset Management -Environment Canada was commended for launching an integrated department-wide approach to investment planning. Environment Canada's participation in the TBS-led Investment Policy Implementation pilot positions the Department to be a leader in this area.

In addition, Environment Canada received a "strong" rating in 2007-2008 for its work on values and ethics and learning and development. In 2007, Environment Canada conducted its first Employee Values and Ethics Survey. Following an analysis of the results, the Department developed an action plan to improve its performance in a number of areas, including the development of on-line training on values and ethics as part of its core learning requirements and the development of a guide for employees regarding fear of reprisal. With respect to learning and development, Environment Canada developed an internal learning policy and 92 percent of Environment Canada employees completed a learning plan.

As a result of the 2007-2008 assessment, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) identified two key areas of focus for 2008-2009:

  1. Corporate Performance Framework: It was indentified that Environment Canada must continue to refine and strengthen its Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture (PAA) to ensure compliance with the Management, Resources and Results Structure Policy. The goal of this policy is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in managing public resources by linking resources to expected results in program areas.
  2. Expenditure Management: Environment Canada is encouraged to focus on improving its ability to forecast and manage its expenditures and budget allocation process so that budgets are allocated earlier in the fiscal year.

In addition, Environment Canada plans to make progress in the areas of business continuity planning, classification monitoring and the management of information. Overall, Environment Canada will continue to act upon the recommendations of the MAF assessments to improve its management practices.

Progress on implementing the Management, Resources and Results Structure policy.

Environment Canada continues to adapt its results-based management approaches to the TBS's Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) policy.

Environment Canada has been working to remodel its results structure into a Program Activity Architecture (PAA) that is fully compliant with MRRS, and to develop a performance measurement framework (PMF) that meets the requirements of this policy.

Progress on information management and information technology activities

For many organizations, information management (IM) and information technology (IT) are crucial elements of operations. This is especially true for Environment Canada as a result of the scientific and technical nature of its operations and the need for reliable 24/7 support of mission critical weather forecasting and reporting data.

Over the past year, in addition to delivering infrastructure and core services (email, office suites, financial and human resources applications, and library services), the Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) has been ISO certified for specialized IM and IT processes supporting Weather and Environmental Services. The CIOB has also been actively involved in research and development of specialized software for program activities. This has required extensive collaboration with international organizations and has led to the definition of standards and the development of new technologies that clearly demonstrate Environment Canada's leadership and innovation in forecaster workstation design and standards.

To deliver IM and IT services effectively, the CIOB must maintain alignment of resources with departmental priorities. In 2007, the CIOB began to develop a portfolio management approach that would ensure good communication at all levels and thus create closer ties with its clients and partners within the Department. The implementation of this approach in 2008 has enjoyed a very positive early response.

Key governmental priorities such as the Management Accountability Framework have been used to guide the CIOB in improving its IM and IT governance. Advancement of the IM program in 2007 was marked by the approval of the IM strategy, the collaborative development of client-funded IM proposals, and the drafting of a future state vision and roadmap for IM at Environment Canada which will be used as a framework for a three-year tactical plan starting in 2008-2009. Parallel work has also been done for IT with the development of an IT strategy framework document which will be used to further develop the IT strategy and supporting implementation documents. Other initiatives in 2007-2008 include the planning and development of an e-document management and collaboration service to be rolled out in 2008-2009, participation in the TBS Integrated Investment Planning pilot, approval of an IT greening policy, and the commencement of the Oracle Financials software upgrade.

The Department continues to make strategic investments in evolving technologies and capacity. Planning is in progress to upgrade Environment Canada's supercomputing facilities. Compliance with Management and Information Technology Security (MITS) requirements is improving. Preliminary work on building a consolidated performance metrics and reporting framework has begun. Work is progressing on the implementation of the next version of PeopleSoft, which is scheduled to be completed in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, although full functionality will require additional funding.

Progress on moving forward on integrated human resource business planning

The Clerk of the Privy Council highlighted in the 14th Annual Report to the Prime Minister the need for integrated business and human resources planning as the basis for meeting public service business goals. Through integrating business planning with human resources planning, departments would develop a better sense of their strengths and of the gaps that they would need to fill, whether through recruitment or development or by bringing in specialized skills at mid-career.

In response to the Clerk, the Department developed and published on its intranet a document entitled "2007/2008 Summary of Branch Human Resources Plans and Strategies for Common Issues". The Summary represented the first efforts by Environment Canada managers to link their human resources needs to the business goals of the Department. Through this exercise, the Department identified opportunities to improve and expand its own integrated business and human resources planning process to include a comprehensive listing of HR themes as well as financial, IM/IT and accommodations considerations. This improved process was later used as the basis of the 2008-2009 integrated business and human resources planning cycle that began in late 2007.

In parallel to the 2007-2008 departmental integrated business and human resources planning process, the Executive Services group, in coordination with the Executive Resourcing Committee (EXRC), formally undertook a department-wide succession review of its executive cadre and its EX-01 feeder groups. This process will help ensure that in the future Environment Canada will have a competent and stable leadership cadre to direct departmental efforts towards meeting the Government's business goals.

Progress on audit and evaluation activities

Environment Canada's Audit and Evaluation Branch plays an important role in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of departmental policies, programs and management. In 2007-2008, the Branch undertook several initiatives to strengthen the internal audit, evaluation, and strategic planning and coordination functions.

Among the key highlights was the creation of a three-member, independent External Audit Advisory Committee (EAAC) to advise the Deputy Minister and provide oversight to the internal audit function. The Branch continued working towards providing an annual holistic opinion to the Deputy Minister on departmental controls, governance and risk management, which is expected in the spring of 2009.

The Branch also established a Departmental Evaluation Committee (DEC), chaired by the Deputy Minister, to provide oversight to the evaluation function. The Branch started early planning for the updated Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Evaluation Policy, which is expected to come into force in the fall of 2008.

Measures were also taken to further strengthen the Audit and Evaluation Branch's capacity through the appointment of a director for the Strategic Planning and Coordination division. This division is responsible for developing annual risk-based audit and evaluation plans, annual reports and quality assurance processes, as well as the provision of secretariat support to the EAAC and DEC. It also plays a liaison, coordination and support role for Environment Canada's involvement in external audits and studies, provides an annual update on audit recommendations to the Office of the Auditor General, and assists departmental managers in responding to environmental petitions from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Progress on official languages

In 2007-2008, several initiatives related to the management of the official languages program in Environment Canada were implemented. The Executive Management Committee approved the Guiding Principles on the Roles and Responsibilities concerning the Official Languages Act in September 2007. A new Official Languages Champions network composed of Environment Canada managers from all regions was also created. The members of the Official Languages Champions network collaborate in enhancing the Department's linguistic agenda by supporting the three departmental champions for the implementation of parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act . Environment Canada is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. To facilitate this in the context of horizontal teams, a series of reference tools for conducting bilingual meetings was published during the summer of 2007. These tools include a guide to conducting a meeting in both official languages, guides for bilingual meeting reminders and a checklist for the chairs and participants at such meetings.

To ensure its compliance with regard to services to the public (Part IV) and language of work (Part V), the Department also identifies and monitors on an ongoing basis, employees appointed through non-imperative staffing. This process aims at ensuring that these employees have access to and complete their language training within the timeframe prescribed by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order.

In order to enhance the vitality of the official-language minority community (OLMC) (Part VII), Environment Canada has also launched a pilot project in the Atlantic region in 2007. The pilot project is based on an initiative brought forward by the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE), which is developing a new theme on the environment and sustainable development.

Indicators of Environmental Sustainability

Environment Canada, Statistics Canada and Health Canada are working together to further develop and communicate national environmental indicators of air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater quality-measuring sticks that can track progress by governments, industries and individuals in protecting and improving the environment. These indicators are reported in the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) [28] .

CESI brings together environmental information from federal, provincial and territorial governments, which share responsibilities for environmental management in Canada. Consequently, the trends and values of these indicators are not solely attributable to Environment Canada's actions, but indicative of the environmental results achieved collectively by various levels of government as per their responsibility for the environment.

The table below provides an overview of the latest measurements for key indicators of environmental sustainability.

Trend Indicator Overview
Air quality Nationally, ground-level ozone exposure increased approximately 11% from 1990 to 2006; however, the rate of increase has slowed over this period. Ground-level ozone is a key component of smog and one of the most harmful air pollutants to which people are exposed. Ozone is an important indicator of air quality because there are currently no established thresholds below which it does not pose a risk to human health.
No Trend
Freshwater quality and use Freshwater quality of Canada's surface waters has been evaluated with respect to the ability to support aquatic life - the most sensitive requirement of this resource. For 377 sites monitored across southern Canada from 2004 to 2006, water quality was rated as "excellent" at 6 percent of sites, "good" at 42, "fair" at 29 percent, "marginal" at 18 and "poor" at 4 percent.
As of May 2008, the status of 205 species previously determined to be at risk had been reassessed. Of these, the status of 58 species worsened (28.3%), whereas 30 species (14.6%) were determined to be no longer at risk or placed in a lower risk category.
Greenhouse gas emissions Canadian greenhouse gas emissions decreased slightly from 2004 levels but overall emissions in 2006 were approximately 21.7% greater than the 1990 level.

[1] Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution :

[2] Speech from the Throne: Strong Leadership. A Better Canada. October 16, 2007

[3] Environment Minister John Baird Moves to Protect Environmental Programs:

[4] Canadians are critical of the country's environmental performance. Environics Poll April 11, 2007 :

[5] The Budget Speech 2008: Responsible Leadership. February 26, 2008:

[6] Available at

[7] For further information on findings, recommendations and Environment Canada's responses to the 2008 Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) report, please consult the following link:

[8] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[9] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[10] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[11] Dispersion models are computer programs that use complex mathematical schemes to simulate how concentrations of air pollution particles or contaminants spread through the atmosphere.

[12] More information about the AQHI can be found at

[13] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[14] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[15] Funding increased from $1.7 B to $1.9 B due to inclusion of $200M in additional funding for clean transportation initiatives.

[16] Further details on whole-of-government results accomplished under the CAA HMARF are provided under "horizontal initiatives" at

[17] Available from:

[18] The evaluation of Canada's participation in the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and management response are available from .



[21] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[22] The federal House includes federal lands (e.g., National Parks), federal facilities (e.g., office buildings, labs, penitentiaries, and military bases), First Nation reserves, as well as Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

[23] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[24] As stated in Main Estimates 2007-2008

[25] New Program Activity - description as stated in Main Estimates 2008 - 2009

[26] New Program Activity - description as stated in Main Estimates 2008 - 2009

[27] Treasury Board Portfolio refers to the suite of organizations through which the Treasury Board fulfils its responsibilities.

[28] Environment Canada, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

[29] Biodiversity is not included in CESI. This indicator of environmental sustainability was provided by the Canadian Wildlife Service.