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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome 1: Canada's natural capital is restored, conserved, and enhanced

Benefits to Canadians: The conservation of natural capital protects species and their habitat, and secures the ecological goods and services that sustain health, economic prosperity and competitiveness.

Performance Analysis: According to the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators 2008 Highlights Report, the quality of Canada's environment has shown some modest signs of improvement in recent years in particular areas. However, environmental health continues to be of concern. Despite the scientific progress made in understanding the complexity, fragility, and interconnectivity of ecosystems, the unsustainable use of Canada's natural capital continues to undermine ecological processes and benefits.2 In response to complex environmental and socio-economic challenges, Environment Canada's programs contributing to this Strategic Outcome continued to make progress against its three-year commitments identified in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities. In 2008-2009, Environment Canada identified three priorities for this Strategic Outcome, as follows.

Strengthen approaches and ensure consistent application of laws to protect Canada's biodiversity: Environment Canada's wildlife and habitat protection programs continued to strengthen the implementation of the Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, which are the legislative foundation of the Department's approach to the restoration and conservation of Canada's natural capital. Environment Canada faced some challenges, however, in meeting its prescribed timelines in relation to the posting of recovery strategies and action plans for species at risk and the completion of a protected areas strategy and management plans for specific protected areas.

The enforcement of Canada's environmental laws and regulations is integral to the preservation of Canada's natural environment. Wildlife Enforcement protects habitat areas in Canada and targeted species both domestically and internationally. In Budget 2007, resources were provided to hire more than 100 new officers to bolster enforcement capacity. The hiring of 106 new enforcement officers was completed in 2008-2009. Also, in 2008-2009, the Department invested in better forensic laboratory support, data collection, analysis and management systems to increase the effectiveness of enforcement officers as provided in Budget 2008 ($21 million over two years). In addition, the Environmental Enforcement Act (Bill C-16), which amends nine environmental laws to strengthen enforcement and penalty provisions, was introduced to the House of Commons on March 4, 2009. The Act received Royal Assent in June 2009.

Enhance federal, provincial, territorial and international collaboration to address shared water priorities: The federal government's Action Plan for Clean Water sets out an integrated, national approach to conserve and protect aquatic ecosystems and water resources in targeted areas. In 2008-2009, Environment Canada worked with its federal, provincial, territorial and international partners to implement its commitments under the Action Plan for Clean Water with regards to the cleanup of Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and areas of concern in the Great Lakes. Delays in the implementation of the Lake Simcoe and Lake Winnipeg projects resulted in some objectives not being met, but these objectives are expected to be met next year.

Strengthen knowledge and approaches that ensure sustainable use and management of ecosystems: Work supporting this commitment contributed to the implementation of an ecosystem approach to address ecosystem-scale priorities in targeted areas across the country, and generated environmental knowledge and expertise so that Canadians, their governments and the private sector could work together to incorporate social, economic and environmental considerations into their decision-making and action.

Environment Canada's work is organized into three Program Activities that contribute to this Strategic Outcome:

  • Biodiversity is conserved and protected;
  • Water is clean, safe and secure; and
  • Canadians adopt approaches that ensure the sustainable use and management of natural capital and working landscapes.

The following pages contain further performance information about the work that is undertaken to deliver these Program Activities and the achievements during 2008-2009 in meeting the commitments in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities.



Program Activity: Biodiversity is conserved and protected
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
141.0 199.3 188.8 900.0 821.9 (78.1)


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Wildlife is conserved and protected Somewhat met
Improvement in the status of threatened and endangered species

Science and recovery work related to species at risk was improved, bringing the total number of species with immediate protection through prohibitions set out in the Species at Risk Act to 447, with 100 of these having a published final recovery strategy in the Species at Risk Public Registry. Twenty-two species were listed in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. In collaboration with Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada prepared a total of 3 proposed recovery strategies for 3 species and posted 9 final recovery strategies for 11 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. Planned objectives were not fully met for all programs, specifically in meeting timelines as prescribed under the Species at Risk Act, due to the large number of species currently listed and being added annually under the Act.

Healthy levels of migratory bird populations Work was continued to finalize and implement the recommendations following a review of the Bird Monitoring Program. There was continued work on the development and implementation of a regulation for the management of the incidental take of migratory birds in accordance with the purpose of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
No Canadian species are threatened from international trade The Review of Significant Trade process conducted by the Secretariat for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora did not identify any concerns about current levels of trade of listed species from Canada.
Land and landscapes are managed sustainably Somewhat met
Size of area of conserved wildlife habitat under direct Environment Canada protection or protected through departmental partnerships and influence

Environment Canada continued to expand and establish Canada's protection of sensitive areas by developing guidelines for managing and protecting sensitive areas and making progress on designating new sites in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and two marine protected areas. The Department manages 51 national wildlife areas and 92 migratory bird sanctuaries comprising 118 000 square kilometres. Planned objectives for 2008-2009 were not fully met because a comprehensive protected areas strategy was not completed before the end of the fiscal year.


Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity consists of the protection and recovery of species at risk, conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of significant habitats, and conservation of migratory birds. A primary vehicle for the achievement of results under this program is the formation of strategic partnerships, including bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, and partnerships with other departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations, for integrated management of Canada’s natural capital, including the sustainable management of landscapes. Key principles in support of results under the Program Activity are the use of the best available science and the provision of regulatory certainty to stakeholders.

Benefits for Canadians: The overall benefit for Canadians from this work has been increased knowledge of, commitment to, and capacity for wildlife and biodiversity conservation and the protection of valuable ecosystems, positioning Canada as a responsible environmental steward of the ecological goods and services that sustain our health, economic prosperity and competitiveness.

Performance Analysis: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada continued working on key relationships, including developing bilateral agreements with Alberta, Ontario, Yukon, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Manitoba, and fostering partnerships with other departments and agencies involved in the overall implementation of the Species at Risk Act. The Polar Bear Roundtable was held on January 16, 2009, to raise awareness about and share knowledge related to the status of polar bears in Canada among partners and stakeholders. The Roundtable included representatives from the provinces and territories, wildlife management boards, Inuit and First Nations representatives and scientists. Planned objectives were not fully met for all programs. Specifically, Environment Canada continues to face challenges meeting timelines as prescribed under the Species at Risk Act for posting recovery strategies and action plans under the Species at Risk Program, due to the large number of species currently listed and being added annually under the Act.

Work continued in 2008-2009 to develop key policies to support the new approach to the management of incidental take of migratory birds, in accordance with the purpose of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, including a draft plan for implementing a regulation under the Act regarding incidental take. The Migratory Bird Conservation Framework and the Risk Management Framework were advanced, including initial engagement of key stakeholders in the latter.

In 2008-2009, Environment Canada worked with its partners to establish and expand Canada's protection of environmentally sensitive areas by finalizing the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy and the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement, and by proposing that three National Wildlife Areas be established on and around Baffin Island, Nunavut. Planned objectives for 2008-2009 were not fully met because the completion of a comprehensive Protected Areas Strategy under the Protected Areas Program was not achieved before the end of the fiscal year.

Lessons Learned: To ensure a more effective implementation of the Species at Risk Act, including recovery strategies, Environment Canada is establishing a quality management system, which will provide and promote opportunities for continuous performance improvement. The recommendations of the Polar Bear Roundtable will provide further opportunities to improve the protection of polar bears.

A review of the status of existing protected areas was completed and a Results-based Management and Accountability Framework and Risk Based Audit Framework for the Protected Areas Program, were developed. These will help meet the objectives of habitat conservation and assist the Department in reaching the Protected Areas Program goals in the future.


Program Activity: Water is clean, safe and secure
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
94.8 117.0 113.4 709.0 970.6 261.6


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected Mostly met
Accrued economic, social and environmental benefits to Canadians through sustainable and productive use of water resources Under the Action Plan for Clean Water, remediation initiatives were implemented for Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg and the areas of concern in the Great Lakes. Efforts focused on establishing partnerships, planning with stakeholders, establishing mechanisms to deliver on commitments, providing technical advice and funding for cleanup projects, and doing science

Access for Canadians to safe drinking water and
protection of human health from water quality and quantity-related threats

Environment Canada released the fourth annual results of the Water Quality Index under the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Initiative. Water quality at almost half of monitoring sites in Canada was rated as "good" or "excellent". No long-term trends are available for this national indicator. However, a comparison of the results from the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators reports reveals only minor changes during this period. New scientific knowledge was generated and made accessible for other federal departments, other levels of government, environmental regulators, policy- and decision-makers, land-use planners, researchers and industry on the impacts of land use practices, the effects of toxics and other substances of concern, the impacts of changes in climate and biodiversity on aquatic ecosystems, and remediation techniques for water resources.

Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity provides science and policy leadership on water quality, quantity and use. Science under the Program Activity is focused on monitoring and research to understand what is changing in aquatic ecosystems and the reasons for the change, and on providing science-based tools to empower Canadians to take action on water priorities. Policy leadership includes work to advance Canadian water resources sustainability through international and federal-provincial action. Involvement in transboundary arrangements focuses on ensuring that Canada’s responsibilities concerning the management of bi-national waters are met and that parties to interprovincial water agreements benefit from Canada’s technical advice and monitoring information.

Benefits for Canadians: Environment Canada works closely with other federal departments to develop a strategic approach to address nationally significant freshwater issues in order to conserve and protect Canada’s aquatic ecosystems and water resources. Activities undertaken in 2008-2009 included enhancing inter-jurisdictional relations and governance structures, advancing federal coordination of water resource management, improving water quality and ecosystem health monitoring and information, generating new knowledge needed to understand the impacts of human activities on water, and undertaking actions to conserve and protect Canada’s water resources and to promote wise and efficient water management and use.

Performance Analysis: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada continued to advance the objectives of the Action Plan for Clean Water, which set the direction for the restoration and cleanup of Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg and areas of concern in the Great Lakes. Environment Canada's work in this area contributes directly to the preservation and protection of Canada's major watersheds for current and future generations. The deadline for applications to the Lake Winnipeg Bassin Stewardship Fund was extended to enhance stakeholder awareness and engagement in the program. Startup requirements facing the launching of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund resulted in a shorter field season such that some activities have been deferred until next year.

In 2008-2009, Environment Canada generated new scientific knowledge and information on priority areas, including developing standards for nitrogen and phosphorus to protect the ecological condition of streams, rivers and coastal waters, examining the impact of climate change on the parasites and diseases related to aquatic animals,  the dynamic existence of waterborne pathogens in river sediment, and the impacts of climate change and human activities on groundwater recharge in Canada using historical data, and monitoring toxic contaminants in large ecosystems.

Lessons Learned: All levels of government are responsible for safeguarding Canada's vast water resources. Consequently, Environment Canada must collaborate with a range of partners to develop consensus on common objectives, carry out cooperative research and monitoring, provide timely, credible and accessible information and expertise, and improve the links between science and policy for the advancement of policy options for key priorities. Environment Canada will continue working on the four-year partnered science plan for Lake Winnipeg to improve information sharing between federal, provincial, municipal, academic and United States partners, and to assess the current state of the lake, address current data and knowledge gaps, and identify the major sources and bioavailability of particulate and dissolved nutrient inputs to the Lake.



Program Activity: Canadians adopt approaches that ensure the sustainable use and management of natural capital and working landscapes
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
32.9 46.7 43.3 248.0 311.0 63.0


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary

Integrated information and knowledge enable
integrated approaches to protecting and conserving priority ecosystems

Met all
Improvement in environmental indicators for priority ecosystems In 2008-2009, Environment Canada continued to be actively involved in the implementation of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program (21 indicators) and helped develop the State of the Great Lakes 2009 Highlights report, which provides updated information on Great Lakes indicators and information on changes in nearshore areas of the Great Lakes.
Classification of Canadian ecosystems

Work is proceeding as planned in the completion of the Ecosystems Status and Trends Report, which will be released in 2010, as well as on the implementation of Environment Canada’s Ecosystem Framework.

Selection of priority ecosystems
Implementation of Priority Ecosystem Initiatives The Department delivered on 2008-2009 commitments under the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (2007-2010) and the Canada-Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence (2005-2010). The Northern Ecosystem Initiative, the Western Boreal Conservation Initiative, the Atlantic Ecosystem Initiative and the Georgia Basin Action Plan were extended for one year and key projects were completed to provide science, tools and best management practices to decision-makers.
Information, assessment and understanding of the state of ecosystem sustainability supports decision-making Mostly met

Implementation of new management approaches
in project and strategic environmental assessments

The environmental assessment program completed the last stage of research and analysis of current management processes and moved toward the next stage of full implementation of new management approaches.
Availability of relevant and reliable information to assess ecosystem status and change The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network achieved progress on four key initiatives conceived to ensure and improve the availability of ecosystem status information (i.e. Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring, IMAGINE Canada, NatureWatch community-based monitoring protocols and Space for Habitat remote sensed-based habitat surveillance).

Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity is designed to integrate departmental action on ecosystems by aligning science, policy and environmental assessment through a nationally consistent, inter-jurisdictional approach to ecosystem management. Work contributing to this program activity includes multidisciplinary studies assessing the state of priority ecosystems and identifying the required actions for restoration and conservation. Education and outreach activities inform and engage Canadians on environmental issues to promote environmentally sound action.

Benefits for Canadians: Environment Canada works with a range of partners to sustain Canada's priority ecosystems and protect the environment, collaborating with Canadians and decision-makers on the sustainable use and management of ecosystems in their regions, and providing expert advice on the potential environmental impacts of economic development projects. A more holistic ecosystem approach addresses ecosystem sustainability issues and integrates the environmental, social and economic agendas of various partners and governments to achieve common objectives and results. This work contributed to the restoration of degraded ecosystems and provided Canadians with environmental information to make more informed and environmentally sustainable decisions.

Performance Analysis: Environment Canada continued to take an ecosystem approach to implementing the Great Lakes Ecosystem Initiative, the St. Lawrence Plan and other ecosystem initiatives, and made progress in delivering on commitments under the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (2007-2010) and the Canada-Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence (2005-2010). In March 2009, Environment Canada reported substantial implementation of the recommendations of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s 2008 Report on remediation of areas of concern in the Great Lakes.

In 2008-2009, Environment Canada participated in many successful environmental assessment reviews and acted as responsible authority for approximately 400 project environmental assessments and as federal authority (providing expert advice) for more than 2000 projects. These assessments range in complexity from relatively benign screenings to large and complex evaluations of multi-billion dollar projects such as the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline.

Lessons Learned: Ecosystem initiatives and approaches provide the Department with opportunities to link research, science and monitoring to action at the community level in order to target and restorepriority ecosystems across the country. New strategic management models are emerging to help guide Environment Canada's efforts to making healthy ecosystems and sustainable communities across Canada a reality.

In 2008-2009, Environment Canada organized and participated in the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Workshop, which provided key findings regarding environmental assessments management processes, roles and responsibilities. Based on these findings, the program developed the Environmental Assessment Management System to improve business and information management processes within resource and policy constraints.

The EcoAction Community Funding Program evaluation demonstrated the importance of accurately defining and tracking project indicators for the environmental outcomes of funded projects to improve the ability to report on results and show the environmental benefits of the investmentsbeing made.

Strategic Outcome 2: Weather and environmental predictions and services reduce risks and contribute to the well-being of Canadians

Changing weather, water and climate conditions, such as severe weather, floods, poor air quality and heat waves, can seriously affect Canadians' safety, health and economic well-being. Therefore, Environment Canada works to provide quality meteorological, climatological, hydrological and related environmental information, prediction and services that help Canadians make decisions to reduce the risks posed by the environment.

Benefits for Canadians: By helping Canadians anticipate how the environment can affect them and their activities, this Strategic Outcome contributes to reducing the impacts—such as loss of life, detrimental effects on health and damage to property—that changing weather, water and climate conditions can have on Canadians. It also allows Canadians to take advantage of opportunities that these changing conditions could generate, in sectors such as transportation and renewable energy, for example.

Performance Analysis: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada identified four priorities for the Strategic Outcome. While most of the objectives were partially met, some challenges remain.

Promote the health and safety of Canadians and improve decision-making: The Department continued to provide its weather and related services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and demonstrated readiness to provide weather services to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is also a major contributor to Public Safety Canada's National Public Alerting System. Environment Canada made significant scientific advances in its computer models, which permitted it to add extra days to the daily public and marine forecasts. The implementation of the Air Quality Health Index has progressed well, although, as confirmed in the March 2009 Status Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, some challenges remain, such as working with the provinces on issues related to the total or partial phase-out of their existing air quality indices. The Department contributed to the work of international bodies such as the Group on Earth Observations, pursued collaborative projects with China, and cooperated with other countries to fully benefit from global data sharing and environmental research. However, as indicated in an audit on the severe weather program, the Department continues to face challenges with respect to its weather observing networks and ability to get warnings to Canadians, and with how to measure the effectiveness of its programs.3

Contribute to the Government of Canada agenda by maintaining existing and establishing new effective partnerships, agreements and policies: The Department effectively participated in the Government’s Northern Strategy by ensuring that the needs for weather and environmental services were understood and by pursuing scientific advances in the North, including working with the Canadian Space Agency in support of future meteorological satellite missions. Environment Canada also took steps towards implementing the marine weather services that will be required in the future in the Arctic, while maintaining hydrometeorological services across Canada. Hydrometric agreements and ongoing collaborations with partners including provinces and territories have continued, with Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec renewing their hydrometric agreements. Efforts continue to develop agreements with other provinces. The Department also partially completed updates and reports on monitoring and hydrology activities (e.g. schedules C and D and cost-share reports as required by the hydrometric agreements) under the Canada Water Act. Negotiations began with NAV CANADA (the operator of Canada’s air navigation system) to renew an agreement related to the provision of aviation weather services. These negotiations were concluded in July 2009.

Foster community and economic resilience through adaptive solutions to climate and environmental change at the local, regional and national levels: The development of Canada’s new global climate model is complete and includes enhanced physical processes. A new Canadian regional climate model has been developed to allow for better understanding of expected changes at the local level, and initial testing is well under way. Canadian networks on climate change scenarios and on atmospheric hazards have been established. However, due to capacity constraints, we have not yet been able to make this service available everywhere even though the demand comes from across the country. Analyses of hazards or severe events in support of infrastructure standards and the sustainability of economic sectors have progressed, but are behind schedule.

Ensure the ongoing relevance to Canadians of weather and environmental services: As indicated in a recent evaluation, enhanced succession planning and performance measurement were needed in order to support sustainable and high-quality weather services to Canadians.4 In 2008-2009, progress toward a data management framework continued. The quality management system (QMS) registered under the ISO 9001:2000 standard covers most activities under the Strategic Outcome. The QMS requires proactive client consultation on products and services, thus ensuring that services are of high quality and relevance to Canadians. In addition, the QMS requires clear identification of accountabilities, which ensures that necessary corrective or preventive measures are taken promptly. A human resources plan was developed in 2008-2009, focusing on building people capacity and skills to meet evolving needs through recruitment (of meteorologists and technicians, in particular), learning and development, and succession.

There are two Program Activities under this Strategic Outcome:

  • Improved knowledge and information on weather and environmental conditions influences decision-making; and
  • Canadians are informed of, and respond appropriately to, current and predicted environmental conditions.

The following pages contain further performance information about the work that is undertaken to deliver these Program Activities and the achievements during 2008-2009 in meeting the commitments in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities and moving forward on program results and long-term Strategic Outcomes.


Program Activity: Improved knowledge and information on weather and environmental conditions influences decision-making
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
130.2 164.1 159.8 892.0 1,057.0 165.0


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Information from environmental monitoring activities is sufficient to identify, analyze study and predict weather and climate conditions, air quality, and clean water availability Somewhat met
Environment Canada monitoring networks reliably generate cost-effective observations which are accessible by Canadians Environment Canada's monitoring networks provided, without major failures, observations of weather, climate, air quality and water level, and derived flow information 24 hours a day, seven days a week from all network sites in Canada. Canadians and others downloaded 1,500 gigabytes of data in 2008 from the Department's online climate archive and also had access to real-time and archived water information online.
Partners openly share their information with Environment Canada and Canadians Environment Canada's strategic approach to monitoring is based on the "network of networks" principle, by which various networks (e.g. surface, upper-air and other networks) are made to work together. To that end, the Department establishes agreements to exchange weather and climate data. For example, it is expected that it will sign such an agreement with Alberta in 2009. As well, the Department has signed hydrometric monitoring agreements with four provinces.
Science is produced to support weather and environmental services, decision-making and policy development Met all
Science-driven improvements to quality and utility of weather and other environmental services, as expressed by accuracy and timeliness of forecasts and the degree to which environmental science influences policy development and decision-making Two major changes to the computer model for weather predictions have significantly improved the quality of the forecasts from six hours to several days. In support of the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, and domestic impacts and adaptation science, work on developing Canada's new global climate model is complete, and a new model for regional climate predictions has been developed and is being tested. Enhanced ways to simulate snow, soil and vegetation have been added to prediction models. Climate indices on topics such as drought have been developed to support agriculture. With academia, efforts continued to help the wind energy sector, and to better forecast quantities of precipitation.

Program Activity Summary: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada used scientific knowledge and models to provide information from environmental monitoring activities to identify, analyze, study and predict weather and climate conditions, air quality and clean water availability. The Department undertook initiatives that improved the timeliness and quality of weather forecasts.

Benefits for Canadians: Better observational data and a stronger scientific foundation yield improved accuracy and lead times for warnings of severe weather and, in turn, improved usefulness of weather, climate and related information and predictions. In 2008-2009, the computer model used by the Department's weather service was modified to include more information on the stratosphere and more information from satellites. These changes have significantly improved the quality of forecasts as measured by standard scientific measurement techniques. Finally, climate indices were developed to help the agricultural sector understand historical trends and variations of phenomena such as drought.

Performance Analysis: Environment Canada demonstrated scientific leadership by implementing a comprehensive, state-of-the-art observing network, as well as systems for numerical weather prediction and short-term forecasting for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Department was also involved in furthering understanding of climate change, particularly in the North through leadership of the Canadian collaborative project Variability and Change in the Canadian Cryosphere, which was conducted under the auspices of the International Polar Year.5 Further, the Department continued to develop hydrological models for the Great Lakes region, with the goal of assessing the models' ability to predict the climate there.

Life-cycle management of observing network equipment continues to be implemented, but resources are insufficient to undertake all the work required for full implementation. As committed in the December 2008 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Environment Canada has taken steps to document and implement the policies, systems, and procedures for full life-cycle management of its monitoring assets (see paragraph 2.36 of the report). The ISO 9001:2001 certification of Environment Canada’s weather and environmental services processes, which requires regular audits, plays a strong role in the effective management of the networks.

Lessons Learned: The Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development on Environment Canada's Severe Weather Program highlighted the fact that the Department lacks an up-to-date strategy to address challenges in managing its monitoring networks (see paragraphs 2.37 to 2.42 of the report). As a result, the Department is developing a business case that incorporates a monitoring strategy and a long-term capital plan; completion of those is expected in 2009-2010. Investments will be prioritized by taking into consideration the condition and the performance of the various assets.



Program Activity: Canadians are informed of, and respond appropriately to, current and predicted environmental conditions
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
153.0 170.7 164.1 1,649.0 1,483.2 (165.8)


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Canadians are better informed through improved weather and environmental predictions and services and leveraged partnership opportunities Somewhat met
Level of satisfaction of public and weather-sensitive industries. Surveys generally show satisfaction. In post-event surveys conducted in the summer of 2008 in the Greater Toronto Area and Windsor, Ontario, 84 percent of respondents said air quality advisories gave useful information. About three quarters of respondents said the messages were effective in helping reduce exposure to air pollution. Unsolicited user feedback is also monitored: of the 20 700 messages answered in 2008-2009, 62 percent were inquiries, while 31 percent, an average figure, were complaints. The latter were satisfactorily resolved for the most part.
Canadians benefit from the creation and use of meteorological and environmental information by Environment Canada and its partners where there is common interest Somewhat met
Accuracy and timeliness of services measured against performance benchmarks. Temperatures for the first forecast day were within 3░C, 92 percent of the time at 23 regularly monitored stations, exceeding the objective of 90 percent. Most other measures are under development and will be available in 2009-2010.
Adaptive strategies to address the impacts of climate change are developed and implemented for the benefit of Canadians and the environment Somewhat met
Enhanced level of awareness and understanding by economic sectors, other government departments and other levels of government of their vulnerability to atmospheric change and the subsequent reduction of Canada's adaptation deficit Stakeholder consultations and workshops took place across Canada, including in the North. The Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network was established.

Program Activity Summary: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada made progress on the delivery of weather and environmental predictions and services. Public forecasts were extended from five to seven days, while marine forecasts were extended from two to five days. These forecasts enable Canadians to better anticipate expected weather conditions and make appropriate decisions with respect to their activities. Dedicated support was provided to emergency measures organizations in relation to major events such as the Saint John River flood in the spring of 2008, the Red River flood in the late winter and spring of 2009, and the unusual winter conditions in British Columbia from mid-December 2008 to mid-January 2009.

Benefits for Canadians: Weather and environmental information and predictions enable Canadians and their institutions to prepare and take appropriate actions to safeguard life and property, adopt strategies to mitigate the vulnerabilities to air pollution and the changing climate, and prosper through decisions that advance economic competitiveness and individual well-being. In 2008-2009, this was shown through, for example, strong coordination with emergency measures organizations, Public Safety Canada and other stakeholders during major meteorological events, expanded forecast periods and various improvements to the Weatheroffice web site, all of which help Canadians better manage their activities in light of changing weather, water and climate conditions. Governments at all levels have benefited from the considerable consultations, national science and adaptation workshops, and scenarios training workshops that have taken place across Canada, including in the North.

Performance Analysis: Following an audit of the bilingual capacity of Environment Canada's automated telephone network for weather forecasts, the Department has begun upgrading its equipment to ensure it is fully compliant with the Official Languages Act.6

The Department continued to run pilot projects for gradually implementing the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), a tool used to communicate to the public the health risk associated with air quality and give concrete steps to reduce that risk. The Canadian Atmospheric Hazards Network was only partially implemented due to staffing delays and resource constraints. These constraints also meant that hazards analyses for various users fell behind schedule, including those involved in disaster management planning, and building codes and standards. Similarly, the development of heat alert models as well as of specialized predictions for agriculture, mining and energy has been delayed.

Lessons Learned: A number of lessons associated with the implementation of the AQHI and its related forecast program were learned in 2008-2009. As confirmed in an audit by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Environment Canada and Health Canada have actively consulted a wide variety of provincial governments and other stakeholders, such as municipalities and non-government organizations, about the AQHI (see paragraphs 2.14 to 2.20 of the report). These consultations yielded strong, constructive relationships with stakeholders, a key factor in the successful implementation of the AQHI. A 2008 survey of residents and analyses of local media reports by Toronto Public Health found that there was confusion in Toronto between the AQHI implementation pilot project and the ongoing issuing of the provincial air quality index. This led to the province developing options for Ontario-wide implementation of the AQHI. Another lesson learned relates to the complexity of integrating the AQHI forecast into the Department's operational prediction system; this integration has taken much more time and resources than initially anticipated. Future plans now take these findings into consideration.

The December 2008 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development observed that Environment Canada lacked a national approach to verifying its severe weather warnings (see paragraphs 2.63 to 2.74 of the report). Significant progress has subsequently been made toward developing such an approach (e.g. accuracy and timeliness) for weather and marine conditions.

Strategic Outcome 3: Canadians and their environment are protected from the effects of pollution and waste

Benefits to Canadians: The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and section 36 of the Fisheries Act provide the statutory basis for most of Environment Canada's pollution prevention and waste protection activities, which protect Canadians and the environment from the effects of pollution and waste.

Performance Analysis: Pollution and waste may exert a direct or indirect harmful effect on animals, plants or humans and may, depending on their volume, nature and manner of release, pose long-term risks to the environment. As stated in the December 2008 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, "despite progress in tackling such problems as lead pollution, acid rain, and ozone-depleting substances, too many smog alerts, respiratory illnesses, and days with high UV-radiation still occur".7 Environment Canada's programs contributing to the Strategic Outcome continued to make progress against the three-year commitments identified in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities. In 2008-2009, Environment Canada identified five priorities for the Strategic Outcome, as follows.

Continue delivering on the Government's Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, and implementing the Turning the Corner action plan and the Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions: Environment Canada issued a notice under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to collect data from industry sectors to inform the development of the greenhouse gas and air pollutants regulations. Progress was made on the development and implementation of a regulatory approach to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Environment Canada worked with provinces and stakeholders on developing a framework for air pollutant emissions. The Department's work to deliver on this commitment aims to protect Canadians and the environment from air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Continue implementing the Government's Chemicals Management Plan: Environment Canada continued working to develop and implement, within a three-year time frame, the Challenge to industry to provide new information on how it is managing harmful chemical substances. To improve the degree of environmental protection against hazardous chemicals, control instruments are being developed and implemented within timeframes mandated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Environmental monitoring and research programs have been integrated and augmented under the Chemicals Management Plan to provide a national program capable of meeting the Government's existing monitoring commitments as well as being responsive to new emerging chemicals of concern, while ensuring Canada influences and meets its international obligations.

Strengthen Environment Canada's capacity to enforce environmental protection legislation under its jurisdiction: The enforcement of Canada's environmental laws and regulations is needed to protect Canadians from the effects of pollution and waste. Environmental Enforcement protects Canadians and the natural environment through the enforcement of all legislation relevant to the use of toxic substances, their release to air, water or land, and the import and export of substances that present a risk to the environment and/or human life or health.9

Work with the private sector to promote environmental sustainability: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada worked with key stakeholders in the energy sector through the Energy Sector Sustainability Table. Through its Corporate Environmental Innovation initiative, the Department also promoted the role of Canada's finance sector in building an economy that rewards environmental leaders. The Department also engaged in consultations with the industrial sector to further the development of air pollutant and greenhouse gas regulations.

Continue efforts to coordinate and improve the quality of emissions reporting: Environment Canada improved its data systems in 2008-2009 to enable more effective and efficient data collection from industry to support informed environmental decision-making pertaining to the releases of pollutants and their associated risks.

Environment Canada's work under the Strategic Outcome is organized into three Program Activities:

  • Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are reduced;
  • Canadians adopt sustainable consumption and production approaches; and
  • Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

The following pages contain further performance information about the work that is undertaken to deliver these Program Activities and the achievements during 2008-2009 in meeting the commitments in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities and moving forward on program results and long-term Strategic Outcomes.



Program Activity: Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are reduced
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
198.0 176.0 152.8 1,400.0 906.2 (493.8)


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are assessed Met all
Number of new and existing commercial chemicals assessed A total of 439 New Substances Notifications (NSNs) were received in 2008-2009; 408 NSNs were assessed, with the assessment of the remainder in progress. Draft risk assessment reports were published for 73 existing substances or classes of substances, and final assessment reports were published for 54 substances or classes of substances.
Information that leads to risk mitigation is generated As a result of the Challenge to industry and other stakeholders, 9 of 12 batches of priority substances were launched for public comment. Conclusions on the toxicity of 88 substances were published; 22 were found to be toxic and are proceeding to risk management.
Risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are managed Met all
Number of risk management strategies and instruments developed for assessed commercial chemicals Environment Canada published 17 risk management scope documents and 19 proposed risk management approach documents, addressing the risks from 27 substances. Control instruments were proposed or finalized for several substances, including phosphorus, perfluorooctane sulfonate, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and chlorinated paraffins.
Risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by toxic and other harmful substances are mitigated Met all
Number of emergency risk assessments of priority substances produced in the context of the Chemicals Management Plan Performed risk evaluations on all priority substances of interest to the Environmental Emergencies Program of the first 106 high priority substances identified for action under the Chemicals Management Plan and made recommendations on possible additions to the regulations as per section 200 of the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999.

A preliminary plan of action for petroleum stream substances was developed.

Decision-makers' use of provided scientific and technical support during environmental emergencies Environment Canada provided scientific and technical support to responsible parties and primary government departments on 114 environmental incidents during 2008-2009.
Number of monitored disposal-at-sea sites that have little or no impact on the marine environment The report on disposal-at-sea sites monitored in 2007-2008 covered 36 sites. In 2008-2009, all monitored sites had little or no impact on the marine environment. In addition, some management action was taken to better protect the marine environment.

Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity is aimed at reducing risks to the environment and to human health posed by pollutant releases related to human activities. Under the Program Activity, environmental and human health threats posed by harmful substances and other substances of concern, including waste, are considered in terms of their impact and effect on the environment.

Benefits for Canadians: Substances and waste may have a direct, harmful effect on animals, plants or humans, or may, depending on their volume, nature and manner of release, pose a long-term risk to the environment and human health. As a result of Environment Canada's work under the Program Activity, the Government is able to take early action on harmful substances so that they are managed before they enter the environment and become a problem for current or future generations. Canadians are provided with information to make better-informed decisions and thereby lower their exposure to harmful substances.

Performance Analysis: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada accelerated the screening and assessment of approximately 150 substances categorized as high priorities and implemented restrictions on the reintroduction into the marketplace of 145 substances of high concern. The Department started the analysis of the approximately 3000 "second-tier" substances of medium concern, and began to develop a framework for setting future priorities. Progress was also made in 2008-2009 on a work plan for dealing with 160 petroleum-stream substances of high concern.

In addition to assessing toxic substances, Environment Canada put in place measures to manage and mitigate risks associated with these substances as part of its commitment to effectively implement the Chemicals Management Plan. For example, in 2008-2009, the Department published a series of regulations to control the release of harmful substances, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, phosphorous and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and developed strategies for managing the risks associated with them. Work was begun on the development of proposed risk management instruments for priority substances under the Chemicals Management Plan.

Environment Canada also worked to protect Canadians and the environment from pollution and waste generated in sectors outside the scope of the Chemicals Management Plan. These sectors include the public sector (e.g. wastewater and storage tank systems), the waste management sector, the natural resources sector (forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, mining, minerals and metals), and the energy and transportation sectors. For example, Environment Canada worked with its partners and stakeholders in 2008-2009 to improve wastewater management across Canada, and to minimize the risks to human and ecosystem health and to fishery resources from wastewater effluents. On February 17, 2009, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment endorsed the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent. The Strategy sets out a harmonized framework to manage discharges from wastewater facilities in Canada.  It provides an agreed-upon path forward for achieving regulatory clarity for owners of municipal wastewater facilities. In addition, Environment Canada continued to implement and evaluate existing instruments pertaining to the export and import of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials, and measures to prevent pollution from mercury switches in end-of-life vehicles.

In its role in managing the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP), Environment Canada provided program oversight and administration, training, guidance and project review to help federal custodians address contaminated sites for which they are responsible. In 2008-2009, the Department also developed a successful proposal for accelerated activities under the FCSAP over the next two years through Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Lessons Learned: The strengths and weaknesses of the activities undertaken as part of the first two years of the Chemicals Management Plan are being identified through focus group discussions, interviews, and internal and external workshops. This knowledge is being taken into consideration in the design of the framework for identifying future priorities, and in the design of the risk assessment and management phase that will follow the Challenge to industry to provide new information on how it is managing harmful chemical substances.

Environment Canada completed a formative evaluation of FSCAP in 2008, and the findings and recommendations will inform decisions about program renewal. Overall, the evaluation found that, in general, FCSAP is well managed, adequately funded, supports custodians effectively, and has made progress in addressing federal contaminated sites since being launched in 2005.

In 2008, the management review of Canada's National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities demonstrated that the protection of water quality in Canada's oceans has evolved in recent years and that the Programme of Action should be modernized in response. The analysis of the results will guide the modernization process and will contribute to the improvement of the marine pollution program in subsequent years.



Program Activity: Canadians adopt sustainable consumption and production approaches
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
49.5 93.9 91.3 300.0 334.4 34.4


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Canadians and decision-makers are informed about the risks posed by environmental pollution and greenhouse gases and are aware of the trends and future actions to take Met all
Establishment of an integrated and harmonized industry reporting system

Environment Canada is taking a phased approach to dealing with data collection needs, especially on greenhouse gas emissions in anticipation of the establishment of a regulatory regime. Phase one has included data collection under a single window for the Department and partners already included in existing programs (e.g. Alberta and greenhouse gas information collection). Other partners, such as provinces and other stakeholders (e.g. associations) will be added as opportunities present themselves, starting in 2009-2010.

The Single Window Reporting Initiative is expected to be launched in 2010 for greenhouse gas information gathering.
Reduced administrative burden on industry for reporting data Environment Canada held five outreach sessions to engage industry and other stakeholders in the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). Two provinces and two industry associations are already included in reporting under the NPRI, reducing reporting duplications for industry. Discussions are currently under way with four other jurisdictions.
Data on criteria air contaminants (CACs) and greenhouse gases (GHGs)

Comprehensive data on sources of key air pollutants in Canada was published and used by decision-makers to develop targets for regulatory action on air pollution.

Rigorous quantification and verification guidance was provided to inform the continued development of Clean Air Regulatory Agenda regulations and Canada's Offset System. Environment Canada's capacity was established to provide outreach and applied information to the public and corporate users, including provinces and territories.
Annual reporting of environmental pollutants and greenhouse gases Domestic (i.e. Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999) and international obligations (i.e. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Stockholm Convention) were met: international collection, publication and submission of data on releases and emissions from industrial facilities and criteria air contaminants for the 2007 calendar year. Enhanced monitoring, accounting and reporting were carried out to produce a United Nations-compliant national greenhouse gas inventory system and national inventory report.
Strategic approaches effectively promote sustainable production and consumption Mostly met
Production of the final consolidated Government of Canada response to the CEPA 1999 Parliamentary Review

Recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development and the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources were reviewed by Environment Canada and Health Canada officials, and consideration has been given to implementing them where appropriate.

Drafting of a renewed CEPA for consideration by Parliament Environment Canada focused on the improved implementation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and amendments to the enforcement provisions of the Act through the Environmental Enforcement Act (Bill C-16)
Maintenance of an up-to-date and continually improved CEPA Environmental Registry Documents are added to the database daily. The information is current. Issues related to security measures were addressed.
Implementation of a quality management system (QMS) Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 QMS modules continued to be developed, implemented and used.
Undertaking and coordination of technology research and development The program generated and maintained science and technology knowledge and tools to support environmentally sound policies, programs (e.g. Environmental Technology Verification), regulations and international activities by the Department.
Undertaking of compliance and promotion activities as required to support new regulations For each new regulation, a national compliance promotion working group was established, and a compliance strategy, compliance promotion plan and compliance promotion tools were developed and integrated into Environment Canada’s QMS for the Department’s Environmental Protection business line.

Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity aims to provide high-quality information to Canadians, decision-makers and industry pertaining to harmful substances, pollutants and greenhouse gases. Departmental expertise and oversight are provided to assess whether emerging technologies will help industry meet its regulatory obligations. Underlying all of Environment Canada's work is the development and maintenance of a clear and predictable environmental protection regime, compliance promotion and efficient, consistent and transparent regulatory decision-making process.

Benefits for Canadians: The Program Activity aims to protect the health of Canadians and their environment by supporting effective risk management decision-making within government by maintaining a clear and predictable environmental protection regime and by providing high-quality information on air pollutants, greenhouse gases and other harmful substances. Through the provision of departmental expertise and oversight, this program helps ensure that federal technology investments offer value for money, optimize environmental benefits and do not impact negatively on the environment. Environment Canada also works with the finance sector and the academic community to identify research priorities and build knowledge on the links between sustainability performance and business success.

Performance Analysis: In 2008-2009, improvements were made to the existing One Window to National Environmental Reporting System to enable more effective data collection from industry for the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

Legislative and regulatory oversight was provided in 2008-2009 by supporting the consistent application of statutory authorities (e.g. the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and the Species at Risk Act), advising policy and program managers on instrument choice and design, ensuring standardized and efficient decision-making processes, and undertaking compliance promotion activities as required to support new regulations. For decision-making under Environment Canada's statutory authorities to be as consistent, transparent and predictable as possible, the Department continued to make progress implementing a quality management system for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and developing one for the Species at Risk Act.

Better integration and collaboration with partners on environmental issues and approaches are vital for achieving shared environmental objectives. Environment Canada participated in the task group of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment that prepared the draft Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The Action Plan has as its primary focus the harmonization of EPR programs and a schedule for coordinated federal, provincial and territorial action on identified products and substances through the use of EPR instruments. The Council released the Action Plan for public comment in February 2009.

In 2008-2009, the majority of the Department's sector-based work was aligned with other program work, thus contributing to the achievement of common results in particular program areas, such as substances management, clean air and climate change. Consequently, activities contributing to common results are aligned and managed in a more integrated manner than they had been previously.

Lessons Learned: Greater integration and cooperation among the various Environment Canada data collection programs will ensure that information collection is done only once, and is simplified, streamlined and aligned with departmental priorities.

The continued implementation of a quality management system for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the further development of one for the Species at Risk Act will foster increased departmental efficiencies in the development of regulations and other policy instruments that are necessary to implement programs that will protect Canadians and the environment.



Program Activity: Risks to Canadians, their health and their environment from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
152.0 136.4 122.3 622.0 658.5 36.5


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary
Strategic approaches to manage air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions effectively reduce risks Mostly met
Implementation of a framework to guide the development of industrial-sector regulations, reporting and other complementary measures Progress was made on the development of a comprehensive air management system through joint work with provinces, industry and non-governmental organizations.The plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent is on track; however, the economic downturn and the renewed engagement by the new United States administration has required that we fine-tune our approach to climate change policy. Development and implementation of our regulatory approaches have progressed.
Science on approaches to manage air pollutants and greenhouse gases informs and supports decision-making Scientific modeling of the scale and scope of air quality improvements and associated health and environmental benefits that could result from industrial air pollutant emission reductions was provided.

In collaboration with Transport Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, technical and modeling work was undertaken to assess the contribution of marine emissions to particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and acid deposition levels across Canada and the associated impact on human health and the acidification of the environment, including work to support establishment of a maritime Emissions Control Area.

In conjunction with Transport Canada, the contribution of on- and off-road transportation to levels of fine particulate matter across Canada including impacts on human health was determined.

Undertaking of international collaboration on air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with Canadian interests Two international decisions concerning ozone-depleting substances substitutes and the destruction of banks of these substances were negotiated and concluded at the 2008 Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, as planned.

Canada has continued its discussions with the United States on a Particulate Matter Annex to the Air Quality Agreement.

A governance structure and project approval guidelines were established for Canadian participants in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Risks from air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sectors are managed Mostly met
Development of regulations and other measures to reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sectors Progress was made in development of regulatory approaches to reduce industrial greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. In addition, regulations were proposed to limit the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the environment and the VOC Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations were published.
Risks from air emissions and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector are managed Mostly met
Development of regulations to reduce air pollution from vehicles, engines and fuels. The development of vehicle, engine, fuel and other regulations was advanced in order to maintain alignment of Canadian standards for smog-forming emissions with those of the United States.

Final amendments to existing regulations for lead in gasoline were published. Innovative regulatory approaches to renewable fuels and to vehicle tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases were developed.


Program Activity Summary: Program work contributing to the Program Activity's results focuses on developing an integrated, sector-based approach to regulating air pollutants and controlling greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening international cooperation (particularly with the United States), and promoting science-based approaches to inform the development of new standards and regulations.

Benefits for Canadians: In 2008-2009, Environment Canada developed an integrated, sector-based approach to regulating air pollutants and controlling greenhouse gas emissions, raised awareness, promoted activities and programs, and developed instruments for Canadians to reduce emissions and pollutants from vehicles, engine fuels and consumer products. The overall benefits for Canadians from this work were knowledge of Canada's greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, and the development and implementation of measures, including regulations to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in the most effective way in all key sectors of the economy so that Canadians and the environment are protected from the harmful effects of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

Performance Analysis: Progress was made in developing and implementing the Regulatory Framework for Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions, including the complementary offset system, and the infrastructure to support the system. The plan to reduce emissions by 20 percent, from 2006 levels, by 2020 is on track. However, the economic downturn and the renewed engagement by the new United States administration has required that we fine-tune our approach to climate change policy.

The Department worked intensively with affected sectors, provinces and non-government organizations on the development of a comprehensive air management system, including an approach to national regulations of industrial emissions of air pollutants consistent with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The Department participated actively in federal delegations to ensure an effective global regime to tackle climate change that balances environmental protection and economic prosperity has a long-term focus, supports the development and deployment of clean technologies, supports constructive and ambitious global action, and includes commitments from all major economies.

The Department worked closely with the United States to protect the health of Canadians and the environment by reducing transboundary flows of air pollution. Canada is a Party to the United Nations Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and participates actively at an international level to address air quality globally.

Lessons Learned: A comprehensive integrated approach to regulating air pollutants and controlling greenhouse gases includes a wide range of activities spread across departments and that face constant changes in circumstances and priorities. These changes reinforce the need for up-front horizontal strategic planning, including contingency and risk management planning. It is critical to be able to quickly re-direct efforts and resources to adjust to fast changing priorities, strong coordination, communication, monitoring and flexibilities within Environment Canada and with Central Agencies and other departments.

Strategic Outcome 4: Sustainable urban development and infrastructure renewal in the Toronto Waterfront area

Effective October 30, 2008, the authority for the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative and Harbourfront Centre Funding Program was transferred from the Minister of the Environment to the Minister of Finance. The Strategic Outcome involves two separate but linked contribution programs related to the Toronto Waterfront: the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative and the Harbourfront Centre Funding Program. These initiatives support the Government outcomes strong economic growth and a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage. The federal Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative Secretariat leads policy development and program management on behalf of the federal government for both contribution programs, as follows.

Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative: The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative (TWRI) is an infrastructure and urban renewal initiative designed to contribute to the sustainable urban development of Toronto's Waterfront area. Its goals include positioning Canada, Ontario and Toronto in the new economy, thereby ensuring Canada's continued success in the global economy, and increasing economic growth and development opportunities. Given the intrinsic links between economic, social and environmental health, the objectives also include enhancing the quality of life in Toronto and encouraging sustainable urban development.

The purpose of the TWRI is to revitalize the Toronto Waterfront area through investments in both traditional infrastructure, such as local transportation and sewers, and urban development projects, such as parks, green spaces, tourism-related facilities and the rebirth of underused post-industrial areas. It is expected that investments in these areas will result in both social and economic benefits for the Toronto region.

Federal investment in the TWRI flows through a contribution program with the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC), also known as Waterfront Toronto, a not-for-profit corporation established to oversee the revitalization of the waterfront area. Waterfront revitalization projects are funded through unilateral, bilateral or trilateral contribution agreements between one or more of the three levels of government and the TWRC.

The Harbourfront Centre Funding Program: Harbourfront Corporation, operating as Harbourfront Centre, is a not-for-profit, provincially incorporated organization that was created in 1990 to manage cultural and educational programming activities. Harbourfront Centre is responsible for operating four key hectares of Toronto's Waterfront area on behalf of the public, and managing and developing programming for all the public facilities on the site. The Centre's mission is "to nurture the growth of new cultural expression, stimulate Canadian and international interchange and provide a dynamic, accessible environment for the public to experience the marvels of the creative imagination".

In 2006, the Harbourfront Centre identified a shortfall in its base operational funding. The federal government, through the Harbourfront Centre Funding Program, entered into a multi-year contribution agreement with the Centre for $25 million to cover this shortfall, allowing it to remain operational.

The funding provides a stable foundation for Harbourfront Centre’s administration and operations. It facilitates management’s ability to leverage funding from other government and corporate sources as well as its ability to pursue other revenue generating strategies, which ensures ongoing community access to the Centre’s cultural, recreational and educational facilities.



Program Activity: Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
87.1 88.2 79.5 12 14.4 2.4


Expected
Results
Performance
Indicators.10
Performance
Status
Performance
Summary

Increased accessibility to and usage of waterfront area

Mostly met
Square metres of recreation / commercial space Though requests from the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) for federal TWRI funds were slower than anticipated, the completed projects and those currently under way have provided increased public accessibility to and usage of the Toronto waterfront area, revitalized urban infrastructure, and improved environmental management of the Toronto waterfront area. For example, several large public spaces and parks were completed in 2008, including the Spadina Wave Deck along the Toronto waterfront and the Cherry Beach Transitional Sports Fields on a brownfield site. The general public is now using both of these well-publicized projects, and at least three more public space and recreational projects are scheduled to open by the summer of 2009.
New public transit capacity
Number of affordable and other residential housing units
Revitalized urban infrastructure Mostly met
Square metres of recreation space
Number of hectares of parklands and green space
New public transit capacity
Square footage and value of residential and commercial space
Improved environmental management of the waterfront area Anticipated results mostly met
Number of hectares of land / parklands and green space
Number of LEED-certified building units

Program Activity Summary: The main objectives of this Program Activity are program management and coordination of the federal contributions towards infrastructure, parks, recreation and green spaces, for the renewal and revitalization of Toronto's Waterfront area.

Benefits for Canadians: The TWRI has already produced benefits for Canadians even though the majority of the federally funded projects carried out thus far under this program have focused on planning, design, environmental assessment and land restoration, rather than capital construction. While it may be too early in the life of the program to measure the extent to which the TWRI has resulted in significant economic benefits, the labour requirements of TWRI projects have benefited numerous Canadian workers and businesses through new employment opportunities and demand for material and supplies.

Work was ongoing on a number of federally funded projects in 2008-2009. Several large public spaces and parks were completed in 2008:

  • the Spadina Wave Deck, a 700-metre-square undulating wood pedestrian deck, the completion of which created 2,500 square metres of new aquatic habitat; and
  • the Cherry Beach Transitional Sports Fields in the Port Lands district, which involved the construction of two regulation sports fields on a brownfield site.

Taken together, these projects provide increased public accessibility to and use of the Waterfront area, revitalized urban infrastructure and improved environmental management of the Waterfront area.

Performance Analysis: The TWRI met most of the expected results set out in the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities, though the bulk of the construction work is being carried out during the remainder of the TWRI, currently slated to sunset on March 31, 2011. As noted in the section above, there is an increase in the accessibility to the waterfront area as a result of federal participation in the TWRI, and more projects to improve accessibility are planned or under way.

The Environment Canada-initiated evaluation of federal participation in the TWRI, which received departmental approval in July 2008, concluded that the federal TWRI Secretariat appeared to demonstrate value for money, even though requests from the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) for federal TWRI funds were slower than expected. The evaluation report noted the demonstrated need for federal participation in the TWRI.

The evaluation concluded that project deadlines not being met was the result of a number of factors, including underestimation by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation of the length of time required to complete projects. Further, multi-governmental funding agreements are inherently complex, requiring significant time. A challenge for the Corporation has been addressing the program requirements of the three government funders, each with its own funding management regime. Projects have also involved extensive stakeholder and public consultations.

In addition, the evaluation found the following:

  • The federal TWRI Secretariat took sound environmental approaches to revitalization. The TWRI has fostered greater community awareness and participation in waterfront planning and implementation.
  • TWRI activities were well coordinated through the Operations Working Group, led and chaired by the federal TWRI Secretariat, although the Intergovernmental Steering Committee was not generally seen as an effective governance body.
  • While the use of a contribution program to deliver TWRI funding has allowed for federal oversight of that funding, the contribution program has been perceived as administratively challenging.

Lessons Learned: The federal TWRI Secretariat has been implementing the four recommendations set out in the evaluation report. It also continues to follow the Management Action Plan that stemmed from a 2005 project audit. An external audit of the Western Beaches Watercourse Facility and an internal desk audit of the Port Lands Preparation Contribution Agreement were carried out in 2008-2009, as per the annual federally led tri-governmental audit plan.

The federal TWRI Secretariat has taken action on a variety of fronts to address the four recommendations stemming from the evaluation, including the following:

  • Funding has been set aside in the TWRI budget envelope to cover the costs associated with work around expected outcomes and the federal TWRI Secretariat has been developing tools to measure relevant performance data.
  • The federal TWRI Secretariat has been working with TWRC officials on providing enhanced governance flexibility to efficiently continue the delivery of the TWRI.  It has also been coordinating with the TWRC and other orders of government to ensure federal funding is strategically allocated to projects which can be completed prior to the program's March 31, 2011, sunset date.
  • The appropriateness of the $10 million threshold on federal contribution agreements was examined and a decision was made to retain it.  Currently, the federal TWRI Secretariat uses a theme-based approach as appropriate when seeking federal funding.
  • The federal TWRI Secretariat worked successfully with the TWRC and other orders of government to remove unnecessary indemnification clauses from the contribution agreement template.


Program Activity: Harbourfront Centre Funding Program
2008-09 Financial Resources
($ millions)
2008-09 Human Resources
(full-time equivalents)
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities
Actual
Spending
Planned Actual Difference
5.0 5.0 5.0 0 0 0


Expected
Results
Performance
Status
Performance
Indicators
Performance
Summary

Stable foundation for Harbourfront Centre administration and operations

Met all
Preservation of Harbourfront Centre as a going concern Harbourfront Centre spent 100 percent of the $5 million federal contribution it received on Site Operating Costs, Salaries and Benefits, Sponsorship and Marketing, Administrative Costs, and Capital Assets. The Harbourfront Centre remained open, providing community and cultural programming for the general public in Toronto’s waterfront area.
Support for fixed operational and maintenance costs
Ongoing community access Met all
Ongoing community access to the Harbourfront Centre site and its capital facilities

Program Activity Summary: The Program Activity provides support to the Harbourfront Centre to cover its operational costs to facilitate the organization's ability to leverage funding from other governments and pursue other revenue-generating strategies.

Benefits for Canadians: Federal funding allows Harbourfront Centre to provide the general public with continued access to cultural, recreational and educational programs and activities. This funding assisted the Harbourfront Centre in covering its fixed operational costs and is facilitating its efforts to leverage funding from other levels of government and pursue other revenue-generating strategies that allowed the organization to provide the general public with continued access to cultural, recreational and educational programs and activities on the Toronto waterfront.

Harbourfront Centre provides a vast array of arts and culture programming for all ages rear-round, including in the areas of visual arts, crafts, literature, music, dance and theatre. There are more than 12 million visits per year to the 4-hectare site and Harbourfront Corporation contributes more than $132 million to the local economy annually.  More detailed information is available on the Harbourfront Corporation website.

Performance Analysis: The Harbourfront Centre Funding Program fulfilled the planned results set out in Environment Canada's 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities providing a stable foundation for Harbourfront Centre's administration and operations, and ongoing community access to the site and capital facilities. Harbourfront Centre spent all of the $5 million federal contribution it received in 2008-2009, and remained open, providing community and cultural programming for the general public in Toronto's Waterfront area.

Lessons Learned: The 2009-2010 Risk-based Monitoring and Audit Plan for the Harbourfront Centre Funding Program has established a baseline for project monitoring and a justification for resources to be targeted to this activity. The plan will also guide audit activities for the program and includes one desk audit per year. The Harbourfront Centre Funding Program is considered to be low risk.


2 Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the House of Commons. December 2008, p. 1: www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/docs/parl_cesd_200812_00_e.pdf.

3 Report of the Commissioner to the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD), December 2008.

4 Evaluation of the Meteorological Service of Canada Transition Project (Environment Canada), July 2008.

5 The term cryosphere refers to frozen surfaces: ice, snow and permafrost.

6 Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Audit of the Bilingual Weather and Environmental Services Provided on the Environment Canada Automated Telephone Network, November 2008

7 Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the House of Commons - December 2008, p. 1: http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/docs/parl_cesd_200812_00_e.pdf.

8 Environment Canada, http://www.ec.gc.ca/cc/default.asp?lang=En&n=B3EE907B-1.

9 For more information, see "Operating Environment," above. Additional enforcement officers were recruited to enforce regulations related to legislation under Strategic Outcomes 1 and 3.

10 For a detailed list of Performance Indicators for the Program Activity, see the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities.