From Environment and Climate Change Canada
OTTAWA, April 24, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna; the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau; and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Dominic LeBlanc, issued the following statement in response to the tabling of the Spring 2018 Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development:
"We would like to thank Commissioner Gelfand for her dedication as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. We welcome the Commissioner's recommendations, and we are taking appropriate actions to ensure they are addressed.
"The Government of Canada takes its social, economic, and environmental responsibilities seriously, and we believe that a clean environment and a strong economy—one that leaves no one behind—are essential for peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous societies.
"Together with our provincial and territorial partners, Indigenous Peoples, and stakeholders, we continue to work hard to ensure our decisions on aquaculture are transparent, based on the best available science, and clearly communicated to Canadians. Keeping our oceans healthy is a priority for our government. We have a responsibility to ensure that fish and their habitat are protected for future generations, and we take this responsibility very seriously. Since Budget 2016, our government has made significant investments in science by hiring new scientists to help better manage wild Pacific and Atlantic salmon, and it has funded more than 20 projects on salmon enhancement and habitat restoration.
"Conserving Canada's biodiversity is essential to fighting climate change and ensuring healthy ecosystems, thriving communities, and a strong economy. Since biodiversity conservation is a shared responsibility, achieving Canada's biodiversity targets requires action across all levels of government and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and many others.
"Our government has already taken successful action, working with various partners, toward achieving Canada's 2020 biodiversity targets. Last October, we met our interim target of protecting 5 percent of Canada's marine and coastal areas, by 2017. We have also committed to conserving at least 17 percent of our land and inland waters, by 2020, and we are making historic investments in conservation and supporting the recovery of species of risk.
"The Government of Canada is fully committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), here in Canada and overseas. Many Canadian priorities, such as growing and strengthening Canada's middle class; reconciling with Indigenous Peoples; and advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including through Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, support Canada's and the world's progress toward the 2030 Agenda and its overarching goals.
"As announced on April 17, 2018, we will reach out over the coming months to Canadians, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, other levels of government, the private sector, and our international partners to develop a national strategy to catalyze action on the SDGs across the country. Federal departments and agencies will work to ensure the SDGs are integrated into all of their policies and programs. We will also continue to work, through Statistics Canada, with the United Nations and Canadian partners on the global SDG-indicator framework to help Canada and the world measure progress. An SDG unit will be created to support and help coordinate all these efforts.
"Through Budget 2018, our government allocated $1.3 billion over 5 years to protect our ecosystems, landscapes, and biodiversity, including species at risk. It also allocated $49.4 million over 13 years to establish a robust SDG unit to coordinate Canadian efforts to advance the SDGs and fund monitoring and reporting activities by Statistics Canada, as well as $59.8 million from existing resources for programming to support the implementation of the SDGs in Canada.
"The Government of Canada will continue to take a leadership role—working with all levels of government, international partners, and all other groups involved—to make progress on our commitments to building inclusive and sustainable communities, keeping our ecosystems healthy and diverse, strengthening our economy, and preserving Canada's natural legacy for future generations."
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Caroline Thériault, Press Secretary, 613-462-5473, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, [email protected]; Justine Lesage, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, 343-203-5977, [email protected]; Vincent Hughes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 613-992-3474, [email protected]; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free), [email protected]; Media Relations Office, Global Affairs Canada, 343-203-7700, [email protected]; Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, [email protected]