OTTAWA, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today issued the following statement in response to the tabling of the 2010 report of the Commissioner on Environment and Sustainable Development.
"The Government of Canada thanks the Commissioner for his important work and his latest report, which will help inform our on-going improvements to environmental programs and policies.
"The Government of Canada also assures Canadians that we are taking action and delivering on our environmental priorities.
"We are committed to working with our partners in preventing and preparing for marine environmental emergencies. Work is already underway to address many of the recommendations in the report, which, for example, will greatly help the Canadian Coast Guard to improve its capacity to respond. We are also collaborating on measures to reduce the likelihood of emergencies by requiring the safe management of toxic and other hazardous substances. When emergencies occur, our National Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime provides the capacity for an effective response to oil spills in Canadian waters.
"We are proud of the concrete and measurable action we are taking to implement a strong and comprehensive approach to protect Canada's waters. This past year alone, Environment Canada has spent more than $140 million on water related programs and science. Our water monitoring program includes long term monitoring, research activities, surveillance and biological monitoring which together provide us a complete picture of water quality and quantity. Our actions on water are based on sound science and decisions are made using a risk based approach. This is evident by our current work in the oil sands area to increase ground water monitoring almost four fold to approximately 100 locations and our appointment of an independent Advisory Panel to provide advice on the best water monitoring in the world.
"The Government of Canada is also taking action to help Canadians adapt to a changing climate and we are working towards developing a Government-wide adaptation framework. We have invested $85.9 million to better understand the impacts of climate change on our health, infrastructure and northern communities. For example, Environment Canada's climate science research program is tightly integrated with global efforts to ensure that our country has the best available climate change and climate variability information available. Information on current atmospheric hazards and extremes supports the development and improvement of infrastructure plans and codes in Canada.
"These are just a few of the steps we are taking to be part of the solution and we are proud of the comprehensive initiatives that are already underway."
For more information on Canada's action on the environment, visit: http://www.ec.gc.ca/
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