Strategic outcome and program descriptions

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Department of the Environment

Strategic outcome 1

Canada's natural environment is conserved and restored for present and future generations.

Program 1.1: Biodiversity—Wildlife and Habitat

This program aims to prevent biodiversity loss while enabling sustainable use by: protecting and recovering species at risk and their critical habitat; conserving and protecting healthy populations of migratory birds; and monitoring, conserving and restoring significant habitats by establishing and maintaining a network of protected areas, and developing and implementing stewardship programs. It also supports coordinated and coherent national assessment, research, planning and action to protect biodiversity, including viable, self-sustaining populations of species, healthy and diverse ecosystems, and genetic resources. The program forms strategic partnerships for integrated management of Canada's natural capital, including stewardship and the sustainable management of landscapes. This program has responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Canada Wildlife Act, Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. International responsibilities include the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), the Migratory Birds Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group of the Arctic Council, and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention).

Program 1.2: Sustainable Ecosystems

This program aims to sustain Canada's ecosystems over the long term by providing Canadians, their governments and the private sector with the environmental information and tools required to incorporate social, economic and environmental considerations into decision making and actions. Environmental assessments are a large part of this program. The ecosystem approach to environmental management focuses on maintaining the capacity of a whole system to produce ecological goods and services and genetic resources to support the economy, security, and health and well-being. This program focuses on: the development and implementation of Environment Canada and Climate Change's sustainability policies and strategies; provision of information to support integrated, ecosystem-scale planning; community engagement in remediation of sites; youth engagement; and research and reporting on environmental status and trends. The program facilitates interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral planning and information sharing among partners.

Program 1.3: Water Resources

This program addresses the risks to and impacts on water resources from industrial activities, agriculture, climate change and other factors. It aims to minimize threats to Canada's water resources and aquatic ecosystems and to maintain the sustainability of such resources. The program is delivered in collaboration with partners, specifically other federal departments, provinces and territories, and a range of non-governmental organizations. The program focuses on Environment and Climate Change Canada's contribution to monitoring water quality and conducting water-related research and analysis and its role in collaborating with other departments to determine priorities for water quality and quantity as well as aquatic ecosystem monitoring and research. It provides scientific information and advice to decision makers and supports implementation of the Canada Water Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Fisheries Act, International Boundary Waters Treaty Act, and International River Improvements Act.

Program 1.4: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement—Wildlife

This program works to conserve and protect the natural environment through compliance promotion and enforcement of the Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, Antarctic Environmental Protection Act and Canada Wildlife Act. The program promotes compliance through the communication of information, education, and consultation with parties affected by these statutes. It maintains a contingent of enforcement officers whose activities consist of verifying compliance with acts, regulations and permits pertaining to wildlife and Environment and Climate Change Canada protected areas, gathering intelligence, conducting inspections and pursuing investigations regarding alleged offenders. The program also works with INTERPOL as well as the United States and Mexico under the auspices of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to strengthen wildlife enforcement. These actions aim to reduce damage and threats to biodiversity for the benefit of Canadians and the international community.

Strategic outcome 2

Threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution are minimized.

Program 2.1: Climate Change and Clean Air

This program aims to protect the health of Canadians, the environment and Canada's economy from the harmful effects of air pollutants and the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions through the development and implementation of regulations and other control measures. Actions are based on sound scientific work, economic and policy analysis, and emissions monitoring and reporting. Work under this program includes: continued collaboration with other governments and stakeholders; delivery of sound scientific results, expert environmental science and technology advice, assessment, and program management in support of technology investment decisions, policy making and regulations; and cooperation with the United States to align greenhouse gas regulations as appropriate, reduce transboundary air pollution and advance the development of clean technologies. It also involves participation and negotiation in, and contributions to, international fora, in order to address climate change and transboundary air pollution, and bilateral and multilateral processes in order to support Canada's positions and objectives.

Program 2.2: Substances and Waste Management

Activities in this program reduce threats to human health and the environment posed by pollution and waste from human activities. The program assesses risks to the environment from substances that are already in commercial use (existing substances) and substances proposed for use in Canada (new substances). It also develops and implements measures to prevent or manage the risks from these substances and waste.

Program 2.3: Compliance Promotion and Enforcement—Pollution

This program contributes to minimizing damage and threats to the natural environment and biodiversity through the promotion and enforcement of legislation administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Activities focus on pollution, including the release of toxic substances to air, water or land, and the import and export of hazardous waste that presents a risk to the environment and/or human health. The program maintains a contingent of compliance promotion and enforcement officers. Compliance promotion officers deliver activities to increase regulatees' awareness, understanding and compliance with regulations and other risk management instruments under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Fisheries Act, with the goal of increasing effectiveness in achieving desired environmental results. They also provide information on risk management instrument requirements, the benefits of compliance and the potential penalties of non-compliance, when applicable. Enforcement officers, on the other hand, conduct inspections to verify compliance with laws and regulations, gather intelligence, take enforcement action to bring offenders back into compliance, and pursue investigations where necessary. This program collaborates with international and domestic partners to strengthen transboundary environmental enforcement. Officers are provided training and are often supported by scientific analyses and expertise, including science advice to support enforcement actions. In addition, the program is supported by scientific analysis and expertise for the development and implementation of new and updated regulations.

Strategic outcome 3

Canadians are equipped to make informed decisions on changing weather, water and climate conditions.

Program 3.1: Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians

This program provides reliable, accurate and timely forecasts and warnings, as well as weather and environmental intelligence to anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks and opportunities of changing weather, water, air quality and climate conditions. It involves monitoring, research, prediction and service delivery based on sound science to help Canadians make informed decisions in order to protect their health, safety, security and economic prosperity. Because a global effort is needed to monitor, understand and predict constantly changing weather, water, air quality, sea ice, and climate conditions, the program works with various collaborators around the world. Global collaborators include other national meteorological services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Météo France, as well as international organization such as the United Nations World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At the national level, collaborators include the media, academia and all levels of government in Canada. The program meets the Department's responsibilities under the Department of the Environment Act, Weather Modification Information Act, Emergency Management Act (2007), Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, and memoranda of agreement with other national meteorological and space agencies. The program provides forecasts and information in the event of environmental emergencies associated with the release of toxic and radioactive material in the atmosphere.

Program 3.2: Weather and Environmental Services for Targeted Users

Environment and Climate Change Canada provides specific predictions and services for targeted, weather-sensitive sectors through formal arrangements and revenue contracts. Building on the core capabilities offered under Program 2.1, this program provides reliable, accurate and timely weather, climate and ice observations, predictions and services to support the specific decision-making needs of the aviation and marine transportation sectors and the Canadian military. It delivers services through various collaborations within Canada (including with other government departments), and internationally with the World Meteorological Organization, as well as with other countries and international bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. This program supports the Department in meeting obligations and responsibilities conferred by the Department of the Environment Act and the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization. It also helps other government departments meet their obligations under the Aeronautics Act and the treaty in support of International Civil Aviation, the Oceans Act and the Fisheries Act, and supports memoranda of agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Canadian Coast Guard, the Department of National Defence, and various provincial and territorial agencies.

Strategic outcome 4

The following program supports all Strategic outcomes within this organization.

Program 4.1: Internal Services

The Internal Services program supports all strategic outcomes and is common across government. Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and oversight services; Communications services; Legal services; Human resources management services; Financial management services; Information management services; Information technology services; Real property services; Materiel services; Acquisition services; and Travel and other administrative services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Strategic outcome 1

High quality and timely environmental assessments of major projects to protect the environment and support economic growth.

Program 1.1: Environmental Assessment Delivery Program

This program ensures that high quality environmental assessments of major projects are conducted and completed in a timely and predictable way, thereby supporting economic growth while preventing or reducing adverse environmental effects. The most appropriate means of avoiding duplication of assessment activities with other jurisdictions is applied, thereby, increasing efficiency and providing certainty for all participants in the process. The Agency will promote, monitor, and facilitate compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The environmental assessment process provides for the meaningful participation of the public and Indigenous groups. Indigenous consultation obligations are integrated to the greatest extent possible with the federal environmental assessment process. As such, the Agency consults with Indigenous groups during the environmental assessment process to assess how the proposed project may adversely impact potential or established Indigenous or Treaty rights and related interests, and find ways to avoid or minimize these adverse impacts. This program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Participant Funding Program, and the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

Program 1.2: Environmental Assessment Policy Program

The Environmental Assessment Policy program develops and promotes robust policies and practices for high quality environmental assessment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. This is achieved by building and reinforcing policies, procedures and criteria for the conduct of federal Environmental Assessment, by promoting cooperation and coordinated action between the federal government and other jurisdictions, by promoting communication and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, and by developing instruments and training for Environmental Assessment practitioners. Environmental Assessment Policy enables continuous improvement through research, monitoring, analysis and advice. Recommendations inform the development of new regulatory and policy approaches as well as the revision of guidance, training and knowledge based instruments. The program also provides support for the conduct of Environmental Assessment through various means, such as federal provincial agreements and policy criteria.

Strategic outcome 2

The following program supports all Strategic outcomes within this organization.

Program 2.1: Internal Services

The Internal Services program supports all strategic outcomes and is common across government. Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and oversight services; Communications services; Legal services; Human resources management services; Financial management services; Information management services; Information technology services; Real property services; Materiel services; Acquisition services; and Travel and other administrative services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Parks Canada Agency

Strategic outcome 1

Canadians have a strong sense of connection to their national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals, and national marine conservation areas and these protected places are experienced in ways that leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Program 1.1: Visitor Experience

This program fosters opportunities for Canadians and international visitors to discover, experience, enjoy and develop a sense of personal connection to Canada's national urban park, national parks, national historic sites administered by Parks Canada, national marine conservation areas, and heritage canals. This program includes a range of activities, services and products associated with pre-visit planning, the on-site visit, and post visit communications. It includes tourism marketing, trip planning information, reception, orientation, interpretation, recreational activities, special events, merchandise, compliance, visitor safety services, and visitor facilities. The program is supported by market and visitor analytics, trend analysis, and performance measurement.

Program 1.2: Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

This program involves the management of infrastructure for Canadians and provides opportunities for socio-economic benefits to adjacent communities. It is related to the operation, maintenance and improvement of the Trans-Canada and provincially numbered highways within national parks and a national historic site; the water management of certain heritage canals; and, the provision of municipal services to certain national park townsites.

Program 1.3: Heritage Places Conservation

This program aims to protect and conserve the natural and cultural resources of all heritage places managed by Parks Canada, as well as the agricultural resources in the national urban park; and to fulfill responsibilities assigned to Parks Canada or mandated through federal legislation. Protection and conservation activities in a national urban park, national parks, national marine conservation areas, heritage canals and Parks Canada administered national historic sites ensure that these heritage places are maintained and used in ways that leave them unimpaired for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Program 1.4: Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

This program aims to nurture a sense of pride in and support for Parks Canada administered places by increasing Canadians' awareness, appreciation of their value and the various ways to experience them. This is achieved through relevant and effective heritage places promotion initiatives delivered to Canadians, reaching them in their daily lives. Some of these promotion activities are done in collaboration with stakeholders and partners to reach and engage more Canadians.

Program 1.5: Heritage Places Establishment

This program aims to establish heritage places in order to conserve Canada's natural and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, thus fostering a strong sense of connection to our natural and cultural heritage. This program also supports Canada's involvement in the internationally shared objective of protecting and commemorating the best of the world's natural and cultural heritage. By establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas in each of Canada's natural terrestrial and marine regions, this program ensures the protection and presentation of representative examples of Canada's natural diversity. Likewise, the designation and commemoration of historic places, persons and events in communities across Canada ensures our history remains a living legacy for all Canadians. Establishment or designation is achieved through feasibility assessments, public nominations, research, consultation with Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and the general public, negotiations with other governments and Indigenous organizations, recommendations from advisory bodies and fulfilment of legislative requirements. This process results in established national parks and national marine conservation areas and designated national historic sites, persons and events and other heritage places.

Strategic outcome 2

The following program supports all Strategic outcomes within this organization.

Program 2.1: Internal Services

The Internal Services program supports all strategic outcomes and is common across government. Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and oversight services; Communications services; Legal services; Human resources management services; Financial management services; Information management services; Information technology services; Real property services; Materiel services; Acquisition services; and Travel and other administrative services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

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