Order Fixing December 1, 2020 as the Day on which that Act Comes into Force: SI/2019-32
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 12
SI/2019-32 June 12, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE FEDERAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACT
Order Fixing December 1, 2020 as the Day on which that Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2019-612 May 31, 2019
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 13 of An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, chapter 2 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes December 1, 2020 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes December 1, 2020, as the date on which An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act comes into force.
The objective of this Order is to bring into force the amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act (the Act) contained in An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The amendments to the Act will modify the legal framework for developing and reporting on a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and individual strategies for designated entities.
The Federal Sustainable Development Act was initially introduced as a Private Members Bill by the Honourable John Godfrey and became law in 2008. In 2016, the House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development published a report titled Federal Sustainability for Future Generations that put forward 13 recommendations to modernize the Act. On June 19, 2017, Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, was introduced in the House of Commons, and on February 28, 2019, Bill C-57 received royal assent.
The amendments to the Act respond to the recommendations of the House Standing Committee by modifying the legal framework for developing and reporting on an FSDS that makes decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent and subject to accountability to Parliament. The amendments also promote close collaboration and coordinated action across the Government of Canada, and shifts the focus more broadly to sustainable development decision-making, rather than only on environmental decision-making.
Among the changes to the Act are amendments to
- Increase the number of federal organizations included in the Act from 26 to more than 90, all of which must contribute to the FSDS development, reports, and develop and report on their own strategies;
- Establish new fixed dates for tabling an FSDS, and ensuring that a new Strategy is developed and tabled at least once every three years;
- Include new principles and emphasis on all aspects of sustainable development;
- Require that all FSDS targets be measurable and include a time frame;
- Add three additional Indigenous representatives to, and modify the role of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council; and
- Require that consultation feedback be taken into account when developing individual sustainable development strategies.
The federal organizations subject to the Act, as amended, are expected to comply with the requirements of the Act and not to incur any incremental costs. Costs associated with the time allocated by a full-time-equivalent employee to complete relevant work is expected to be negligible and covered by existing resources, already allocated to developing sustainable development strategies and reporting on progress within these federal organizations.
The Act, as amended, is expected to lead to sustainable development improvements by requiring the development of more robust sustainable development strategies by more federal organizations, thereby identifying and addressing a broader range of relevant policies, plans and programs related to sustainable development. This will stimulate stronger and more effective collaboration across the federal government and increase the likelihood of realizing improvements on measures of sustainability. Under the Auditor General Act, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development may also monitor and report on the progress of federal organizations related to sustainable development strategies. This will further promote government accountability and transparency.
By increasing the number of federal organizations subject to the Act, as amended, more federal organizations will become involved in greening government operations. This Order is expected to further support efforts of the Government of Canada to transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon. In addition to expected environmental benefits, strengthened sustainable development strategies are also expected to have positive effects on human health and the economy, around clean growth, reduced air pollution, healthier and safer communities, better-managed coastal and marine environments, and protected and conserved biodiversity.
Bill C-57 was introduced in the House of Commons in June 2017 and received strong support from all parties. During the legislative process in the House and Senate, parliamentary committees reviewed the Act and heard from various stakeholders. The Bill passed in the House of Commons on June 4, 2018, and received royal assent on February 28, 2019.
Federal organizations listed in the Schedule of the Act, as amended, will be informed of the amendments to the Act through an in-person information session before the coming into force date.
Sustainable Development Policy Division
Strategic Policy Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
200 Sacré-Cœur Boulevard