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Section 4: Other Items of Interest

4.1 Strategic Integration Activities

Clear, consistent, and integrated departmental policy advice, coordinated interactions with partners and stakeholders and effective communication are important tools to help Environment Canada deliver on its mandate and commitments.

Environment Canada is leading the development of federal strategies to integrate environmental sustainability into government-wide policy priorities in a concrete manner. As part of this work, the department is advancing a policy framework that recognizes the inextricable linkages between the environment, our economic competitiveness, and the health of Canadians.

Environment Canada's work to develop a unified departmental policy approach is organized into two program areas:
  • Integrated policy advice, communications and information strategies enable effective decision-making; and
  • Relations with other governments and partners are effectively managed in support of environmental priorities.

Integrated policy advice, communications, and information strategies enable effective decision-making

Environment Canada continues to play a leadership role on critical environmental issues that cut across numerous federal departments. For example, the department has successfully led a multi-departmental effort to develop a comprehensive environmental agenda focused on clean air and climate change that will improve the health of Canadians. The release of "Turning the Corner", which outlines the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, was a major result for the Government. Over the last year, there has also been continued support for inter-departmental work on both water and conservation. A Deputy Ministers' Committee on Economic Prosperity, Environment and Energy, helps to ensure that the Government of Canada's environmental, economic and energy policy is comprehensive and reflects the views of all departments.

With the still-recent reorganization of much of Environment Canada's science and technology (S&T) into a new S&T Branch, the department has continued to advance its work on the strategic management of its S&T, the strengthening of linkages between science and policy, and the integration of federal S&T. The first-ever Departmental Science Plan was prepared and work on the inaugural Departmental Technology Plan continues. In order to strengthen science-based decision making in the department, Environment Canada has undertaken work to support policy analysts and other intermediaries acting as knowledge brokers at the science-policy interface. Seeking to enhance collaboration with other science performers and users, the department continues to develop the Atlantic Environmental Sciences Network (AESN) and to actively engage other science-based departments on strategic and science management issues through the Assistant Deputy Minister S&T Integration Board. Recognizing the value of federal leadership on S&T and the national innovation system, Environment Canada has provided input into the development of the government's S&T strategy.

Environment Canada continues to develop a broad environmental indicator and information strategy. This serves as a core policy tool to provide Canadians with more regular and consistent information on the state of the environment and how it is linked with human activities. As a component of this broad strategy, Environment Canada led, in partnership with Statistics Canada and Health Canada, the development and reporting of Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators. The report highlighted national states and trends over time of air quality, freshwater quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Key improvements in the 2006 report included the addition of the PM2.5 air quality indicator, the calculation of the water quality indicator for selected northern monitoring sites, and an increased analysis of socio-economic context for the indicators.

Relations with other governments and partners are effectively managed in support of environmental priorities

Environment Canada undertook several initiatives in 2006-2007 to manage partnerships with Provincial, Territorial and Aboriginal governments and engage stakeholders in the government's environmental agenda. Consultations were undertaken with the Provinces and Territories, Aboriginal organizations, and other stakeholders to further advance the Government of Canada's environmental agenda, including initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and improved chemicals management. The department advanced many other intergovernmental environmental issues, such as municipal wastewater, environmental assessments and species at risk, under the auspices of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and the Canadian Council of Resource Ministers. The department was actively involved in the negotiation and implementation of the environmental components of Aboriginal self-government and comprehensive land claim agreements and the implementation of the First Nations Land Management Act. Environment Canada also worked towards streamlining internal policies that impact its relationships with partners and stakeholders, such as a policy framework for managing grants and contributions and departmental policies on Aboriginal consultations and public participation in decision-making.

Environment Canada continued its active involvement through multilateral and regional fora, as well as bilateral relationships with key countries to protect and promote Canada's environmental interests internationally. Multilaterally, the department led, inter alia, Canada's preparations for and participation in the 24th Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and advanced Canadian objectives, notably on the need for global action on mercury. Environment Canada also played an active role in the process leading up to the G8 Leaders' Summit, including a G8 Environment Ministers meeting in advance of the Summit. The Department also continued playing an effective role within the Arctic Council both in terms of being a key resource on the significant environmental issues addressed at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada-led Ministerial meeting, and also in ongoing efforts within the Arctic Council to address issues such contaminants, biodiversity, and climate change. It continued its active role in and developed a strategy for more effective engagement with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Bilaterally, the Department moved towards, within the Free Trade Agreement context, finalizing environmental cooperation agreements with South Korea and Singapore. In addition, the Department has maintained relations with selected countries or regions (including China, India, the European Union, Australia, the U.S., Sweden, Norway and Germany) focused on promoting the government's environmental policy objectives related to clean air, climate change and toxics. The Department also completed a number of successful bilateral projects through the Montreal Protocol's bilateral program to help phase out ozone depleting substances in select developing countries.

At the regional level, Environment Canada has worked to improve the environment and quality of life of North Americans through specific initiatives under the Security and Prosperity Partnership and the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation. Given our geographic ties, shared economies, air-sheds and species, Canada continues to strengthen its collaboration with the U.S. in such areas as joint stewardship of shared resources (e.g. the Great Lakes), sharing best practices, as well as collaborating on science and technology.

A key announcement, during Minister Baird's Washington trip in April 2007, was that Canada and the U.S. would be negotiating a Particulate Matter Annex to the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement. Numerous studies have linked particulate matter, especially fine particulate matter, to cardiac and respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, and to various forms of heart disease.

Education and Engagement

The long term result of education and engagement activities is to create changes in human behaviour and decision-making to support delivery of the Department's goal of environmental quality that enhances health, well-being, and competitiveness. Education and engagement work has focused on delivering an approved strategic and disciplined approach to engagement that is driven by research and aligned with the department's results structure.

A review of Community Funding Programs and a Community Funding Program Umbrella Logic Model with performance indicators and specific tools were completed to improve alignment with departmental results, increase efficiency, and improve service to clients. These initiatives will begin implementation over 2007-2008.

A repositioning strategy and business plan for the Biosphere focused on the establishment of a unique Canadian Environmental Museum and the creation of a National Centre of expertise for Environmental Education and Engagement.

An integrated education and engagement specialists' working group produced an inventory and analysis of departmental education and engagement products outlining best practices and proposed investment areas to coordinate development of new products and tools.

A Public Reporting Strategy on the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and the Criteria Air Contaminants Comprehensive Emissions Inventories based on a series of recommendations is being implemented. The information products with integrated contextual information, targeted to NPRI's audiences, respond directly to advice from NPRI clients.

Corporate Services and Corporate Management Activities

Department-wide Services

Environment Canada continues to revise and improve its overall approach to priority setting and resource allocation. The more integrated approach aligns planning, priority-setting and resource allocation functions to the new Program Activity Architecture. This approach significantly enhances the overall transparency of proposed plans and priorities enabling senior executive direction, engagement, and strategic decision-making.

Priority Management Boards comprised of Assistant Deputy Ministers and Regional Director Generals assess priorities for activities across the department and make recommendations to the senior decision-making groups. The Priority Management Boards consist of Ecosystem Sustainability, Weather and Environmental Services and Environmental Protection. The Boards are supported by two "enabling" boards, which include Strategic Integration and Departmental Management Services.

Senior managers undertake business planning through results-based committees and teams. Managers at all levels from across the department are engaged in the process to ensure consistent application of planning and reporting requirements.

Environment Canada is an early adopter of the Corporate Administrative Shared Services (CASS) initiative to ensure the delivery of essential financial, administrative, human resources, corporate management, and information management technology services address mission critical, operational and key governance needs across the department.

Information Management and Information Technology (IM-IT)

Accountable management of resources for results:

The Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) continued the transition from the decentralized organizational structures to a single, integrated organization delivering IM and IT functions to Environment Canada. This transition was announced in 2004 and continues as a multi-year effort. The Branch has already been able to make strides towards delivering more effective, efficient and equitable levels of IM-IT services to all areas of the department.

Among the highlights in 2006-2007 was the creation of a department-wide IM Strategy, which will guide the creation of a governance model for the effective and efficient management of departmental information. Implementation of this model will begin in 2007-2008 with several small "quick win" projects to demonstrate the utility of the model and will be consistent with Government of Canada policies and practices of information management.

Environment Canada's programs are all heavily dependent on information. This includes the gathering, transmission, storage, manipulation, archiving and disposal of data by using technology services centrally managed by CIOB. CIOB plays the key leadership role in ensuring that IM and IT resources are efficiently and effectively used in all areas of the department to ensure program delivery. CIOB services include maintaining the operations of a complex matrix of hardware, software and network infrastructure in support of the department's 24/7 mission-critical activities.

As part of its on-going support to the Weather and Environmental Sustainability and Science and Technology programs, CIOB completed significant upgrades to both the Supercomputer in Montreal and a related data file storage system, increasing performance and capacity, respectively.

Maintaining operations while implementing a transition to a new operating model presents several challenges to the CIOB and the department as a whole. CIOB has been able to show some early successes in its transition by leveraging best practices in parts of the Branch for wider benefits. As an example, the use of a Software Management Board to guide the efficient and effective management of software in support of Environment Canada's mission-critical weather programs will be expanded to facilitate the management of software at the departmental level.

Major programs and initiatives:

Efforts continue to ensure that Environment Canada's IM-IT systems and activities are integrated, effective and consistently improved and adapted to meet client needs:

Progress in 2006-2007:

  • CIOB continues to manage control and oversight of IM-IT activities in the department;
  • Work continues to promote consistency of operations, to move to common standards, technologies and processes to provide consistent service to staff across the department;
  • Availability of the department's hardware, software and network infrastructure maintained at a very high level, especially in support of the department's mission-critical activities;
  • Creation of a departmental Information Management Strategy to create a governance model for IM and realize efficiencies throughout Environment Canada;
  • Upgrades to Environment Canada's supercomputer facility in Dorval significantly improved the performance of the supercomputer and the capacity of a large data storage facility. In addition, service to the department's Weather and Environmental Sustainability programs and its Science and Technology areas were improved;
  • Efficiencies have been and will continue to be found (e.g. a Request for Volume Discount process to acquire desktop or laptop produces significant savings for the department, while promoting more effective life cycle management of departmental assets);
  • Creation of a departmental Software Management Board;
  • Network infrastructure upgraded to better meet departmental requirements; and
  • Innovations in service delivery to bring product and services directly to clients' workplaces (e.g. videoconferencing, availability of electronic-journals.

Audit and Evaluation

The department's Audit and Evaluation functions play an important role in the area of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of departmental policies, programs, and management. In 2006-2007, Environment Canada undertook a number of activities to strengthen the internal audit and evaluation functions. These included the provision of active leadership in the implementation of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Policy on Internal Audit and the development of the new evaluation policy, which is expected to come into force in the spring of 2008.

The department laid the foundation to deliver the requirements of the new TBS Policy on Internal Audit by developing an implementation action plan, identifying candidates for the new External Advisory Audit Committee to become operational on April 1, 2008, and began planning work to provide an annual holistic opinion to the Deputy Minister. To facilitate the achievement of TBS Policy objectives, the department created a Strategic Planning and Coordination unit, and will continue to develop tools and measures to enhance the quality of the Branch's services.

Measures were also undertaken to strengthen the evaluation function through the establishment of stronger linkages with departmental Boards. The goal of these measures are to enable the early involvement in program design, the development of Treasury Board submissions, the development of a brochure to raise awareness and increase understanding of program evaluation.

Integrated Departmental Enforcement

Environment Canada's policy and program initiatives require credible backstops to compel compliance with the law where voluntary behaviour change encouraged through program incentives, education and compliance promotion is not occurring, or not meeting identified goals. A credible capacity to enforce regulations and legislation in a fair, predictable and consistent manner is required to protect Canadians and the environment, and ensure a level playing field for those subject to regulation.

Continued integration of the two previously distinct enforcement programs while continuing to ensure that enforcement activities are delivered to the highest standards was a high priority during this reporting period. It is expected that within a short timeframe, certain synergies and economies of scale will be realized within the program, especially in areas of training, standards and operational policy development. Continuously improved management accountability associated with the integration of the two programs will provide the following:
  • Greater ability to respond quickly and effectively to emerging situations;
  • Streamline planning and decision-making functions;
  • Provide a degree of separation between Environment Canada policy and programs and the enforcement function;
  • Enable more consistent and predictable application of Environment Canada administered legislation across Canada; and
  • Effective mitigation and management of risks and potential liabilities associated with administering the enforcement function.

As part of the federal Budget 2007, a commitment was made to increase the department's complement of Enforcement Officers by 50% over two years (2007-2008 and 2008-2009) in order to more effectively and efficiently fulfill the environment and wildlife protection law enforcement function. Delivering on this commitment will be a high priority for the next two planning and reporting periods.

Human Resources Branch

The department has embarked on the implementation of a proposed new Human Resources Management System, PeopleSoft version 8.9 in the context of the proposed Corporate Administrative Shared Services initiative (CASS). Plans are underway to migrate to the new system towards the end of fiscal year 2008-2009.

The Human Resources Branch has begun to set-up a reporting function that will also proceed with the further development and implementation of a monitoring and performance measurement framework. These will assist human resources management to meet its results-based objectives and its central agency requirements and commitments.

Values, Integrity and Disclosure

Over the past few years, a renewed commitment to values and ethics in organizations found expression in greater focus on formal values and ethics programs and on compliance with regulations in government departments. Public servants of all levels and managers in particular were expected to be guided in their work by high ethical standards. The Federal Accountability Act sets even higher standards by promoting greater accountability and transparency in the government's management practices.

Environment Canada became in 2006-2007 one of the leading departments developing formal values and ethics programs. The mandate of the new program, Values, Integrity and Disclosure is to enable the department's managers and employees in achieving the organizational objectives by supporting management processes and daily practices that strengthen ethical conduct and curb ethical breaches. The program Director is also the designated senior officer as per the Policy on Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace and the designated senior official for the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service (Code). In its first year of operation the program provided results and services in the following areas:

Values and ethics service development and research

The foundations of a values and ethics program were established: positions were staffed, a three year action plan was developed and discussions with senior management on values and ethics in management practices were regularly held. Also, a Values and Ethics survey was designed and administered. Environment Canada is one of the very first departments to survey its employees on values and ethics. The survey results will be used to address specific needs and in the design of an integrity index for the department.

Promotion and Prevention

The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service of Canada was promoted through awareness sessions at management meetings and through strategic advice on its application to senior managers. Tools to support employees and managers in integrating values and ethics in daily work were developed and distributed, such as a decision making model when facing an ethical situation. A web site was designed, launched and several program information notes were sent, to all employees, by the Deputy Minister. Topics included: the disclosure process; employee responsibilities in the area of political activities; and conflict of interest. Several notes to employees regarding the Code and public servants duties in the area of political activities were sent out by the Assistant Deputy Minister.

Values and Ethics risk management

Preparation for the implementation of the Public Servants Protection Disclosure Act was taken. Also, preliminary work for the development of a Values and Ethics monitoring and reporting system was initiated.

In its first year of operation, Values, Integrity and Disclosure developed the program's basic components: building capacity, increasing awareness, establishing processes and assessing needs. The program was successful in establishing high credibility amongst management and employees who both used its services and provided feedback. In 2007-2008, the program will focus again on increasing awareness of values and ethics dimensions in everyday work and on reducing ethical risks. The program will also seek and use opportunities to include values and ethics in new departmental management instruments such as new policies or systems and processes.


The Communications Branch provides effective and timely communication of environmental priorities to ensure Canadians are informed of and understand the department's agenda. In 2006-2007, the branch took a proactive approach to support Environment Canada's programs and policies, in addition to the government-wide ecoAction Plan. As Canadians overwhelmingly identified the environment as their number one concern, the Branch took the lead-role to work with other government departments to inform Canadians about the government's environmental initiatives.

On March 13, 2007, Environment Canada's new national Web site became fully operational. The site incorporates Treasury Board Secretariat's new Common Look and Feel standards for the Web and makes considerable progress toward integrating the department's Web content into an easy-to-use information tool.

The Communications Branch sought Canadians' views on the information and services Environment Canada provides. The department's research focused on important issues for Canadians such as chemicals and toxic substances, climate change, clean air, and meteorology.

Of particular note, the Meteorological Service of Canada conducted its benchmark Products and Services survey, as well as large-scale research on air quality. As the information become available, the results of these research projects can be accessed through the Public Opinion Research Reports website (36).

Key Electronic Resources

Adaptation and Impacts Research Group

Air Quality Services

Atlantic Coastal Action Program

Atmospheric and Climate Science Directorate

Atmospheric Hazards


Canadian Biodiversity Information Network (CBIN)

Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS)

Canadian Wind Energy Atlas

CEPA Environmental Registry

Chemicals website

Climate Change Scenarios Network

Climate Services

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Criteria Air Contaminants

CWS Ecological Gifts Program

CWS Enforcement Branch

CWS Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network Northern Ecosystem Initiative

Ecosystem Initiatives

Environment Canada

Environment Canada 2003-2012 Strategic Plan

Environment Canada's Audit and Evaluation

Environment Canada's Science Plan

Environment Canada's Sustainable Development Strategy 2007–2009

Environmental Acts and Regulations

Environmental Assessment Program

Environmental Damages Fund

Formative Evaluation of Federal Species at Risk Programs

Georgia Basin Action Plan

Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Initiative

Meteorological Services of Canada – Atmospheric Monitoring And Water Survey

Meteorological Services of Canada - Weather

National Climate Data and Information Archive

National Pollutant Release Inventory

National Pollutant Release Inventory

St. Lawrence Plan

The Weather Office

Water Survey of Canada

Weather observations, forecasts and warnings

Western Boreal Conservation Initiative


1. Environment Canada, Environmental Acts and Regulations:

2. Department of Finance Canada, Advantage Canada, Investing for Sustainable Growth:

3. Chemical Substances:

4. Environment Canada, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Highlights 2006:

5. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Canada's Performance 2006: The Government of Canada's Contribution:

6. Environment Canada, Environment Canada's Science Plan:

7. Environment Canada, Canadian Protected Areas Report 2000-2005:

8. North American Waterfowl Management Plan:

9. Environment Canada, 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities:

10. Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators:

11. Georgia Basin-Puget Sound Ecosystem Indicators Report:

12. Public Safety Canada, Canadian Disaster Database:

13. Environment Canada, Weatheroffice:

14. Environment Canada, Climate Archive Online:

15. CRTI is the acronym for CBRNE Research and Technology Initiative, where CBRNE is the acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives. CRTI is a multi-departmental initiative.

16. National Survey on Meteorological Products and Services, Decima Research May 2002 (surveyed residents of the ten provinces); Attitudes Toward Weather Information in the North, Environics Research Group, August 2005 (surveyed residents of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik).

17. Chemical Substances:

18. 2008 to 2012 Kyoto Protocol targeted emissions level = 6% reduction from 1990 baseline

19. Environment Canada, Clean Air Online:

20. Environment Canada, Environment Canada's Disposal at Sea Program:

21. Department of Justice Canada, Access to Information Act:

22. Environment Canada, Environment Canada's Disposal at Sea Program:

23. Environment Environment Canada, Environment Canada Disposal at Sea Program, Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement:

24. Environment Canada, Environment Canada Disposal at Sea Program:

25. Environment Canada, Audit and Evaluation:

26. Environment Canada, Migratory Birds Conservation:

27. Department of Justice Canada, Access to Information Act:

28. Audit and Evaluation Reports:

29. Office of the Auditor General of Canada:

30. Audit and Evaluation:

31. Sustainable Development Information System:

32. Sustainable Development Strategy 2004-2006:

33. Weatheroffice:

34. Canadian Ice Services:

35. Polar View:

36. Government of Canada, Public Opinion Research Reports: