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Federal Sustainable Development Act (S.C. 2008, c. 33)

Act current to 2021-05-19 and last amended on 2020-12-01. Previous Versions

Federal Sustainable Development Act

S.C. 2008, c. 33

Assented to 2008-06-26

An Act to require the development and implementation of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the development of goals and targets with respect to sustainable development in Canada, and to make consequential amendments to another Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

appropriate Minister

appropriate Minister has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act. (ministre compétent)

Commissioner

Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed under subsection 15.1(1) of the Auditor General Act. (commissaire)

designated entity

designated entity means an entity named in the schedule. (entité désignée)

entity

entity means

Minister

Minister means the Minister of the Environment, unless the context otherwise requires. (ministre)

precautionary principle

precautionary principle[Repealed, 2019, c. 2, s. 1]

sustainability

sustainability means the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely. (durabilité)

sustainable development

sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (développement durable)

target

target[Repealed, 2019, c. 2, s. 1]

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that makes decision making related to sustainable development more transparent and subject to accountability to Parliament, promotes coordinated action across the Government of Canada to advance sustainable development and respects Canada’s domestic and international obligations relating to sustainable development, with a view to improving the quality of life of Canadians.

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Application

 This Act and the regulations are binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Basic Principle

Marginal note:Principles

 The following principles shall be considered in the development of sustainable development strategies:

  • (a) the principle that sustainable development is based on an efficient use of natural, social and economic resources and the need for the Government of Canada to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all of its decisions;

  • (a.1) the principle that sustainable development

    • (i) is a continually evolving concept,

    • (ii) may be achieved by, among other things, the protection of ecosystems, prevention of pollution, protection of human health, promotion of equity, conservation of cultural heritage, respect for domestic and international obligations relating to sustainable development and recognition of the present generation’s responsibility to provide future generations with a healthy and ecologically sound environment, and

    • (iii) may be advanced by, among other things, taking into account the precautionary principle, the “polluter pays” principle, the principle of internalization of costs and the principle of continuous improvement;

  • (b) the principle of intergenerational equity, which is the principle that it is important to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;

  • (c) the principle of openness and transparency, which is the principle that the release of information should be encouraged to support accountability and public engagement;

  • (d) the principle that it is important to involve Aboriginal peoples because of their traditional knowledge and their unique understanding of, and connection to, Canada’s lands and waters;

  • (e) the principle of collaboration, which is the principle that it is important for stakeholders to collaborate in the pursuit of common objectives; and

  • (f) the principle that a results and delivery approach — that allows for developing objectives, developing strategies for meeting those objectives, using indicators for reporting on progress towards meeting those objectives and establishing accountability — is key to meeting measurable targets.

Committee

Marginal note:Committee on Sustainable Development

 A committee of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, consisting of a Chairperson and other members of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, shall have oversight of the development and implementation of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Office

Marginal note:Sustainable Development Office

  •  (1) The Minister shall establish a Sustainable Development Office within the Department of the Environment to develop and maintain systems and procedures to monitor progress on implementation of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The Office shall, at least once every three years after this Act comes into force or, as of November 10, 2017, at least once within every three-year period beginning on that date, provide the Minister with a report on the progress of the Government of Canada in implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

  • Marginal note:Contribution of designated entities

    (3) Every designated entity or, in the case of a designated entity over which a minister presides, the minister presiding over the designated entity shall contribute to the development of the report.

  • Marginal note:Tabling in each House of Parliament

    (4) The Minister shall cause the report to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.

  • Marginal note:Deemed referral to appropriate committee

    (5) A report that is tabled in a House of Parliament is deemed to be referred to the standing committee of that House that normally considers matters relating to sustainable development.

Sustainable Development Advisory Council

Marginal note:Sustainable Development Advisory Council

  •  (1) The Minister shall appoint a Sustainable Development Advisory Council composed of one representative from each province and territory, six representatives of Aboriginal peoples, and three representatives from each of the following:

    • (a) [Repealed, 2019, c. 2, s. 5]

    • (b) environmental non-governmental organizations;

    • (c) organizations representative of business; and

    • (d) organizations representative of labour.

  • Marginal note:Demographic representation

    (1.1) The Minister shall, when appointing representatives to the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, seek to reflect the diversity of Canadian society by taking into account demographic considerations such as age and gender.

  • Marginal note:Chair

    (2) The Minister is the chair of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council.

  • Marginal note:Mandate

    (2.1) The mandate of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council is to advise the Minister on any matter related to sustainable development, including matters referred to it by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Expenses

    (3) The representatives appointed to the Sustainable Development Advisory Council may be paid reasonable expenses incurred by them in connection with the business of the Council, subject to applicable Treasury Board directives.

 
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