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
This enactment provides the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.
The enactment gives a committee of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. It also provides for the creation of the Sustainable Development Office to develop and maintain systems and procedures to monitor progress on implementation of the Strategy and for the creation of the Sustainable Development Advisory Council to offer the Government of Canada advice on the Strategy.
It requires certain departments and agencies to develop and implement sustainable development strategies that contain objectives and action plans for each department and agency, that comply with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and that contribute to the attainment of the Strategy’s objectives.
It also amends the Auditor General Act to give the Commissioner the mission to monitor the progress that these departments and agencies make in implementing the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and to assess the Sustainable Development Office’s report of the implementation of the Strategy. As well, it sets out the Commissioner’s powers and obligations.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
2. The following definitions apply in this Act.
« commissaire »
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed under subsection 15.1(1) of the Auditor General Act.
« ministre »
“Minister” means the Minister of the Environment.
« principe de la prudence »
“precautionary principle” means the principle that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
« durabilité »
“sustainability” means the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely.
« développement durable »
“sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
« cible »
“target” means a measurable objective.
3. The purpose of this Act is to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.
4. This Act and the regulations are binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.
Marginal note:Basic principle of sustainable development
5. The Government of Canada accepts the basic principle that sustainable development is based on an ecologically efficient use of natural, social and economic resources and acknowledges the need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government.
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