What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development underlines the importance of maintaining and improving the quality of life by making sure that decisions made today consider social, economic, and environmental consequences. It is about finding ways to meet today's needs without making it hard to meet future needs.

The Federal Government's Approach to Sustainable Development

Since 1995, a requirement under the Auditor General Act required Ministers from certain departments (Schedule 1 departments) to submit a departmental Sustainable Development Strategy to Parliament every three years.

As a result, Transport Canada developed four Sustainable Development Strategies. Transport Canada is proud of the results of its hard work and consultation.

In June 2008, the Federal Sustainable Development Act received Royal Assent. It 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."

Every three years, the Minister of the Environment must now:

  • submit a government-wide strategy to Parliament that includes environmental goals, targets and plans to reach them; and
  • provide regular updates and progress reports to Canadians.

Departments, including Transport Canada, still must develop their own Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy every three years. These new Sustainable Development Strategies place an important focus on departments' efforts to support the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and on how departments are managing sustainable development.

Transport Canada's Approach to Sustainable Development

Transport Canada produces biannual updates of its Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy website coinciding with the tabling of the Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports. These biannual reports can be viewed by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink below.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at: envpolicy-politiquesenv@tc.gc.ca

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