Sustainable Development

Welcome to Transport Canada's Sustainable Development Website

Transport Canada's vision is a transportation system in Canada that is recognized worldwide as safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible.

The department's vision of a sustainable transportation system is one that integrates and balances social, economic and environmental objectives. This vision is guided by the following principles:

  • highest possible safety and security of life and property - guided by performance-based standards and regulations when necessary;

  • efficient movement of people and goods to support economic prosperity and a sustainable quality of life - based on competitive markets and targeted use of regulation and government funding; and

  • respect for the environmental legacy of future generations of Canadians - guided by environmental assessment and planning processes in transportation decisions and selective use of regulation and government funding.

Previous Sustainable Development Strategies

In 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 implemented four Sustainable Development Strategies during the period 1997-2009:

  • Sustainable Development Strategy 1997-2000 (tabled in December 1997) - The first strategy provided a sound foundation for integrating environmental considerations into the work of the department.

  • Sustainable Development Strategy 2001-2003 (tabled in February 2001) - Transport Canada adopted a set of sustainable development principles and made specific commitments to action.

  • Sustainable Development Strategy 2004-2006 (tabled in February 2004) - This strategy brought more precision to the concept of sustainability, and defined seven challenges and 32 specific commitments.

  • Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2009 (tabled in December 2006) - This strategy focused on three themes at the heart of sustainable transportation: urban, freight and marine transportation. It included seven challenges and 21 specific commitments aimed at advancing sustainable development and working with key partners, where appropriate, to achieve results.

In June 2008, the Federal Sustainable Development Act received Royal Assent and changed the federal approach to sustainable development strategies. For information on the current federal approach, we invite you to visit Transport Canada's Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy site.

If you have any questions, comments or would like a copy of a previous strategy, please contact us at:

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