Media Advisory—Tabling of 2010 Fall Report by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development—7 December 2010

Ottawa, 10 November 2010—The 2010 Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughan, will be tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 7 December 2010.

Technical Briefing for Media:


10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (Eastern time)
National Press Theater, 150 Wellington Street, Ottawa (for journalists accredited by the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery only).

News conference:

11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (Eastern time).


The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development will be available for interviews after 12:15 p.m. To book an interview, please call 613-952-0213 ext. 6292.

Chapter 1—Oil Spills from Ships—This audit examined how the federal government has managed spills of oil and chemicals from ships in Canada’s Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic Ocean waters and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Specifically, we looked at whether Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Environment Canada are prepared to respond to such spills. We also looked at how the three organizations monitor and assess responses to these spills. We focused on oil and chemical spills from ships and did not address other land-based and marine-based sources of pollutants.

Chapter 2—Monitoring Water Resources—The federal government’s surface water monitoring programs—the National Hydrometric Program and the Fresh Water Quality Monitoring program—were established to assess and report on the status of Canada’s lakes and rivers and on changes to aquatic ecosystem health. Both programs are intended to help ensure that aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected so that Canada’s water is clean, safe, and secure. We examined how Environment Canada manages each of these two programs and how it measures and reports on the programs’ performance.

Chapter 3—Adapting to Climate Impacts—We looked at whether five departments (Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) had identified, assessed, and prioritized the risks that a changing climate presents for their areas of responsibility, and whether they are taking steps to adapt to the risks. We also looked at whether four programs that collect and share information (mostly technical and scientific) about climate impacts and adaptation meet the needs of clients, partners, and stakeholders (for example, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, health organizations, and academia).

Chapter 4—Environmental Petitions—The environmental petitions process provides Canadians with a formal means to bring their concerns about environmental issues to the attention of federal ministers and departments and to obtain a response to their concerns. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development manages the environmental petitions process and monitors the responses of federal ministers. The Commissioner reports annually to Parliament on the quantity, nature, and status of petitions received and on the timeliness of departmental responses. This chapter contains the annual report on petitions and responses received between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010.