Media Advisory—Tabling of the 2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development—Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ottawa, 29 November 2011—The 2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughan, will be tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 13 December 2011.

Media lock-up:

8:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. (Eastern time)
Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 240 Sparks Street, Ottawa
(for journalists accredited by the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery only).

When you arrive, please go to the Office of the Auditor General’s desk on the main floor and someone from the Office of the Auditor General will greet you. Please bring a photo ID.

Journalists must respect the media embargo until the report is tabled in the House of Commons shortly after 10:00 a.m. However, journalists will be allowed to leave the media lock-up at 9:45 a.m. Internet access will be available for filing stories once the report has been tabled.

News conference:

11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. (Eastern time)
National Press Theater, 150 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Interviews:

The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development will be available for interviews beginning at 12 noon.

To book an interview, please call 613-952-0213 ext. 6292.

The 2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development contains the following chapters:

The Commissioner’s Perspective—The Perspective includes the Commissioner’s assessment of performance information in the June 2011 progress report, prepared by Environment Canada, on the implementation of the federal sustainable development strategy.

Chapter 1—Transportation of Dangerous Products—Shipments of dangerous products through Canada are subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 and Regulations, administered by Transport Canada. The products that move through Canada’s oil and gas pipelines are subject to the National Energy Board Act and Regulations, administered by the National Energy Board. The chapter looks at how Transport Canada and the National Energy Board determine whether regulated organizations have complied with established legislation and standards in transporting dangerous products and whether they have prepared emergency response plans.

Chapter 2—Environmental Science—The chapter looks at how Environment Canada manages the quality of its science activities and communicates scientific evidence to decision makers. It also looks at strategic and operational planning for science in support of departmental priorities and outcomes.

Chapter 3—Enforcing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999)—The chapter looks at whether Environment Canada’s enforcement program is well managed to adequately enforce compliance with CEPA 1999. The audit assessed whether the Department has applied a risk-based approach to plan its enforcement activities and target the greatest threats to human health and the environment; enforced the law in a fair, predictable, and consistent way, as the Act requires; measured the results of its enforcement activities; and acted on identified opportunities for improvement.

Chapter 4—A Study of Managing Fisheries for Sustainability—This study was undertaken to identify the challenges of operating fisheries in a sustainable way; the key properties of sustainable fisheries; and the principles, responsibilities, and management practices involved in managing fisheries sustainably. The focus was marine fisheries, which in Canada include First Nations, commercial, and recreational users. The study is a step toward identifying a framework and criteria for our future audits to determine whether fisheries management practices are supporting sustainable fisheries.

Chapter 5—A Study of Environmental Monitoring—The study was undertaken to develop an inventory of systems the federal government uses in monitoring the state of the environment; to identify the challenges associated with environmental monitoring; and to highlight good environmental monitoring practices. Together these serve as a basis for criteria for future audits of environmental monitoring conducted by the federal government.

Chapter 6—Environmental Petitions—The purpose of this annual report is to inform Parliament and Canadians about the number, nature, and status of petitions and responses received between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011, as required by section 23 of the Auditor General Act. The report also highlights good practices and opportunities for improving the petitions process.

This December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, along with news releases for each chapter, will be available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada Web site immediately following tabling.          

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