Status of implementation of Canada’s commitments to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Petition: 450

Issue(s): Federal-provincial relations; Governance; Indigenous matters; International cooperation

Petitioner(s): A Canadian organization

Petitioner location(s): Ottawa, Ontario

Date received: 11 February 2021

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition requests information on the implementation of a whole-of-Canada strategy to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in light of Canada’s commitment and obligation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The petition expresses concern that Canada is not on track to fulfill its stated commitments, particularly on environmental matters, and lacks an implementation plan. According to the petition, although federal funding has been provided since 2018 to establish a Sustainable Development Goals unit to support implementing these goals, there is no national implementation strategy or multi-stakeholder platform, and thus federal efforts to meet the goals are falling short.

The petition cites concerns surrounding the allocation of resources and funding, the implementation of a national strategy, and the way Canada plans to engage with the environmental non-profit sector. The petition also refers to the importance of timely implementation of the goals in relation to a sustainable recovery for a post-pandemic Canada as part of a critical pathway to “build back better.”

The petition asks a series of questions related to what the government is doing to distribute funding related to the Sustainable Development Goals and to complete and publish its 2030 Agenda national strategy. It mentions an Auditor General of Canada report on Canada’s progress in meeting its goals-related targets.

In addition, the petition seeks more information on federal plans for multi-stakeholder engagement, including how it will engage Canadians to implement the national strategy across sectors and other levels of government, including environmental organizations. Finally, the petition requests information on the role of federal ministers in accelerating implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals both in Canada and abroad and in reporting on the government’s progress in implementing them.

Federal departments/organizations responsible for reply: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Global Affairs Canada; Natural Resources Canada