2018 Spring Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the Parliament of Canada—The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development releases Spring Reports
Ottawa, 24 April 2018—In her spring reports tabled today in Parliament, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand, presents the results of three audits, along with her Commissioner’s Perspective. The audits focused on salmon farming, conserving biodiversity and Canada’s preparedness to implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda.
The audit of salmon farming concludes that Fisheries and Oceans Canada had not adequately managed the risks associated with salmon farming. The audit notes that the Department had some measures to control the spread of infectious diseases and parasites to wild fish in British Columbia, but it had only completed one-tenth of risk assessments for key known diseases that were required to understand the effects of salmon farming on wild fish. As a result, Fisheries and Oceans Canada had no way of knowing what impacts salmon farming has on the health of wild fish stocks.
“Among our recommendations, we stated that Fisheries and Oceans Canada should clearly articulate the level of risk to wild fish that it accepts when enabling the aquaculture industry”, stated Ms. Gelfand.
The second audit focused on whether Environment and Climate Change Canada had provided the national leadership required to meet Canada’s 2020 biodiversity targets. The audit found that Environment and Climate Change Canada had not provided the national leadership and coordination of actions necessary to meet Canada’s commitments.
“Environment and Climate Change Canada has focused its leadership efforts on attending international meetings on behalf of Canada, but did not coordinate actions with its federal, provincial, and territorial partners to achieve the 2020 biodiversity targets”, stated Ms. Gelfand.
The third audit concludes that Canada has not done enough to prepare to implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The audit found that the government does not have a whole-of-government approach, that it has yet to develop a complete set of national targets, that leadership is fragmented between five departments, and that there is no system to measure, monitor and report on progress.
“Without a clear leader, an implementation plan, and accurate and ongoing measurement and monitoring of results, Canada will not be able to fulfill the commitments it made to its citizens, and to the United Nations”, stated Ms. Gelfand.
The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development will be holding a news conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa at 11:00 am (eastern timeET), and available for interviews after 2:00 pm.
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The 2018 Spring Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development are available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada Web site.
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