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Supporting decision making for sustainable development

Decision makers need to know about the environmental effects of proposed policies, plans and programs to make informed, sustainable decisions. As a result, all federal departments and agencies are expected to assess potential environmental effects when developing proposals, to provide the results of their assessments to ministers and Cabinet, and to communicate the results to Canadians.

We’re committed to continuing to strengthen these assessments (known as strategic environmental assessments or SEAs) across government. This supports our promise to Canadians to make decisions based on evidence and to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government.

Since our 2016–2019 strategy was tabled, we’ve updated guidance for departments to ensure that SEA requirements are applied to documents going to Cabinet and Treasury Board. This includes considering whether proposals could affect the goals and targets set out in the FSDS. Individual federal departments are also strengthening their SEA tools and practices. Departments and agencies will continue to include commitments and results related to SEA implementation in their sustainable development strategies and reports.

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