The most common definition of sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", which comes from the United Nations study which first brought this issue to the world’s attention (Our Common Future, The World Commission on Environment and Development - Brundtland Commission, 1987). It is an approach to growth that considers the impacts of policies, programs and operations on economic prosperity, environmental quality and social well-being.
Industry Canada's legislative responsibility for sustainable development is defined in its founding act, the Department of Industry Act, 1995, which mandates the Minister of Industry to "strengthen the national economy and promote sustainable development."
Industry Canada’s current activities in support of sustainable development are presented in its 2012 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy(DSDS), which was developed under the framework of the Federal Sustainable Development Act passed by Parliament in 2008. This Act requires the government to develop a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) every three years. The FSDS sets out federal sustainable development goals and targets, as well as implementation strategies for meeting each target. It aims to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament.
Section 11 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act further requires that departments or agencies named in the Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act prepare a sustainable development strategy that complies with and contributes to the FSDS, appropriate to the department's or agency's mandate. Industry Canada’s 2012 DSDS fulfills this requirement.
In addition to the 2012 DSDS, this site presents Industry Canada’s past Sustainable Development Strategies (from 1997 to 2009)..
The Government of Canada is looking for input from Canadians on the draft second cycle of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), covering the period 2013 to 2016. Canadians are encouraged to submit comments before June 14, 2013 on the advancement of federal sustainable development initiatives by visiting Environment Canada’s website.
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