JUKKASJÄRVI, Sweden, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister,
the Honourable Peter Kent, issued the following statement on behalf of
the Government of Canada in response to the tabling of the Fall 2012
report from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable
"The Government of Canada welcomes the Commissioner's latest report and
to thank Mr. Scott Vaughan for his dedication as Commissioner of the
Environment and Sustainable Development. His recommendations are
important and we will ensure they are addressed.
"We are pleased that the Commissioner notes progress over the years in a
number of key areas such as weather forecasting, safe drinking water,
air quality, and greenhouse gas reductions.
"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the health and safety
of Canadians and to protecting our environment. The latest and most
comprehensive science informs the development of our environmental
policies and programs. The Commissioner's report is one tool that helps
us identify specific areas for improvement.
"Our government is committed to developing Canada's rich natural
resources while strengthening environmental protections. In the
Economic Action Plan 2012, our Responsible Resource Development
initiative set out a comprehensive plan to accomplish many of the same
objectives listed in the Commissioner's report. We are developing
regulatory and legislative actions to provide the necessary protections
for Canadians and appreciate the Commissioner's perspective in this
"Canada's offshore resources are managed jointly with the provinces and
we are committed to working with our partners in preventing and
preparing for offshore environmental emergencies, including oil spills.
Our environmental record in the Atlantic offshore is strong and our
licensing requirements set the highest standards for protection of the
environment and the responsibility of operators. While recognizing the
primary role of the operators in spill response, we are reviewing the
roles and responsibilities of our organizations in promoting a
collaborative and efficient response in the event of a spill. We remain
committed to providing scientific and technical advice to reduce the
likelihood of emergencies.
"The Government of Canada also recognizes the value of financial
assurances as a tool to protect taxpayers and the environment. Based on
the ‛polluter pays principle', financial assurances ensure that
operators bear the costs of their operations and not taxpayers. Work is
also underway to address the financial assurances required of industry
to ensure that we protect taxpayers and the environment.
"In the area of ecological conservation, we are proud of the concrete
progress made in the area of marine protection. To date, we have
established 12 sites, and are working to designate an additional 12. We
are committed to protecting Canada's marine heritage and preserving it
as a living legacy for generations to come.
"This Government is making progress initiating meaningful actions to
protect the environment. Whether it is water quality, greenhouse gas
emission reductions, or world-class monitoring in the oil sands, we
have made progress in a consistent, systematic, and science-based
Minister Kent is attending the Arctic Environment Ministers Meeting in
Sweden to advance environmental protection of the Arctic.
For more information and to view a backgrounder on this statement,
please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Environment Canada