Minister of Environment and Climate Change Mandate Letter


Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.Prime Minister of Canada has published the Mandate Letter for Ms. McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change as part of his commitment to raise the bar for openness and transparency.

The key mandates for Ms. McKenna follow:

“In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities:

  • In partnership with provinces and territories, develop a plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with our international obligations and our commitment to sustainable economic growth.  You will attend the Paris climate conference with me and, upon our return, we will set a date to meet with provincial and territorial leaders to develop a pan-Canadian framework for addressing climate change.
  • In partnership with provinces and territories, establish national emissions-reduction targets, ensuring that the provinces and territories have targeted federal funding and the flexibility to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies.  These targets will recognise the economic cost and catastrophic impact that a greater-than-two-degree increase in average global temperatures would represent, as well as the need for Canada to do its part to prevent that from happening.  As part of this effort, support the Minister of Finance in creating a new Low Carbon Economy Trust to help fund projects that materially reduce carbon emissions under the new pan-Canadian framework.
  • Treat our freshwater as a precious resource that deserves protection and careful stewardship, including by working with other orders of government to protect Canada’s freshwater using education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and investments in the best wastewater treatment technologies.  Work with the Minister of Finance to fulfill our G20 commitment and phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term.
  • Work in partnership with the United States and Mexico and the Ministers of Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs to develop an ambitious North American clean energy and environment agreement.
  • Support the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in protecting our communities from the challenges of climate change and supporting them in the transition toward more sustainable economic growth by making significant new investments in green infrastructure.
  • Enhance protection of Canada’s endangered species by responding quickly to the advice of scientists and completing robust species-at-risk recovery plans in a timely way.
  • Work with provinces and territories to set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.
  • Supported by the Ministers of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Natural Resources, immediately review Canada’s environmental assessment processes to regain public trust  and help get resources to market and introduce new, fair processes that will:
    • restore robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments of areas under federal jurisdiction, while also working with provinces and territories to avoid duplication;
    • ensure that decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest;
    • provide ways for Canadians to express their views and opportunities for experts to meaningfully participate; and
    • require project advocates to choose the best technologies available to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Develop Canada’s National Parks system, as well as manage and expand National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.
  • Develop Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians can experience our National Parks and learn more about our environment and heritage.
  • Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Beginning in 2018, ensure that admission for children under 18 is free, and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months one year’s free admission.
  • Through an expanded Learn to Camp program, ensure that more low- and middle-income families have an opportunity to experience Canada’s outdoors.
  • Protect our National Parks by limiting development within them, and where possible, work with nearby communities to help grow local eco-tourism industries and create jobs.
  • Work with the Ontario government to enhance the country’s first urban National Park – Rouge National Urban Park – including improved legislation to protect this important ecosystem and guide how the park will be managed.
  • Working in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, renew our commitment to protect the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin and the Lake Winnipeg Basin.
  • Work in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and the Minister of Science to examine the implications of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems.
  • Work with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected – to five percent by 2017, and ten percent by 2020 – supported by new investments in community consultation and science.

These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments.  The government’s agenda will be further articulated through Cabinet discussions and in the Speech from the Throne when Parliament opens.”

Read full Environment and Climate Change Mandate Letter here

Read other Ministerial Mandate Letters here

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