“The Round Tablewill be providingleadership in the newway we must think aboutthe relationship betweenthe environment and theeconomy and the newway we must act.” Brian Muhoney Prime Minister of Canada
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Chair Pat Delbridge Margaret G. Kerr President Vice-PresidentDavid L. Johnston Pat Delbridge Associates Inc. Environment, Health andPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor (Toronto) SafetyMcGill University (Mont&al) Northern Telecom Limited Minister of Environment (Mississauga) Government of Canada Members (Ottawa) Lester Lafond PresidentW.R. 0. (Roy) Aitken Minister of Finance Lafond Enterprises LtdExecutive Vice-President (Saskatoon) Government of CanadaInto Limited (Toronto> (Ottawa) Jack M. MacLeodR.C. (Reg) Basken Jean Gaulin President andPresident, Energy and Chief Executive Officer Chief Executive OfficerChemical Workers Union Shell Canada Ltd Ultramar Group(Edmonton) (Tarrytown, U.S.A.) (Calgary)Guy Bertrand Jim MacNeill Josefina GonzalezPr6sident et directeur @n&al Director Research ScientistCentre de recherche industri- Sustainable Development Forintek Canada Corp.elle du Quebec (Sainte-Fey) Institute for Research on (Vancouver) Public PolicyDavid T. Buzzelli Diane G@?n (Ottawa)President and Chief Executive Executive DirectorOfficer Island Nature Trust Lise OuelletteDow Chemical Canada Inc. Directrice gCn&ale (Charlottetown)(Sarnia) Fed&ation des agriculteurs et Susan Holtz des agricultrices francophonesChair du Nouveau-Brunswick Senior ResearcherCanadian Council of Ministers (Edmundston) Ecology Action Centreof the Environment (Halifax)(Winnipeg) Leone P@pard Minister of Indust y, Science President and ExecutiveH&ne Connor-Lajambe and Technology DirectorDirectrice g&&ale Canadian Ecology Advocates Government of CanadaCentre d’analyse des poli- (Ste-P&ronille) (Ottawa)tiques &erg&iques(Saint-Bruno de Montarville) Barry D. Stuart Pierre-Marc Johnson Directeur de la recherche Chief NegotiatorHon. J. Glen Cummings Land Claims Secretariat Centre de m6decine,Minister of Environment Yukon Territorial Government d’Cthique et de droit deGovernment of Manitoba l’Universit6 McGill (Whitehorse)(Winnipeg) (Mont&al) Geraldine A. Kenney- Wallace Chair Science Council of Canada (Ottawa)
To the Prime Minister Green Plan proposal, extensive consultation processes are helping to ensure that new policies will be developed taking into account the disparate needs of all groups and regions. We are encouraged to see sustainable development, as a founding concept, beginning to appear in government policy and legislation. Bill C-29, An Act to Create the Department of Forestry, is one of the first such pieces of legislation in Canada which gives a minister the deliberate mandate to ensure sustainable devel- opment practices in federal policies dealing with the forestry sector. On the international front, Canada has continued to play an active role in supporting the concept of sustainable development through world institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, G7, the Common-This is the first report of the National Round wealth and Francophonie. At this point, how-Table on the Environment and Economy since ever, progress is being measured largely by theyou established the organization 18 months extent of the dialogue rather than commitmentsago. As you recall, your decision came about to relevant actions.as a result of a recommendation of the National This report looks at where the countryTask Force on Environment and Economy was a year or so ago, at the barriers limiting thewhich was established by the Canadian Council move towards sustainable development prac-of Resource and Environment Ministers to look tices, the limitations to productive dialogue andat ways to entrench sustainable development in the urgent need for changes. We also examineCanada’s national psyche. some of the many initiatives of the past year, Virtually all provinces and territories have including the work of the National and provin-undertaken similar initiatives. The dialogues cial/territorial round tables, and the challengesthat have been taking place since then are that still confront us all.beginning to bear fruit. We are seeing innova- Though partnerships are being createdtive new partnerships to implement better and positive steps taken, there is much still tomeans to ensure environmentally sustainable be done before it can be said that Canada ispractices in our economic decision-making. a leader in action as well as in word. Govern-We have also seen most jurisdictions across the ments must do more and must do it morecountry announcing major new environmental quickly if they are to provide the leadership onlegislation; as with the federal government’s sustainable development issues that Canadians want. We say this not in the spirit of recrimina- tion but with the understanding that govern- ments are only part of the process leading to sustainable development practices.
Government inaction or action in isolation And, we see our children being shaped by from the interests and activities of the other educational curricula which, despite significant partners cannot result in sustainable develop- and considerable efforts on the part of Ministersment becoming a fact of Canadian life. All of Education, do not yet incorporate sufficient elements of our society have a direct role and information on sustainable development. Ifresponsibility; the burden is not and cannot there is one critical need that has not yet beenbe your government’s to shoulder alone. While adequately met, it is the need for broad publicgovernments will not always be in the lead, awareness and education so that individualsthey can do more than any other institution have the knowledge required to take actionor group to bring different organizations and commensurate with their concern over ourinterests together or to provide opportunities environmental future.for others to take action. The Environmental We recognize that there are no miraclePartners Fund is one such initiative. cures or quick fixes; there can only be deliber- Through this letter to you and through our ate and sustained actions that build a momen-annual report, we are addressing other major tum for change. While we recognize the manypartners with a similar message. We see indus- competing demands on the time and energiestry codes of ethics and practice being devel- of all governments, the goal of sustainableoped but their implementation is, as yet, only development must remain on the top of yoursporadic or ad hoc. We see some environ- agenda if that momentum is to be built. Wemental groups still taking a narrow focus where can do much if we take the necessary stepsthey should be taking a long-term view, looking together. We will achieve little if the steps arefor ways to encourage and help rather than too tentative or if we are all walking in differentsimply oppose. We see many other sectors of directions.society which have yet to begin discussing how The mandate of the National Round Tablethey, too, could develop and institute sustain- on the Environment and the Economy is to actable policies and practices. as a catalyst for change and to promote new Despite the efforts of many groups over decision-making processes that can help thatthe past year, decision-making processes within change take place. With your continued com-both governments and business are still mitment and leadership, we can fulfil1 thatrelatively insular. mandate and hasten the day when Canada becomes a net contributor to the world’s resource base rather than a country that continues to draw against it. Sincerely Chair w
Sustainable Development in Canada Our Response to the Brundtland Report In 1983, then Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Brundtland, was asked by the United Nations General Assembly to chair an Independent World Commission on Environment and Development. The mandate of the Commission was to formulate a ‘global agenda for change’ that would lead to the implementation of sustainable development around the world by the turn of the century. In its 1987 report, Our Common Future, the World Commission expressed a high level of optimism that the world could resolve its environmental and economic development problems if planning in those two spheres-of activity took on a more symbiotic relation- SII ustainable development is not simply a matter of ship. The Brundtland Report also suggested there could environmental policy. It is a recognition that if we be a new era of economiccontinue human activities in their current direction, we will growth based upon environ- mentally sound and sustain-lose not only our environmental quality - but we will lose our able development practices.economic progress as well.” The Commission visited Canada in May, 1986 and met Dr. David Johnston, Chair with members of the Cana- National Round Table on the Environment dian Council of Resource and tire Economy and Environment Ministers (CCREM). In October 1986, as a follow-up to that event, CCREM established a National Task Force on Environment and Economy to initiate dialogue on how to integrate environmental and eco- nomic issues in Canada. Its report strongly supported the conclusions of the Brundtland Report that economic developers and environ- mental protectors could no longer continue to operate in isolation from each other.
In its final report, the TaskForce recommended the establish-ment of Round Tables on the Envi-ronment and the Economy in eachjurisdiction in Canada as a meansof breaking down this isolation HELP Helps Those Waterfowl Management Plan,and providing fora for continuing Who Need Help the program consists of sowingdialogue on how to achieve down sub-marginal land,sustainable development practices. In Manitoba, farmers, non- creating small water impound- In October 1988, the Prime government organizations, and ments and restoring drainedMinister of Canada announced the municipal and provincial levels wetlands to a functional state.creation of the National Round Table of government have developed HELP is an incentive programon the Environment and the Econ- HELP - Habitat Enhancement for farmers to maintain wetlandomy. The founding members of the Land Use Program -to protect habitats for waterfowl andnew institution were appointed and upgrade some 9,000 acres other wildlife while increasingin early 1989. By April 1989, seven of upland-wetland complex the awareness of the value ofprovinces had also created round habitat for wildlife. As a pilot wildlife, soil and water conser-tables though, today, there are project of the North American vation to landowners.round tables operating in eight often provinces and one territory. Twoadditional round tables have also been In recent years it has been recognizedrecently announced. increasingly that there are mounting harmful effects and economic costs associated with the environmental degradation of ourplanet. To address this, the concept of sustainable develop- Sustainable Development ment has arisen, that is, development in all its Meets Today’s facets - cultural, economic, social, political - and Tomorrow’s Needs which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability offuture generationsIn the words of the World Commission report, to meet their needs. Achieving a sustainablethe concept of sustainable development is society means going beyond questions relateddevelopment that meets the needs of thepresent just to the biophysical sustainability of naturalwithout compromising the ability offuture life support systems. It also means alteringgenerations to meet their own needs. At the beliefs which give rise to unpleasant environ-core of this concept is the requirement that mental consequences. Thus, a sustainablecurrent economic and social practices should society is one that is sustainable in environ-not diminish the possibility of either maintain- mental, economic and socio-political terms.ing or improving living standards in the future. 7YbeNational Round Table on the Envi- Sustainable development does not mean ronment and the Economy (NR7EE1 has devel-that the existing natural resources or other envi- oped the following Objectives for Sustainableronmental assets should not be managed for Development to serve as a guide for all Canadi-the benefit of development. It does imply, how- ans working towards the goal of a sustainableever, that resources and the environment must society. 7Be NRZEE welcomes public commentcontribute to longer term interests through on these objectives and is prepared to revisitintegrated planning and the combination of them in light of commentaries we receive.environmental and economic decision-makingprocesses.
National Round Table Objectives for Sustainable Development The natural world and its component life forms and the ability of that world to regenerate itself through its own evolution has basic value. Within and among human societies, fairness, equality, diversity and self- reliance are pervasive characteristics of development that is sustainable. we should also strive to VIII Scientific and increase social, economic and Technological environmental resilience in the Innovation face of change. We must support education and research and develop- IV Conservation ment of technologies, goodsI Stewardship We must maintain and enhance and services essential to main-We must preserve the capacity essential ecological processes, taining environmental quality,of the biosphere to evolve biological diversity and life social and cultural values andby managing our social and support systems of our environ- economic growth.economic activities for the ment and natural resourcesbenefit of present and future IX Internationalgenerations. V Energy and Resource Responsibility Management We must think globally whenII Shared Responsibility Overall, we must reduce the we act locally. Global respon-Everyone shares the responsi- energy and resource content sibility requires ecologicalbility for a sustainable society. of growth, harvest renewable interdependence amongAll sectors must work towards resources on a sustainable basis provinces and nations, andthis common purpose, with and make wise and efficient an obligation to accelerate theeach being accountable for use of our non-renewable integration of environmental,its decisions and actions, in a resources. social, cultural and economicspirit of partnership and open goals. By working coopera-cooperation. VI Waste Management tively within Canada and internationally, we can de- We must first endeavour toIll Prevention and Resilience velop comprehensive and reduce the production of wasteWe must try to anticipate and equitable solutions to prob- then reuse, recycle and recoverprevent future problems by lems. waste by-products of our indus-avoiding the negative environ- trial and domestic activities.mental, economic, social and X Global Developmentcultural impacts of policy, VII Rehabilitation and Canada should supportprograms, decisions and devel- Reclamation methods that are consistentopment activities. Recognizing with the preceding objectives Our future policies, programsthat there will always be envi- when assisting developing and development must endeav-ronmental and other events nations. our to rehabilitate and reclaimwhich we cannot anticipate, damaged environments.
Round Tables Bring Together through the discussion process and then Diverse Interests translate the consensus from the round table back to their particular spheres of activity in Round tables are a relatively new institution in order to pursue change in its broader context. Canada, providing forums for discussion and Representation on the National Round decision making on issues related to sustainable Table on the Environment and the Economy development. They reflect a new process of (NRTEE) reflects the broadest possible aspects consultation designed to work towards consen- of Canadian social, political and economic life sus and, therefore exert a direct influence on bringing together a representative selection policy and decision making. of people from all facets of society including governments, industry, ecology groups, unions, universities and native peoples. HRR uman beings, in their quest for ecomomic development and enjoyment of the riches of nature, NRTEE Plays a Catalytic Role inmust come to terms with the reality of resource limitation and Achieving Sustainable Developmentthe carrying capacities of ecosystems, and must take account The role of the NRTEE is to promote and stimu-of the needs of future generations. This is the message of late the acceptance and implementation of sus-conservation.” tainable development by all Canadians. NRTEE World Conservation Strategy acts as a catalyst for change and for the devel- opment of consensus rather than as another source of programs or funding. It seeks to achieve its goals by developing new ideas and forging new partnerships that focus on A round table brings together the many the important link between the environment diverse interests with direct stakes in environ- and the economy. mental, social and economic objectives. It then The spheres of influence of its members becomes a forum for these traditionally compet- give the NRTEE the opportunity to encourage ing interests to find common ground on which governments, business, groups and individuals they can take action towards sustainable to begin acting in a way that helps Canada development. attain sustainable development. The ability of a round table to exert wide Working in concert with provincial and influence is based upon its independence, the territorial round tables, the NRTEE helps to credibility of the people making up the round foster a greater public understanding of the table and the ability of these individuals to gain importance of sustainable development and access to the key sectors of our society. Mem- encourage changes to decision-making proc- bers of the round table reflect these views esses that are essential if sustainable develop- ment is to be achieved. Though the NRTEE was created by and reports to the Prime Minister of Canada, it is an independent forum free to consider a wide variety of issues and influence the public in a proactive manner.
NRTEE’s Goals are Pursued Foreign Policy Through Working Committees Focuses on policies relating to external trade, bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements, aid andIn pursuit of its objectives, the NRTEE has other foreign policies in order to encourage andstruck five committees directly related to the support sustainable development internationally.key aspects of its mandate: Education and CommunicationsSocio-Economic Impacts Develops means to communicate principles ofEvaluates and reports on the effects on the sustainable development to all levels of societyenvironment and the economy of current in order to stimulate changes in individual andgovernment policies and indicators in areas societal values, goals and behaviours.including fiscal policy, taxation, royalties,subsidies and regulations.Decision-Making ProcessesEvaluates and reports ondecision-making processes inthe public and private sectorsand makes recommendations Home Composting associated with the drumson how they might be changed Works For Everyone themselves as well as theto better reflect the principles materials that homeownersof sustainable development. The Region of Peel, Ontario, is might otherwise have assigned working with local companies, to their garbage; as well, itWaste Reduction the Boy Scouts and residents improves the soil nutrientPromotes sustainable develop- to promote a home composting content for those residentsment practices in the field of program to reduce the amount making use of home com-waste management with an of waste going to landfill. Local posting.initial focus on residential and businesses deliver discarded The Ecology Action Centrecommercial waste manage- 45-gallon plastic drums to in Halifax has undertaken ament. groups such as the Boys Scouts similar program utilizing the and the Rotary Club which services of handicapped em- convert the drums into home ployees of the Adult Services composters for local residents. Centre to convert the drums This reduces land fill problems to home compost units.
The Year in Review Change is Taking Place, But Slowly The decade of the 1980s will be characterized as the period in Canada’s history during which environmental awareness and concern began to dominate public attitudes and compete with economic issues as the foremost issue of the day. Perceptions of a deteriorating local/na- tional/global environment, major environmental disasters and an increasing world focus on acid rain, climate change and other major issues contributed to this attitudinal change. At the same time as Canadians appeared to be increasingly intolerant of direct government interventions in the economy, they became more concerned that governments, particularly the B AA y definition, if a business does not continuously federal government, were not renew its plant equipment and the resource intervening enough to protect the environment. The multiplicitybase on which its profit depends, it simply runs down. of the debate over who wasSustainable development is simply applying those criteria responsible for what, the appar- ent isolation in decision makingto include the entire resource base, the planet.” in all jurisdictions and the lack of Maurice Strong a focal point for action were con- tributing to public frustration. A by-product of that frustration was greater polarization between environmental and econo- mic interests and a continuation of confronta- tional tactics and litigation to resolve disputes. The articulation of the concept of sustain- able development as the means to pursue economic and environmental objectives simulta- neously seemed to come at the right time for this nation. In fact, positive reaction to the concept came more swiftly in Canada than in many parts of the world, as a national task force was estab- lished to pursue sustainable development even before the Brundtland Commission had released its report.
A year or so ago, the stated commitment The Work of NRTEE has of Canada’s public and private institutions Only Just Begun to pursuing sustainable development goals seemed at an all-time high. The release of the The last year was an organizational period Brundtland Commission report, the National for the NRTEE and its committees since both Task Force recommendations and appoint- the institution and the processes of NRTEE were ments to national and provincial/territorial relatively new concepts. With little in the form round tables all seemed to contribute to a of precedents to guide it, the work of NRTEE momentum building towards real social and and its related projects moved ahead much institutional change. more slowly than most of its members or Though much progress has been made contributors would have liked. over the past year, there is no doubt that it Considerable efforts were devoted to has been slow. The sense of momentum and establishing the key priorities on which NRTEE purpose engendered through one announce- would focus over the short-to-medium term. ment after another is less evident today than As part of these activities, much time was also it was scarcely a year ago. The reality is that spent in developing the partnerships among changes in attitudes and actions have not governments, industry and other groups which proceeded as fast as the expectations in this will allow those priorities to be achieved within regard of the general public, the time frame established. For example, the recommendations of However, during the past year the com-the National Task Force on Environment and mittees of NRTEE have made progress on aEconomy, seen once in a holistic context, have number of projects and partnerships which willbeen, and still are being, implemented in a bear fruit in the next two-to-three years. Amongloose, ad hoc manner. While many new part- the major work of the committees are thenerships have been formed, it is yet too early following projects:to see much progress from their new initiatives. ) NRTEE is developing case studies on suc-Even where progress is being made, it is buried cessful changes to decision-making practicesin media coverage of new environmental within the private and public sectors that break‘accidents’ of the magnitude of a Valdez oil down the barriers between environmental andspill, the discovery of a new hole in the ozone economic issues; these will be widely distrib-layer or the Hagersville tire fire. uted as models which other organizations can The success of such initiatives as Edmon- emulate or adapt to their own specific require-ton’s ‘blue box’ waste management program, ments;the fact that more Ontarians use blue boxes to ) NRTEE is working with experts in wasteseparate waste and recycle garbage than voted management to develop programs decreasingin the last provincial election, municipal com- residential and commercial wastes and encour-post programs and chemical disposal ‘days’ in aging various industry sectors to take responsi-local communities all demonstrate continuing bility for their products through their entire lifepublic commitment to change. At this point, cycle - from development to production to usehowever, Canada’s institutions and decision-making processes in both the public and to disposal or reuse;private sector are failing to keep up to the ) NRTEE, in concert with the Youth Sciencestrength of this commitment. Foundation, has established a $2,500 annual award for the Youth Science Fair participant whose entry best exemplifies sustainable development precepts;
) NRTEE is examining economic incentives and disincentives as they relate to sustainable development goals as well as attempting to synthesize national and international efforts in this rapidly expand- Partners in Growth mature trees for every ing field; and Provides Trees for 2,000 pounds of paper. The company will then donate ) NRTEE is developing a series of the Future the appropriate number ‘measurement indicators’ that will enableThis program initiated by St. of seedlings, plus $1 per various sectors of the economy to assessJoseph Printing Ltd., in Toronto, seedling to the Boy Scouts progress towards sustainable development.is designed to replace all of the who will plant them on The energy sector has been selected as thetrees used by the company in Ontario Crown Land. The first such sector because of data availabilitytheir printing processes. total cost to St. Joseph is and the fundamental importance of energy Every spring and fall, St. estimated to be $250,000 to sustainable development.Joseph will tally all the paper over three years. The first NRTEE is continuing to work closelyused in its plant, job by job, and planting this spring totalled with provincial and territorial round tables. Aconvert it into the number of over 10,000 seedlings. national conference of federal/ provincial/trees used based on three territorial round tables took place in Manitoba; it was particularly effective in determining ways that National and ) NRTEE has developed information kits on provincial/territorial round tables collaborate. the application of the round table process at the Preliminary discussions were also held on the municipal level since it is at the municipal level establishment of a national data bank on that sustainable development goals are most sustainable development projects. relevant to the individual; the Federation of NRTEE has also established t,he Canadian Canadian Municipalities has endorsed the Association of Round Table Secretariats in project and has participated both in distributing order to share information, avoid duplication the kits and supporting the messages it contains of projects and examine possibilities for the to all its member communities across Canada; collaboration of efforts. To this end, the National Round Table ) NRTEE has articulated a set of objectives Secretariat, in collaboration with provincial and for sustainable development as a means of territorial round tables, designed and completed sparking dialogue in both the private and the first edition of the Canadian Round Table public sectors; please see page 7; Compendium. NRTEE’s mandate is to act as a catalyst in bringing creative partnerships together to examine new ways to deal with environmental and economic issues. During the past year,
NRTEE convened a major forum on Sustaining British Columbia Wetlands, acting in concert with federal govern- Chaired by the former president of thement agencies, the financial community, the Construction Labour Relations Association ofvoluntary sector, environmental groups and B.C., the B.C. Round Table was established inthe private sector. January, 1990. Its primary activities include The two-day forum examined the developing, for Cabinet review, proposalsenvironmental and economic benefits to concerning a sustainable development strategyCanada of sustaining and protecting our wet- for British Columbia; processes and mecha-lands in the context of international efforts nisms for the resolution of land use and otherdevoted to similar objectives. The forum environment/economy conflicts and to fosterproduced a series of integrated recommenda- resolution of land use or other environment/tions directed to all levels of government as economy disputes in situations where allwell as to the agricultural community, the affected parties have agreed to submit theirprivate sector and voluntary groups connected problems to the Round Table. The Round Tableto wetlands issues. will also work to heighten the public’s under- standing and knowledge of sustainable devel- opment; and the nature and structure of estab- lishing a British Columbia institute for Provincial Round Tables Have sustainable development. Also Been Moving Ahead AlbertaAlthough there is ongoing liaison and a regular Chaired by the President and Chief Executivesharing of information amongst the National Officer of TransAlta Utilities Corporation, theRound Table and its provincial/territorial Alberta Round Table on Environment andcounterparts, each Round Table has an inde- Economy was established in May, 1990. Itspendent mandate and establishes its own primary activities will include advising govern-priorities and objectives. However, because ment on matters of policy related to the integra-they share a commitment to sustainable devel- tion of the economy and the environmentopment and the round table process, the leading to a formalized sustainable develop-relationships between these Round Tablesare collegial and supportive. During the past two years, provincial andterritorial Round Tables have been establishedin most jurisdictions across the country. Theyare similar in composition and focus to theNational Round Table except that, for the mostpart, they are chaired by the provincial premier Caribou Management and improved information aboutor a minister of the province. Following is a Worth Millions caribou. The cooperationpartial (no attempt has been made to be all- among a number of govern-inclusive) list of some of their major activities Since 1982, the Beverly- ments and native groups hasover the past year. Kaminuriak Caribou Manage- successfully maintained a ment Board has coordinated the valuable natural resource and management of the caribou created in excess of $70 million herds in northwest Canada annually in direct harvest and which has resulted in better spinoff benefits. herd protection, enhanced use
ment strategy; providing leadership to promote public sector; encouraging the adoption ofdemonstration projects and activities; providing environmental codes of practice; and promot-leadership in education and communication ing specific projects demonstrating harmonyactions; monitoring and reviewing implementa- between economic development and environ-tion of Round Table recommendations accept- mental protection.ed by government; linking the Alberta RoundTable with the National Round Table; and Ontarioidentifying the need for and advising on major Chaired by the Chairman of the Managementstudies undertaken to further sustainable Board of Cabinet, the Ontario Round Table wasdevelopment. established in October 1988. Its major activities include providing guidance for the develop-Saskatchewan ment of a provincial sustainable developmentChaired by the Minister of Environment and strategy; developing a public education out-Public Safety, the Saskatchewan Round Table reach program, the first of which is a theatrewas established in March of 1989.Its principal project; and encouraging appropriate demon-activities include overseeing the establishment stration projects such as the re-introduction ofof a provincial conservation/sustainable devel- Arbor Week. The Ontario Round Table plansopment strategy (for the end of 1991); establish- to release their first of two Challenge Papersing, promoting and monitoring projects that in July 1990, to initiate the sustainableepitomize sustainable development; promoting development process.environmental education; and advancingthe discussion of all aspects of sustainable Quebecdevelopment through public consultations. Chaired by the Minister of the Environment, the Quebec Round Table was established in AugustManitoba 1.988. Its primary mandate is to elaborate anChaired by the Premier, the Manitoba Round action plan designed to promote sustainableTable was established in October, 1988. Its development in the province; the plan willprincipal activities include overseeing the include demonstration projects; projects initi-development and implementation of a Sustain- ated in non-governmental sectors, includingable Development Strategy for the province; major industrial developments viewed by theassisting in designing communications programs Round Table as compatible with sustainableand upgrading environmental education; development and public education.guiding the development and implementationof market-driven incentive programs to promote New Brunswickenvironmental protection by business, agricul- Chaired by the Minister of Commerce andture and resource users; advising upon sustain- Technology, the New Brunswick Round Tableable development implementation within the was established in October 1988. Its major activities include reviewing and advising the Premier on the recommendations of the Na- tional Task Force on Environment and Econ- omy (NTFEE); undertaking an extensive public consultation process aimed at drafting a sustain-
able development strategy for submission to Cabinet; promote collaboration and improvedthe Premier by early 1992; and developing new understanding among all major stakeholders;initiatives relative to environmental education; provide a greater opportunity to influenceand sustainable development award programs. decision making; as well as provide multi-sectoral advice on long range planning for the conserva-Nova Scotia tion and development of resources. The terms ofChaired by the Minister of Environment, the reference and membership of the Round TableNova Scotia Round Table was established in will be announced this fall.August 1988. Its major activities include monitor-ing the implementation of the province’s ActionPlan response to the recommendations of theNTFEE; overseeing the development of a provin- Major Activities Are Taking acial conservation strategy; promoting curriculum Positive Directionchanges and public education about sustainabledevelopment; and reviewing and enlarging the The last year was not without significant progressopportunities for public input into decision- on the environmental agenda on the nationalmaking processes. front. A cooperative effort by Canada’s environ-Prince Edward Island mental, conservation and aboriginal communities produced the Greenprintfor Canada whichChaired by the Minister of Environment (who articulated a “coherent, realistic environmentalis also the Finance Minister), the P.E.I. Round agenda for Canada” as well as providing a yard-Table was established in January 1989. Its stick against which the government’s perform-primary objective is to prepare a report for ance on environmental issues could be judged.the Premier on the promotion of sustainable It suggested that sustainable development wasdevelopment in key sectors of the provincial an important concept for Canadians to considereconomy. if Canadians could reach a consensus on the underlying purpose, value and necessity ofYukon Territory ecological systems and processes.Chaired by an independent chairperson, the A number of provincial governments haveYukon Council on the Economy and the Envi- announced major environmental initiatives orronment was established in October 1989. Its additional funding for environmental programsprimary activities include monitoring the imple- during the year; these include British Columbia,mentation of the territory’s Economic Strategy Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec andand its Conservation Strategy in terms of their Prince Edward Island. The legislative initiativeseffectiveness in guiding sustainable develop- announced in recent Throne Speeches all includement, the diversification of Yukon’s economy a commitment to consult widely with interestand the conservation of Yukon’s resources. groups, industry and the voluntary sector before establishing new legislative or regulatory regimes.Northwest TerritoriesIn February 1990, Government Leader DennisPatterson announced the creation of a territorialround table. The Round Table will be chairedby the Government Leader and will advise the
Several industry associations have also On a more micro level, governmentestablished new industry codes of ethics/ departments and agencies have produced envi-practice. They include the Business Council on ronmental reference guides over the past yearNational Issues, the Social Investment Forum, that articulate policies and standards for waterthe University of British Columbia’s West Water pollution control, waste management and even,Centre, the Canadian Chemical Producers Asso- in the case of Transport Canada, assessmentsciation, the Mining Association of Canada, the of the environmental impacts of de-icing fluids.Tourism Industry Association of Canada and More and more, federal agencies are examiningthe Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, to name means through which they can respect locala few. All of these codes embrace sustainable and regional environmental priorities as welldevelopment principles in one form or another. as adhering to federal regulations. Globe 90 took place during the year, the The federal government released itsfirst environmental marketplace/conference in Green Plan: A National Challenge paper. ANorth America. It brought together business, framework for discussion on environmentalgovernment and environmental interests in issues, the consultation document articulatedboth a trading environment and an educational an ambitious objective...to make Canada, by theforum. Sustainable development ranked high year 2000, the industrial world’s most environ-on the list of workshop discussion topics since mentally friendly country. It also espoused Gro Brundtland attended Globe 90 to discuss sustainable development as a mutual depend-progress that has been made since her report ency between a healthy environment andwas first released. a strong economy, calling on Canadians to change their individual behaviour in order to achieve sustainable development objectives. While 1989/90 will not be seen as a water- shed period during which Canada embraced whole-heartedly the concept of sustainable development, the concept is beginning to enter the national lexicon. Once it has been firmly entrenched, it will not be easily dislodged.
The Challenges Ahead We Need to Make More Enlightened Decisions An estimated 500 million people in 140 coun- tries participated in events and activities to celebrate ‘Earth Day’ in 1990. This clear demon- stration of the public’s awareness of and com- mitment to environmental issues is a strong signal to decision makers in both government and industry that the domestic and international public expects change. However, notwithstanding the public interest or the often stated institutional commit- ments to sustainable development, there is a certain inertia in government decision making processes as well as in how businesses continue We Need More Momentum to make their major decisions. The National Round Table on the Environment For example, in response to this perceived and the Economy (NRTEE) is concerned that a need and interest, many major companies have perceived lack of momentum could encourage created environmental affairs groups within the general public to abandon the yet poorly their organizational hierarchies. Unfortunately, understood concept of sustainable develop- these new groups tend to report along vertical ment. The continuing use of confrontational lines - just as a government department would tactics is evidence that neither sustainable report. There is as yet no sense that the precepts development nor round table practices - bring- of sustainable development have permeated ing conflicting interests together in a consensus- widely through all corporate operations. building process - have yet made much Similarly, municipalities and communities headway against the entrenched adversarial making difficult decisions on waste manage- approach. ment, economic development and water/ A commitment to the concept of sustain- sewage issues remain with the ‘tried and true’ able development and the use of the round table process during the planning of economic projects could go a long way to resolving the S AA ustainable development offers great hope for sound critical issues separating the ‘environmentalists’ and the ‘developers’ in their early stages. This environmental management. Indeed, were the process would help ensure that necessary economic developments go forward success- governments of Canada to adopt and act on the fundamental fully in an environmentally sensitive manner principles articulated so well by the Brundtland Commission without protagonists having to use recourse and the National Task Force, many of our environmental to the courts or public demonstrations as the primary means ot meeting their separate issues would be solved.”I objectives. Guiding Principles GreenPrint for Canada
approach to issue resolution rather than reach- If sustainable development is not the centraling out to engage the resources of the entire principle, government decision making couldcommunity. As we can see from the constant well become mired in the concept of control-media reports, this thinking is resulting in ling what is happening today rather than oncommunity groups using their energies in an working towards meeting sustainable goals“opposition” role rather than in contributing for the future.to the development of successful solutions. Sustainable development objectivescannot be achieved solely by a commitmentto the concept. There needs to be a similar We Need to Redoublecommitment to the ‘process’, a new way of Educational Effortsthinking about environmental and economicproblems and a new way of making decisions Despite the broad public concern for theabout them. environment, there is yet little understanding of the concept of sustainable development and little knowledge of how individuals should respond or act in support of the concept. Governments Must Make Sustainable development requires Sustainable Development a partnerships based upon broad coalitions of interests. The formation of such partnerships Central Principle implies more than just willingness and commit-Governments across Canada are currently in ment; it also requires awareness, understandingthe process of developing new environmental and purpose. The latter can only come withlegislation, tightening regulations or increasing attention to stronger public education effortsresources devoted to environmental protection. on the part of governments, interest groupsMany of these initiatives include broad public and industry.consultation efforts such as the recent initiative At the same time, the youth of thisby Alberta’s Environment Minister Ralph Klein country represent a powerful force for changeand the federal government’s Green Plan. today, a pool of resources that is virtually Sustainable development must become untapped and a generation whose attitudes andthe central principle in these legislative efforts; values will shape the direction of the nation.proposals and amendments to existing legisla- Educating Canada’s youth on sustainabletion should be measured against their ability to development principles and practices needs tomove sustainable development closer to reality. be assigned a much higher priority. The earlier this education can begin within the school system, the easier it will be to engage the enormous potential of our youth and make them agents for change.
Meeting the Challenges NRTEE Has Specific Priorities for the Year Ahead Meeting these challenges will require a broad coalition of interests, sharing resources and ideas to the widest extent possible. No one element of society can bear responsibility for these issues or even act alone if these barriers are to be reduced. In its role as a catalyst in the process and a promoter of the concept of sustainable devel- opment, NRTEE and its partners have identified a number of priorities for the year ahead. These include: ) Working with the Council of Ministers of Education and the SEEDS (Society, Environ- ment and Energy Development Studies) Foun- dation to develop and implement a curriculum on sustainable development for grades one through twelve across Canada. This program is being modelled on the SEEDS program and draws its resources from industry sectors and contributions from Mother Parker Sells recycling; jute bags are sold to associations as well as from Her Garbage local nurseries for a variety of governments. uses; scrap metal and wasteMother Parker’s Foods limited papers are either sold or ) Developing socialof Mississauga has successfully recycled; and pelletized coffee marketing techniques to raisereduced the wastes it used to by-products are given to public awareness of sustain-have hauled to local landfill farmers for use as a hog feed able development and gener-by 85% through recognition of supplement. This recycling ate commitments to action.the potential value of these effort is saving the company an This program would be mod-‘wastes’ to employees and other estimated $35,ooO annually as elled on the PARTICIPactionindividuals. Scrap lumber and well as diverting some 312 tons program and envisages thewooden pallets are given away (in 1989) of wastes from land same coalition of private andto employees for re-use and site disposal. public resources to support media promotions and community/school activities.
) Continuing to work with the interna- ) Encouraging industries to take responsi-tional community to promote the concept and bility for the entire life cycle of their products.process of round tables as a means to address ) Examining the safest and most effectiveworld sustainable development issues and an means of disposing of hazardous waste.international round table meeting in conjunc- ) Reviewing current federal and provincialtion with the 1992 UN Conference on Environ- government practices and policies to recom-ment and Development. mend changes which would encourage greater ) Establishing key measures and indicators waste reduction efforts.for sustainable development in the productionand use of energy. The success of this ‘yardstick’ in measuring progress towards sustain-able development in the energy sector will thenbe used to develop similar indicators for othereconomic sectors. ) Providing a series of innovative, practicaloptions for increasing the level, flexibility and Rerap Wrapsopportunities for rewarding activities consistent and Wrapswith sustainable development practices. Thiswill involve scanning present incentives and Rerap is a small companydisincentives and making recommendations on which began last year with thehow the former can be improved and the latter idea that durable cotton fibrereduced. cloth could be substituted for throw-away wrapping paper ) Preparing written case studies on suc- and used to wrap presentscessful sustainable development practices time and time again. The clothundertaken by Canadian businesses, govern- wrapping can be held in placements and community groups; the lessons with tape or ribbon and doeslearned and the changes in decision-making not crease or rip when wrap-processes will assist other institutions faced ping odd-shaped gifts. Sincewith similar problems. it can be used indefinitely, it ) Encouraging the development of a is less expensive for the con-national recycling program and a National sumer over the long term asRecycling Association to reduce waste, ensure well as significantly reducinga consistent supply of recycled materials and waste paper disposal.provide information and advice to consumerson their individual recycling efforts.
Canada in the World Context economic issues. At the Commonwealth and Francophonie Heads of Government meetings, Canada announced that it would establish a bilingual scientific journal devoted to bridging the gap between scientific environmental research and public policy issues. CIDA, the Canadian International Devel- opment Agency, has established sustainable development and environmental considerations as key criteria in development assistance decisions; it regularly undertakes environmental impact assessments of projects it is considering for funding. Canada is also influencing the World Bank to consider sustainable develop- ment practices in its lending practices. Few countries have embraced the round ___ lolation ___ __ __-_ ______ __-_- ___._ table process with the same vigour or commit- from the World ment as has Canada. A strong belief in the value of working constructively together for harmo-Over the past year, Canada continued its effort S nizing international efforts has led the NRTEE toon the international front to promote sustain- begin exporting Canada’s experiences abroad.able development concepts in the world NRTEE has developed a brochure on itscommunity as well as pursue bilateral and processes for international distribution and ismultilateral agreements on environmental meeting with delegation leaders and in otherissues. Canada’s efforts recognize that, as with fora to explain the value of round tables.domestic initiatives, international efforts to If there are any disadvantages to theresolve environmental problems cannot take international approach to sustainable develop-place in isolation from each other. ment, they lie in such a plethora of conferences For example, the Prime Minister made and meetings that it is difficult to keep track ofstrong representations to the G7 economic everything that appears to be happening or thesummit meeting in Toronto to put sustainable depth of the commitments that are being made. :nda along with Of course, there is still a high level of disagree- ment as to the seriousness of various environ- mental problems and the manner in which they should be addressed.
1992 Is An Important Success Stories: International Milestone Innovative Partnerships are Achieving SuccessesThe 1992 United Nations Conference on Envi-ronment and Development is a critical mile- Across Canada, people and olganizations arestone in the international approach to sustain- getting together to look for innovative solutionsable development. The two-week conference, to environmentalproblems. These partnershipsscheduled for Brazil, comes twenty years after are a clear demonstration of sustainablethe Stockholm Conference on the Human development opportunities at work. ScatteredEnvironment and will reunite heads of govern- throughout this annual report are thumbnailment to deal with development issues as well sketches of some of these projects andprograms,as the quality of the environment. So important including some private sector initiatives.is the conference to dealing with the critical These have been selected because theyissues of poverty, desertification, hunger and demonstrate innovation or because they reflectthe continuing damage to the earth’s resources co-operation among a broad number ofthat the Canadian government, as well as groups. These are only a fewexamples of theNRTEE, is focusing its major international thousands of such activities taking place acrossefforts to coincide with a 1992 deadline. the country. ..dedicatedpeople looking for new In preparation for 1992, a number of ways to solve oldproblems, and succeeding.pre-conferences have already taken place, the The NRTEE cannot claim ownership inmost recent in Bergen, Norway. NRTEE has regards to any of these success stories. Indeed,been participating in these meetings in order it congratulates those who have developed andto assist the Canadian government to present brought to fruition these exempla yprojects.the issues as well as continue the process These success stories are included here to giveof exporting round table processes to the readers an example of the ways in whichinternational community. sustainable development is making inroads At Bergen, a member of NRTEE was into all sectors of our society and to serve asasked to act as a general rapporteur for the examples to those who would like to emulateconference, facilitating agreement among the these successes.six groups represented - government, industry, science, labour, youth and thevoluntary sector - to develop ajoint agenda for action Eleading to 1992. The Bergen I’ nvironmental conservation and economic experience was an important development not only can co-exist, they must one because it allowed Can- ada, with success, to demon- co-exist, for one is a condition of the other.” strate the processes we are lb. Donald Chant, using to develop agreement Chairman and President on sustainable development Ontario Waste Management Cop. issues.
Participants in the NRTEE Process Canadian Parks Service, Great Lakes Commission Quebec City Green Energy Conference Canadian Petroleum Products Institute Jane Hawkrigg Canadian Wildlife Service, Enterprises Ltd. Environment Canada Carleton University Industry, Science and Centennial Park Board, Technology Canada St. Andrew’s, Institute for Research on New Brunswick Public Policy Centre for International International Association of Studies, University of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Toronto Centre for Our Common Kanata Environmental Future, Geneva Advisory Council City of Toronto Forestry, Many Volunteers Parks and Recreation McGill University Contribute Communications Canada Municipality of Metro Toronto Conference des maires de la to our Efforts banlieue de Montreal National Fish and WildlifeThe Chair and Members of the Contemporary Information FoundationNational Round Table on the Analysis National GovernorsEnvironment and the Economy Council of Education Ministers, Association, USAacknowledge the participation Canada National Wildlife Federationof the following individuals Council of Forest Industries of Nissan Canada Ltd.and organizations who volun- British Columbia North American Waterfowlteered their time and expertise Council on Environment of Management Planin support of the work of the New York CityNational Round Table: Ontario Multi Materials Decima Research Recycling IncAbitibi Price Ltd. Ducks Unlimited Canada Ontario Printing Papers Users GroupCanadian Association of Energy, Mines and Resources Ontario Waste Management Recycling Industries Canada CorporationCanadian Centre for Environics Management Development Environment and Plastics Packaging Association ofCanadian Council of Forest Institute of Canada Canada Ministers Forum on Environment Canada Parks and Trees, Operations Sustainable Development Ernst & Young Consulting Branch, City of Ottawa and Forest Management External Affairs Canada PARTICIPactionCanadian Council of Ministers Peterborough Committee for of the Environment Federation of Canadian Sustainable DevelopmentCanadian Institute of Planners Municipalities Provincial and TerritorialCanadian Nature Federation Finance Canada Governments Provincial/Territorial Round Tables
Quebec and Ontario Geraldine A. Kenney-Wallace Integration Systems Paper Co. Secretariat: Dorothy Ltd., Toronto) Richardson Secretariat: Ann DaleRawson AcademyRecycling Council of OntarioRecycling Development Sub-Committee on Sub-Committee on Corporation Socio-Economic Incentives Foreign PolicyRotary International Roy Aitken (Co-Chair) Pierre-Marc JohnsonRoyal Bank of Canada Jim MacNeill (Co-Chair) (Co-Chair)R. W. Beck and Associates, Helene Connor-Lajambe Geraldine A. Kenney-Wallace Seattle Margaret Kerr (Co-Chair) Lester Lafond Jim MacNeillSaskatoon District Tribal Michael Wilson Andre Saumier (President, Council Barry Stuart Saumier, Morrison etSEEDS Foundation Secretariat: Mike Kelly associes, Montreal)Sierra Club of Western Canada John Kirton (Co-Director,Skeena Round Table for Research, Centre for Sustainable Development Sub-Committee on International Studies,Soil and Water Conservation Decision-Making Processes University of Toronto) Society John S. MacDonald (President, Pat Delbridge (Co-Chair) Susan Holtz (Co-Chair) MacDonald Dettwiler andTable sectorielle sur Associates, Richmond) Benoit Bouchard l’environment, Conseil Secretariat: Francois Rioux Reg Basken regional del’environnement John Reynolds du Saguenay-Lac St. Jean Secretariat: Philippe ClementTransAlta Utilities Corporation Standing Committee on Education andVancouver Board of Parks Communications Sub-Committee on and Recreation Waste Reduction J, Glen Cummings (Co-Chair) Guy Bertrand (Co-Chair) Leone Pippard (Co-Chair)West Coast Environmental Josefina Gonzalez Law Association David T. Buzzelli Jean Gaulin (Co-Chair) Diane GriffinWestern Business School Robert de Cotret David JohnstonWestmount Rotary Club Lise Ouellette Jack MacLeodWildlife Habitat Canada Derek Stephenson (Resource Secretariat: Eric Mikkelborg CommitteesExecutive Committee B II lessed is the person who plants a tree, knowing theyDavid Johnston (Chair)David Buzzelli will not be there to enjoy its shade.”Susan Holtz Ancient proverbBarry StuartPierre-Marc JohnsonJim MacNeill
. Table ronde nationale sur l’environnement et l’économie Président Ministre de l’environnement Margaret G. Kerr Gouvernement du Canada Vice-présidenteDavid L. Johnston (Ottawa) Environnement, santé etPrincipal et vice-chancelier sécuritéUniversité McGill (Montréal) Ministre des finances Northern Telecom Limitée Gouvernement du Canada (Mississauga) Membres (Ottawa) Lester LafondW.R.O. (Roy) Aitken Jean Ga&in PrésidentPremier vice-président Directeur général Lafond Entreprises LtéeInca Ltée (Toronto) Groupe Ultramar (Saskatoon) (Tarrytown, États-Unis)R.C. (Reg) Basken Jack M. MacLeodPrésident Josefina Gonzalez Président et directeurSyndicat des travailleurs de Chercheuse généralel’énergie et de la chimie Forintek Canada Corp. Shell Canada Ltée(Edmonton) (Vancouver> (Calgary)Guy Bertrand Diane Griyfin Jim MacNeillPrésident et directeur général Directrice générale Directeur du programmeCentre de recherche Island Nature Trust de développement viableindustrielle du Québec (Charlottetown) Institut de recherches(Sainte-Foy) politiques publique Susan Holtz (Ottawa)David T. Buzzelli Chercheuse principalePrésident et directeur général Centre d’action écologique Lise OuelletteDow Chemical Canada Inc. (Halifax) Directrice générale(Sarnia) Fédération des agriculteurs et Ministre de l’industrie, des des agricultrices francophonesHélène Connor-Lajambe sciences et de la technologie du Nouveau-BrunswickDirectrice générale Gouvernement du Canada (Edmunston)Centre d’analyse des (Ottawa)politiques énergétiques Leone Pippard(Saint-Bruno de Montarville) Pierre-Marc Johnson Présidente et directrice Directeur de la recherche généralePrésident Centre de médecine, L’avancement de l’écologieConseil canadien des d’éthique et de droit canadienneministres de l’environnement de l’Université McGill (Sainte-Pétronille)(Winnipeg) (Montréal) Barry D. StuartJ. Glen Cummings Géraldine Kenney- Wallace Négociateur principal Ministre de l’environnement Présidente Secrétariat des revendications Gouvernement du Manitoba Conseil des sciences territoriales (Winnipeg) du Canada Gouvernement territorial (Ottawa) du Yukon (Whitehorse)Pat DelbridgePrésidentePat Delbridge et associés Inc.(Toronto)