Recent Work on the House of Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

April 20, 2016

One of my main Ottawa responsibilities as a Member of Parliament is serving as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

This committee, which sits twice during weeks that the House of Commons is in session, meets with stakeholders from across Canada as well as across the world to hear their expert testimony. The information they provide to Members of Parliament on the committee is crucial, and usually forms the basis of a final report that is published and tabled in the House of Commons.

We are currently looking at the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as well as the current Minister of Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna’s, Draft Sustainable Development Strategy. We are also conducting a review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which we are required to do as part of the law every 5 years. We also have plans to study federally protected areas and conservation, as well as clean technology. Finally, we will take a comprehensive look at climate change. At the request of our Conservative Members on committee including myself, we were able to get the Liberal and NDP Members to agree to include an economic focus in this study. We know that not only can the environment and the economy go hand in hand, but they absolutely must do so. The Minister and other Liberal officials have stated they feel the same way, so I hope that we can produce a fruitful study on this issue while working collaboratively with all parties.

Many of the issues coming up at committee are relevant to you, my constituents across Bow River. We have talked about water for example, which I know is of great interest to municipalities as they grapple with infrastructure issues. We recently heard from witnesses how some jurisdictions, such as Wales for example, have evolved the ‘sustainability’ title to ‘Well-being of future generations’. This means that they are taking a holistic approach to sustainability, focused on leaving a better world for their children, and grandchildren. We also heard from Minister McKenna on her mandate letter, as well as her plan for the next year, where I had the opportunity to question her.

I invite you follow some of the exciting work we are doing at committee here http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ENVI.

I am honoured to continue serving as your representative in Ottawa. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at 613-992-0761 or martin.shields@parl.gc.ca.