24 April 2018
Canadian Federal Government Presents Plans for SDG Implementation
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
story highlights

The Canadian Federal Government has identified steps it is taking to prepare its Voluntary National Report and to support SDG implementation in Canada.

The Federal Government will, among other actions: reach out to Canadians to develop a national strategy; build partnerships and networks; support integrating the SDGs into policies and programs of federal departments and agencies; and continue to contribute to the UN’s SDG Indicator Framework.

A report on Canada's preparedness to implement the SDGs, a national SDG indicator portal, and the themes Canada has chosen for its presidency of the the G7 also contribute to the discussion on Canada's efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda.

17 April 2018: In a press release issued by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Federal Government has presented its plans to take action on the SDGs, including the development of the country’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR). Canada is slated to present its VNR on progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in July 2018, during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Noting Canada’s commitment to build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world as envisioned by the SDGs, the press release states that the Canadian Federal Government will: reach out to all Canadians to develop a national strategy to catalyze nationwide SDG implementation; work with partners to raise awareness and build partnerships and networks; establish an SDG team to support integrating the SDGs into policies and programs of federal departments and agencies; continue to contribute to the UN’s SDG Indicator Framework; and present its first VNR.

To develop the VNR, the release further announces the launch of a VNR Web Portal allowing Canadians to contribute to the report’s development. Organizations and communities are invited to provide “snapshots” of their work towards “a more sustainable and prosperous future,” including information on efforts focusing on specific SDGs, measuring progress towards achieving those goals, and innovative approaches related to sustainable development. A selection of the submissions received will be used as contributions to the VNR or may be featured as examples of SDG implementation in the report. The portal will be open for contributions submitted online or by email until 4 May 2018.

Several events and publications during the first half of 2018 are expected to contribute to Canada’s review of progress and its VNR, including the following:

  • In April, the Brookings Institution released a working paper titled, “A Canadian North Star: Crafting an advanced economy approach to the Sustainable Development Goals.” The report identifies which issues in Canada are “on track” for success and which issues require a “breakthrough,” and provides recommendations regarding the roles of different groups of actors.
  • On 24 April 2018, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Auditor General of Canada presented the 2018 Spring Reports, including a report on Canada’s Preparedness to implement the SDG. The report represents the first national audit of a country’s preparedness to implement, monitor and report on SDG progress following a framework developed by the International Office of Supreme Audit Organizations (INTOSAI).
  • An audit of biodiversity conservation in Canada was also released as part of the Commissioner’s 2018 Spring Reports. This report examines whether Environment and Climate Change Canada provided national leadership and coordination to conserve Canada’s biodiversity, and whether responsible federal departments and agencies were working to meet selected biodiversity conservation targets. Progress in conserving biodiversity will be reviewed in depth at the HLPF in July 2018 as part of its review of progress on SDG 15 (Life on Land).
  • In May 2018, Statistics Canada is expected to launch an indicator portal to track SDG implementation at the national level. The portal is expected to provide access to indicator data that is aligned with, comparable, or complementary to the indicators proposed by the UN’s SDG Indicator Framework.
  • Several SDGs are also reflected in the themes Canada has chosen for its presidency of the G7. The G7 Summit, to be held 8-9 June 2018, in Charlevoix, Canada will focus on, among other issues: gender equality and women’s empowerment, contributing to SDG 5 (gender equality); working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy, contributing to SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy for all), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 14 (life below water); growth that works for everyone and preparing for jobs of the future, contributing to SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities); and building a more peaceful and secure world, contributing to SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

To track action for SDG implementation in Canada, a group of NGOs has just launched the Alliance2030 Portal, which will function as a searchable database of the work undertaken in Canada in alignment with the SDGs, including through news posts, storytelling, blogs and podcasts. [Global Affairs Canada Press Release] [2030 Agenda: Canada’s Voluntary National Review Call for Input] [Canada’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] [Office of the Auditor General. Media Advisory] [G7 Summit 2018 Website] [G7 Summit Themes] [Alliance2030]

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