Ottawa, 27 March 2018— Today, acting on behalf of auditors general of most provinces and the Auditor General of Canada, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand provided the House of Commons with a report titled “Perspectives on Climate Change Action in Canada: A Collaborative Report from Auditors General”. The report provides an overview of important questions raised in the audit work released over the last 18 months by the auditors general of most provinces, as well as in the three northern territories and at the federal level, to provide an overall and independent assessment of the state of climate change action in Canada.
“The findings from the federal, provincial and territorial climate change audits confirm that Canada’s governments are working on climate change, but that the work is far from being done”, stated Ms. Gelfand.
The collaborative report points to a number of common shortcomings across governments which are hindering Canada’s overall efforts to address and adapt to climate change and which, as a result, are preventing Canadians from preparing themselves to deal with current and future climate impacts.
In their examination of how their governments were planning to adapt to the impacts of climate change, auditors general found that most governments either had an adaptation plan that lacked basic details, such as timelines, or that they had no plan at all.
In her 2017 Report – Volume 1, Chapter 4, Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan Judy Ferguson reported on the steps the Ministry of Environment was taking to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in Saskatchewan. She found that, at January 2017, Saskatchewan did not have a provincial mitigation plan with provincial targets for greenhouse gas reduction. In addition, it did not have a co-ordinated provincial adaptation plan. Rather, it was at the policy development stage. On December 4, 2017, Saskatchewan released a provincial climate change strategy.
Most auditors across the country found that there was limited coordination on climate change among government departments and agencies, and that monitoring progress and regular public reporting were also limited.
The collaborative report also sets out a number of questions for elected officials and Canadians to consider asking of governments, as they continue their efforts to reduce emissions and address climate change impacts.
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The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and provincial auditors general of British Columbia and Nova Scotia, along with a spokesperson for the territorial climate change audits, will host a webinar to discuss the collaborative report starting at 1:30 p.m. EST, 11:30 a.m. CST. Please sign up here.
Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan Judy Ferguson will be available for media interviews following the webcast (3:30 p.m. EST, 1:30 p.m. CST).
For information and interview requests, please contact:
Mindy Ellis, Communications Specialist
Office of the Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan