The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • helping individual governments assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews Canada’s environmental performance since the last review in 2004. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of Canada’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to the federal government of Canada and the governments of Alberta and Quebec for their co-operation in providing information, for the organisation of the review mission to Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton (17-24 January 2017) and the policy mission to Ottawa and Quebec City (10-14 April 2017), and for facilitating contacts both inside and outside government institutions.

Thanks are also due to the representatives of the two examining countries, Alexis Cain (United States) and Andrew Pankowski (Australia).

The authors of this report were Britta Labuhn, Xavier Leflaive, Eugene Mazur, Paul O’Brien (all OECD Secretariat) and Rachel Samson (consultant). Nathalie Girouard and Britta Labuhn provided oversight and guidance. Carla Bertuzzi provided statistical support; Mika Hosokawa and Clara Tomasini provided administrative support; and Mark Foss copy-edited the report. Preparation of this report also benefited from valuable comments and inputs from several members of the OECD Secretariat, including Johanna Arlinghaus, Andrew Barker, Richard Baron, Nils Axel Braathen, Simon Buckle, David Carey, Kathleen Dominique, Luisa Dressler, Tatiana Efimova, Katia Karousakis, Hannah Leckie, Oriana Romano, Dirk Röttgers, Ronald Steenblik, Simon Upton and Kurt Van Dender. Thanks are also due to Sylvia Beyer, George Kamiya and Caroline Lee from the International Energy Agency.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of Canada at its meeting on 28 June 2017 in Paris, and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.