Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome to the committee, commissioner. It is always a great pleasure to have you here.
Mr. Chair, we should try to incorporate the opinions of the environment commissioner into our deliberations on a more frequent and regular basis. It would be very worthwhile.
What struck me is the fact that the targets in this sustainable development strategy are not very clear. We will not get into the air pollutants target, since it is under consultation, according to the strategy. I will refer to other targets. The target for chemicals management is to “[r]educe risks to Canadians and impacts on the environment posed by toxic substances”. To my mind, that is not a target. It is a statement and an overarching principle, albeit a valid and worthwhile one.
I read your previous reports on the sustainable development strategy. What were your predecessors saying in 1998? That it was necessary to establish “clear and measurable targets that are key to the success or failure of the sustainable development strategy process”. That is what your predecessors were saying, and it is a central theme in all your reports.
After reading the sustainable development strategy and knowing that you and your predecessors had always considered clear and measurable targets to be necessary, do you not think that this strategy lacks targets? Yes, there are a few, I have to admit. But they are not measurable. Does that not make your job a lot harder, especially in terms of evaluating the strategy?