Environment Canada

Environment Canada

June 06, 2008 11:59 ET

Government of Canada Signs Environmental Cooperation Agreement With Atlantic Provinces

WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 6, 2008) - The Government of Canada entered into a memorandum of understanding on environmental co-operation today with the Atlantic provinces at the conclusion of the two-day Atlantic Council of Environment Ministers meeting. The agreement was signed by Canada's Environment Minister John Baird; Mark Parent, Nova Scotia Minister of the Environment; Roland Hache, New Brunswick Minister of the Environment, George Webster, Prince Edward Island Minister of the Environment, Energy and Forestry and Charlene Johnson, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Environment and Conservation.

"Our Government and our four partners in Atlantic Canada share the goal of attaining the highest possible level of environmental quality in the Atlantic provinces," said Minister Baird. "By signing this agreement, both levels of government are formally demonstrating their commitment to preserve, protect and enhance the environment in the Atlantic region for present and future generations."

The five-government agreement contains a broad set of environmental management principles of cooperation designed to enhance environmental protection in Atlantic Canada. The MOU strengthens the ability of the federal and provincial governments to work together to achieve shared environmental objectives and will help create specific multilateral or bilateral agreements. The first will be focused on water.

"Our government aims to make Nova Scotia one of the cleanest, most sustainable environments in the world by 2020," said Minister Parent. "Cooperating with our Atlantic and federal partners will help bring us closer to that goal."

New Brunswick's minister of Environment was unable to attend the ceremony but signed the agreement in advance.

"Environmental stewardship is something New Brunswick takes very seriously," said Minister Hache. "Our government is pleased to be entering in this partnership with the federal government and other Atlantic provinces to work toward environmental sustainability."

Prince Edward Island's minister responsible for the environment, energy and forestry noted the importance of regional cooperation.

"The two main aims for any government working on environmental questions in this region should be the best protection of our shared natural wealth and the best use of tax payers' dollars to achieve that protection," said Minister Webster. "By setting down a framework for intergovernmental cooperation this memorandum of understanding ensures environmental work in Atlantic Canada is delivered effectively, and that it is delivered by the government best positioned to respond to a given issue."

The minister from Newfoundland and Labrador also complimented the spirit of the agreement.

"We understand the environmental challenges that are specific to this region, as well as the measures we must take to ensure sustainability and protect the environment for future generations," said the Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation. "Collectively, we have similar objectives regarding climate change, air quality, water quality, and various other environmental issues, and a cohesive voice on these matters will go far in helping us achieve our long-term goals."

The memorandum of understanding will:

- create a regional steering committee of senior officials from Environment Canada and the environment departments in the Atlantic provinces, which will allow for easier and more effective discussion and collaboration on environmental issues.

- facilitate a consistent, efficient and transparent collaborative approach to environmental protection and conservation in the Atlantic provinces;

- strengthen federal/provincial co-operation to address a national environmental priority (e.g. water quantity and quality) in an integrated and co-ordinated way; and

- provide the foundation for federal/provincial co-operation to address a broad spectrum of environmental priorities and could pave the way for other more detailed multilateral or bilateral agreements.

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richler
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada Media Relations