Did you know that . . . .

this week is Canadian Environment Week. The Canadian Environment Week Act requires that “Throughout Canada, in every year, the week that includes June 5 shall be kept and observed under the name of Canadian Environment Week.” That’s all the Act states. No description of what ‘keeping and observing shall require’ and no penalties for not keeping and observing Canadian Environment Week. The Canadian Environment Week Act is one of the shortest pieces of legislation on Canada’s books.

But at least it was enough to prompt the Minister of the Environment, The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, to put out a press release, something that happens rarely these days. The press release stated:

Government of Canada taking strong action today for a more sustainable tomorrow
June 2, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Environment Canada

Today, Minister Aglukkaq marked the beginning of Canadian Environment Week 2014 by inviting Canadians to reflect on the importance of protecting and preserving their rich, natural heritage.

Canadian Environment Week is observed annually during the first full week of June, and is a time to celebrate the achievements and hard work of all Canadians who are taking action every day to improve our environment at home, at work and in our communities.

A number of important activities and events are held throughout and around the week such as the Commuter Challenge, Clean Air Day on June 4, World Environment Day on June 5 and World Oceans Day on June 8.

Through its recent announcements of a National Conservation Plan (NCP) and the 2013-2016 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring that Canada’s ecosystems are part of healthy, connected and sustainably managed landscapes.

The NCP will provide a more coordinated approach to conservation efforts across the country with an emphasis on enabling Canadians to conserve and restore lands and waters in and around their communities, and making it easier for citizens living in cities to connect with nature. The NCP includes significant new investments over five years to secure ecologically sensitive lands, support voluntary conservation and restoration actions, and strengthen marine and coastal conservation. In addition, it will contain new initiatives designed to restore wetlands and to encourage Canadians to connect with nature close to home through protected areas and green spaces located in or near urban areas.

Quick Facts

Since 2006, the federal government has taken significant action to protect Canada’s natural areas. In addition to adding an area nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas (including work to create the first National Urban Park), and designating three additional Marine Protected Areas (totaling an area of 7,837 km²), we have secured more than 4,000 km² of ecologically sensitive private lands.

The Government has also supported partners in the delivery of hundreds of local projects to protect species at risk and their habitats, improved water quality in the Great Lakes, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Winnipeg, rehabilitated recreational fisheries habitat, and cleaned up contaminated sites.


“We all have a role to play when it comes to protecting the environment. Through the NCP, our Government is taking tangible cooperative actions to help conserve and restore our lands and waters and connect Canadians with their environment. The NCP will enable Canadians actively participate in conservation and restoration while enhancing the connections between people and nature. I encourage all Canadians to use this week as an opportunity to get outside and do their part to conserve and enjoy the environment.”

– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council

Environment Canada’s theme for Environment Week this year is “Strengthening Our Environment Today for Tomorrow”. For more information on what Environment Canada is doing for the week visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/sce-cew/Default.asp?lang=En&n=56886AF1-1  Just don’t get too exited about the program!

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