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Québec’s shift to sustainable development centres around a statute, 16 guiding principles, monitoring measures, indicators and a comprehensive strategy that guide each government department and agency in developing and implementing its sustainable development action plan.
Québec’s sustainable development approach is a horizontal, large-scale project distinguished mainly by how it targets concerted government action. It is grounded in a sustained commitment by numerous Québec institutions for more than 20 years and a well-structured approach implemented in 2004.
The Sustainable Development Act
The purpose of the Sustainable Development Act, assented to on April 19, 2006, is to establish a new management framework for all Québec government departments and agencies to ensure that their powers and responsibilities are exercised in the pursuit of sustainable development.
The Act gives Québec its own definition of sustainable development and sets out 16 principles that the public service must take into account when framing its actions. It sets markers for implementing a government sustainable development strategy based on guidelines and objectives that give due consideration to the environmental (life environment), social (lifestyle) and economic (standard of living) aspects of development.
The Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020
In November 2015, the Premier of Québec tabled the Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020 in the National Assembly. In accordance with the Sustainable Development Act, the Strategy was submitted to public consultations in the form of parliamentary committee hearings at the beginning of 2015.
The Strategy is a key element of the Sustainable Development Act. It builds on the results of the first government strategy, which ran from 2008-2014, as well as the observations and findings of two reports: one on the application of the Sustainable Development Act and one on the status of sustainable development in Québec.
The Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2015-2020 is the reference framework for the government’s sustainable development initiative. It defines the government’s vision and objectives in respect of sustainable development, the main means of implementation and monitoring measures. Six initiatives have been implemented to catalyze the strengths of several departments in order to achieve concrete objectives in the short term.
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