Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA’s)

Public Safety will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process. A SEA for a policy, plan or program proposal includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on relevant FSDS goals and targets.

As a first step in the SEA process, Public Safety Canada undertakes a preliminary scan of a policy or program proposal to identify possible environmental effects, including impacts on FSDS goals and targets, and to determine whether a full SEA is warranted. An early assessment also helps the Department identify alternative approaches and recommendations in cases where the environmental effects are important.

In 2022-23, Public Safety Canada conducted a total of (29) preliminary scans and no (0) full SEA assessments. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, the Department ensured that the environmental considerations identified through preliminary SEA scans were conducted at the initial stages of each proposal. In each case, the preliminary scans determined there were no meaningful impacts on any of the key areas identified in the SEA template (i.e. natural resources, environment, sustainable and development goals, projects to be subject of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, new technologies with environmental implications, or public concerns). Having concluded there would not be any significant interactions with the environment, none of the proposals in 2022-2023 advanced to the full SEA assessment stage.

Public statements on the results of Public Safety Canada’s assessments are made public when an initiative that has undergone a detailed SEA. The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision-making.

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