2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy - Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

Section 1
Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. This is the first FSDS to be framed using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and provides a balanced view of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.

The Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) outlines departmental actions and programming in support of the FSDS . A new DSDS is tabled one year after the tabling of each new FSDS .

In keeping with the purpose of the Act, to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent and accountable to Parliament, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this DSDS .

The Federal Sustainable Development Act also sets out seven principles that must be considered in the development of the federal strategy, as well as the departmental strategies. These basic principles outline the ‘how’ for sustainable development and include a call for transparency and collaboration, the need to involve Indigenous Peoples and consideration for intergenerational equity. All identified principles have been considered and incorporated into FedNor’s DSDS .

To promote coordinated action on sustainable development across the Government of Canada, this departmental strategy integrates efforts to advance Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda National Strategy, supported by the Global Indicator Framework (GIF) and Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) targets and indicators. The strategy also now captures sustainable development goal initiatives that fall outside the scope of the FSDS to inform the development of Canada’s Annual Report on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.


Section 2
Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario’s sustainable development vision

As the Government of Canada’s economic development agency for Northern Ontario, FedNor has the mandate to promote economic growth, diversification, job creation and sustainable, self-reliant communities in the region. Through its programs and services, and its financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario.

FedNor provides businesses and communities with a robust foundation, built on innovation and clean growth to create the workforce of the future. This includes providing strategic investments to assist businesses with the adoption and adaptation of new, innovative technologies, including clean technologies, to support scale-up, productivity, development of, and entry into, new markets. As an advisor, convenor and pathfinder, FedNor is heavily focused on outreach and collaboration efforts that engage community leaders and stakeholders as it works to better meet the current and future diverse needs of Northern Ontario.

The department supports the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) by seeking opportunities to promote place-based solutions in relation to government priorities on greening the economy and inclusive growth, including those linked to critical minerals and Indigenous economic reconciliation. FedNor will do this by considering the economic, environmental and social dimensions of its decisions, programs, services and operations.

FedNor subscribes to an economic development approach that contributes to advancing Northern Ontario's economy while respecting the environment and promoting inclusive, sustainable economic growth. More specifically, FedNor is committed to supporting the following four objectives of the FSDS :

  • Goal 8: Encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Canada
  • Goal 10: Advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and take action on inequality
  • Goal 12: Reduce waste and transition to a zero-emission vehicles
  • Goal 13: Take action on climate change and its impacts

This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) represents FedNor’s first independent sustainable development strategy since becoming a standalone department in August 2021. FedNor previously reported under the DSDS for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.


Section 3
Listening to Canadians

As required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act, FedNor has taken into account comments on the draft 2022-2026 FSDS made during the public consultation held from March 11 to July 9, 2022.

During the public consultation, more than 700 comments were received from a broad range of stakeholders, including governments, Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics, businesses, and individual Canadians in different age groups and of various backgrounds. The draft Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) was also shared with the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Development Advisory Council for their review and comment.

What we heard

From the submissions received, FedNor identified sustainable development priorities and issues that affect Northern Ontario. This included feedback received from stakeholders regarding the need to emphasize the importance of advancing climate mitigation by supporting sustainable and healthy ecosystems and exploring various carbon reduction strategies, such as deploying clean energy technologies. Stakeholders also commented on the necessity to include the transition to sustainable jobs as part of the overall FSDS . Additionally, feedback received across the country stressed the importance of prioritizing Indigenous reconciliation and the need to recognize Indigenous self-governance, as well as support for Indigenous ownership and leadership in projects involving renewable energy and conservation. Stakeholders also encouraged us to consider history, culture and Indigenous rights as dimensions of sustainable development.

What we did

FedNor integrated the aforementioned key priorities and issues in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS). This included placing an emphasis on activities that encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region, and setting strong targets for investments in the transition to the green economy and clean technology product development and adoption. Through its programming, FedNor will also continue to support the creation of sustainable jobs and the participation of members of equity-deserving groups, such as Indigenous Peoples, members of Official Language Minority Communities, Black people and other racialized groups, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, women, youth and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, in the innovation economy. FedNor will also seek opportunities to improve the services it delivers to Indigenous stakeholders, including the introduction of mandatory cultural competency training for all of its staff.

Please find more information on the FSDS public consultation and its results in the FSDS Consultation Report.


Section 4
Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario’s commitments

Goal 8:
Encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Canada

FSDS context:

FedNor’s mandate to build a stronger and more resilient Northern Ontario directly supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Canada. Through its grants and contributions programs, FedNor provides assistance to businesses in Northern Ontario to develop and adopt clean technology solutions, and helps communities to adopt and implement clean growth initiatives. Specific activities include:

  • Supporting businesses to adopt and/or adapt clean technologies to improve environmental performance, while increasing productivity, growth and competitiveness;
  • Providing assistance to businesses to develop and/or commercialize new clean technologies;
  • Encouraging the greening of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to mitigate and reduce the environmental impacts of their activities, including adoption of green technologies to decarbonize operations, the creation of new green businesses, and supporting SMEs in their green transformation;
  • Delivering funding to ecosystem partners in the region to help accelerate the transition to green technologies;
  • Building community capacity to implement clean growth initiatives by supporting research and feasibility studies; and,
  • Fostering community resilience for a green recovery by supporting the development of green industrial parks, providing funding to Indigenous communities to facilitate their participation in major green energy projects, and supporting the development of community greenhouses in Indigenous communities to ensure better food security.

FedNor also works to ensure that Northern Ontario communities, businesses, and Indigenous communities can contribute to, and benefit from, the global need for critical minerals. This includes working closely with Natural Resources Canada and other federal departments, such as Indigenous Services Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, to implement the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy and renew the federal whole-of-government approach in the Ring of Fire region.

Implementation strategies supporting the goal

This section is for implementation strategies that support the goal to ‘Encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Canada’ but not a specific FSDS target

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy and sustainable development goals
Support workers, businesses and communities FedNor will support businesses in Northern Ontario to develop and adopt clean technology solutions, and support communities to adopt and implement clean growth initiatives.

Program:
Business development; Community economic development and diversification; and, Regional innovation ecosystem
Performance indicator: FedNor’s annual authorized assistance to help communities and businesses implement clean growth initiatives in Northern Ontario.

Starting point: Not available. This is a new indicator for FedNor.

Target: $2.1 million in authorized assistance annually to help communities and businesses implement clean growth initiatives in Northern Ontario.

FedNor is encouraging inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Northern Ontario by investing in the transition to the green economy, actions that are compatible with Canada’s path to net-zero emissions, and clean technology product development and adoption.

 

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF)  Ambition/Target: 8.6 Canadians contribute to and benefit from sustainable economic growth
CIF Indicator:  jobs in the clean technology products sector
Global Indicator Framework Target: 8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high value-added and labour-intensive sectors.

Goal 10:
Advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and take action on inequality

FSDS context:

As a regional development agency, FedNor works actively to advance and diversify the Northern Ontario economy and support the economic participation of equity-deserving groups such as Indigenous Peoples. FedNor uses an intersectional lens to develop funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth for all Canadians.

As a funder, pathfinder, convener and advocate, FedNor helps Indigenous communities obtain government funding to participate in the planning, development and implementation of infrastructure projects linked to regional economic development opportunities. This includes providing financial assistance towards Indigenous-led projects and in support of organizations that provide services to Indigenous Peoples.

FedNor also leverages its resources and connections to support Indigenous businesses and communities by connecting them with the right resources and convening federal and provincial stakeholders to support Indigenous development in the region. These activities include promoting Indigenous Services Canada’s new business navigator service through FedNor’s communication platforms and networks, as well as building new partnerships, at the department and ministerial level, with key organizations and stakeholders including, but not limited to, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, First Nations Major Projects Coalition and the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, to work together to advance Indigenous economic reconciliation.

FedNor is committed to continuously seek opportunities to improve the services it provides to Indigenous partners, organizations, businesses and communities, and will prioritize economic reconciliation efforts through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Regions of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDA). Activities include seeking opportunities to advance Indigenous economic development and reviewing ways it can better support Indigenous applicants. Additionally, FedNor will maintain its commitment to ensure that Indigenous businesses and communities are connected with the information necessary to access funding and economic development opportunities. 

To support the Government of Canada’s commitment that a mandatory minimum target of 5% of the total value of contracts is awarded to Indigenous businesses annually, FedNor has pledged to actively seek Indigenous vendors when planning contracts by developing a procurement plan to identify opportunities for Indigenous businesses through continued engagement with Indigenous partners.

FedNor will also adopt mandatory training that supports the Clerk’s calls to action on diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism, including a policy on Indigenous cultural competency. These activities will ensure that all FedNor employees, regardless of their position or roles within the organization, increase their cultural competency skills and awareness of issues related to First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and their knowledge of the UN Declaration.

The department will also continue to contribute to the annual UNDA progress reporting cycle to ensure that FedNor’s activities are reflected as part of the whole-of-government approach.

Target theme: Advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis communities

Target: Between 2023 and 2026, and every year on an ongoing basis, develop and table annual progress reports on implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy and sustainable development goals.
Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Provide Indigenous cultural competency training and/or training on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Program:
UN Declaration Act Implementation Secretariat
Performance indicator: Percentage of staff who have completed Indigenous cultural competency training and training on the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Starting point: Not applicable. This is new training for FedNor that will be developed and implemented in 2023-24.

Target: 100% by March 31, 2024
Public servants are in a unique position to help build respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This action encourages public service employees to increase their cultural competency skills and awareness of issues related to First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and their knowledge of the UN Declaration. This action contributes to the development of necessary cultural competency knowledge and skills to implement the UN Declaration.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Global Indicator Framework Target: 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.
Contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses FedNor will support Indigenous businesses through procurement activities.

Program: Internal services
Performance indicator: Percentage of contracts with Indigenous businesses.

Starting point: New indicator. This data will be collected starting in 2023-24.

Target: 5% by March 31, 2024.
The Government of Canada is committed to economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and will contribute to improved socio-economic outcomes by increasing opportunities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses through the federal procurement process.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Global Indicator Framework Target: 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.

Goal 12:
Reduce waste and transition to zero-emission vehicles

FSDS context:

FedNor is committed to greening its operations and has identified a number of measures to support the Government of Canada’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. These activities include upgrading its vehicle fleet, supporting the transition to a low carbon economy through green procurement, and promoting sustainable actions in the workplace such as utilizing videoconferencing to replace travel by employees where possible, favouring the use of electronic documents over paper copies, recycling surplus information technology (IT) assets and eliminating single-use plastic in government operations.

The department will also require that all procurement officers and material management specialists hired at FedNor complete the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course within one year of being hired. Identified employees will also be required to retake the course every three years. This practice will ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account in the procurement process for goods and services, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal methods. 

Target theme: Federal leadership on responsible consumption

Target: The Government of Canada’s procurement of goods and services will be net-zero emissions by 2050, to aid the transition to a net-zero, circular economy (All Ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy and sustainable development goals
Transform the federal light-duty fleet. Each year, new light-duty fleet vehicles purchases will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) or hybrids.

Program: Internal services
Performance Indicator: Percentage of new vehicle purchases that are ZEV or hybrid

Starting point: 26% in 2022-23

Target 1: 100% of new vehicle purchases each year will be ZEV or hybrid.

Target 2: By 2030, where adequate recharging infrastructure exists, 100% of new purchases will be ZEV, and where adequate infrastructure does not exist, 100% will be hybrid.
Purchasing zero-emission vehicles reduces greenhouse gas emissions from conventional fleet operations. This enhances sustainable consumption.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) Ambition/Target: CIF Ambition: 12.1 Canadians consume in a sustainable manner.

CIF Indicator:  12.1.1 Proportion of new light-duty vehicle registrations that are zero-emission vehicles.

Global Indicator Framework (GIF) Target:  12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries.
Strengthen green procurement criteria. Ensure all procurement and materiel management specialists are trained in green procurement (such as the Canada School of Public Service course on green procurement or equivalent) within one year of being identified.

Program: Internal services
Performance indicator: Procurement and materiel management specialist is trained in green procurement within one year of being hired.

Starting point: Not available. FedNor does not currently have a procurement and materiel management specialist. The department is in the process of hiring a procurement and material management specialist. In the meantime, this service is currently being provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada as part of FedNor’s evolvement from an initiative to a standalone department.

Target: The procurement officer and material management specialist is trained within one year of being identified.
Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) Ambition/Target: 12.1 Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF Indicator:  12.2.1 Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices.

Global Indicator Framework (GIF) Target:  12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Goal 13:
Take action on climate change and its impacts

FSDS context:

The Government of Canada, through its FSDS , aims to implement measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve climate resilience, and green the government’s overall operations. In support of this activity, FedNor will continue to work closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada in managing its accommodations and real property. The department will also undertake measures to reduce the potential impacts of climate change on its program delivery. This includes adding the considerations of climate change risks into departmental risk assessment and its annual planning activities. FedNor will also explore opportunities to include climate change-related factors into business impact assessments and emergency preparedness exercises. Finally, the department will ensure that relevant employees are trained on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments, and developing adaptation actions within one year of being identified. To promote ongoing learning, relevant employees will be required to retrain every three years.

Target theme: Federal leadership on greenhouse gas emissions reductions and climate resilience

Target: The Government of Canada will transition to net-zero carbon operations for facilities and conventional fleets by 2050 (All Ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy and sustainable development goals.
Implement the Greening Government Strategy through measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve climate resilience, and green the government’s overall operations. Ensure all relevant employees are trained on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments, and developing adaptation actions within one year of being identified.

Program: Internal services
Performance indicator: Percentage of relevant employees trained on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments, and developing adaptation actions within one year of being identified.

Starting point: Not available. This is a new indicator for FedNor.

Target: 100% of relevant employees are trained within one year of being identified.
Trained staff can identify risk to critical program delivery, and develop responses to increase the resilience of operations to impacts of climate change.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) Ambition/Target: 13.3 Canadians are well equipped and resilient to face the effects of climate change.

CIF Indicator: 13.3.1 Proportion of municipal organizations that factored climate change adaptation into their decision-making process.

Global Indicator Framework (GIF) Target:

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

SECTION 5
Integrating sustainable development

FedNor will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its Strategic Environmental Assessment process. A strategic environmental assessment 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.

Public statements on the results of FedNor’s assessments are published on its website when an initiative has undergone a detailed strategic environmental assessment. 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.