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Strengthening the Government of Canada’s Weather Monitoring Infrastructure

Environment Canada’s (EC) weather enterprise is one of the Government of Canada’s most visible and recognized services. No other agency in government, the Canadian federation, or the private sector has the capacity or mandate to issue warnings of impending hazardous conditions that can affect Canadians’ lives and property, and Canada’s economic prosperity.

Investing in the Government of Canada’s weather monitoring infrastructure will restore its integrity.  EC’s core federal weather and environmental service capacity relies on this infrastructure to ensure that Canadians are notified and prepared to take appropriate action to protect their lives and property, while at the same time ensuring their long term economic prosperity. It would also enable EC to continue to support the mandates and missions of other government departments and agencies.

As required by the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was completed for this funding initiative. The SEA concluded that all investments in the maintenance and restoration of monitoring stations and networks would have important positive outcomes. The funding is expected to benefit Canadians by ensuring improvements to Canada’s ability to detect significant weather and provide weather forecasts and severe weather warnings. The investments will improve the sustainability and integrity of Canada’s weather service ensuring the provision of information that Canadians need to make environmentally sound decisions in their day-to-day activities.

The SEA also identified the possibility of net neutral environmental impacts that may result from the proposed retrofitting and construction activities. Whenever installation of land based equipment is involved, appropriate project-level environmental assessments will be conducted to ensure compliance with Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act regulations. The positive environmental effects of this initiative are expected to far outweigh any slight possible negative impacts arising from construction activities.

When applying the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals and targets, the SEA identified that these investments will support the achievement of the following FSDS targets:

  • Target 2.1: Air pollutants; (2.1.1 to 2.1.15) Implementation Strategies for the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda (CARA)
  • Target 3.8: Marine Water Quality; Reduce the risks to Canadians and impacts on the marine environment posed by pollution from land-based activities.

Weather and Meteorology at Environment Canada:  http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=FDF98F96-1

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