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Environment Canada's Science Plan

Message from the Assistant Deputy Minister

This Science Plan represents a significant step in a continuing effort by Environment Canada to strengthen the role of environmental science in helping the Department support environmental quality, human health and safety, and economic prosperity.

In November 2004, the Deputy Minister's external Science and Technology Management Review Panel made two major recommendations to improve the planning and management of science at Environment Canada:
the establishment of a Science and Technology Branch to strengthen the Department's overall management of environmental science; and a commitment to long-term science planning in the Department to ensure that we have in place the high-quality science we need to address current and emerging challenges.

The first step in responding to the Review Panel's recommendations came in September 2005, with the establishment of the Science and Technology Branch, bringing much of Environment Canada's science and technology under one Assistant Deputy Minister.

With the Science Plan -- which, with time, will be integrated with the Department's Technology Plan -- we have taken the second major step. This Plan provides the first strategic look at a major activity that cuts across the full range of the Department's activities. It will bring a more integrated and collaborative approach to environmental science within Environment Canada and with our external partners. And it will ensure that we continue to effectively apply our science resources -- our excellent staff, infrastructure and funds -- to the priorities of Canadians.

Collaboration is a fundamental requirement of high-quality science, and so too has it been with the development of the Science Plan. We have greatly benefited at every step from the perspectives and ideas of our own scientists and managers, and of our colleagues in other federal departments, other jurisdictions, academia and the private sector. Early on, we brought together 45 scientists, managers and policy makers to look at major themes and critical interdependencies for the Department's science. As the Plan developed, we held information sessions across the country with more than 500 individuals. Finally, we asked our world-class External Science Review Panel members for feedback on the content and direction of the Plan. The final result truly represents a shared effort among many individuals and organizations that care about our environment and about high-quality environmental science in Canada.

On behalf of Environment Canada, I want to express my sincere appreciation to our staff and to all of those who participated in developing the Science Plan.

No matter your discipline, jurisdiction or organization, I invite you to read this Plan - and to think about the challenges and directions it sets out for environmental science in Canada. I also want to let you know that developing the Plan is only the beginning - we will continue to seek your collaboration and ideas as we move forward to implement the Plan and strengthen the role of environmental science in the years ahead.

I look forward to working with you.

 

Brian T. Gray, PhD

Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch

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