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Sustainable Development Strategy 2007- 2009
Appendix 3: Summary of Consultations
NRCan recognizes that the credibility of the Department’s strategy depends on a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders. Experience has demonstrated that by undertaking such dialogue, it enables the Department to develop a common understanding of the issues, and a shared ownership of the strategy. With each strategy, an attempt is made to improve the way the Department engages with stakeholders.
The Department released the discussion paper, Natural Resources Canada Sustainable Development Strategy 2006: Discussion Paper for Consultation, in April 2006. This paper served as the basis for the 2006 consultations. The discussion paper set out the current thinking around sustainable development, reviewed achievements to date of NRCan’s previous strategies, and discussed possible directions for the next strategy. The paper was intended to stimulate dialogue and to provoke the exchange of ideas, as well as allow the Department to verify with stakeholders that the direction and focus of this strategy was both meaningful and relevant.
The Department was guided throughout the SDS process by an external advisory panel comprising representatives from industry, Aboriginal organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and other government departments. The advisory panel served as a ‘sounding board’ at each stage in the process, providing consistent and insightful guidance. For consistency between the strategies and to enable the Department to push beyond previous accomplishments, a number of 2003 advisory panel members were asked to return and participate in the 2006 process.
External regional multi-stakeholder meetings were held in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax. As well, NRCan participated with Industry Canada, Environment Canada, and Public Works and Government Services in coordinated sessions in Atlantic Canada that were organized by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The discussion paper was distributed to the interested stakeholders by mail and was available on the Department’s Web site, along with a brief questionnaire.
To capitalize on the vast expertise and experience of departmental employees, internal focus groups were held during the month of June 2006. Additional employee input was solicited during Environment Week activities in the National Capital Region as well as sought from the Department’s ‘sustainable development ambassadors’—a network of employees who have completed NRCan’s internal policy capacity course for sustainable development.
The consultation process helped the Department to refine its area of focus and streamline its approach to the development of the SDS. Meaningful feedback was received on the key issues and potential actions that should be pursued for the forth SDS. The key issues discussed with stakeholders were confirmed with staff and the Department’s senior managers, and are reflected in the Issue Scan of this document.
The results of the SDS consultations have been summarized in the report What You Said 2006, and will be distributed to all consultation participants and available on the Natural Resources Canada Sustainable Development Web site.