The 2030 Agenda presents Canada and the world with a historic opportunity to positively shape how societies of tomorrow grow and develop sustainably and inclusively to the shared benefit of all. It is an opportunity to build a more prosperous and resilient future where the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development are advanced in a balanced and integrated way, “leaving no one behind”.
Canada is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals at home and abroad. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his address to the UN in September 2017, “the SDGs are as meaningful in Canada as they are everywhere else in the world.”
Canada’s Voluntary National Review underscores the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement all 17 SDGs and the principles that underpin the 2030 Agenda, including “leaving no one behind.” As Canada’s first review, this report takes stock of national actions, achievements and challenges, and identifies next steps in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a work in progress. While Canada has attained an overall high standard of social and economic development, three million Canadians still struggle to satisfy their basic needs. Indigenous peoples, women, youth and the elderly, the LGBTQ2 community, newcomers to Canada, and persons with disabilities are more likely to face poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.
Canada is responding to these challenges through concrete actions to reduce poverty, advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, narrow the socio-economic gaps that exist between different groups, foster inclusion and celebrate diversity, and improve equality of opportunity for all.
While Canada has a relatively small population, it also has a large landmass, most of it located in the Northern half of the Northern hemisphere. These factors contribute to relatively heavier energy and transportation. To respond to these national circumstances, the Government of Canada is taking firm action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean technology and innovation.
Canada’s priorities at the global level align with its priorities domestically. In June 2017, Canada announced its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to achieve this goal and drive progress on all SDGs.
National Strategy and Coordinating Structures
The Government of Canada’s policies, programs and priorities are already well-aligned to the SDGs. Canada’s 2018 Federal Budget allocated new funds to establish an SDG Unit, which will ensure effective 2030 Agenda coordination across federal departments and agencies and with Canadian stakeholders, and to track Canada’s progress on the SDGs. Federal departments and agencies have been tasked to further examine how their policies and programs are contributing to the 2030 Agenda’s goals and targets. Canada will mainstream a gender-responsive perspective in the implementation of the SDGs, consistent with its emphasis on gender equality as a cross-cutting priority.
The Government will launch a process in the coming months to develop a national strategy on the 2030 Agenda through collaboration with all levels of government, Indigenous peoples, civil society and the private sector. Data is key to developing solutions to challenges facing the implementation of this Agenda, to ensure no one is left behind, and to track progress on the SDGs. As such, this report includes validated Canadian data for the SDG Global Indicator Framework.
Canada recognizes that innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships are essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda, including to mobilize additional sources of capital in support of the SDGs. Across Canada, governments, organizations and individuals are already answering the 2030 Agenda’s call to action and convening new partnerships to respond in new ways to the challenges we collectively face. Going forward, the Government of Canada will strengthen efforts to bring together all segments of society in Canada around the SDGs, including in the development of the national strategy. Canada will also continue to work with its domestic and international partners to foster new and innovative solutions to realize this historic and transformative Agenda.