Transcript: Sustainability Goals for the Government | Apr 25, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped black and blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Sustainability goals for Canada. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says CANADA'S ENVIRONMENTAL
COMMISSIONER RAISED SERIOUS
CONCERNS IN HER LATEST REPORT
ABOUT THIS COUNTRY'S PROGRESS ON
MEETING ITS COMMITMENT TO THE
UNITED NATION'S SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
THREE YEARS IN, SHE SAYS, CANADA
IS NOWHERE NEAR ON TRACK TO
DELIVER.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE:
IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL:
THE AUTHOR OF THAT REPORT:
JULIE GELFAND, COMMISSIONER OF
THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT AT THE OFFICE OF THE
AUDITOR GENERAL OF CANADA.

Julie is in her fifties, with short curly brown hair. She's wearing a patterned black and white blazer, and a yellow shirt.

Steve continues ALSO WITH US ON THE LINE FROM
THE U.S. CAPITAL:
JOHN McARTHUR, SENIOR FELLOW AT
THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION AND
SENIOR ADVISOR ON SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT TO THE UNITED
NATIONS FOUNDATION.

John is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and striped pink tie.

Steve continues AND ON SKYPE FROM WATERLOO,
WHERE SHE HAS BEEN ATTENDING THE
GENERATION SDG SUMMIT:
MARGARET BIGGS, MATTHEWS FELLOW
IN GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY.

Margaret is in her fifties, with wavy blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a red blouse, and a black beaded necklace.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME JOHN
BACK TO THE PROGRAM AND OUR
OTHER TWO GUESTS HERE FOR THE
FIRST TIME.
LET'S JUST SAY SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS, IF WE CAN,
COMMISSIONER, FROM YOUR REPORT,
AND I'LL START WITH YOU AND GO
INTO DETAIL ABOUT WHAT YOU
FOUND.
HERE ARE THE PROMISES FROM THE
LAST FEDERAL BUDGET...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Promises from the budget."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL STRATEGY
THROUGH WORKING WITH CANADIANS,
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND OTHER
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, BUILD
PUBLIC AWARENESS AND CREATE NEW
PARTNERSHIPS, ENSURE ALL
DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
INTEGRATE THE SDGs, THE
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS,
INTO ALL THEIR POLICIES AND
PROGRAMS AND ATTEND THE
POLITICAL FORUM IN JULY TO
HIGHLIGHT ACTIONS TAKEN SO FAR.
ALL RIGHT, COMMISSIONER.
YOU HAVE LOOKED INTO ALL OF
THIS.
HOW IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING SO
FAR ON FOLLOWING THROUGH?

The caption changes to "Julie Gelfand. Office of the Auditor General of Canada."
Then, it changes again to "How ready?"

Julie says WELL, FIRST
OF ALL, THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT
YOU JUST READ ABOUT WAS AN
ANNOUNCEMENT THAT WAS MADE JUST
LAST WEEK.
OUR AUDIT ACTUALLY WAS COMPLETED
PRIOR TO THAT ANNOUNCEMENT, SO
WE WERE LOOKING BEFORE THE
BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE AS
TO WHETHER OR NOT CANADA WAS
PREPARED TO IMPLEMENT THE UNITED
NATIONS' 2030 AGENDA, AND
OVERALL WE FOUND THAT THEY ARE
NOT READY TO IMPLEMENT THAT
AGENDA.

Steve says HAVING MADE THE
ANNOUNCEMENT THEY DID MAKE A
WEEK AGO, DO YOU FEEL ANY MORE
CONFIDENT ABOUT THINGS?

Julie says WELL, WE HAVEN'T AUDITED WHAT
THEY JUST SAID.
YOU KNOW, WE SIGNED THIS
AGREEMENT IN 2015, AND SO WE
STARTED SAYING TO THE
GOVERNMENT, WELL, YOU'VE MADE
THIS COMMITMENT.
LET'S SEE HOW YOU'RE DOING.
THIS IS PART OF AN INTERNATIONAL
EFFORT OF AUDITORS-GENERALS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD TO SEE IF THEIR
GOVERNMENTS ARE READY TO
IMPLEMENT THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
WE LOOKED AT SEVEN DIFFERENT
CRITERIA: DO THEY HAVE A HIGH
LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT, HAVE THEY
GOT THE RESOURCES IN PLACE, HAVE
THEY DEVELOPED A PLAN, HAVE THEY
ENGAGED THE PUBLIC, AND DO THEY
HAVE SEVERAL CRITERIA RELATED TO
DATA, DO THEY HAVE A MEASUREMENT
SYSTEM, A MONITORING SYSTEM, AND
A WAY OF REPORTING, AND
ESSENTIALLY CANADA, THE ONLY ONE
THAT CANADA GOT FULL MARKS FOR
WAS THE ENGAGEMENT.
CANADA DID SIGN ON TO THIS AND
THE PRIME MINISTER DID MAKE A
SPEECH AT THE UNITED NATIONS
SAYING THAT THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS APPLIED TO
CANADA, BUT FOR ALL THOSE OTHER
CRITERIA, THEY DID NOT PASS.

The caption changes to "W.G.S.I. Generation SDG."

Steve says I DON'T WANT TO BE
OVERLY SIMPLISTIC ABOUT THIS BUT
YOU'RE SAYING WE'RE ENGAGED BUT
WE'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING?

Julie says AT THIS POINT WHAT WE'RE
DOING... LET ME TELL YOU WHAT
WE'RE DOING.
FIVE FEDERAL AGENCIES HAVE BEEN
NAMED THE LEADER OF THE
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
INITIATIVE IN CANADA.
IN MY OPINION, TEN HANDS ON THE
WHEEL; PRETTY HARD TO DRIVE THAT
CAR.
SOME OF THOSE MINISTRIES HAVE
DONE SOME WORK IN THE AREA OF
SDGs ON SPECIFIC ISSUES, BUT
WE WERE LOOKING FOR AN OVERALL
PLAN.
THERE ARE 17 GOALS, 169 TARGETS.
EXACTLY WHAT IS CANADA GOING TO
DO TO ACHIEVE ALL OF THE SDGs?
WE WERE LOOKING FOR THE OVERALL
PLAN.
WE WERE LOOKING FOR HOW THEY
WERE GOING TO MEASURE THEIR
PROGRESS.
WE WERE LOOKING FOR THE
ENGAGEMENT OF THE PUBLIC IN
DEVELOPING THAT PLAN.
AND OTHER THAN A LITTLE BIT OF
STATISTICAL WORK THAT STATS CAN
HAD ALREADY DONE, STATISTICS
CANADA HAD FOUND SOME INDICATORS
FOR THE GLOBAL INDICATORS,
CANADA DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A SET
OF NATIONAL TARGETS AND THEY
WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE DEVELOPED
THOSE.

Steve says YOU GIVE ME THE
METAPHOR OF TEN HANDS ON THE
WHEEL.
I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A METAPHOR
OF THREE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR
SUCCESS IN THESE SDGs, AND
HERE THEY COME.
SHELDON, WHY DON'T WE PUT THESE
GRAPHICS UP FOR EVERYBODY ELSE
TO SEE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Building blocks for sustainable success."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
BALANCING THREE PILLARS FOR
SUSTAINABLE GOVERNMENT.
PROVIDING LEADERSHIP AND
ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF POLICY
DECISIONS.
NOW, GIVEN THOSE THREE PILLARS
OR THREE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR
ACHIEVING THE DEVELOPMENT GOALS,
HOW ARE WE DOING?

Julie says RIGHT NOW I WOULDN'T SAY
WE'RE ON TRACK.
WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT A TOOL AT
THE FEDERAL LEVEL CALLED THE
STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT TOOL, AND
THIS IS WHERE THE GOVERNMENT IS
SUPPOSED TO GET INFORMATION
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS,
BOTH POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, OF
SOME OF THE PROGRAMS, OF ALL THE
PROGRAMS AND POLICIES THAT THEY
IMPLEMENT AT A FEDERAL LEVEL.
TO DATE, WE HAVE NOT SEEN GOOD
UPTAKE OF A DIRECTIVE THAT WAS
SET OUT IN 1990, AND SO THIS IS
A GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVE THAT EACH
DECISION SHOULD HAVE THIS
INFORMATION AND WE DON'T SEE IT.
SO GENERALLY I WOULD SAY THAT
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT
NEAR... NOT CLOSE TO DOING A
GOOD ENOUGH JOB IN THOSE
BUILDING BLOCKS TO ACHIEVE
SUSTAINABILITY.
MOST OF THE TIME IT'S ABOUT THE
ECONOMIC IMPACTS; SOMETIMES IT'S
ABOUT THE SOCIAL IMPACTS; AND
VERY RARELY DO WE THINK ABOUT
BRINGING THE ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACTS AND LOOKING AT ALL THREE
OF THOSE BEFORE WE MAKE A
DECISION.

Steve says OKAY.
THANK YOU FOR SETTING THE TABLE
HERE FOR... IF I CAN TORTURE
ANOTHER METAPHOR... FOR THE
DISCUSSION TO COME HERE.
JOHN McARTHUR, LET US GET YOU
INTO THIS AS WELL NOW.
IN TERMS OF LEADERSHIP, WHICH
WAS ONE OF THOSE THREE BUILDING
BLOCKS, HOW WOULD YOU RATE
CANADA'S LEADERSHIP ABILITY SO
FAR IN ACHIEVING THESE
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS?

The caption changes to "John McArthur. Brookings Institution."

John says WELL, THANKS, STEVE.
I WOULD FIRST START BY
CONGRATULATING COMMISSIONER
GELFAND ON THIS.
I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY PART OF
THE PROCESS OF DOING THIS IS TO
DO AN HONEST SELF-ASSESSMENT ON
WHERE WE ARE.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO STRESS, THIS
IS A NEW TYPE OF CHALLENGE.
THIS NOTION OF UNIVERSAL GOALS
THAT APPLY TO ALL COUNTRIES,
THAT ALL COUNTRIES NEGOTIATED
TOGETHER, 193 OF THEM ACROSS
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND
ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS, AND THEN
FIGURING OUT A NEW WAY TO SET
LONG-TERM VISIONS FOR THEM, THIS
IS NOT TO BE TRIVIALIZED BUT
ALSO OF COURSE IT'S CRUCIAL
BECAUSE THESE ARE THE CENTRAL
CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME,
INCLUSIVE GROWTH, SUSTAINABLE
PROSPERITY, AND EVERYONE BEING
ABLE TO PARTICIPATE.
SO I THINK THAT IT'S
INTERESTING.
IN MY CONVERSATIONS YESTERDAY
WITH PEOPLE WORKING ON THESE
THINGS IN INTERNATIONAL CIRCLES,
PEOPLE WERE IMPRESSED THAT
CANADA HAS SUCH A STRONG
GOVERNANCE TO SELF-ASSESS, AND
THE GOVERNMENT, IN MY READING OF
THE REPORT, AGREED WITH ALL OF
THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND ISSUED A
STATEMENT FROM A FEW MINISTERS
AFTERWARDS TALKING ABOUT ITS
NEXT STEPS.
SO THIS IN MY VIEW IS THE FIRST
POINT, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND
ACTION.
SECOND QUICK POINT I WOULD SAY
IS THIS IS ACROSS GOVERNMENTS.
SO THIS AGENDA WAS SIGNED ONTO
UNDER THE HARPER GOVERNMENT, IN
SEPTEMBER 2015.
WE DIDN'T HAVE THE TYPE OF
CONVERSATION WE'RE HAVING TODAY,
AND YOU GUYS AT TVO AND
"THE AGENDA" HAVE BEEN HOSTING
THE PAST FEW DAYS, HOW DO WE GET
THERE?
SO THIS IS ABOUT BUILDING THE
CONVERSATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
AND THE THIRD BIT I WOULD SAY
IS, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S
TALKED ABOUT IN THE REPORT,
WHICH I THOUGHT WAS QUITE
HELPFUL, IS THE AMOUNT OF
CONVERSATION THAT'S BEEN
HAPPENING IN THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
THERE'S BEEN WORKING GROUPS.
THERE'S NOW, I THINK... I
ACTUALLY THINK IT'S QUITE GOOD.
I THINK WE NEED EVERY HAND ON
THE WHEEL, ULTIMATELY WE DON'T
NEED ALL 30 CABINET MEMBERS'
HANDS ON THE WHEEL, WE NEED
36 MILLION CANADIANS' HANDS ON
THE WHEEL, BECAUSE THIS IS A
REALLY BIG, COMPLEX AGENDA,
WHICH REQUIRES A LOT OF NEW
TYPES OF THINKING, A LOT OF NEW
TYPES OF CREATIVITY, AND THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS CRUCIAL,
NO QUESTION.
THE PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECH AT
THE UNITED NATIONS LAST FALL WAS
CRUCIAL IN SETTING THE TABLE.
BUT REALLY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT PROVIDES THE FOUR
CORNERS TO THE PIECES OF THE
PUZZLE, IF YOU WILL.
THIS IS ABOUT WHAT THE PROVINCES
DO.
WHAT DO THE CITIES DO.
WHAT DO THE UNIVERSITIES DO.
WHAT DO OUR BUSINESSES DO.
AND WE NEED TO BE THINKING MUCH
MORE EXPANSIVELY, IN MY VIEW.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED JUSTIN
TRUDEAU'S SPEECH AT THE UNITED
NATIONS.
WE WILL PLAY A CLIP AND COME
BACK WITH A QUESTION.
SHELDON, GO.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "September 20, 2016."
In the clip, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the United Nations.

He says CANADA IS A MODEST COUNTRY.
WE KNOW WE CAN'T SOLVE THESE
PROBLEMS ALONE.
WE KNOW WE NEED TO DO THIS
ALL TOGETHER.
WE KNOW IT WILL BE HARD WORK.
BUT WE'RE CANADIAN AND WE'RE
HERE TO HELP.

[APPLAUSE]

The clip ends.

Steve says MARGARET BIGGS, THE
PRIME MINISTER OFTEN GETS FULL
MARKS FOR PRESENTATION, FOR
STYLE.
HOW ABOUT SUBSTANCE HERE?
DID YOU SEE IT?

The caption changes to "Margaret Biggs. Queen's University."
Then, it changes again to "Preparing for the world."

Margaret says I WOULD GO
BEYOND, STEVE, THE CLIP THAT YOU SHOWED.
I THINK THE PRIME MINISTER, BY
ACKNOWLEDGING THE IMPORTANCE OF
THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GOALS AND CANADA'S COMMITMENT,
IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
HE ALSO TALKED, THOUGH, ABOUT
HOW THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GOALS APPLIED TO CANADA AND THAT
WE ALSO HAVE CHALLENGES.
IN THE PAST WITH THE MILLENNIUM
DEVELOPMENT GOALS, IT WAS ABOUT
OTHER COUNTRIES AND THE
CHALLENGES THAT THEY FACED AND
HOW CANADA MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP
THEM.
WE CONTINUE TO DO THAT
COMMITMENT, TO HELP THE GLOBAL
SITUATION, BUT THE PRIME
MINISTER ALSO SAID THAT WE HAVE
CHALLENGES IN CANADA AND THAT
THESE GOALS APPLY TO US AND THAT
WE HAVE MUCH TO LEARN AND
PROGRESS TO MAKE.
SO ON THAT I GIVE HIM FULL MARKS
BECAUSE IT'S HUGELY IMPORTANT
THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS
A UNIVERSAL AGENDA.
IT APPLIES TO ALL COUNTRIES.
EVERYBODY SIGNED UP FOR IT
BECAUSE THIS REPRESENTS THE
GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS OF
CITIZENS AROUND THE WORLD.
THE U.N. DIDN'T DREAM THIS UP ON
THEIR OWN.
IT WAS BASED UPON CONSULTATION
AND ENGAGEMENT WITH PEOPLE
AROUND THE WORLD, AND THEY
REPRESENT, AS I'VE HEARD AT THIS
SUMMIT I'VE BEEN AT AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO THIS
WEEK, IT REPRESENTS THE NEEDS
AND CONCERNS AND ASPIRATIONS OF
CANADIANS.
I THINK ON THAT I THINK THE
PRIME MINISTER IN HIS REMARKS TO
THE UNITED NATIONS WAS VERY,
VERY ON POINT.

Steve says I HEAR YOU ON THAT,
MARGARET.
BUT YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS...
THERE'S A CONSIDERABLE LACK OF
CONFIDENCE RIGHT NOW THAT PEOPLE
ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE IN THEIR
GOVERNMENTS, AND SOME OF THESE
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
ARE ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE.
THINGS LIKENEDDING EXTREME
POVERTY OR ENDING HUNGER OR
BUILDING SUSTAINABLE CITIES.
THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY MULTI-DECADE
PROJECTS.
AND I WONDER HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE
YOU HAVE IN THE GOVERNMENT... OF
ANY GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, I'M
NOT BEING PARTISAN HERE, OF ANY
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO SOLVE
THESE PROBLEMS AS WE HAVE
ARTICULATED THEM.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

A map pops up briefly highlighting the location of Waterloo, west of Toronto.

Margaret says WELL, I MIGHT CHANGE THE
QUESTION FIRST TO BEGIN WITH.
I DON'T THINK THE GOVERNMENT OF
CANADA CAN SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS
ON ITS OWN AND I THINK IT'S
RECOGNIZED THAT.
I THINK THE KEY TO ACHIEVING THE
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN
CANADA OR IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY
AND GLOBALLY IS GOING TO BE
THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS.
SO GOING BACK TO COMMISSIONER
GELFAND'S REPORT, I THINK KUDOS
TO HER AND HER TEAM FOR
BASICALLY A WAKE-UP CALL THAT
THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA HAS
MORE TO DO TO GET READY TO DO
ITS PART, TO LEAD, AND THEN ALSO
TO, WITHIN ITS OWN JURISDICTION
AND POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, TO
INTEGRATE THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS, BUT IT ALSO
HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO CONVENE
AND TO CATALYZE OTHER CANADIANS.
AND ON THAT POINT THEN MOVING TO
SOME OF THE POINTS THAT JOHN
MADE, I THINK A KEY TO HOW
CANADA AS A COUNTRY WILL ACHIEVE
THE SDGs WILL BE WORKING AND
THINKING DIFFERENTLY ACROSS
SECTORS AND INSTITUTIONS AND
FROM COMMUNITY AND CITIZEN
ACTION, AND ONE THING I HAVE
HEARD A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THIS
WEEK HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
WATERLOO AND THE PERIMETER
INSTITUTE IS ALL THE AMAZING
ACTION THAT'S HAPPENING AT THE
CITIZEN AND THE COMMUNITY LEVEL
TO TAKE THESE GOALS AND MAKE
THEM THEIR OWN AND TO REALLY
BUILD THE ENERGY AND MOMENTUM TO
ACHIEVE THEM FROM THE BOTTOM UP.

Steve says I AM HEARTENED TO
HEAR THAT, BUT COMMISSIONER
GELFAND, I WANT TO GET YOU BACK
IN HERE BY REFERENCING SOMETHING
THAT PROFESSOR BIGGS JUST SAID,
NAMELY, THINGS ARE HAPPENING
ACROSS SECTORS, BUT GOVERNMENT
IS NOT GREAT AT THAT.
GOVERNMENT THINKS IN SILOS MOST
OF THE TIME.
AND I WONDER WHETHER IN YOUR
TRAVELS YOU SEE ENOUGH
INNOVATIVE THINKING ON BEHALF OF
GOVERNMENT TO BREAK THE SILO
KIND OF THINKING, TO REALLY WORK
ACROSS SECTORS, AND MAKE PROGRESS?

The caption changes to "Julie Gelfand, @gelfj."

Julie says SO THE
AUDITORS-GENERAL FROM AROUND THE
WORLD HAVE DEVELOPED A SET OF
CRITERIA THAT THEY ARE USING TO
TRY TO FIGURE OUT IF GOVERNMENTS
ARE PREPARED TO IMPLEMENT.
ARE THEY PREPARED TO GET TO THE
2030 AGENDA?
AND I'VE ALREADY TOLD YOU SOME
OF THE THINGS THAT THEY WERE
LOOKING AT.
SO THAT'S WHAT WE DID IN THIS
AUDIT.
NOW, AUDITORS-GENERAL FROM
AROUND THE WORLD ARE ALSO
THINKING BEYOND PREPAREDNESS TO
LOOKING AT SPECIFIC TARGETS AND
SEEING HOW, WHETHER OR NOT WE
CAN AUDIT THOSE TARGETS.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE OFFICE
OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF CANADA
WHERE MY OFFICE SITS, WE WILL BE
LOOKING AT ALL THE SDGs AND
ALL OF OUR SENIOR STAFF WILL BE
DECIDING, BASED ON THEIR
ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNMENT RISK,
WHERE CANADA HAS A HIGH RISK OF
POTENTIALLY NOT MEETING A
PARTICULAR GOAL AND WHERE WE
SHOULD GO IN AND ACTUALLY AUDIT.
AND I THINK THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO THINK THE
SAME WAY.
WHAT WE SEE WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IS THEY'VE
ESTABLISHED A NEW INTERNATIONAL
FEMINIST AID POLICY, FOR
EXAMPLE, AND THEN THEY TELL ME
WHICH SDG THAT MEETS.
OR THEY'RE GOING TO COME OUT
WITH A POVERTY STRATEGY AND
THEY'RE GOING TO TELL ME WHICH
SDG THAT MEETS.
I THINK WHAT AUDITORS ARE
LOOKING FOR IS, GOVERNMENT, LOOK
AT ALL 17 OF THOSE GOALS, ALL
169 INDICATORS, TARGETS, DEVELOP
YOUR OWN TARGETS FOR YOUR OWN
COUNTRY.
TELL US HOW YOU'RE GOING TO MEET
THOSE.
SO RATHER THAN GOING, "HERE'S
WHAT WE'RE DOING AND THIS IS HOW
IT LINKS TO THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS," WHAT WE'RE
LOOKING FOR IS PLANS WHERE IT'S
CLEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS
CONSIDERED ALL OF THESE GOALS
AND FIGURED OUT HOW THEY ARE
GOING TO ACHIEVE THEM IN THEIR
OWN NATIONAL CONTEXT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says AND A QUICK
FOLLOW-UP TO YOU: ARE YOU
GETTING THE KIND OF COOPERATION
YOU NEED AND THE KIND OF
INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED FROM
THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS IN
GOVERNMENT TO BE ABLE TO COME TO
THE CONCLUSIONS YOU NEED TO?

Julie says YES.
SO WE'VE RECEIVED VERY GOOD
COOPERATION FROM THE DEPARTMENTS
THAT WE AUDITED, BUT RECOGNIZE
THAT WE ONLY AUDITED THE ONES
THAT WE WERE TOLD HAD THEIR
HANDS ON THE WHEEL.
THIS IS A COMPLETE AGENDA AND IT
WILL REQUIRE ALL OF THE
MINISTRIES OF GOVERNMENT... AT
LEAST MOST OF THEM.
I CAN'T THINK OF ANY THAT
WOULDN'T BE PART OF THIS AGENDA.
IT WILL REQUIRE ENGAGEMENT WITH
CANADIANS TO DEVELOP THE WORLD
THAT WE WANT HERE IN CANADA.
WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE'RE
LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO SHOW US,
AS AUDITORS, THAT THEY'RE
LOOKING AT THIS AGENDA IN THAT
BROAD PERSPECTIVE.

Steve says TO THAT END, JOHN
McARTHUR, IF WE WANTED TO LOOK
AROUND THE WORLD FOR EXAMPLES OF
COUNTRIES THAT ARE DOING IT
BETTER THAN US, SO WE COULD
LEARN SOMETHING, WHO WOULD YOU
DIRECT US TOWARDS?

The caption changes to "John McArthur, @mcarthur."

John says WELL, I
WOULD SAY THIS REPORT, AS
MARGARET SAID, IS A BIT OF A
WAKE-UP CALL FOR ALL OF US,
INCLUDING THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
BUT THE GOALS... WE TALKED ABOUT
IT SEVERAL MONTHS AGO ON THIS
SHOW ARE A BIT OF A WAKE-UP CALL
TO CANADA BECAUSE THEY ADD A
SENSE OF SPECIFICITY AND SCALE
TO WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS THAT WE
ACTUALLY NEED TO SOLVE AND, MOST
CRUCIALLY, WHICH ONES ARE MOVING
BACKWARDS.
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES HAVE
DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THOSE
PROBLEMS AND DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
HAVE THEIR... ORGANIZED IN THEIR
FEDERAL STRUCTURES OR THEY
ORGANIZE DIFFERENTLY, SO
GERMANY, FOR EXAMPLE, OUT OF
CHANCELLOR MERKEL'S OFFICE, THE
CHANCELLOR'S OWN OFFICE, THE
FEDERAL STRATEGY IS LED, BUT
THEY HAVE A LONG HISTORY AND A
DIFFERENT DIVISION OF LABOUR
BETWEEN THE NATIONAL AND THE
SUB-NATIONAL THAN WE DO, AND SO
THEY HAVE GOT A LONG HISTORY AS
WELL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
PLANNING, AND SO THEY'VE KIND OF
WEDGED THIS INTO THAT.
BUT CHANCELLOR MERKEL SEEMS TO
HAVE TAKEN THIS EXTREMELY
SERIOUSLY.
WE'VE SEEN IN CHINA, WHEN THEY
CONVENED THE G-20 LAST YEAR,
THEY PUT THIS INTO THE FINANCE
STREAM IN CONVENING THEIR GLOBAL
FINANCE DISCUSSIONS AND THEY'VE
BEEN TALKING QUITE SERIOUSLY
ABOUT... YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY
DEEP AND COMPLEX CHALLENGES IN A
COUNTRY LIKE CHINA, QUITE
SERIOUSLY ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM
ENVIRONMENTAL RED LINES TO
INCLUSIVE GROWTH STRATEGIES AND
THEY'VE PUT IT THROUGHOUT
GOVERNMENT POLICY-MAKING, AND
THEN WE HAVE OTHERS LIKE NORWAY,
WHERE IT MIGHT BE MORE
DISTRIBUTED ACROSS DIFFERENT
MINISTRIES.
SO THERE'S NO SINGLE ANSWER, AND
I THINK THAT EACH GOVERNMENT,
FEDERAL OR PROVINCIAL OR
TERRITORIAL OR MUNICIPAL, HAS
THE RIGHT TO COME UP WITH ITS
OWN ANSWER.
I THINK THE KEY BIT THAT I TOOK
AWAY FROM THE COMMISSIONER'S
REPORT ON THIS IS, IT NEEDS TO
BE TRANSPARENT, IT NEEDS TO BE
EXPLAINED TO EVERYONE WHAT IS
ANY GOVERNMENT'S ANSWER, AND
THERE NEEDS TO BE A NUMBER TO
CALL OR AN e-mail ADDRESS TO
WRITE IF SOMEONE WANTS TO
CONNECT WITH IT, AND, AGAIN, IF
WE THINK ABOUT THE SCALE ISSUES
AND THE SPECIFICITY, THIS AGENDA
HAS SO MANY ECONOMIC, SOCIAL,
AND ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSIONS.
WHAT WE HAVE TO ANSWER IS, IT'S
NOT JUST ABOUT DOING EFFORTS,
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT DOING MORE,
IT'S ABOUT THINKING ABOUT THE
OUTCOMES FOR 2030, IN MOST
CASES, AND WHAT'S THE SCALE OF
CANADA'S COMMITMENT AND HOW TO
BE MOST STRATEGIC TOWARDS THAT.
WE HAVE A LOT OF ELECTIONS
COMING UP IN CANADA, THE
FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, AND
MUNICIPAL LEVEL IN THE NEXT
COUPLE OF YEARS.

The caption changes to "For more on the Generation SDG Summit: tvo.org/wgsi."

John continues THIS IS A PERFECT TOPIC TO SAY:
WHAT'S THE COMPETITION OF IDEAS
ON HOW DIFFERENT PLATFORMS CAN
ARGUE ABOUT THE BEST WAY TO GET
THERE? NONE OF US I THINK WOULD
DISAGREE ON WHERE WE WANT TO GET
TO. WE WANT TO CUT POVERTY. WE
WANT TO ENSURE THE ENVIRONMENT
WORKS. WE WANT TO HAVE JOBS FOR
THE FUTURE. WE WANT OUR KIDS TO
BE PROPERLY EDUCATED. BUT WE
NEED TO HAVE THE ARGUMENT ON
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE
AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO TRACK THE
SAME METRICS EN ROUTE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcasts: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THE DEADLINE THAT YOU JUST
REFERENCED AND TO THAT END I'LL
QUOTE FROM THE REPORT...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "A bad track record." The quote reads "History shows a track record of missed targets and commitments going back several decades. The federal government committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda three years ago, but again, it is not ready to respect its international commitment. When will it be ready?"
Julie Gelfand, "2018 Spring Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the Parliament of Canada." April 24, 2018.

Steve continues MARGARET BIGGS, I WANT TO PUT
THAT QUESTION TO YOU: IS 2030, I
MEAN, IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF
THINGS IT'S NOT THAT FAR AWAY,
IS 2030 A REALISTIC GOAL TO
ACHIEVE THESE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS BY?

The caption changes to "Realistic goals?"

Margaret says WELL, YES,
I THINK IT IS.
AND I THINK A GREAT DEAL OF WORK
WENT IN GLOBALLY TO HAVE
CHALLENGING GOALS BUT THEY'RE
STRETCHES.
THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET
THERE ON BUSINESS-AS-USUAL, BUT
THEY ARE ACHIEVABLE.
IN CANADA THEY CERTAINLY ARE
ACHIEVABLE AND WE DO HAVE TIME
TO ACHIEVE THEM.
BUT WE NEED TO GET OUT OF THE
BLOCKS, IF YOU WILL.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS
THAT WE KNOW ARE GOING ON ACROSS
COMMUNITIES AND CITIES, BUT NOW
WE NEED TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT
LEVEL.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO
SHOW LEADERSHIP ON THIS AND
THEY'VE COMMITTED TO DOING THAT
AND MINISTERS HAVE SAID THAT
THEY'RE READY TO GO, BUT WE NEED
TO SEE THAT NOW.
AND AS I THINK AS THE
COMMISSIONER SAID, IT'S NOT GOOD
ENOUGH TO JUST, AFTER THE FACT,
RETROFIT, YOU KNOW, GOALS TO
INITIATIVES THAT THE
GOVERNMENT'S UNDERTAKING.
THIS IS QUITE A DIFFERENT
AGENDA.
THIS IS ABOUT SAYING, WHERE DO
WE NEED TO BE BY 2030?
HOW DO WE MEASURE UP?
ARE WE ON TRACK TO GET THERE?
IS IF NOT, HOW ARE WE GOING TO
GET THERE?
AND THEN BUILDING THAT THINKING
RIGHT INTO THE CONCEPTION AND
DESIGN OF POLICIES AND PROGRAMS.
THAT YOU DON'T LAUNCH AN
INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE IF YOU
HAVEN'T ALREADY THOUGHT ABOUT
HOW IT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE
EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH.
YOU DON'T START AN INNOVATION
PROGRAM UNTIL YOU HAVE THOUGHT
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSIDERATIONS THAT GO INTO IT.
SO IT'S A VERY DIFFERENT WAY OF
WORKING AND THINKING.
I THINK IT'S EXCITING AND I
THINK THAT THIS GOVERNMENT, AND
I THINK PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS
ARE READY TO GO THERE.
BUT IT IS A CHALLENGE AND THE
BEAUTY OF IT IS IT'S A DIFFERENT
WAY OF DOING IT.
BUT IT'S NOT OKAY JUST TO DO IT,
AS I KIND OF CALL IT, CLIPART.
THEY HAVE TO DO LOGO ON THINGS.
IT HAS TO BE BUILT IN.
IF I CAN GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE OF
WHAT I'VE SEEN OF HOW THIS HAS
BEEN DONE RECENTLY.
THE ECONOMIC GROWTH ADVISORY
COUNCIL, TO THE MINISTER OF
FINANCE WHO IS NOT ONE OF THE
FIVE BUT WHO HAS RESPONSIBILITY
HERE AS WELL, THE ECONOMIC
GROWTH ADVISORY COUNCIL LOOKED
AT ALL ITS INITIATIVES AND ALL
ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE BASIS
OF HOW THEY WILL CONTRIBUTE
TO... THEY CALLED IT INCOME
GROWTH, WHICH MEANS NOT JUST GDP
GROWTH BUT HOW CITIZENS WOULD
BENEFIT AT VARIOUS INCOME BANDS,
WAS IT SUSTAINABLE, AND WOULD
THE LOWER INCOME BANDS, IN OTHER
WORDS WOULD PEOPLE BE LEFT
BEHIND?
NOW, THAT'S JUST A START, BUT
THEY ALSO NEED TO BUILD IN
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
INTO THAT KIND OF THINKING.
BUT THAT'S BEFORE YOU DO
ANYTHING.
YOU HAVE TO BUILD THESE
CONSIDERATIONS INTO THE DESIGN
AND THE CONCEPTION, THE
ARTICULATION, AND THEN THE
DELIVERY OF YOUR POLICIES AND PROGRAMS.

Steve says I TAKE YOUR POINT
BUT, COMMISSIONER, LET ME FOLLOW
UP WITH YOU INASMUCH AS ALL THE
COUNTRIES HAVE SIGNED ON AND THE
COUNTRIES HAVE SORT OF A PATH
THAT THEY THINK THEY WANT TO
TAKE TO GET TO THE FINISH LINE.
BUT I WONDER WHETHER EVERYBODY
UNDERSTANDS WHAT THAT FINISH
LINE LOOKS LIKE.
FOR EXAMPLE, GENDER EQUALITY,
LET'S TAKE.
DOES EVERYBODY HAVE THE SAME
METRICS IN PLACE TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT SUCCESS ON GENDER EQUALITY
WILL ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?

Julie says AS I SAID
EARLIER, EACH COUNTRY IS
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN
NATIONAL TARGETS, AND THEN A
WHOLE MEASURING PROCESS SO THAT
THEY CAN FOLLOW UP, MONITOR, AND
REPORT BACK TO CANADIANS.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS THE POVERTY
ONE WHERE EVERYBODY IS SUPPOSED
TO MAKE A MINIMUM OF 1 dollar 25 A DAY.
WELL, THAT DOESN'T FIT FOR CANADA.
SO WHAT IS THE MINIMUM THAT
CANADA SHOULD HAVE?
CANADA HAS TO SET ITS OWN
TARGET.
AND THEN IT HAS TO SET UP A
MEASURING, A MONITORING, AND A
REPORTING SYSTEM.
YOU ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT HOW
ARE THINGS BEING DONE IN OTHER
COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD, AND
IF YOU HAVE A LOOK IN OUR
REPORT, YOU'LL SEE THAT WE DID
DO A REVIEW OF FIVE OR SIX OTHER
COUNTRIES AND FOUND, FOR
EXAMPLE, NOT JUST GERMANY HAS
PUT THE SDGs INTO THE CENTRE
OF THEIR GOVERNMENT, BUT SO HAS
ESTONIA, IF YOU CAN IMAGINE.
AND IN THE AREA OF ENGAGEMENT
AND COMMUNICATION, TWO COUNTRIES
HAVE DONE A FANTASTIC JOB, AND
THOSE WERE SWITZERLAND AND
NORWAY.
SO WE DID DO A BIT OF A
COMPARISON TO SEE HOW OTHER
COUNTRIES WERE DOING IN
ACHIEVING... IN GETTING READY TO
IMPLEMENT THE SDGs.

Steve says JOHN McARTHUR,
I'VE GOT TIME FOR ONE LAST
QUESTION.
I'M GOING TO SEND IT YOUR WAY
BECAUSE IT'S A BIT OF A
POLITICAL QUESTION AND I KNOW
WELL ENOUGH NOT TO ASK
INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONERS HIGHLY
POLITICAL QUESTIONS.
SO LET'S TRY THIS: BY THE TIME
2030 GETS HERE, WE MAY HAVE
SEVERAL DIFFERENT PARTIES THAT
HAVE BEEN IN POWER OVER THE
COURSE OF THAT TIME, AND I
WONDER IF YOU'RE CONCERNED OR
WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO ABOUT THE
NOTION OF A SUCCESSIVE
GOVERNMENT COMING IN AND MAYBE
HAVING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
PRIORITIES OF WHAT THESE GOALS
OUGHT TO BE AND HOW TO GET
THERE.
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

John says I ACTUALLY
THINK THAT'S THE EXPLICIT BEAUTY
OF THESE GOALS.
AND MARGARET AND I HAVE RECENTLY
WRITTEN ABOUT HOW THEY CAN BE A
NORTH STAR, A COMMON REFERENCE
POINT WHEREVER YOU MIGHT SIT.
WE'VE ALREADY SEEN THAT AT THE
FEDERAL LEVEL.
AGAIN, THE HARPER GOVERNMENT
SIGNED ONTO THESE GOALS, AND THE
TRUDEAU-LED GOVERNMENT IS
PURSUING THEM.
THE GOOD THING IS, IF WE THINK
ABOUT 2030, WE THINK BEYOND
POLITICAL CYCLES.
WE CAN THINK ABOUT THESE
LONGER-TERM OUTCOMES THAT
EVERYONE WANTS TO ACHIEVE.
AND IN MANY CASES, THE TARGETS
ARE EXPLICIT.
LIKE WE TALKED ABOUT YESTERDAY
CUTTING NATIONAL POVERTY BY HALF
BY CANADIAN STANDARDS.
WELL, THEN WE NEED A CLEAR
POVERTY LINE AND THEN WE CAN
FOLLOW THAT EXPLICITLY.
BUT EVEN, YOU'VE MENTIONED,
GENDER EQUALITY.
THIS IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD.
WE NEED EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL
WORK, WE NEED EQUAL
REPRESENTATION IN LEADERSHIP
ROLES IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
SECTOR, WE NEED TO REMOVE THE
DISCREPANCY IN UNPAID WORK, WE
NEED TO REMOVE THE PROBLEM OF
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
I DON'T KNOW ANY POLITICAL
LEADERS IN CANADA THAT WOULD BE
AGAINST ANY OF THOSE TARGETS.
AND SO WHAT WE NEED IS THESE
LONGER-TERM STRATEGIES WHERE WE
CAN KIND OF PUSH OUT BEYOND A
POLITICAL FOUR-YEAR CYCLE AND
SAY, A HA, THESE INVESTMENTS,
THESE STRATEGIES WE NEED TO
LAUNCH, WE'RE GOING TO DO IT BUT
IT'S FOR A 10-YEAR, 12-YEAR
HORIZON AND OUR SUCCESS WILL BE
MEASURED BY HOW WE'RE DOING IN
THAT 2030 DEADLINE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says WITH THAT I WILL ASK
OUR DIRECTOR TO PUT A BEAUTIFUL
THREE-SHOT ON OUR SCREEN SO WE
CAN THANK, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT,
GEOGRAPHICALLY, NOT NECESSARILY
POLITICALLY, MARGARET BIGGS THE
MATTHEWS FELLOW IN GLOBAL PUBLIC
POLICY SCHOOL OF POLICY STUDIES
AND THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL
STUDIES AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY,
JULIE GELFAND THE COMMISSIONER
OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
WORKING OUT OF THE AUDITOR
GENERAL'S OFFICE IN OUR NATION'S
CAPITAL, AND JOHN McARTHUR WHO
IS GOOD ENOUGH TO JOIN US ON
MANY OCCASIONS ON THIS PROGRAM,
SENIOR FELLOW IN THE GLOBAL
ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
AT THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION.
WE THANK ALL THREE OF YOU FOR
COMING ON TO TVO TONIGHT AND
HELPING US OUT WITH THESE SDGs.
THANK YOU.

Watch: Sustainability Goals for the Government