If you would like more information on the Moving On Sustainable Transportation Program (MOST), please contact us at the address below:
Moving On Sustainable Transportation Program
Office of Environmental Affairs
Sustainable Development Division
330 Sparks Street,
Place de Ville, Tower C, 18th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
Telephone (613) 998-6607
Fax (613) 949-3874
Any personal information collected by Transport Canada, whether in print or electronic format, is protected under the Privacy Act.
A sustainable transportation system is one that is safe, efficient and environmentally friendly. Sustainable transportation is about integrating economic, social and environmental considerations into decisions affecting transportation activity. Economically, we need a transportation system that is efficient and competitive. Socially, our transportation system must be safe and accessible. In addition, we need a transportation system that respects the natural environment. It is not always easy to balance these three considerations - sometimes there are trade-offs but there are also win-win-win opportunities.
In its 1987 report, Our common Future, the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In the transportation sector, this means that the transportation system, and transportation activity in general, must be sustainable on three counts - economic, social and environmental. In practice, this means that governments, industry and individuals must work together to integrate economic, social and environmental considerations into decisions affecting transportation activity.
An immense transportation system is necessary to link all corners of a country the size of Canada. Although transportation provides many economic and social benefits, the movement of people and goods can have significant environmental consequences, which can in turn have social and economic repercussions. Sustainable transportation calls for ensuring that the environment is considered along with economic and social considerations in transportation decision-making.
Environmental impacts of transportation include air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the use of land and other natural resources. A range of transportation activities contribute to these pressures, including the construction of infrastructure; the production, operation, maintenance and disposal of vehicles; and, the provision of energy and fuel.
A major challenge of sustainable transportation is to control or prevent air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, accounting for about 25 percent of total emissions. Environment Canada has estimated that for every 2,000 litres of gasoline consumed, the average car produces 4,720 kg of carbon dioxide, 186.6 kg of carbon monoxide, 28 kg of volatile organic compounds and 25.6 kg of nitrogen oxides.
Spills and leaks of fuels, oils, and solid and hazardous waste by-products, can contaminate land, surface water and groundwater. Spills and illegal discharges of oil and oily wastes by ships travelling along Canada's coast may contaminate beaches and fishing areas. It has been estimated, for example, that discharges of oil by passing ships kill tens of thousands of birds every year.
Transport Canada's Sustainable Development Strategy 2001-2003 was tabled in Parliament in February 2001. The Strategy outlines Transport Canada's vision of sustainable development and its action plan for promoting a more sustainable transportation system for all Canadians. It contains seven strategic challenges and 29 concrete actions for the next three years, along with performance indicators to measure our progress. The seven strategic challenges are:
Transport Canada created the Moving On Sustainable Transportation (MOST) funding program to promote awareness of sustainable transportation issues and encourage concrete action by Canadians.
The primary objectives of the MOST Program are to: