The strategy will include a clean water framework, a clean technology strategy, regulation of toxic chemicals and new measures to clean up contaminated sites, said a source who has been briefed on its contents.
The environmental assessment process is also expected to be revamped.
There will be a new health index for air quality, similar to the ozone index which measures the risk from ultraviolet solar radiation, said another source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But there won't be new taxes to discourage the use of fossil fuels, and the key issue of what to do about the Kyoto Protocol is still undecided.
Funding figures are not determined. They are expected to be less than Mulroney's plan which provided $3 billion over five years....
Some elements of the proposed plan such as setting air-quality objectives for the long term but not the immediate future, mirror similar measures in the United States.
I don't want to pre-judge anything until we see the legislation, but it is important to remember that:
1.The Clean Air Act is essentially nothing new:
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is expected to announce a consultation process for the promised federal Clean Air Act in the coming days. But according to leading environmental groups including Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Institute, and Environmental Defence, Minister Ambrose already has the tools and information she needs to put strict limits on air pollution in Canada - she just needs to use them.
"Minister Ambrose is essentially re-inventing the wheel here," says Julia Langer of the World Wildlife Fund. "Going through all the hoops to create an entirely new Act could take too long; meanwhile our cities are shrouded in smog."
2. Toxic site cleanup is already in the pipeline:
OTTAWA (CP) - The Liberal government says it will allocate $4 billion over 10 years to clean up contaminated sites, including the notorious tar ponds in Sydney, N.S.
The commitment is in a throne speech unexpectedly strong on environmental themes.
The speech Monday reaffirms the goals of the Kyoto climate protocol on climate change and promises "an equitable national plan" to achieve those goals. It promises Ottawa will tighten national guidelines on air and water, ensure safe drinking water in aboriginal communities, and increase investment in new environmental technologies.
"I'm pleased," Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club, said in an interview. "This is more specific (in environmental commitments) than any throne speech I can remember." May,
3.Toxic chemicals have already been addressed to some degree, probably the only positive thing this government has done.
4.Long-term strategies is clear Bush code for putting off targeted emission controls, which is the essential cornerstone of any initiative. If the Conservatives don't commit to near-term goals, forget it, it's all bluster.
A glimpse as too whether this will be substantive vs fluff:
Conservative strategist Goldy Hyder said last week he expected a major policy on the environmental front "marketed, promoted and achieved in a way which is consistent with its governance style of trying to make its policies relevant and meaningful to people."
Translation, the Tories will sell this hard with lots of attractive language. The key will be getting Canadians to focus long enough to see if there is real merit, beyond the public relations campaign. Given the players, a critical eye is required.