The NRTEE is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of the Environment. The Minister appoints the Round Table members and receives all our corporate reporting and accompanying reports.
NRTEE members meet four times a year to review research, approve reports and agree on new priorities for action. Members often participate in our expert advisory committees and on NRTEE task forces. They bring unique expertise as well as a broader perspective to the Round Table; essential to enriching our results.
Step 1- Identify an issue
At the beginning of this process, members decide on research priorities and scope out the issue at hand as fully as possible. Though they may hold different perspectives, ensuring that our members think and work through the same lens on particular issues is essential. Once they have agreed on the focus of the work, a policy advisor or team is assigned to the project, and research begins in earnest.
Step 2 – Convene experts
The policy advisor’s first task is to convene the best and brightest minds in the country on that particular issue. A typical expert advisory committee is often comprised of academics, industry representatives, environmental and community leaders, as well as federal, provincial and territorial officials. It is called upon as needed and acts as a sounding board throughout the study process. Over the course of a year, we speak or meet with literally hundreds of Canadians.
Step 3 – Conduct research
As lead researcher, the policy advisor organizes and oversees the work, conducts research with the help of other staff, hires technical consultants when needed, and seeks input regularly from the expert advisory committee. At each plenary meeting, he or she updates the members on the status of the project which is reviewed and debated in a round table format.
Step 4 – Debates and decision-making
Members make decisions after each debate. They may broaden the scope of a project that proves too narrow, request further work to overcome research gaps, or let the research continue, sometimes with interim reports being issued. Here, their specific expertise and perspective prove valuable in grounding our research and keeping it relevant. Usually, a full report is issued at the completion of a program of study.