2017
May
22
Celebrate Ontario's amazing biodiversity

Happy International Day for Biological Diversity! From beluga whales in Hudson Bay in northern Ontario to the extremely rare small-mouthed salamander on Lake Erie’s Pelee Island, we have an amazing diversity of species living ...

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2017
Mar
22
Making sense of Ontario's cap and trade program

Today, the first auction of allowances under Ontario’s cap and trade program was held. While the auction results won’t be made public until April 3, 2017, some analysts expect that most of the 28 million allowances ...

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2017
Feb
09
Cleanup of Cold War radar site earns Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry award

Today we were pleased to present staff from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) with our ECO Recognition Award for the ministry’s role cleaning up an abandoned radar site in Ontario’...

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2017
Jan
23
Environmental Commissioner Brings Stakeholders Together to Talk EBR Reform

Since it came into force in 1994, Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) has played a critical role in engaging the public on environmental issues and in enabling better environmental outcomes in the province. But ...

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2017
Jan
20
Surplus Baseload Electricity Generation in Ontario

{Note: The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) was asked the following question from a member of the Ontario Legislature. The information the ECO provided in response has not been published in the ECO’s public ...

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2016
Dec
28
Wanted: your ideas for next year’s GHG report

Is there an issue about climate change mitigation or adaptation that you’d like us to explore? Tell us about it! We are currently considering new topics for our 2017 Annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Progress Report. ...

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2016
Dec
19
Have your say: MNRF proposing changes to hunting and trapping rules for small game and furbearers

When we talk about wildlife management in Ontario, most people think of large species like bear and moose, or popular fish species like trout, perch and walleye. But did you know that the Ministry of ...

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2016
Dec
06
Developing the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan

Today the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dr. Dianne Saxe, tabled a Special Report to the Ontario Legislature, titled Developing the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan. This report makes some key recommendations for the Ministry of Energy as ...

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2016
Nov
28
Your chance to speak up on how to improve the Environmental Registry

Deadline for providing feedback to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is December 21 Whether you’re a regular or just an occasional user of the Environmental Registry, you’ve probably noticed that the ...

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2016
Nov
22
Facing Climate Change: ECO’s 2016 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report

Today we released our annual Greenhouse Gas Progress Report 2016 (download the report here). So much has happened in Ontario on climate change policy over the past year.  The Ontario government met its 2014 greenhouse gas (GHG) ...

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2016
Nov
15
The ECO calls on Ontario government to put soil health first

On average, Ontario agricultural soils have suffered serious losses of organic matter (soil carbon) in the last thirty years. This reduces soils’ ability to absorb and hold water and nutrients, so they dry out faster ...

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2016
Nov
15
The ECO calls on the province to lead stormwater funding reform

Following decades of declining investments, Ontario’s municipalities are now facing a $6.8 billion deficit to fix existing stormwater infrastructure and to accommodate future growth. This financial gap could get even bigger as municipalities deal with ...

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2016
Oct
31
Moose Go Vamoose

In northern and central Ontario, one of the most important species is the moose. Moose have great cultural and economic significance for many Ontario communities, particularly for First Nations and in the north. And who ...

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2016
Oct
26
2015/2016 Environmental Protection Report: Small Steps Forward

The ongoing loss of biodiversity in Ontario and worldwide is one of the greatest challenges faced by our governments. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources and ...

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2016
Oct
24
Have Your Say on Proposed Moratorium on Water Bottlers’ Permits to Take Water

On October 17th, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change proposed a moratorium on new or increased water-taking permits for water bottling companies (see Environmental Registry #012-8783). The ministry says a moratorium would give ...

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2016
Oct
05
Open for Comment: Keeping the EBR in Sync

Ministries are sometimes restructured and given new names; ministries also frequently pass new legislation. To stay relevant and functioning, the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) and its regulations must be kept up to date with ...

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2016
Sep
26
Wanted: Your Ideas for Next Year’s Environmental Protection Report

Have an environmental protection issue that you’d like us to explore? Tell us about it! We are currently considering new topics for the 2017 Environmental Protection Report. Our past reports have examined biodiversity, land use ...

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2016
Jul
26
Have Your Say: Threatened Algonquin Wolf Howling for More Protection

[share-buttons tweet="Have Your Say: Threatened Algonquin Wolf Howling for More Protection ow.ly/1NRG303oyLG"] You and your family might have experienced the wonder of hearing eastern wolves howl in Algonquin Provincial Park. It’...

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2016
Jul
18
Ontario LDCs not meeting their energy conservation targets

Only 5 of Ontario’s 70-plus local electricity distribution companies (LDCs) met both their peak and overall electricity conservation targets for the 2011 to 2014 period. Why is this number so low? Most LDCs did not meet their ...

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2016
Jul
14
Reforming the Environmental Bill of Rights

Last month I wrote to the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, to thank him for agreeing to undertake a reform of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) (Click here ...

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2016
Jul
11
Federal Government taking action on microplastics, more work still to be done

In 2015, the ECO reported on plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. In particular, the ECO focused on “microplastics” – plastic particles less than 5 millimetres in diameter. Our report explained that Lakes Erie and Ontario are filled ...

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2016
Jul
04
Investing in Electricity Conservation in a Time of Plenty

Summer has begun, and as the days and nights get hotter, our electricity use inevitably rises. But even as the air conditioners kick on, Ontario residents can be pretty confident that there is little risk ...

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2016
Jun
27
ECO Prompts MOECC to Post Application Update

Under the Environmental Bill of Rights, Ontarians can ask the government for new laws, regulations or policies, or for changes to existing ones, by submitting an application for review. The ECO receives several of these ...

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2016
Jun
24
Your building, an untapped source of savings, energy and GHG reductions.

Case Study: Cadillac-Fairview’s Yonge Corporate Centre (YCC) Imagine living in a world where buildings use 20-30 per cent less gas and electricity than they did when they were first built, utility bills are substantially ...

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2016
Jun
21
Environmental Commissioner Sees Ministry Progress on EBR Performance, But Improvements Still Needed

  Part of the job of the Environmental Commissioner is to monitor and report on how well the Ontario government respects Ontarians’ environmental rights. This year, my office took a new approach to reporting on ...

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2016
Jun
16
Wanted: Your Ideas for Next Year’s Energy Conservation Report

Have an energy conservation idea, subject or issue that you’d like us to explore? Tell us about it! We are currently considering new topics for next year’s Energy Conservation Report. Just last month, ...

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2016
Jun
13
Keeping the Land: Pimachiowin Aki is one step closer to recognition as a World Heritage Site in Ontario and Manitoba

Pimachiowin Aki, meaning “the Land that Gives Life,” is a vast swath of boreal forest that covers 33,400 square kilometres of land and water spread across eastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. It is one of the ...

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2016
May
31
The ECO releases our 2015-2016 Energy Conservation Report

Today I had the honour of presenting my first Energy Conservation Report to the Ontario Legislature. This report is the province’s only comprehensive public summary of fuel use and conservation. Our office hopes it ...

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2016
May
24
Shaping the Future of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe

Land use planning sets the blueprint for our communities. It affects almost every aspect of our lives from how far we commute to work or school, the size and location of parks, how many people ...

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2016
May
22
Happy International Day for Biological Diversity!

May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity. First created in 1993 by the United Nations to highlight the creation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, this annual event aims to increase the understanding and ...

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2016
May
18
Update: Government adds Treasury Board Secretariat, Places to Grow Act and Invasive Species Act under the EBR

The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) umbrella is about to get a little larger. This past week, the government made several decisions that expand the reach of the EBR and the application of Ontarians’ environmental ...

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2016
May
09
High Time to Overhaul the Environmental Registry

If you care about what’s going on in your community or across our great province, you could spend hours browsing Ontario’s Environmental Registry. From air quality regulations to zebra mussels; from bear-hunting rules ...

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2016
Apr
11
The Debate on Climate Change has Shifted

In recent years, the tone of the debate on climate change has shifted. In fact, many people agree that we are now well past the point of arguing about whether or not climate change is ...

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2016
Mar
03
Government proposes to include the Treasury Board, Places to Grow Act and Invasive Species Act under the EBR

Proposals to reduce waste and greenhouse gases from Ontario government operations could soon be posted for public comment. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing to prescribe the Treasury Board Secretariat, ...

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2016
Feb
22
Ontarians Use Environmental Bill of Rights to Get New Rules on Disposal of Excess Soil

As Ontario’s big cities keep building up and out, developers must also dig down to build foundations, underground parking and other below-grade infrastructure. When these big holes are dug up, what happens to all ...

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2016
Feb
19
Listening and learning about agriculture in south-west Ontario

Thank you very much to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for hosting ECO staff and myself on an agricultural tour of southwestern Ontario last week. I was pleased to note the rapidly growing awareness of ...

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2016
Feb
11
Ministries Reaffirm their Commitment to the EBR

In 2014, Premier Wynne reaffirmed her government’s commitment to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). This past December, I wrote to the Deputy Ministers of the 14 ministries prescribed under the EBR inviting them to do ...

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2016
Feb
09
An Update from Ontario’s New Environmental Commissioner

Thank you very much to everyone for the warm welcome as I begin my term as Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). Between the Paris climate conference, the Investor Climate Risk summit, the steep learning curve ...

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2015
Nov
24
It’s Your Environmental Right: Commenting on Provincial Park Management Plans

The next time you drive highway 401 between Pearson International Airport and Highway 400, keep an eye out for the mileage sign for Algonquin Provincial Park. There is one, even though the park is over 250 km away. ...

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2015
Nov
17
Delayed Decisions Deny EBR Applicants Their Environmental Rights

The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) gives all Ontarians the right to ask the government to review certain environmental laws, regulations, policies and instruments. This is called an “application for review.” If the responsible minister ...

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2015
Oct
01
Green Energy Doors Open!

The annual Doors Open events have opened our eyes to the insides of many of Ontario’s remarkable heritage buildings, and helped remove some of the mystery by showing us how these buildings operate. You ...

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2015
Sep
17
Congratulations and welcome to the new Commissioner!

The ECO team warmly welcomes our newly appointed Environmental Commissioner, Dr. Dianne Saxe, chosen with unanimous agreement of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly earlier this week. Her appointment takes effect December 1st, 2015. Dianne Saxe is one ...

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