2017
Dec
19
EBR Report Cards Prompt Ontario Ministries to Better Serve the Public

 

 

Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) provides powerful tools for the public to engage in government decisions that affect the environment. But these tools only work well if ministries carry out their EBR responsibilities properly and in good faith.

In June 2016, we released our first (and now annual) EBR Report Cards – an evaluation of how well ministries were carrying out their EBR responsibilities and enabling the public to exercise their environmental rights. We found several common areas of poor performance of EBR obligations, and called for improvements in those areas. However, we were encouraged that, over the course of report card development, simply engaging in conversation with ministries about improving their practices seemed to have resulted in better outcomes.

The use of report cards, coupled with our office’s engagement with ministry staff, seems to have paid off. When the 2017 EBR Report Cards were released in October, as part of our annual Environmental Protection Report, we were pleased to report that ministries have made progress in three significant areas:

  1. Outdated Proposals on the Environmental Registry: Ministries reduced the number of old, outdated proposals on the Environmental Registry by over 80% – making the Registry a much more reliable source of information for the public.
  2. Content of Notices Posted on the Environmental Registry: Ministries made modest improvements to the content of their notices related to environmental permits, licences and other approvals by including more relevant information and making the notices easier for the public to understand.
  3. Overdue Applications for Review: Ministries concluded four of seven outstanding applications for review that our office identified as overdue in 2016; the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change also made its handling of applications more transparent for the public, with a new practice of posting periodic application status updates on the Environmental Registry.

Summary table for 2016/2017 Report Card results

Prescribed Ministry
Quality of notices for policies, acts and regulations posted on the Environmental Registry
Quality of notices for instruments posted on the Environmental Registry
Promptness of posting decision notices on the Environmental Registry
Keeping notices on the Environmental Registry up to date
Handling of applications for review and investigation
Avoiding overdue applications for review
Considering Statements of Environmental Values (SEVs)
Co-operation with ECO requests
Ministries with a High EBR Workload
MOECC
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MNRF
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Ministries with a Medium EBR Workload
OMAFRA
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
ENG
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MGCS-TSSA
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MMA/MHO
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MNDM
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Needs improvement
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MTO
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Ministries with a Low EBR Workload
MEDG/MOI
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
EDU
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MOHLTC
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MIRR
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MOL
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
MTCS
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Unacceptable
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
TBS
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
N/A
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2015/2016 - Meets or exceeds expectations
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in the reporting year.
Legend

Quality of performance:

Meets or exceeds expectations and legal obligations
Needs improvement
Unacceptable: failure to comply with legal obligations and/or frustrating environmental rights granted to the public by the EBR
Not prescribed for this category of EBR performance

Trend

Overall quality of performance has improved since 2016/2017 icon
Overall quality of performance has improved since 2016/2017
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2016/2017 icon
Overall quality of performance unchanged since 2016/2017
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2016/2017 icon
Overall quality of performance has declined since 2016/2017
 
Not prescribed for this category of EBR performance

This year, most ministries seemed eager to boost their EBR Report Card results. To encourage ministries to improve their EBR practices, our office provided an information session on implementing the EBR, and representatives of every prescribed ministry attended. We also urged EBR representatives to contact ECO staff throughout the year for guidance on how to comply with their ministries’ EBR obligations. As a result, we had frequent contact with ministry representatives on a variety of issues, such as on the content or timing of posting a notice on the Environmental Registry.    

Regrettably, ministries are still taking too long to give notice of their decisions, depriving the public of the right to prompt notice and, in some cases, delaying the public’s EBR appeal rights.

There is still much room for improvement, and we will continue to monitor and report on ministry compliance with the EBR in 2018. The ECO encourages all ministries to strive for continuous improvement in their EBR performance, with the ultimate goal of helping Ontarians exercise their environmental rights.

You can read a full summary of the 2017 EBR Report Card results in Chapter 1 of our 2017 Environmental Protection Report, Good Choices, Bad Choices. Individual ministries’ EBR Report Cards are found in the Appendix to the report; you can also view individual EBR Report Cards and Ministry Comments on our website in the Government Performance section.

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