As you may know, the Ontario government is making changes to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) and the Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO). These changes will come into force no later than May 1, 2019 (see Schedule 15 of Bill 57 for more details).
Here's what you need to know:
The ECO Office
- When the changes take place on or before May 1, 2019, the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario will no longer exist. Until then, the ECO continues to serve the people of Ontario, in accordance with our current statutory mandate, to the best of our ability.
- For 25 years, the ECO has delivered factual, non-partisan reports to the Legislature on energy, climate change, the environment and government performance under the EBR. All of the ECO’s reports and related webinars are still available for download on our website and hard copies are available upon request.
- Once the changes come into effect, the obligation to report annually on the operation of the EBR will be transferred to the Auditor General of Ontario. The changes also give the Auditor General the authority, but not the obligation, to report to the Legislature on energy conservation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Education and Outreach
- Until the changes take effect, the ECO will continue to provide education and outreach to the public on the EBR. For information about the EBR please call us at 416-325-3377 / 1-800-701-6454, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website at eco.on.ca. On our website, you’ll find EBR guides in a variety of languages.
- Until the changes take effect, our Resource Centre at 1075 Bay Street, Suite 605, will also continue to provide an extensive collection of reports, books, journals, periodicals and other environmental resource documents.
- When the changes take place on or before May 1, 2019, EBR education and outreach responsibilities will be transferred to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
- Until the changes come into effect on or before May 1, 2019, the Environmental Commissioner is continuing her usual duties, including speaking at events.
The Environmental Registry
- Bill 57 makes no changes to ministries’ responsibilities to post notices on the Environmental Registry. Ontarians will continue to have the right to know about – and comment on – environmentally significant proposals. You can access the Environmental Registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca and the new beta version of the Registry at ero.ontario.ca.
- When the changes take effect, responsibility for posting notices of appeals and lawsuits on the Environmental Registry will be transferred from the ECO to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
Applications for Review and Investigation
- Until the changes take effect, the ECO will continue to receive, process and forward Applications for Review and Applications for Investigation submitted under the EBR.
- Once the changes take effect, Ontarians will submit applications directly to the applicable ministry that they wish to conduct the review or undertake the investigation.
- If you need more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-325-3377 / 1-800-701-6454.