The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) is one of 17 Ontario ministries that is required under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) to include the public in its environmentally significant decision making. Click on a heading below to learn about the MNDM and its EBR requirements and performance.
Statement of Environmental Values
Each ministry that is prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is required to develop a Statement of Environmental Values to guide ministry staff when making decisions that might significantly affect the environment. Read the Statement of Environmental Values for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM).
Public Notice and Consultation
Each ministry that is prescribed under the EBR is required to consult the public on certain environmentally significant proposals via the Environmental Registry. Specifically, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines must give notice of, and consult on, any proposal to make or amend a policy or act that could have a significant effect on the environment.
In addition, the MNDM is also required to provide notice and consult with the public on any proposed regulation, or amendment to a regulation, made under the Mining Act, if the proposal could have a significant effect on the environment.
The MNDM is also required to post notice on the Environmental Registry and consult on various “instruments” (e.g., approvals of closure plans, orders, consents, leases, etc.) that the ministry issues under the Mining Act. See the EBR regulation for a list of the instruments about which the MNDM must consult.
Applications for Review
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to review the need for a new environmental policy, act or regulation. In addition, the public may ask the ministry to review: any of the MNDM’s existing environmentally significant policies; the Mining Act or its regulations; or any of the classified instruments issued under the Mining Act.
The ministry is required to consider all such requests, and to respond within 60 days of receiving the application to let both the applicants and the Environmental Commissioner know whether or not it will undertake the requested review.
Pending Requests for Review
The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines does not have any outstanding Applications for Review.
Applications for Investigation
Under the EBR, members of the public can also ask certain ministries to investigate alleged contraventions of certain acts, regulations and instruments. The Mining Act is prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights for Applications for Investigation. Members of the public can request that the MNDM conduct an investigation of an alleged offence under the Mining Act.
In December 2015, the ECO invited prescribed ministries to renew their commitment to the EBR in writing. Read the ministry’s recommitment to the Environmental Bill of Rights.
The ECO evaluates prescribed ministries’ performance under the EBR. Here is the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines' EBR report card for the 2016/2017 reporting year.
ECO Comment: The MNDM executed most its EBR responsibilities well again in 2016/2017, and made notable improvements in some categories. The small number of policy, act and regulation notices posted this year meant that the MNDM’s score for quality of notices declined as a result of one particularly poor quality notice. Going forward, the ECO urges the MNDM to ensure that every notice it posts is clearly written, describes the environmental significance of the proposal, and includes links to key supporting information. Similarly, while the MNDM made some improvements to the geographic information in Mining Act instrument notices at the very end of 2016/2017, the ministry’s instrument notices should include more details and links to key supporting information in order to ensure that members of the public can provide informed comments. The ECO commends the MNDM for being the only ministry to meet or exceed our expectations in both the promptness of posting decision notices category and in keeping notices up to date. The ministry made admirable efforts to remedy all of its outdated proposals, and at the end of the reporting year all of the MNDM’s open proposals were up to date. The ECO appreciates our good working relationship with the MNDM’s EBR co-ordinators, who have been highly engaged in improving the ministry’s EBR performance.
Quality of Performance
A safe and environmentally responsible mineral industry is a key strategic priority of Ontario’s vision for the mineral sector. As the ECO continues reporting the province’s progress on energy conservation, climate change, and environmental protections, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) looks forward to supporting this important work.
MNDM would like to extend its thanks to the ECO for its overall positive assessment of MNDM’s progress this year in executing its Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) responsibilities. MNDM is currently in the process of updating its templates for posting notices to the Environmental Registry to ensure that we provide a sufficient level of detail to Ontarians, including a description of the activity’s location. Going forward, MNDM will continue to ensure that we provide quality and timely postings to the Environmental Registry. We thank the Commissioner for her evaluation.
To view other ministries’ EBR report cards, go to Government Performance on this website and select the ministry of your choice.
The ECO’s full report to the Legislative Assembly on the 2016/2017 EBR report cards can be accessed here.
In our annual reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines does not have any outstanding ECO recommendations.
Since 2000, the annual ECO Recognition Award has recognized the hard work of ministry staff in an initiative that benefits Ontario’s environment and meets the goals of the EBR. Every year, the ECO asks prescribed ministries to submit programs and projects to be considered for the award. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.