The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is one of 15 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 MOHLTC and its EBR requirements and performance.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has a significant mandate and budget mostly focused on healthcare delivery. However, the ministry has the potential to positively affect the environment through its role promoting and protecting public health. The ministry develops policies and programs related to health promotion and preventative care. This can cover everything from promoting safe drinking water, to supporting walkable communities, to reducing human exposure to environmental health hazards. Environmental health is closely linked to human health; improving environmental outcomes, such as reducing air and water pollution, mitigating climate change, and increasing access to nature can prevent or reduce disease, and mental and physical ailments.
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 of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).
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 Health and Long-Term Care 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 MOHLTC is also required to provide notice and consult with the public on any environmentally significant regulation, or amendment to a regulation, made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, that relates to small drinking water systems.
Applications for Review
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask the MOHLTC 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 MOHLTC’s existing environmentally significant policies; the portion of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that relates to small drinking water systems; or regulations made under this Act that relate to small drinking water systems.
The MOHLTC is required to consider all such requests, and to respond within 60 days of receiving the application to let both the applicants and the ECO know whether or not it will undertake the requested review.
Applications for Investigation
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask certain ministries to investigate alleged contraventions of certain acts, regulations and instruments. The MOHLTC does not administer any acts that are prescribed under the EBR for Applications for Investigation.
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 Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s evaluation of ministry compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights during the reporting period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)
ECO Comment: The MOHLTC has a relatively low EBR workload. There was little material with which the ECO could evaluate the MOHLTC’s execution of its EBR responsibilities in 2017/2018, as the ministry did not post any notices on the Environmental Registry. The ECO encourages the MOHLTC to ensure that it considers its EBR responsibilities whenever the ministry’s work could have a significant effect on the environment, and to respond promptly to any requests for information from the ECO.
Quality of Performance
In our reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 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 Health and Long-Term Care has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.