Worker grinding metalThe Ministry of Labour (MOL) 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 Ministry of Labour and its EBR requirements and performance.

 

 

Key Environmental Aspects of the Ministry's Mandate

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) was established in 1919 with a mandate to develop and enforce labour legislation. One of the MOL's key areas of focus is occupational health and safety, which includes occupational exposure to hazardous substances and pollutants. The MOL administers the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Act and several of the regulations and policies under it deal with controlling worker exposure to hazardous chemical, biological and physical agents in the working environment. This Act (along with its regulations), however, is not prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights.

In addition, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, an agency of the Ministry of Labour, is responsible for adjudicating employment and labour relations issues. The Environmental Bill of Rights provides whistleblower protection for workers who take action in respect of the environment. If an employer takes reprisals against an employee on a prohibited ground, employees may file a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Requirements

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 Labour (MOL).

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 MOL must give notice of, and consult on, any proposal to make or amend any policy or act that could have a significant effect on the environment.

Applications for Review and Investigation

Under the EBR, members of the public can ask certain ministries to review the need for a new environmental policy, act or regulation. Members of the public can also ask certain ministries to investigate alleged contraventions of certain acts, regulations and instruments. The MOL, however, is not prescribed under the EBR for Applications for Review or Investigation.

EBR Commitment Letter

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.

EBR Report Card

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 Labour (MOL)

ECO Comment: The MOL has a relatively low EBR workload. There was little material with which the ECO could evaluate the MOL’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 MOL 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.

Category
Result
Trend
Comments
Quality of notices for policies, acts and regulations posted on the Environmental Registry
N/A
N/A
The MOL did not post any policy, act or regulation notices in 2017/2018.
Quality of notices for instruments posted on the Environmental Registry
The MOL is not required to post instrument notices on the Environmental Registry.
Promptness of posting decision notices on the Environmental Registry
N/A
N/A
The MOL did not post any decision notices in 2017/2018.
Keeping notices on the Environmental Registry up to date
N/A
N/A
The MOL did not have any open proposals on the Environmental Registry at the end of 2017/2018.
Handling of Applications for Review and Investigation
The MOL is not prescribed for applications for review under the EBR. No acts or instruments administered by the MOL are prescribed for applications for investigation under the EBR.
Avoiding overdue applications for review
The MOL is not prescribed for applications for review under the EBR.
Considering Statements of Environmental Values (SEVs)
N/A
N/A
The ECO did not request proof of SEV consideration from the MOL in 2017/2018.
Co-operation with ECO Requests
No Change in Trend icon
The ECO had limited contact with the MOL in 2017/2018, but the ministry did respond to a request from the ECO’s climate change team to explain how the ministry incorporates climate change considerations into its decision making. The ministry’s response to that request was tardy; the ECO encourages the MOL to respond promptly to the ECO’s information requests in 2018/2019.
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
N/A
Not applicable (the ministry did not carry out any responsibilities under this category in 2017/2018)

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
N/A
Not applicable (the ministry did not carry out any responsibilities under this category in 2016/2017)

Key Outstanding ECO Recommendations

In our annual reports, the ECO makes recommendations to improve EBR compliance and environmental protection. The Ministry of Labour does not have any outstanding ECO recommendations.

ECO Recognition Award

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 Labour has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.

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