The Ministry of Labour (MOL) 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 Ministry of Labour and its EBR requirements and performance.
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.
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.
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 Labour's EBR report card for the 2016/2017 reporting year.
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 2016/2017, as the ministry did not post any notices on the Environmental Registry. The ECO is happy to report that the MOL’s EBR co-ordinator attended an EBR compliance information session in September 2016. Going forward, the ECO encourages the MOL to contact our office for any assistance in understanding and complying with its EBR responsibilities, including: co-operating with any ECO requests for information; ensuring that it posts clearly written and sufficiently detailed notices of any environmentally significant proposals on the Environmental Registry for public consultation; giving prompt notice of its decisions on such proposals on the Registry; and considering its Statement of Environmental Values when making those decisions.
Quality of Performance
No comment provided by the ministry.
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 Labour 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 Labour has not yet been the recipient of the ECO Recognition Award.