The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is one of 17 Ontario ministries that is required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) to include the public in its environmentally significant decision making. Click on a heading below to learn about the MTO and its EBR requirements and performance.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is responsible for planning, building and maintaining Ontario’s transportation and transit infrastructure. The province’s transportation network has a number of environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, wildlife mortality and ecological effects.
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 Transportation (MTO).
Public Notice and Consultation
Each ministry prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is required to consult the public on certain environmentally significant proposals via the Environmental Registry. Specifically, the Ministry of Transportation 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.
Applications for Review
Under the EBR, members of the public can ask the Ministry of Transportation 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 MTO’s existing environmental policies.
The Ministry of Transportation 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 of Ontario know whether or not it will undertake the requested review.
Pending Requests for Review
The Ministry of Transportation does not have any outstanding Applications for 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 Ministry of Transportation does not administer any acts that are prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights 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 ECO evaluates prescribed ministries’ performance under the EBR. Here is the Ministry of Transportation's EBR report card for the 2016/2017 reporting year.
ECO Comment: The MTO continued to discharge its EBR responsibilities very well in 2016/2017, again posting consistently high quality notices on the Environmental Registry and responding promptly to the ECO’s requests for proof of consideration of its Statement of Environmental Values. The ECO is pleased the MTO followed our recommendation and remedied all of its outdated proposals, and that all of the ministry’s proposals on the Registry were up to date at the end of 2016/2017. The ECO encourages the MTO to keep proposal notices up to date going forward, and to post all decision notices promptly after making decisions.
Quality of Performance
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is pleased that the Commissioner has once again recognized the ministry’s achievements in meeting and exceeding responsibilities in her Environmental Bill of Rights Report Card. The ministry has upheld its belief that it is in the public’s best interest to provide meaningful opportunities for public consultation and to promptly post decision notices to the Environmental Registry. At the time of this response, MTO is pleased to report that all of MTO’s outdated notices have been remedied. MTO posts decision notices as soon as reasonably possible and will endeavour to meet ECO’s two week best practices guideline. MTO would like to thank the ECO for the honourable mention of the ministry’s University Student Wildlife Monitoring Program submitted as a nominee for the ECO Recognition Award. Lastly, MTO would like to thank the Commissioner for her evaluation and opportunity to submit feedback.
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 Transportation 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 Transportation has received the ECO Recognition Award three times:
- In 2011, for using bioretention cells and rubber modified asphalt at the Beamsville carpool lot
- In 2010, for green power at the Summer Beaver Airport, the first airport in Canada to be almost entirely powered by renewable energy
- In 2001, for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Project to mitigate habitat loss caused by highway construction, and conduct follow-up monitoring