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 2015/2016 reporting year.
ECO Comment: The MTO generally executed its EBR responsibilities very well; it posted consistently good quality notices on the Environmental Registry, it documented its consideration of its SEV when making environmentally significant decisions, and it was co-operative with the ECO’s information requests. There is just one area in which the MTO requires significant improvement: giving notice of environmentally significant decisions on the Environmental Registry promptly. The ECO encourages the MTO to remedy all remaining outdated notices in 2016/2017. Going forward, the MTO should avoid creating new outdated notices by ensuring that it posts a decision notice within two weeks of making a decision on any environmentally significant proposal.
Quality of performance:
Relative EBR Workload:
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has set a high standard for meeting its responsibilities to post on the Environmental Registry. We are pleased that the Commissioner has recognized the ministry’s achievements in meeting and exceeding responsibilities in her Environmental Bill of Rights Report Card. MTO strives to fulfill its commitments under the Registry and to provide meaningful opportunities for public consultation on policies and new Acts that have environmental significance. We believe this was reflected in the Commissioner’s evaluation. The ministry agrees that it is in the public’s best interest to promptly post decision notices following decisions on proposals which have been posted to the Registry. We have remedied the majority of outdated proposals and are working to ensure prompt posting of decisions going forward. We thank the Commissioner for her evaluation.
Ministry of Transportation (MTO) – Percentage of all Policy, Act and Regulation Proposal and Decision Notices, 2015/2016:
MTO by the numbers in 2015/2016
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 2015/2016 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