Traffic on a highwayThe 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.



Key Environmental Aspects of the Ministry's Mandate

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.

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 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.

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 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 Notices Posted on the Environmental Registry
The quality of MTO’s notices is generally very good. The ministry is encouraged to include links to supporting documents, where applicable, in all notices.
Timeliness of Decision Notices and Avoiding Outdated Proposals
Only two of the seven decision notices that the MTO posted on the Registry in 2015/2016 were posted within two weeks of the decision being made. The MTO remedied six out of ten of the outdated proposal notices identified in 2014/2015. As of April 1, 2016, the ministry had four outdated proposals remaining on the Registry.
Handling of Applications for Review and Investigation
The MTO did not conclude any applications for review in 2015/2016. The MTO is not prescribed for applications for investigation under the EBR.
Considering Statements of Environmental Values
The MTO promptly provided the three SEV consideration documents the ECO requested in 2015/2016.
Co-operation with ECO Requests
The MTO was very co-operative with the ECO’s requests in 2015/2016, providing briefings, attending meetings, answering numerous questions and reviewing draft material for the ECO’s energy team. The MTO also responded promptly to the ECO’s request to reaffirm its commitment to the EBR.
N/A (not applicable): The ministry is not prescribed for purposes of this category of EBR performance, or the ministry did not execute any responsibilities under this category in 2015/2016.

Quality of performance:

Meets or exceeds expectations
Needs improvement

Relative EBR Workload:


Ministry Comment

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
All Ministries
Proposal and Decision Notices for Policies, Acts and Regulations Posted
Total Proposal and Decision Notices for Policies, Acts and Regulations Reviewed by the ECO
Outdated Proposal Notices as of April 1, 2016
SEV Consideration Documents Requested by the ECO
Applications Concluded

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.

Key Outstanding ECO Recommendations

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.

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 Transportation has received the ECO Recognition Award three times:

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