Traffic on a highwayThe Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is one of 15 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 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 Transportation (MTO)

ECO Comment: Among the prescribed ministries with high or medium EBR workloads, the MTO is the only ministry to meet or exceed the ECO’s expectations in every applicable category. The MTO continued to post high quality notices on the Environmental Registry, and to keep all of its proposals up to date. This year, the MTO also made significant improvement in giving timely notice to the public of its environmentally significant decisions, consistently posting decision notices promptly on the Environmental Registry. MTO staff co-operated with the ECO’s requests for information, and were also proactive in reaching out to the ECO to discuss EBR and Environmental Registry matters.

Category
Result
Trend
Comments
Quality of notices for policies, acts and regulations posted on the Environmental Registry
No Change in Trend icon
Again this year, the MTO posted high quality notices for policies, acts and regulations on the Environmental Registry. The ECO notes that the ministry only provided the EBR-mandated minimum of 30 days public consultation for some policy proposals, including the Green Commercial Vehicle Program and CycleON. The ECO encourages the MTO to consider providing at least 45 days for policy, act and regulation proposals, as is the standard practice of some other prescribed ministries.
Quality of notices for instruments posted on the Environmental Registry
The MTO is not required to post instrument notices on the Environmental Registry.
Promptness of posting decision notices on the Environmental Registry
Upward Trend icon
The MTO improved its performance in this category considerably this year. The ministry was consistently prompt in posting its decision notices on the Environmental Registry.
Keeping notices on the Environmental Registry up to date
No Change in Trend icon
The MTO continued to keep all of its notices on the Environmental Registry up to date in 2017/2018.
Handling of Applications for Review and Investigation
N/A
N/A
The MTO did not conclude any applications for review under the EBR in 2017/2018. No acts or instruments administered by the MTO are prescribed for applications for investigation under the EBR.
Avoiding overdue applications for review
N/A
N/A
The MTO did not have any open applications for review under the EBR at the end of 2017/2018.
Considering Statements of Environmental Values (SEVs)
No Change in Trend icon
Again this year, the MTO responded promptly to all of the ECO’s requests for proof that it considered its SEV when making decisions.
Co-operation with ECO Requests
No Change in Trend icon
The MTO responded helpfully and promptly to the ECO’s requests for information in 2017/2018, including a request from the ECO’s climate change team to explain how the ministry would incorporate climate change considerations into its decision making.
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)

Ministry Comment

MTO is very pleased to have met and exceeded the ECO’s expectations in every applicable category in the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Report Card.

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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