We know your issue is important to you, and could have impacts on the environment and human health.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s (ECO’s) job is to help people exercise their rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights, and to raise awareness about environmental issues, not to enforce environmental laws or overrule government decisions. Learn more about the ECO’s role and responsibilities.

The ECO can help you exercise your environmental rights by facilitating your requests to the government to:

Although many applications have convinced the government to change laws or investigate environmental law-breakers, be aware that this process can take months or even years. If your issue is an emergency – for example, a toxic spill or wildlife problem – see our list of contacts below.

We can also help you by drawing attention to important environmental, energy and climate change issues, especially systemic issues that affect many people or significant parts of Ontario’s environment. We do this in our three annual reports. Although the government isn’t required to follow our advice, we have had many successes over the years and our reports can be influential.

We can also help you find the right people to talk to about your environmental problem if it falls outside of our area of authority – for example, if you want to challenge a government decision, deal with an environmental emergency, or force someone to clean up environmental damage.

Helpful Contacts and Websites

Here are some organizations (mostly branches of government) that may be able to help you with your environmental concerns. While we offer these websites and phone numbers as potentially helpful resources, we are not affiliated with any of these organizations, and we take no responsibility for the information or services they may provide.

How can I report an urgent problem or illegal activity?

  • To report a spill of pollutants (like oil, chemicals, gases, or sewage) call the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's Spills Action Centre at 416-325-3000, 1-800-268-6060 or 1-855-515-2759 (TTY)
  • To report a natural resource violation (e.g., illegal hunting, illegal shoreline alteration, or dumping waste on Crown land), call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry TIPS Line at 1-877-847-7667
  • To report suspected animal abuse, or get help with a sick or injured animal, contact the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) at 1-888-668-7722 (ext. 327), 416-310-7722 or email cruelty@ospca.on.ca
  • For other suspected criminal activity, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

Who can help me with a wildlife issue?

Where can I get help with water or drainage-related issues?

Where can I find government contact information?

How can I access government information?

  • To find approvals and registrations issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, search Access Environment
  • To ask a public-sector organization for information, make a Freedom of Information Request
  • To find information about provincial Environmental Assessments (EAs), visit the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s EA webpage
  • To find a mining claim and see where mineral staking and prospecting can occur in Ontario, visit CLAIMaps
  • To access government data sets online, visit Ontario’s Open Data Catalogue
  • To find archived government documents, books and other media, visit OurOntario.ca

Where can I get legal information or assistance?

  • To search and read provincial legislation and regulations, visit e-Laws
  • For help finding a lawyer, contact the Law Society Referral Service at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255
  • To make use of whistleblower protection, contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board
  • For information on filing an appeal under the Environmental Bill of Rights, or to access information on hearings and decisions, contact the Environmental Review Tribunal
  • For information on filing an appeal under the Planning Act or Environmental Bill of Rights, or to access information on hearings and decisions, contact the Ontario Municipal Board

Where can I get information on “ecofees” and recycling programs?

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