Environment Ministry Failing to Maintain EBR Postings
QUEEN’S PARK – The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Report Card released by Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner (ECO) yesterday shows an abysmal track record by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to update postings and provide relevant supporting documentation, says PC Environment and Cap-and-Trade Critic Lisa Thompson.
In the report, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change received a failing grade in the timeliness category, a result of its failure to inform the public of a decision or update in more than two years on 686 outdated notices.
“Ontarians have a right to know what is going on in their own backyards. Many people rely on the EBR to follow a local issue, or to monitor how their properties will be impacted by certain initiatives,” said Thompson. “It is irresponsible to keep people in the dark for years waiting for relevant information.”
The ECO also identified the handling of applications for the ministry to review concerns relating to an environmentally significant law, policy or regulation as an area that the Ministry is failing in, with six applications overdue by several years or more. One application dates back to 2009.
“The Minister has provided no timeline and no guarantees that any of the six outdated applications will be concluded in a reasonable time frame. Communities and businesses need more than vague promises, and the Minister has a responsibility to make these postings a priority.
The Environmental Commissioner’s EBR Performance Checkup can be found at the following link: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/special-reports/2016/EBR-Performance-Checkup_EN.pdf