Category:Environmental Bill of Rights

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About the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993

The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR), which came into effect in February 1994, is one of the most significant environmental laws to be passed in the last 25 years. (Click here, here, and here to read the relevant legislation.)

It recognizes that the people of this province have as a common goal the protection of our natural environment. The provincial government has the primary responsibility for protecting, conserving and restoring the natural environment, and the people of Ontario have the right to participate in government decision making and to hold the government accountable for those decisions.

Therefore, the EBR represents a new era in environmental decision making and one of better public participation, citizen empowerment and greater accountability of decision makers. The ECO is charged with monitoring government compliance with the EBR, so that the integrity of Ontario's ecosystems, one of our most important legacies, are conserved for future generations. Click here to find out more about the role of the ECO.

What does the EBR mean for me?

Under the EBR, you can participate in ministry decisions about the environment and hold the government accountable for those decisions. You have the right to comment on environmentally significant government proposals, to seek permission to appeal a ministry decision, or to ask a ministry to review a law or investigate harm to the environment. Click here to find out more about your rights under the EBR, view or download a presentation, or download our handbook, The Environmental Bill of Rights and You (.pdf file).

Who and what does the EBR apply to?

The EBR applies to environmentally significant decisions and proposals made by Ontario ministries or under Acts which are prescribed.

Statements of Environmental Values

Each of the ministries subject to the EBR has a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV). The SEV guides the minister and ministry staff when they make decisions that might affect the environment. SEVs are available on the EBR website.

Each SEV should explain:

  • how the ministry will consider the environment when it makes environmentally significant decisions.
  • how the ministry will apply the purposes of the EBR when it makes environmentally significant decisions.
  • how the ministry will integrate its environmental values with social, economic and scientific considerations when it makes environmentally significant decisions. Each minister also makes commitments in his or her ministry’s SEV that are specific to the work of that particular ministry.

The Environmental Registry

A key tool of the EBR is the The Environmental Registry, an online database where environmentally significant proposals and decisions are posted.

What Acts are subject to the EBR?

The table below shows the Acts, listed by ministry, which are subject to Applications for Review and Applications for Investigation under the Environmental Bill of Rights. Although most Acts are subject to both application processes, some are subject to only one process, as indicated in the explanatory notes. For the most accurate list of which statutes are prescribed under the EBR, see O. Reg. 73/94.

Prescribed Acts (listed by ministry)Subject to the Application for Review processSubject to the Application for Investigation processIncludes at least one Classified Instrument subject to the Application for Review and Investigation process
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Nutrient Management Act *
Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Ontario Heritage Act *
Ministry of the Environment
Clean Water Act *
Environmental Assessment Act * *
Environmental Bill of Rights *
Environmental Protection Act * * *
Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008 *
Ontario Water Resources Act * * *
Pesticides Act * * *
Safe Drinking Water Act * 1 *
Sustainable Water and Sewage Systems Act, 2002 (Not in force) *
Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 * *
Waste Management Act *
Ministry of Energy
Green Energy Act, 2009 * *
Ontario Energy Board Act *2
Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
Health Protection and Promotion Act *3
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Building Code Act * 4
Greenbelt Act *
Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act * *
Planning Act * *
Ministry of Natural Resources
Aggregate Resources Act * * *
Conservation Authorities Act * * *
Crown Forest Sustainability Act * * *
Endangered Species Act *5 * *
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act * * *
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Parks Act * *
Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act * *
Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act * *
Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act * * *
Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act * *
Public Lands Act * *
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Mining Act * * *
TSSA (under Ministry of Consumer Services)
Technical Standards and Safety Act (see note 6) *6 *6

1Note the Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA) is not prescribed for applications for investigations under the EBR as it has its own separate investigation process that is similar to the EBR investigation process (see sections 7-13 of O. Reg. 242/05 under the SWDA.)

2 The Ontario Energy Board Act is only prescribed for reviews of clauses 88(1)(a.1) to (g) of the Act.

3The Health Protection and Promotion Act is only prescribed for reviews related to sections 96(1) and (2), sections 96(3)(m) to (t), and subsection 96(3.1) of the Act, and of regulations made under these sections that relate to small drinking water systems.

4 The Building Code Act is only prescribed for reviews related to on-site septic systems serving certain buildings such as residences.

5 The Endangered Species Act and its regulations are prescribed for the purposes of applications for review, except for a regulation made under section 7 of the Act. (Agreements made under section 22 or 23 of O. Reg. 242/08 under the ESA are explicitly prescribed as being subject to review.)

6The Technical Standards and Safety Act is only prescribed for reviews and investigations related to the Liquid Fuels Regulation (O. Reg. 217/01) and other matters related to section 42 of the TSSA.


Click here for more information about the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and our activities.

<metadesc>Acts, listed by ministry, which are subject to Applications for Review and Applications for Investigation under the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights.</metadesc>

Subcategories

This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.

Pages in category "Environmental Bill of Rights"

The following 42 pages are in this category, out of 42 total.

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