Statement of Environmental Values: Ministry of Transportation
The Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) was proclaimed in February 1994. The founding principles of the EBR are stated in its Preamble:
While the government has the primary responsibility for achieving this goal, Ontarians should have the means to ensure that it is achieved in an effective, timely, open and fair manner.
The purposes of the Act are:
These purposes include the following:
To assist in fulfilling these purposes, the Act provides:
Statements of Environmental Values are a means for designated ministries to record their commitment to the environment and be accountable for ensuring consideration of the environment in their decisions.
The EBR requires a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) from the ministries and affected agencies. A SEV explains:
It is each Minister's responsibility to take every reasonable step to ensure that the SEV is considered whenever decisions that might significantly affect the environment are made in the ministry.
The Ministry will examine the Statement of Environmental Values whenever there is a significant change in mandate.
2. MINISTRY VISION, PRIORITIES AND STRATEGIES
Vision: To be a world leader in moving people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life.
The Ministry is focused on delivering four key priorities:
The Ministry views the environment as an integral component of transportation planning and policy, and management of the provincial highway system. The Ministry believes that the strategic management and planning activities already underway in the organization are consistent with the Act, allowing it to be broadly supported and implemented within the Ministry, when the ministry contemplates environmentally significant decisions.
A: The Natural Environment
The Ministry believes that the protection of air, water, and land resources is necessary to sustain current and future generations, and the long term survival of plants, animals and aquatic life. To put this value into action, the Ministry will advance key priorities such as:
B: Environmental Concerns in Decision-Making
The Ministry believes that the environment is an integral part of its activities, including policy and project development, and the operation of transportation facilities.
C: Integrated Transportation Planning
The Ministry believes that a healthy environment depends on sound planning.
D: Research and Development
The Ministry believes that research and development is important to the protection, enhancement and care of the environment. To put this value into action, the following measures will be taken:
E: Education and Promotion
The Ministry believes that the environment is an integral part of its activities, including the operation of transportation facilities. Raising the awareness of its partners and the general public regarding environmental issues is an important component of environmental protection. The Ministry will:
3. APPLICATION OF THE SEV
The Ministry is committed to applying the Environmental Bill of Rights’ values when it makes decisions that might significantly affect the environment.
4. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The Ministry will encourage energy and resource conservation in those sectors where it provides policy direction or programs.
The Ministry committed to delivering infrastructure improvements through strategic investments and creating a policy environment that encourages all modes of transportation to contribute to Ontario’s economic growth in an environmentally responsible way.
The Ministry will apply and integrate the purposes of the EBR along with social, scientific, economic and other considerations when conducting its business activities. These considerations will be integrated with the ministry’s environmental values and measures as a foundation for transportation decision-making.
5. MONITORING USE OF THE SEV
The Ministry is committed to documenting SEV consideration and will monitor and assess the application of SEV commitments to the ministry mandate.
The Ministry believes that public consultation is critical to sound environmental decision-making. The ministry will provide opportunities for an open and consultative process when making decisions that might significantly affect the environment.
The Ministry will provide opportunities for the public to be made aware of transportation initiatives and will encourage the public to participate in transportation planning and design in Ontario.
The Ministry will strive to create working relationships with professional, community, and advocacy groups to ensure that transportation decisions incorporate a wide level of community involvement and benefit from a range of environmental information and expertise.
The Ministry will seek to achieve a planning process that is open to comment by the public, stakeholders and transportation partners.
7. CONSIDERATION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
The Ministry recognizes the value which Aboriginal peoples place on the environment. When making decisions that might significantly affect the environment, the Ministry will provide opportunities for involvement of Aboriginal people whose interests may be affected by such decisions so that Aboriginal interests can be appropriately considered. This commitment is not intended to alter or detract from any constitutional obligation the province may have to consult Aboriginal people.
8. GREENING OF INTERNAL OPERATIONS AND ENERGY CONSERVATION
The Ministry believes in the wise use and conservation of natural resources. The ministry will support Government of Ontario initiatives to conserve energy and water, and to wisely use our air and land resources in order to generate environmental, health and economic benefits for present and future generations.