Statement of Environmental Values: Ministry of Culture
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.
These purposes include the following:
To assist in fulfilling these purposes, the Act provides:
The EBR requires a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) from all designated ministries. The designated ministries are listed at: http:// http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/content/index2.jsp?f0=aboutTheRegistry.statement&f1=aboutTheRegistry.statement.value&menuIndex=0_3
Statements of Environmental Values are a means for designated government ministries to record their commitment to the environment and be accountable for ensuring consideration of the environment in their decisions. 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 SEV on a periodic basis to ensure the Statement is current.
2. MINISTRY VISION, MANDATE AND BUSINESS
The Ministry of Culture provides leadership in building a strong and stable cultural sector that contributes to a prosperous creative economy and vibrant, liveable communities.
Ministry Mandate and Business
Cultural heritage is critical to a healthy society. It is key to defining identity and ensuring the well-being of Ontarians, both individually and collectively. Our provincial heritage resources are non-renewable and irreplaceable, and government has a role to play as trustee in their protection and preservation.
Cultural heritage resources are part of the environment, and recognized as such under the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). Through the EAA, the Ministry of Culture plays an important role in coordinating with other Ministries, the preservation and wise use of these resources for the benefit of Ontarians and Ontario communities.
Conservation of cultural heritage resources contributes to the protection of natural resources. Advocating for the reuse of older buildings, for example, helps protect greenfield land, requires less energy for the creation of new products and services, uses less landfill space, and reduces the generation and release of pollutants that threaten the integrity of the environment.
Cultural heritage conservation also serves both economic and social needs, and involves the interpretation and wise use of cultural heritage resources for educational, commercial, recreational and tourism purposes. These all play important roles in economic and community development, while also contributing to a sense of place.
The following environmental values articulate the principles and processes by which the Act’s purposes are implemented in the Ministry of Culture:
Specific details on the responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture can be found on the ministry website www.culture.gov.on.ca.
3. APPLICATION OF THE SEV
4. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The Ministry of Culture will integrate the purposes of the EBR with other considerations including social, economic and scientific considerations when making decisions that might significantly affect the natural environment. The EBR purposes of conserving, protecting and, where feasible, restoring the natural environment, providing for the sustainability of the natural environment and protecting the public's right to a healthful environment will be objectives of the Ministry when making decisions that might significantly affect the natural environment as well as other considerations.
The Ministry of Culture will encourage energy conservation in those sectors where it provides policy direction or programs.
5. MONITORING USE OF THE SEV
The Ministry of Culture will document how the SEV was considered each time a decision is posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry. The Ministry will ensure that staff involved in decisions that might significantly affect the environment are aware of the Ministry’s Environmental Bill of Rights obligations.
The Ministry of Culture believes in being accountable for its environmental decision-making. The Ministry of Culture believes that open consultation is vital to sound environmental decision-making. The Ministry will provide opportunities for the people of Ontario to participate in the making of environmentally significant decisions by the Ministry.
7. CONSIDERATION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
The Ministry of Culture recognizes the value that Aboriginal people 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 with Aboriginal peoples.
8. GREENING OF INTERNAL OPERATIONS AND ENERGY CONSERVATION
The Ministry of Culture 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.
The Ministry of Culture recognizes the important role of energy conservation in its responsibility for stewardship and management of the environment. The Ministry will undertake activities to promote energy conservation in its operations. These include: