Statement of Environmental Values : Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
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 from all designated ministries. The designated ministries are listed at:
Statements of Environmental Values (SEV) 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 Statements are current.
2. MINISTRY VISION, MANDATE AND BUSINESS
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s vision is an Ontario with clean and safe air, land and water that contributes to healthy communities, ecological protection, and environmentally sustainable development for present and future generations.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change develops and implements environmental legislation, regulations, standards, policies, guidelines and programs. The Ministry’s research, monitoring, inspection, investigations and enforcement activities are integral to achieving Ontario’s environmental goals.
Specific details on the responsibilities of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change can be found on the Ministry website www.ene.gov.on.ca.
3. APPLICATION OF THE SEV
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is committed to applying the purposes of the EBR when decisions that might significantly affect the environment are made in the Ministry. As it develops Acts, regulations and policies, the Ministry will apply the following principles:
Decisions on proposed Acts, regulations and policies reflect the above principles. The ministry works to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment by:
In addition, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change uses a range of innovative programs and initiatives, including strong partnerships, public engagement, strategic knowledge management, and economic incentives and disincentives to carry out its responsibilities.
4. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will take into account social, economic and other considerations; these will be integrated with the purposes of the EBR when decisions that might significantly affect the environment need to be made. In making decisions, the Ministry will use the best science available. It will support scientific research, the development and application of technologies, processes and services.
The Ministry will encourage energy conservation in those sectors where it provides policy direction or programs.
5. MONITORING USE OF THE SEV
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will document how the SEV was considered each time a decision on an Act, regulation or policy is posted on the Environmental Registry. The Ministry will ensure that staff involved in decisions that might significantly affect the environment is aware of the Ministry’s Environmental Bill of Rights obligations.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change monitors and assesses changes in the environment. The Ministry reviews and reports, both internally and to the Environmental Commissioner’s Office, on its progress in implementing the SEV.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change believes that public consultation is vital 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.
7. CONSIDERATION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recognizes the value that Aboriginal peoples place on the environment. When making decisions that might significantly affect the environment, the Ministry will provide opportunities for involvement of Aboriginal peoples 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 INTERNAL OPERATIONS
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change 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, water and land resources in order to generate sustainable environmental, health and economic benefits for present and future generations.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is committed to reducing its environmental footprint by greening its internal operations, and supporting environmentally sustainable practices for its partners, stakeholders and suppliers. A range of activities is being undertaken to reduce the Ministry’s air emissions, energy use, water consumption, and waste generation. These include: monitoring and reducing the Ministry’s carbon footprint, promoting energy and water conservation in ministry outreach and educational activities, and supporting government-wide greening and sustainability initiatives.