Environmental Bill of Rights

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The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) was passed by the legislature of Ontario, Canada in 1993. It gives Ontario citizens rights to participate in environmental decision-making. The EBR is upheld by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, who is currently Dr. Dianne Saxe.[1]

The EBR gives citizens the right, under specific circumstances:[2]

  • to be notified and to comment on environmentally significant government proposals, using the Environmental Registry;
  • to ask a ministry to review a law or to investigate harm to the environment
  • to appeal a ministry decision
  • to sue for harm to a public resource
  • to sue for public nuisance causing environmental harm
  • to be protected from employer reprisals for using the above rights.

The EBR also lays out responsibilities for those ministries that are prescribed:[3]

  • to develop and publish a Statement of Environmental Values, a statement that guides the ministry when it makes decisions that might affect the environment. The ministry must consider its SEV when it makes an environmentally significant decision. The minister must consider the SEV when deciding to conduct a Review or Investigation under the EBR.[4]
  • to post notices on the Environmental Registry for environmentally significant Acts, regulations and policies, and to consider these comments when making their decisions.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario reports annually on ministries' compliance with the EBR.

Energy Conservation[edit]

Since 2009, the EBR requires the ECO to report annually "on the progress of activities in Ontario to reduce the use or make more efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane, oil and transportation fuels."[5] The ECO produces two-part annual reports on energy conservation, the first part on the broader policy framework affecting energy conservation in Ontario, and the second part on the results of initiatives that are underway.[6]

Climate Change[edit]

Since 2009, the EBR requires the ECO to report annually on the progress of activities in Ontario to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.[7] The ECO produces annual Greenhouse Gas Progress Reports.[8]


External links[edit]