Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

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Environmental Commissioner
of Ontario
Commissaire à l’environnement de l’Ontario
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1994 (1994)
Headquarters 1075 Bay Street, Suite 605
Toronto, Ontario
Agency executive
Website eco.on.ca

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO; French: Commissaire à l’environnement de l’Ontario) is an officer of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. As such, the Commissioner does not report to any Ministry, but rather to the Legislature itself. The Commissioner is selected via recommendation by an all-party committee, chaired by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The candidate is appointed by unanimous vote of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

The Commissioner is appointed by the government, on the advice of the Legislature, for a term of five years, and must swear to "faithfully and impartially exercise the functions of the office," which is to uphold and protect the province's Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). The Commissioner heads an office of 24 staff, who support the Commissioner in overseeing the administration of the EBR and producing reports to the Legislature.


The intent of the EBR is to give Ontarians rights to participate in environmental decision-making, and to hold ministries accountable for their decisions as they affect the environment. The EBR also established the Environmental Registry, an online database where ministries post environmentally significant proposals and decisions for public notice and comment.[1]

In 2009, the EBR was amended to give the ECO the responsibility to report annually on Ontario's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and on conserving energy.[2]


Name Term
Eva Ligeti 1994-1999
Ivy Wile 1999-2000 (interim)
Gord Miller 2000-2015
Dianne Saxe 2015-

Reports and Publications[edit]

The ECO issues several reports each year.

Environmental Protection Reports[edit]

Every year, the office releases an Environmental Protection report that covers ministry compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), and environmental protection issues related to ministries prescribed under the EBR. Up until 2016, this report was simply called the Annual Report, and was accompanied by a Supplement. The Supplement contained reviews of each application submitted under the "EBR", and of ministries' use of the Environmental Registry. The Annual Report contained articles that elaborated on selected pieces from the Supplement, and articles about developing or significant issues of interest to the ECO.

Small Steps Forward: Read Volume 1: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/environmental-protection/2015-2016/EPR-Small-Steps-Forward_Vol1-EN.pdf

Read Volume 2: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/environmental-protection/2015-2016/EPR-Small-Steps-Forward_Vol2-EN.pdf

Greenhouse Gas Progress Reports[edit]

Since 2008, the ECO has issued annual reports on the Ontario government's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Facing Climate Change: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/climate-change/2016/2016-Annual-GHG-Report-EN.pdf

Energy Conservation Progress Reports[edit]

Since 2008, the ECO has issued annual reports on activities in Ontario to reduce the use, or make more efficient use, of electricity, natural gas, propane, oil and transportation fuel. These reports are issued in two volumes: the first volume covers the broader policy framework affecting energy conservation in Ontario, and the second describes conservation initiatives underway, assesses energy savings derived from these initiatives, and measures progress on meeting targets.

Conservation: Let's get Serious- Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report – 2015/2016: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/energy/2015-2016/ECO_Conservation_Lets_Get_Serious.pdf

Special Reports[edit]

In addition to the above reports, the ECO may make a special report on any matter related to the EBR that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, should not be deferred until the annual report.

Developing the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/special-reports/2016/LTEP-2016-Special-Report.pdf

EBR Performance Check-up - Respect for Ontario Environmental Rights 2015/2016: http://docs.assets.eco.on.ca/reports/special-reports/2016/EBR-Performance-Checkup_EN.pdf


External links[edit]