Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
|Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Protection de la nature et des Parcs (French)|
|Government ministry overview|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Ontario|
|Headquarters||2nd Floor, Macdonald Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3|
|Annual budget||$322 million|
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is an Ontario government ministry responsible for protecting and improving the quality of the environment in the Canadian province of Ontario, as well as coordinating Ontario's actions on climate change. This includes administration of government programs, such as Ontario's Drive Clean and Clean Water Act. The ministry headquarters are located inside the Ontario Government Buildings.
The ministry was merged with the Ministry of Energy to form the Ministry of Environment and Energy from 1993 to 1997, and briefly again in 2002, before being split back up again.
Following the 2014 Ontario election, the addition of climate change to the ministry's portfolio was announced on June 24, 2014, and its name changed from the Ministry of the Environment to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
Following the 2018 Ontario election, the Ministry's name was changed from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on June 29, 2018.
The MECP works to improve air quality through legislation, targeted programs, and partnership agreements with other neighbouring airsheds. This includes using a network of air quality stations that provide real-time air pollution data. The ministry communicates air quality to the public by providing an Air Quality Index based on ambient levels of ozone, fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and total reduced sulphur compounds.
MECP is responsible for administering Ontario Regulation 153/04 which requires, under specific circumstances, a Record of Site Condition (RSC) to be submitted to the Ministry for acknowledgement. A RSC contains Environmental Site Assessments that ascertain the current condition of a site, including whether contamination exists on-site. The RSC is required when a property owner is choosing to change the property use from a less-sensitive to more-sensitive use (Example: Industrial Use to Residential Use) and is often required by the municipality's Chief Building Official before approval of a building permit.
The ministry released a climate change action plan in 2007, setting greenhouse gas reduction targets for the province. It is the aim of the provincial government to reduce its emissions to:
- 6% below 1990 levels by 2014;
- 15% below 1990 levels by 2020; and
- 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
The ministry released an update on its progress towards these targets in 2014, indicating that it had surpassed its 2014 target. It also indicated that current trends and policies would result in 170 megatonnes of emissions, or 69% of its 2020 target.
In 2011, the ministry published Climate Ready, its first climate change adaptation strategy and action plan for 2011 to 2014. The report acknowledges that Ontario has experienced a 1.4°C increase in average temperatures, and that the province is suffering from more frequent extreme weather events including prolonged heat waves, torrential rain and wind storms, and drought. The report outlines how the province should prepare for and minimize the negative impacts of a changing climate, as well as strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under Ontario Regulation 452/09, any facility in Ontario that emits more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually is required to report their emissions. The reports must be verified by an accredited third party, to ensure it meets the requirements of ISO 14064-3. Reports are then submitted through Environment Canada's single window system.
A cap and trade program was implemented on January 1, 2017, which projected to cost the average Ontario household about $13 more per month to fuel a car and heat a home in 2017. By 2017 year end, the cap and trade program brought in nearly $2 billion in revenue. After Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford was sworn into office on June 29, 2018, he revoked Ontario's cap and trade program on July 3, 2018.
The ministry is responsible for administering Ontario's Drive Clean program. Certain cars, vans, trucks, motorhomes and buses must be evaluated under the Drive Clean program to check that they meet Ontario emissions standards before being licensed to drive on Ontario roads. On September 28, 2018, the Ontario government announced the cancellation of the Drive Clean program and instead focusing on heavy duty vehicles; the change would be effective on April 1, 2019.
- Environmental assessments
- Environmental approvals
- Environmental registry
- Environment maps
- Great Lakes and Watersheds
List of Ministers
|Name||Term of office||Tenure||Political party
|Minister of the Environment||PC
|George Kerr||July 23, 1971||February 2, 1972||194 days
|James Auld||February 2, 1972||February 26, 1974||2 years, 24 days|
|Bill Newman||February 26, 1974||October 7, 1975||1 year, 223 days|
|George Kerr||October 7, 1975||January 21, 1978||2 years, 106 days
(2 years, 300 days in total)
|George R. McCague||January 21, 1978||August 18, 1978||209 days|
|Harry Craig Parrott||August 18, 1978||April 10, 1981||2 years, 235 days|
|Keith Norton||April 10, 1981||July 6, 1983||2 years, 87 days|
|Andy Brandt||July 6, 1983||February 8, 1985||1 year, 217 days|
|Morley Kells||February 8, 1985||May 17, 1985||98 days||PC
|Susan Fish||May 17, 1985||June 26, 1985||40 days|
|Jim Bradley||June 26, 1985||October 1, 1990||5 years, 97 days
|Served in same role under three different Premiers.|
|Ruth Grier||October 1, 1990||February 3, 1993||2 years, 125 days||NDP
|Minister of Environment and Energy|
|Bud Wildman||February 3, 1993||June 26, 1995||2 years, 143 days|
|Brenda Elliott||June 26, 1995||August 16, 1996||1 year, 51 days||PC
|Norm Sterling||August 16, 1996||October 10, 1997||to be continued|
|Minister of the Environment|
|Norm Sterling||October 10, 1997||June 17, 1999||2 years, 305 days|
|Tony Clement||June 17, 1999||March 3, 2000||260 days|
|Dan Newman||March 3, 2000||February 7, 2001||341 days|
|Elizabeth Witmer||February 8, 2001||April 14, 2002||1 year, 65 days|
|Minister of Environment and Energy||PC
|Chris Stockwell||April 15, 2002||August 22, 2002||to be continued|
|Minister of the Environment|
|Chris Stockwell||August 22, 2002||June 17, 2003||1 year, 63 days|
|Jim Wilson||June 17, 2003||October 22, 2003||127 days|
|Leona Dombrowsky||October 23, 2003||June 29, 2005||1 year, 249 days||Liberal
|Laurel Broten||June 29, 2005||October 30, 2007||2 years, 123 days|
|John Gerretsen||October 30, 2007||August 18, 2010||2 years, 292 days|
|John Wilkinson||August 18, 2010||October 20, 2011||1 year, 63 days|
|Jim Bradley||October 20, 2011||February 11, 2013||2 years, 247 days
7 years, 344 days in total
|Served in same role under three different Premiers.|
|February 11, 2013||June 24, 2014||Liberal|
|Minister of the Environment and Climate Change|
|Glen Murray||June 24, 2014||July 31, 2017||3 years, 37 days||Resigned and retired from politics.|
|Chris Ballard||July 31, 2017||June 29, 2018||333 days|
|Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks||PC
|Rod Phillips||June 29, 2018||June 20, 2019||356 days|
|Jeff Yurek||June 20, 2019||present||351 days|
- Government of Ontario
- Ontario's Drive Clean program
- Hydro One - formerly part of Ontario Hydro
- Ontario Power Generation - formerly part of Ontario Hydro
- Flick Off
- "Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks". Government of Ontario. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "Wynne to name Hoskins health minister in major cabinet shuffle - CBC News".
- "Doug Ford and Cabinet to be Sworn-in as Ontario's First Ever Government for the People".
- "Air Quality Ontario". Government of Ontario. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "Ontario cap-and-trade auctions bring in nearly $2B this year". 6 December 2017.
- "Ontario's getting out of the 'carbon tax business,' Doug Ford says. But what's next? - CBC News".
- "Drive Clean Test". Government of Ontario. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- "Ontario Cancelling Outdated, Ineffective Drive Clean Program".
- McCarthy, Shawn (July 31, 2017). "Environment Minister Glen Murray resigns from Kathleen Wynne's cabinet". The Globe and Mail.