Media Release: LCO Releases Consultation Paper on Environmental Bill of Rights

CELA Welcomes Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Environmental Accountability under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights

Toronto – Today the Law Commission of Ontario released an important consultation paper on enhancing environmental accountability under the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR).

“We welcome the Law Commission’s consultation on potential ways to strengthen and improve the EBR,” said Richard Lindgren, staff lawyer at Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). “The EBR was enacted over 25 years ago, and it is now time to review and update the legal tools in the EBR that Ontarians can use to ensure access to environmental justice.”

Among other things, these EBR tools currently enable Ontario residents to:

  • participate in environmentally significant decision-making by the Ontario government when it is making or amending environmental laws, regulations, policies, or instruments (i.e., licenses, permits or approvals)
  • appeal instrument decisions to the Ontario Land Tribunal in certain cases
  • file Applications for Review of outdated or ineffective environmental laws, regulations, policies, or instruments
  • file Applications for Investigation of suspected environmental offences
  • commence civil actions to safeguard public resources against significant harm

“The EBR has served Ontario residents reasonably well over the years, but it is clear that changes are now required for this law to fully achieve its stated purpose of protecting the environment, enhancing government accountability, and ensuring public participation in decision-making,” said Mr. Lindgren.

In the coming months, the Law Commission intends to consult interested persons, stakeholder groups, industrial sectors, and Indigenous communities. The Law Commission is also inviting the public to submit written comments on the consultation paper by November 25, 2022.

“We encourage all Ontarians to participate in this crucial consultation,” stated Mr. Lindgren. “The Law Commission’s paper raises key issues and poses well-founded questions about potential amendments to the EBR as well as broader environmental justice considerations.”

CELA is holding a free one-hour webinar on November 2, 2022 at 12:00 pm ET to review and discuss the Law Commission’s paper. Registration for this event is required.

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For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Richard Lindgren, CELA Counsel ( / 613-385-1686)