Temporarily exempting proposals from the application of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR)

ERO number
019-1599
Notice type
Bulletin
Act
Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Bulletin posted
Last updated

This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.

Bulletin summary

The Ontario Government has made a temporary regulation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This regulation exempts all proposals for policies, acts, regulations and instruments from posting requirements under the EBR and removes the requirement to consider Statements of Environmental Values for its duration.

Why consultation isn't required

The EBR provides that where the Minister considers that the regulation could, if implemented, have a significant effect on the environment, the Minister must do everything in his or her power to post the proposal on the Environmental Registry for a minimum of 30 days.

While the Minister did everything in his power to post a proposal of the proposed regulation for 30 days, he is unable to do so because the proposed regulation is part of an urgent response to the ongoing state of emergency.

Because the regulation is urgently needed to respond to the unprecedented, ongoing state of emergency in Ontario, in the current circumstances it is not feasible for the Minister delay the regulation.

We are posting this information notice (Bulletin) because the ministry continues to be committed to transparency and informing the public during the declared emergency.

Bulletin details

On March 17, 2020, the Government of Ontario made an order declaring an emergency (the “Emergency Declaration”) under section 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have made a regulation that will expire 30 days after the termination of the emergency declaration and that exempts all proposals for policies, acts, regulations, and instruments from posting requirements under the EBR and removes the requirement to consider SEV for its duration.

The Environmental Bill of Rights

The EBR gives Ontarians the right to participate in certain government decisions that affect the environment.

Part II of the EBR imposes a number of requirements on responsible ministries, including:

  • the requirement to consider the Statement of Environmental Values (SEV)
  • the requirement to post proposals for policies, act, regulations and instruments

New regulation to exempt requirements

The requirements of Part II of the EBR include procedural requirements that are impractical in the current state of emergency. The government must act quickly to address issues arising from this emergency, often to protect the health and safety of persons.

As such, we have temporarily exempted proposals for policies, acts, regulations and instruments from Part II of the EBR and removed the requirement to consider the SEVs so that we can expedite decision-making and implementation of measures to respond to the emergency.

This means that while the regulation is in effect:

  • proposals for policy, act, regulation and instrument notices will no longer be required to be posted for 30-day comment period
  • decision-makers will no longer be required to consider their SEVs

Ministries will post information notices (Bulletins) on the ERO for acts, regulations, policies and instruments for the duration of the regulation, in order to ensure transparency, and public awareness.

Decision makers will continue to consider SEVs for the duration of the regulation, where feasible.

All other Parts of the EBR will remain in effect, including:

  • procedures for applications for review and investigation
  • the function of the Commissioner of the Environment

The proposed regulation is temporary and will automatically terminate 30 days following the termination of the state of emergency.

There are 14 ministries, along with Treasury Board Secretariat, that have been prescribed under the EBR and will be affected by the proposed regulation.

The health and wellbeing of every Ontarian continues to be our number one priority during the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario recognizes the impact the outbreak has had on the regulated community and is taking necessary steps to ensure the health of all Ontarians while ensuring continuity of important operations and the protection of the environment.

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